Friday, March 7, 2014

New School (?!)

It is with a sigh and heavy heart that Patrick and I think a change of school is best for Eli. And yes, we are changing in the middle of the year : (. Eli is no longer happy at his current preschool, and I firmly believe that it is NOT separation anxiety. Every day that I pick him up from school he tells me "I am NOT going back to that school."  The really funny part is that, after today, he might be right : ).

We are struggling with teachers who, we feel, are not always forthcoming and who are entirely too strict for Eli's needs. Eli is a very kind, empathetic child, who is definitely a "people pleaser."

This was not a problem when Eli first started here. We used to love this school and I used to be so happy that we found such a good place for Eli to learn. Eli used to love going to school. However, since his previous teacher has seemingly vanished, things have definitely slowly soured.

It began with Eli having accidents at school. One day, while bringing home a "wet bag", Eli announced that he HAD to go to the bathroom NOW. I sighed, and started taking him out of his car seat to go back inside his school. He resisted going into his school, saying he would just "hold it in" or pee on the sidewalk. I took him in anyway, and explained to his teacher that we needed a restroom. She proceeded to follow us into the restroom, scold me for "turning the light on FOR him and not making him do it" and stood over him/me the entire time we were there - telling me how to take MY KID to the bathroom.  There were many issues at play here. First, I found out that they make Eli turn on the light for himself to go to the bathroom. Eli is 3 and short - he cannot reach the light switch. So, for him to go to the bathroom at school, he has to drag a stepstool several feet to the switch, climb up, jump to turn the switch on, drag the step stool back to the toilet, use it to climb on a very large adult toilet (larger than the ones in our home), and perch precariously on the edge while trying to go to the bathroom.  I know his teachers disagree with me, but I felt like this was waaayyy too much to ask of 2 and 3 year olds.

Then, Eli started coming home and telling me that his teachers were mad at him, among other things. When I talked to his teachers, they first said that all was fine, and he was a good boy, etc. Then, one of the teachers started saying things like, "but he's always taking toys away from other kids, and wouldn't stay seated yesterday when we were serving lunch, and he is in time out almost every day."  My issue is that I had never been told any of this... and his teacher was acting like these are major transgressions.

Finally, I broke the news to his teachers today that Eli would be transferring to another school. They were very, very surprised - and I think, a little hurt.

We are hoping to pursue placement in a Montessori-based school, but we will have to wait until his evaluation day. I think it will be an excellent fit for him, in that he will have a lot of control over what he is learning, and in that a Montessori school is a very academically-rich environment. In the meantime, we hope to send Eli to a local daycare until the school year is over.

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