Hi everyone. I have a situation and would like input from readers. I realize that a lot of readers are nannies and that some of you have worked in preschool programs prior to being a nanny. It is those of you who have previous preschool experience that I would like to have the advice from, however, all of you are more than welcome to leave a respectable, non judgmental comment. I have noticed that some readers can be very insulting and judgmental with comments based on what they read from OP, and some of the comments have been downright rude and uncalled for.
I work in a 2 year old room at a preschool and I love my co teacher, who is half my age; she is old enough to be my daughter, as are her sisters, both of who work there as well. This is my co-teacher's first job in a preschool, and she has no plans to remain in the field. We've been working together for a year, and she has come a along way, making strides in her "voice" (the teacher's voice), lesson plans, etc. The class we had was very challenging, and I needed a strong co-teacher, as my previous co-teacher was lazy, greener than Kermit, and clearly could not handle the classroom and the challenging behaviors. This young lady came in, and over the year, we have built a routine. Our boss came in and observed on crazy picture day (crazy being an understatement) and complimented us, stating that we work very well together as team. I love my co-teacher, and we tend to be "off" of sorts if one of us is sick or has the day off. Our routine is consistent (we don't always do the picture schedule) and other teachers have commented how calm our class is and how well they listen. Our class has two 3 year olds, seven 2.5 year olds (more like 2.9 years) and three 2 year olds. Quite the age range, and I love them with all my heart.
My issue is with my co teacher and a problem that I am trying to avoid is a child in my class who is obviously a "favorite". Now for those of you who have never worked in a preschool most likely think that having favorites is wrong, however, those of you who have worked in preschools prior to being a nanny understand where I am coming from. It's not hard to have "favorites", or should I say children that you bond with. I have them, and I have had them in other classes.
The child I am speaking of in particular is attached to my co-teacher's hip. We can leave the classroom to make copies, get supplies for art, do laundry if needed as long as we leave the teacher in the classroom in ratio. He is with her all the time, and she has even said she will not move him to another room (sometimes we move kids other room if needed for ratio purposes) because she is, as she said, "too attached to him". I'm not upset about that, because I understand.
He turns 3 in the beginning of April, and what I have seen is making me wonder if there is a problem, or if there will be a problem when he transitions to the three year old room:
A few months ago, I noticed during outside time that he tried to play my co teacher to get what he wanted, a toy that someone else was playing with. He attempted to take the toy from the child, and the child said, no, this is mine. I saw the entire exchange, and he started walking over to my co teacher, telling her that the other child took his toy-I stopped him and told him no, she would not help him get the toy because he tried taking it away from someone else, and that is not ok. I also told him if I saw it happen again where he tried taking a toy, he would be moved down the ladder to orange for not listening to friends' words.
Later that morning during center time, he was in the bathroom with her-he hangs all over her during the day. He came out of the bathroom, and attempted to take a toy from another child, again. I was cleaning the table from art and overheard the exchange between the two children. The other child said no, stop, it's mine. This child got upset and I asked him what was wrong. He said the other child took the toy from him, and I asked him if he was talking about the red bucket they were fighting over. The child said yes, I said I know you are upset, but that child was playing with the toy first while you were in the bathroom and it is their choice. I then announced clean up time, and I observed him walking over to my co teacher for comfort. I told him no, you may not go over to Miss ____, it is time to clean up our toys. You can go here. I gently walked him over to manipulative center, where he sat down and started crying over the toy. I asked him why he was crying, and he said it was because of the toy. I explained to him that the toy incident was over and we needed to clean up before lunch. She would've given him a hug, held and given him the toy, cuddling him because he was sad.
A few weeks later, he wanted a particular chair at the table. He was upset because someone else was sitting in the chair, and started pouting because he couldn't have the chair. I told him he could choose another seat or sit on the carpet, but he couldn't sit in that chair, because someone else was sitting there. He got upset and started crying. He eventually calmed down. I have seen him do this before and she just gives him the chair he wants, even if someone else is sitting there.
There was one day where he wouldn't eat lunch. She even mentioned to me that she was going to give him something else to snack on, because he wasn't eating. I politely explained to her that if she did that, he would expect it all the time, and wouldn't eat. She understood what I was trying to say, and I told her to encourage three bites of everything.
Another time he was having a meltdown I think (I don't remember) and he was crying because he wanted to her to sit next to him for lunch. His cry became louder, and I gave him the option to stop crying because it hurts our ears or to sit on the carpet until he was done. She tells me, "but ____, he is crying because he's sad and wants me to sit by him." That I understand why he was sad and being sad, but if I remember correctly, he was sad because he couldn't get something he wanted, and that caused his tears. I wasn't upset, but the crying was louder and getting louder, and that's why I was going to put him on the carpet until he stopped.
If I take something away from him, or tell him he will lose something for not listening, he will go to her and say "Miss ____, I want a hug." She them picks him up and coddles him. Last week I was setting out plates for breakfast and he was playing with his plate. I explained to him that if he continued to play with his plate, I would take it away. The next thing I know, he is sitting in her lap because he wanted comfort. This was on her day off....
The new thing now is that he cries from the time she leaves for the evening until his parents arrive to pick him up. Last Wednesday she was off, and she came in to drop something off. She stayed for nearly three hours (I didn't mind because I needed the help wrapping parent gifts, as wrapping wouldve taken forever with eleven kids and one teacher) and had a meltdown when she left. Today our center closed early due to weather, and I ended up leaving work at 930a. Two support staff members were in the classroom (my co teacher was off) and I believe that the long weekend, plus the change in teachers caused his rough drop off and meltdown when I left.
The thing I am concerned about is his transition to the three year old room and I am thinking if she doesn't stop babying and coddling him on demand, he will have a hard transition. I am not upset with her, because I've been there before and it's not hard to not like this little guy-he's sweet, smart and hilarious. Mom and Dad are dolls, and I also don't want the problem to get too out of hand where M and D notice a change at home.
I will admit, I baby and coddle him too, but I know where to draw the line. I've mentioned something to my director and my boss's assistant (who is a former director), both of whom told me I should talk to her. As a veteran of this field with nearly twenty years under my belt, I don't want to come across as a "it's my way or the highway" approach, as I have worked with teachers like that and it's not a great way to establish teamwork. I want to teach her to know when to walk away, and that by giving in all the time can and will create an issue. I honestly feel like she gives into him too much, as in she can walk away from him and let him cry it out. Maybe I'm old fashioned? I don't know. I have spoken with her about this, and she has said she doesn't like seeing him cry, so she does what she can to stop it. But giving in doesn't help.
Please feel free to give me your respectful, not harsh, non judgmental opinion. Is there a problem here, or my imagination?