10 Things PreSchool Teachers Won't Say

By Lola Augustine Brown on March 21, 2007
I would have loved to be completely truthful with parents on many occasions, but the need to stay gainfully employed meant that I usually bit my tongue.

There are common themes of complaint among preschool teachers and childcare workers, primarily relating to behaviour, sickness and attitudes. Here: The most frequent gripes we have with parents.


1 Yes Maam, Thats Your Baby
It may be hard to accept that your angelic child has been caught doing something horrific, but why would we make stuff up? Jamie*, an East Vancouver childcare professional says, Your child at home can be a completely different child in a centre because many out-of-character behaviours are triggered in social settings.

2 Personality Clashes
Not every child likes every teacher and vice-versa. It can take time to build the trust and mutual respect that allows the relationship to blossom. Preschool relationships are complex. Zoe, a preschool teacher from Sudbury, Ontario says, The learning curve in the first five years is an imperative. It sets a sound base for a child's relationships at big school and beyond.

3 Monster Kids
Preschool teachers often agree that the out-of-control youngster who punched your child three times in the last week should be expelled. Unfortunately we don't make those decisions. Karen, a preschool teacher from North York, Ontario says, A little boy, almost three, gave new definition to the word aggressive. He looked like a lion stalking his prey. He would pounce, and someone would be scratched or bitten. We
learned to recognize the signs and head him off. Don't assume that were oblivious to whats happening. Were just powerless.

4 Whats The Truth?
Well believe 50 percent of what they say about you if you'll believe 50 percent of what they say about us. When your kid tells us you fed him dog food and made him sleep in a kennel last night, we will be concerned but wont take it as gospel. So we'd appreciate it if you kept your objective hat on when they complain about us.

5 Cleanliness Counts
When you send your children to the centre dirty or smelly, it impacts on them negatively. The other kids wont play with them. If your child wont take a bath, talk to us we have resources and ideas in abundance.

6 Communication
If your child has life-threatening allergies, is vegetarian or isn't potty trained, we need to know. If there are court orders involving your child, tell us. Silence is dangerous for all of those involved in your children's care as well as the children themselves. Laura, from Vancouver, says, We had the care of a child where there was a restraining order against the husband. Luckily we found out before anything unfortunate happened, but we should have been told at the start.

7 Infectious Frustration
Head lice are not our fault! Nor are scabies, ringworm and all the other parasites children share. Treat your child quickly and thoroughly. Childcare staff deserve your sympathy because you can bet we get head lice a lot more often than you do.

8 Child Care, Not Sick Care
Don't pretend your children aren't sick when you drop them off. Were not trying to sabotage your career we just don't have the staff to nurse your sick child. That hour we spend waiting for you to pick them up takes away valuable programming for the other children and it isn't fair.

9 Don't Expect Appearance Perfection
Childhood is about having fun and getting messy is part of the fun. Don't ask us to ensure that your children don't soil their new designer togs. And don't express your disappointment to the kids, either.

10 We Close At 6:00, Not 6:15
Most centres don't offer overtime to their staff. When you turn up late, theres a reason we aren't as chipper as we were when you dropped your child off that morning. We have a life, too, so your being late screws things up for us. Its also discouraging for your child to
repeatedly be the last to be picked up. Zoe says, Some parents rush in, grab their children, throw their coat on and rush out again. Your children need to know that they were missed and that Mommy or Daddy is anxious to see them. Take time for a hug. Your child does not deserve the brunt of your stress, and neither do we. PC

By Lola Augustine Brown| March 21, 2007

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