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Not sure how to handle this..

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006: Not sure how to handle this..
By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:26 pm:

I work as an aide in our public school's preschool. Yesterday, we had a 3 year old little girl throw a major temper tantrum as her mother was leaving. This is the second time she has done this since August. I am talking major, major, tantrum - sounds like the girl from the exorcist. The teacher told the mother to leave and she did. The child was absolutely hysterical for 1 hour and 15 minutes, to the point of urinating on the floor and then rolling in it - I think she was oblivious to what she was doing because she was so upset. When the child began kicking the door the teacher went over to her - and at this point the teacher was very angry - and told her if she wanted to kick something or hit something to hit or kick herself and then dragged her away from the door. I was instructed to watch the child and not react but to make sure she didn't hurt herself. When the teacher was told by the other aide that the child was rolling around in urine she said "good". The mother was told none of this when she picked up her daughter at the end of the day - just that she had had an accident and that her tantrum lasted just over an hour.

The mother in me wants to call this child's mother and tell her what really happened. If I do that I will most likely lose my job and I will also end up labeled a troublemaker and this could somehow come back on my own children who are in the same district. So suggestions? Ideas?

By Reds9298 on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:32 pm:

I can't believe the behavior/reaction of the teacher!!!!!!!!!! I'm appalled! I taught K for years and had my share of tantrums. I would not have let a tantrum go on that long personally. I would have called the mother and asked that she come and get her or come and sit with her., for the benefit of everyone. It's preschool for heaven's sake!Allowing her to roll in the urine is outrageous to me. The teacher's comments are very troubling to say the least.

Unfortunately I think you're in a very bad situation. It would be hard for me to not call the mother as well, but you *will* be making problems for yourself and your kids unfortunately. You just have to decide if you want to lose your job or be miserable there if you were to contact the mother. I know that's awful but likely true. If the teacher is that uncaring toward a PRESCHOOL child, goodness only knows how she is in real life!!

I'm sorry you're in this situation. The other option is to talk to the head of the preschool about the situation, but that will still put you in the same bad scenario with the teacher. ((hugs))

By Enchens on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:34 pm:

Does the Mommy in you want to tell the child's mom what the child did, what the teacher said, or both? What part is really bugging you?

I agree with the teacher's behavior up to the point where the child was kicking the door. It's hard not to get angry, I'll give her that. She could have said something different to the child. And her reaction to the child rolling around in her urine should have been kept to herself.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:36 pm:

she is the head of the preschool. The only other person to go to would be the principal (or higher) and this is a small town and they have all been friends for like 20 years.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:40 pm:

It really bothers me that she would allow a 3yr old to roll around in the urine and also what she said about kicking or hitting herself. This kid was completely soaked - it was in her hair, on her back her skirt was dripping it was just awful.

By Enchens on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 02:49 pm:

Ouch! She's the head of the preschool. If I were to decide to say something, I'd go above her to the principal and not tell the mom directly. Telling mom directly would get you in trouble and in the middle of everything. Telling the principal would get the principal to deal with it. You don't have the power or position to do anything to the teacher as far as disciplinary action goes. The principal does. So, if you decided to speak up, I'd go with the higher ups. Let them deal with the teacher and the mom.
And yes, this is a biggie. The teacher was out of line. There are so many different ways to handle the situation and she did not pick one of the best ones.

By Tripletmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 03:01 pm:

I think it's totally disgusting.I think the teacher needs to go find another occupation.Not all children come wrapped up as goodie bags.It's actually child abuse in what you're describing.Is there anyway you can ask the mother for alternatives when the child is having a real rough day.Telling the child to kick/hit herself and drag her from the door.(Is there something wrong with picture?)I think a call to the parent would have been better.The teacher or yourself could have asked if the child was not feeling well or was having some personal issues at home.I as I parent would have appreciated a call telling me my child was VERY upset and not settling and if I could come and pick her up.It makes me feel sick that the adults at this school let a 3yr old baby roll in her own urine.

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 03:02 pm:

I haven't read all of the resposes, but it sounds like the 3 year old is not ready for pre school. Not all little ones are cut out for it that early.

I am the type of person who would go directly to the teacher and tell her what I think. If I have a problem with someone, I give them the opportunity to explain him/her self to me first. This seems to me to be the most adult way to handle it.

Suggest to the teacher that it may be in the best interest of ALL of the students if perhaps this girl were removed from the class until she is ready for this type of separation and structured environment.

By Kaye on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 03:20 pm:

More questions..

the response of good, was that to the child or to the teacher?

did she say anything angry to the child, or was she just firm?

is this a special needs class? (our preschool is special needs).

Did she clean her up when her fit was done?

I wouldn't call the mom, that wouldn't help anything. I would probably mention to the next person up the command chain.

Ultimately, I am not sure how I feel about this. If it were my kid....hmmm...i had one with a very bad temper, you had to ignore her, but at the same time be very direct if she got to a point she could injure herself or break something. My child at the same age was on the potty once when daddy came home, he was just a few minutes early. She was less than impressed that he would come home while she was in the bathroom (he just walked in and said hi to me, she heard him from the bathroom). She went ballistic, started screaming daddy go away, go back to work (again he wasn't in the restroom, just the family room, he couldn't see her). I walked back to check on her, there was no consoling her. She did pitch an hour fit, she did pee all over herself and finally just fell asleep hugging the potty (and i took When she woke up, we talked about her behavior, I made her clean up. But I wasn't about to put myself in harms way, I wasn't going to give in to stuborness, etc.

So I guess what I am saying, is what should she had done differently? Do you think in the midst of a fit she should of ripped the clothes off the girl and make her go to the bathroom? It would have been a fight. I do think she should of cleaned her up later. Is this a normal routine for the girl. I guess what I am saying is, if you have a mild tempered child, you can reason with them, but if you have a tough one, you just can't. My daughter is now 12, she doesn't have many melt downs, but on occasion she does, you can't reason with her and nothing you do makes it better. When she was little she had them almost weekly, we used to try to be sweet calming parents, she could last for hours. Walking away is the best choice. Did it make me mad yes, was I sometimes a little pleased about natural consequences, as long as she wasn't harmed, yes. And the end all be all to me is this teacher wasn't mean to her, the girl wasn't hurt, and the teacher didn't humilate the child (if she cleaned her), the child humilated herself. I know she is three, but strong willed kids are just that way.

So my next question is what would you have done differently?

By Amecmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 04:00 pm:

A tantrum that goes on an hour and fifteen minutes is way too long and that's where the trouble begins. 20 minutes max, then the parent needs to pick up the child.
If I were the mom, I would want to know what went on. When I leave my 2 year old for pre-school (2 hours every morning) I am confident that she is in the care of loving, trained professionals who have her best interests at heart. They would NEVER allow anything like this to happen at the school my daughter attends and I would NEVER allow my child to attend a school where this could happen.

So, what do you do? How is your relationship with the teacher? Can you actually sit down with her and say. "I'm really upset by what happened with ..." Can you suggest that mom be on hand to pick her up early if the tantrums start? Whatever you do, don't say that you don't like the way she handled the situation, just that you were unnerved by what went on with the girl.

I feel for you. This is a tough situation. Have you talked about it with the other classroom aid?

I don't think you should tell the mom, but I do think the teacher should suggest to the mom she be on hand to pick up her child in the event this happens again.

Hugs. Hope others are more helpful.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 04:01 pm:

I think before it got to the point that it did, well before, the teacher should have removed the child from the room - or removed the other kids from the room. I also think she should have called the mother or at the very least told her exactly what went on that morning. She just kind of blew it off as a "oh that's how kids can be" kind of joke, when in reality she was quite angry - (the teacher) her face was beat red when she told the child to hit/kick herself and we have very precise instructions on nonviolent intervention, dragging a child is not one of them. She did not clean the child, she made the child do it herself while someone supervised. When she said "good" she was saying it to the aide who told her the child had just urinated and was rolling in it.

I guess it's a matter of choice as a parent on how you would handle it, but I still think the mother has the right to know what happened.

It is an inclusion class, but this child is not considered to be special needs. The ones that are were very upset when this happened.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 05:09 pm:

Not only was this extremely hard for the child, but what were the other children doing? They must have been scared to death. I agree with Amecmom. Whether you have a good relationship or not, I would go to her as an adult and a mother, maybe on your own time, and explain to her how you felt about what happened. If she reacts badly to you about how you feel, then she is less mature than that poor little girl. Please let us know how things are going. (((hugs))))

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 05:16 pm:

The teacher told the kids they could use their loud outside voices to be heard over the little girl who was "throwing a tantrum like a baby".

I cannot go to this teacher. The preschool is run her way and she doesn't like input from her staff in any way, shape or form.

I really appreciate everyone's advice. This has been making me feel sick since it happened. I still don't know what to do, but you all have given me food for thought.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 05:27 pm:

I was a kindergarten aid for 2 months and I was miserable because it felt like they were being treated as 2nd or 3rd graders. I do feel for you. But, what will you do if this happens again? I can't imagine my kid going through that once much less a 2nd time. I have 2 friends that are pre-school teachers and I'll talk to them and see what they say. If I hear from them tonight, I'll post their response.

By Emily7 on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 06:00 pm:

If you in your heart of hearts believe that what she did was either verbal or physical abuse, then you need to do what you can to make sure this doesn't happen again. Only you know this child & this teacher so I can't really judge what happened.
Every state has agencies that are supposed to watch over daycare or preschools, if you feel that you need to maybe you can anonomusly contact some one there. If there was more than one aid in the class dealing with the girl then who is to say it was you. Also I can't imagine it being legal to fire you for reporting what you felt was wrong.
We are the voices of kids until they can speak for themselves & if my child was being belittled or mistreated I would want something done.
Ame is right an hour & fifteen minutes is way to long to allow a child to throw a fit.

Good luck, please update us on what happened.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 06:03 pm:

Ok, I just got off the phone with my friend who is a pre-school teacher. She felt as though how the child was treated by the teacher was abusive, and for the sake of the child and the other children, the child should have been taken to another room. However, she knows how you feel in your position because she used to also be an aide. She said that aides are not supposed to talk to the parents. Only the teachers should. She said that if you were to go to the parents, you would most likely get fired. Her suggestion was that you keep a log and if/when you feel you have substantial evidence against this teacher, then you should go to the director/principal. Keeping a log is better than going to the director every time something happens because you will be branded a tattletale.

As we were talking, she said something to me that really stood out. When she was taking classes, she said that if you were graded according to attitude, then only her and about 2 others would have passed. She felt sorry for the future kids of some of those teachers-in-training. WOW. So true. I know some teachers and I have wondered why they became teachers.

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 06:12 pm:

I would start looking for another teaching position. It sounds like, based on your description of the teacher, if and when you take action, be prepared to lose your job.

I wouldn't want to work for or with someone like that.

By Conni on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 06:18 pm:

Um, I have not read any of the responses. I will have to read later. I just wanted to tell you that when Brandon and Brad were infant and toddler age I took a part time job at a preschool/daycare. I walked out the first week and never went back. I was not about to tolerate some of the things I saw in there and I was not about to subject my own children to any of it. I dont have time to go into detail but I did call DHS and asked them to drop in on the place and told them what to look for. I know the director of the center was replaced. A few yrs later the place was no longer in business.

Don't tolerate that crap. The poor child has a problem and someone needs to address it with the mother. And work with the mother and child to dtermine what's going on...

The teacher needs to be replaced period... No excuse for that. You need to ask the teeacher if this was her child having a behavioral issue how would she want her child handled?

We had 2 kids at a mothers day out that I worked at that had a very hard time when dropped off. These were 3 yo. I would sit with them and rock them, read, cuddle, rub their back, listen to them, whatever that child needed to get thru the transition is what I did. The other teacher handled the class until we could join the group...

Stand up for what you know is right. :) You are a good person who can make a difference for many children.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 06:35 pm:

Me again, LOL! I'm not sure I would be as nice as the advice given by my friend. I, too agree with Conni. I had to leave my job as an aide because I could not take how the kids were being treated.

By Unschoolmom on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 09:29 pm:

I think Connie has it. It's a tough, tough thing to do to sacrifice your job but this little girl's mental health is at stake. I sure hope it's an option for you.

I like the suggestion of keeping a journal but that means the girl has to be put through this again and you have to watch it.:(

By Crystal915 on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 12:39 am:

I haven't read all the responses, but I honestly think you have an obligation as a child care provider (teacher's aide in a preschool is still child care) to report this to the mother. If I found out something like that had happened with one of my kids, and no one told me, I'd have everyone in the building fired, if I didn't get my hands on them first. Small town, friendships, and all other ties aside, your obligation is to the children, and parents who trust you and your fellow teachers with their children. I'd report this to the very highest of authorities, possibly even CPS. (or whatever protection agency is in your state) HUGS!!!! This is a horrible position to be in.

By Deek on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 07:33 am:

I don't post very often, but as a Preschool director I had to respond to this one. I know that it will make you uncomfortable but I do think you need to at least talk to the principal. They may be friends, but that doesn't mean the principal would approve of her teaching choices. She may not even know what is really going on.I am friendly with my staff, but will not hesitate to call them on something I think needs to change...that is my job...and I would never tolerate cruelty to any child EVER!!
I understand the frustration of having a little one throw a fit, but I would never let it get to that level and I would never leave a child alone who is that upset.My heart broke reading your post. And name-calling is just so wrong on so many levels..
I would definitely talk to the principal..this teacher is her responsibility and I would imagine that she does not want to jeopardize her job or the school's reputation, not to mention that I would hope she would have concern and compassion for a little 3 year old who is frightened and angry ..poor little sweetheart..
During the day, are you able to offer her a little extra attention and reassurance? If she begins to see she has a friend at the school she may feel better about being there. Good luck!

By Beth on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 09:28 am:

I just wanted to say good luck this is a tough situation to be in.

By Debbie on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 10:30 am:

Please, talk to the principal. As a mother of a son, who was not treated well at a preschool, I beg you to get involved and say something. My ds was enrolled at a preschool that was highly recommended by several people. He had a teacher that had been teaching there for 16 years. My ds cried every day about going to school. I thought it was just seperation anxiety. I dropped him off in tears every morning. It just so happens that the second week of school, I was standing outside the door after I dropped him off(in tears of course) The teacher did not know I was in the hall. I listen to her talk horribly to my ds. She told him he could just sit in the corner and cry all day if he wanted. She didn't care what he did. She used a rude, ugly tone of voice. I then heard him say he wanted his mom. She told him "your mom isn't going to come get you anytime soon, so you can just cry all day if you want". I could not believe her tone, her attitude, the way she was talking to my son was totally inappropriate. When I walked in, he was in a corner, and she was infront of him yelling in his face. I marched in and got my ds, and went directly to the director. I pulled my ds out that day. I found out later that this teacher was let go. A few months later, I found a wonderful school, with an awesome teacher. He never cried at all, and loved going. I shutter to think that my ds would have been subject to this teacher all year, if I hadn't heard what was going on. There was an aid in the classroom that looked totally embarrassed when I came back in. It really hurt that I could tell she knew this teacher was being horrible to my ds, and she didn't say anything.

There is no excuse for the treatment of this child. To let her act this way, and to let the other children see this. To let her roll in her own urine, and then make her clean herself up. It is just totally unacceptable.

I know it is hard because you are in a small town. But, please say something. You don't have to go in and bash the teacher. I would suggest just telling the principal what happened, and that you are bothered by how it was handled. Hopefully, the principal will not think it is acceptable either, and do something about it.

By Kate on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 11:06 am:

You need to say something. It's a no brainer. If no one speaks up, this child will continue to be traumatized and not trust adults, and her relationship with her mother will erode, too. Her mother TAKES her to this place and makes her stay...think about what that is going to do to her trust of her mother! Think how Debbie's son must have felt when his mommy walked in and rescued him! His feelings were validated and his trust in his mother was multiplied tenfold! Debbie was lucky to get that opportunity to rescue him, before he stopped trusting her and all other adults. I think a child is more important than your job. I'm not saying it's easy or that it's simple to throw away your paycheck...but can you really live with yourself if you say nothing? If this woman isn't stopped she will get worse. It could have been YOUR child in this situation at one point...wouldn't you have wanted to know??

By Hlgmom on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 03:09 pm:

This story make me want ot run to my daughters preschool and hug her! Please tell someone- anyone- the mother, the principal someone. That is 100% abuse in my book- as a mother iwould be livid- that woman should not be working with children!
Best of luck to you.

By Amecmom on Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 08:50 pm:

Actually, now that I think about it, are you a mandated reporter? I know as a teacher, I am. You do need to talk to the principal, even if it puts you in a spot.
Other kids saw this. The girl experienced it. Someone will talk and then, when it gets to the principal, she will want to know why no one said anything.
Please let us know what you decide to do and how it goes.

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