Arrghh. Hannah’s teacher left suddenly two weeks ago, due to personal issues. This didn’t bother me too much, her sudden departure didn’t seem to cause Hannah any trauma. It had only been two months into the school year, so I don’t think any special bonds had formed, Hannah told us that Teacher S went on holiday and wasn’t coming back. Cool. This morning her new teacher arrived. Now I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but as I use this space to be as honest as possible, I’ll say that I didn’t get any warm and fuzzies. Putting aside the fact that Teacher A looks about 18 years old, my main problem was that she didn’t love on my child? Now I don’t care how you are at home, or what sort of personality you have, or if you aren’t a hugger or whatever, but when you are teaching little two year olds, you NEED to be a hugger, soother, sweet-talker to those kids – whether it’s fake or otherwise (hopefully it isn’t fake).
Ok, I’m a reasonable person. The minute Hannah walked into the classroom and looked at Teacher A, she burst into tears; howling ugly sobs! So I can understand that this may have been intimidating for ANYONE – but STILL, reach out, try to make some sort of impression on the child, talk in soothing tones to affirm the child’s distress and help her feel better. Right? Right. But nothing, Teacher A stood to one side with a nervous smile and Teacher M, the assistant came running to us and grabbed Hannah up into a hug. It was a bit difficult to get any words in with Hannah yelling her head off, so I introduced myself and went back to settling Hannah. Teacher A continued to stand to one side looking nervous and because Hannah wasn’t settling, I made a dash for the door knowing that she was in good hands with Teacher M and I always find that they take longer to settle when I don’t leave, versus just leaving them to get on with it.
I got into the car and the husband took one look at my face and was like “what?” I told him I didn’t think Teacher A was suitable, I didn’t think she handled meeting her kids for the first time well, and I don’t think it’s going to work. Of course, he was like “woah, woah, woah!” He gave me a lecture about giving her a chance, about making assumptions based on a 1 minute meeting where Hannah was causing a huge distraction and he told me to calm down and back down and give the lady a chance. Fine.
This afternoon Hannah will be fine and happy, and this will give me a few minutes to connect with this teacher. I need to feel good about her because until I do, every day will be a problem for me. I know myself, I will start finding fault with everything she does because I’ve already got this impression of her, I will start dissecting everything Hannah says or does and probably negatively feed my mild obsession with this new teacher. I need to deal with this TODAY. Maybe she just had first day nerves, maybe she woke up on the wrong side of the bed – I don’t know, but I need to sort it out.
I do have a progress appointment with the principal this week, and I’m grateful that this will also give me an opportunity to raise my concerns about Teacher A. After almost 3 years at the school, I have come to trust them. The teachers, the administration and general running of the school have left me feeling very confident and happy about my choice to send my children there. So I don’t believe that the decision to choose THIS teacher was taken lightly and I do believe that she was chosen as the best person for the job. However. HOWEVER. I want to know that when I am not there, someone is Mary Poppins-ing the life out of my child. Before even considering Hannah’s educational needs (Teacher A may have a Masters, Honours, Doctrate or whatever in education), I need to know that Teacher A is a loving and lovable doting teacher who shows my child the love (or at least the affection) that I can’t when I am at work. Personally at two years old, that’s all my child needs right now.
Am I overreacting? Perhaps I am. Is it warranted? I think it is. Little children need hugs ok. Lots of them. I’m going to see to it that my kid gets her hugs on time. She can learn her nursery rhymes, and how to paint and make unidentified clay objects at a later stage, hugs and “loves” come first for me – that’s about the only language a small child truly understands.