If you can read this blog, clap once.

I generally don’t want to sound like the whiney “that mom” when it comes to Kathryn’s school, but this afternoon, I saw one of her teachers do something that annoyed me to the core..

I was picking the mini-me up from her after-school activity and was pulled right up next to the entrance to the building. The school lobby was loud with kids, understandably making it difficult for the teacher to announce whose ride had arrived. Said teacher carries a megaphone. She asked the kids to be quiet three times through the megaphone. On the fourth time, she bent over and was within two feet of some of the kids heads and screamed “PLEASE BE QUIET” through the megaphone. At least five of the kids winced and covered their ears. I glared at the teacher (and yea she saw me) wide eyed and mouth agape.

I understand losing patience.. oh, do I ever understand it.  Every other Tuesday I have sixteen Girl Scouts chatter amongst themselves while I’m trying to conduct their meeting.  But to me, what I saw today was unprofessional and I hope certainly not exemplary of how the school treats the children in general. George and I jumped through hoops to get Kathryn out of our neighborhood school and into this one.

Several years ago, I chose to withdraw Kathryn from a daycare because of this exact kind of treatment of the children. I heard several kids playing an innocent game of “Duck Duck Goose”, followed by a stream of loud commands from the teacher, yelling at the kids for ‘playing it wrong’. For pete’s sake. It was Duck Duck Goose. Let them play how they want!

I waited two hours and emailed her principal the following letter:

(Dear Elementary Principal),

I wanted to let you know about something I witnessed this afternoon while in the pickup line to get my daughter following her (after school activity).

First, I want to preface by saying that I am a Girl Scout leader (several of my girls attend (Kathryn’s School)) and know how difficult it is to quiet a large group of elementary students first hand. However, the manner in which the students were told to lower their voices today would most likely have me immediately removed from my volunteer position.

Additionally, I want to say that I understand the purpose of using the megaphone to call students to their cars. I support the use of this device for this purpose, but only for this purpose. Today, however, while in line, I saw (the teacher) standing at the doorway to the school asking the kids to be quiet, through the megaphone. She said this three times. On the fourth attempt, she SCREAMED into the megaphone “BE QUIET PLEASE!”, while bending down within two feet of several children’s heads. I saw at least five of your elementary kids cover their ears and wince in response.

To me, this was not an appropriate use of a megaphone and was shocked by (the teacher’s) manner of quieting down the students. Additionally, I found this to be rather inappropriate from a professional standpoint. In my own experience in Scouts (I have sixteen of them between the ages of 5 and 9, by the way), the “Clap once if you can hear me” method is much more effective and professional than screaming at the children.. through a megaphone… just inches from their ears.

Please leave the “screaming” at my child to myself (though I try to refrain as much as possible), not to the teachers.

Thank you for your time.

Emily Spurrier
Mom to Kathryn Spurrier, second grade.

I’ll keep you updated…

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About gespurr

Emily was born in Southwestern Louisiana and has moved over 20 times in her life through nine different states. Most of her life was spent in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where she met her husband and had her only child. Both she and her husband are also only children. She graduated from Stillwater (MN) High School in 1992 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1997 with a BS in Journalism. Three years later, she met her husband, George, and they married in 2002. Their daughter, Kathryn, was born early in 2004. She relocated with her family back to Arkansas in 2005 after being away for 30 years. She currently works as a customer service representative for a wireless company and lives in North Little Rock. When not taking care of her daughter she is either cooking, working, cleaning house, sewing, gardening, knitting, crocheting hiking, traveling or spending time with her husband.

Posted on January 23, 2012, in Girl Scouts, Kathryn, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yeah um…. good writing, much better dealt with than I would have dealt with it likely… I once worked at a daycare, and could not handle the way things were dealt with there. I went to the Director many times to complain about unprofessional from one co-worker specifically. After several complaints, *I* was told if I would not recommend their daycare to my friends or family, then I should seek employment elsewhere. Less than a year later the daycare was all over the news because a child was bitten by an employee because he bite another child. :O After bumping into a former co-worker many months after that, I found out it was the employee I complained about several times… imagine that :S

  2. Any response yet? I am still trying to figure out what that teacher was thinking! Apparently she was, and perhaps still is, completely unaware that children are like little computers. They are blank and we write on their memory of what to do and how to act… but it isn’t easy to erase those programs that we “accidentally” install.

    • No, but here’s why..

      The principal I emailed apparently resigned two days before this happened. We weren’t told until 2 days after my letter. By the time I figured out the other principal’s email address, the point was rather old and moot.

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