Ok... Now I understand there comes a time when a child has to conform. I am not even really that upset with this teacher. I am sure she is under pressure from state standards and 1st grade teachers to get each child to a certain point.
I remember vividly two years ago taking my preschoolers for their tour of the kindergarten in May. As we arrived we were greeted by the new and very nice counselor. He first separated the boys and the girls and told them to get in two lines. ( We don't separate by gender and we don't stand in lines. ) Then came the famous hang ten ( with the fingers ) and put a " bubble in your mouth." What? " Ms Debbie, he wants us to put a bubble in our mouth. You have spent 9 months asking us open ended questions and building our confidence so we will hold intelligent conversations and now he wants us to shut up?" Ok, no one said that, but I know they wanted to. Then we go in the hallway and enter various rooms. We go in the music room. What? We don't do music all day? We don't sing as we put our dishes away or clean up our toys? And.. why aren't the children that are singing smiling and dancing? Wait ! There is my buddy from last year. He is a year older than I am so he went to big school. Aww... He didn't even stop to talk to me. He walked in a line like a robot and had that darn bubble in his mouth. whoa.....
Why is everyone under such pressure to perform?
Why does everyone want our children to grow up so fast?
Why are the same children that leave me at 5 treated differently 2 months later? Do the rules for DAP change with the setting?
Just in case you wondered here is a good description of DAP.
Children are encouraged to learn through activities that are appropriate to their ages and individual stages of development. Kids can usually choose among several activities and can play alone or in small groups, while the whole group often comes together for songs, stories, or other "circle time" activities. Rote learning, worksheets, and early reading are not part of the program (although many reading readiness skills may be learned informally).
Today, kindergartens have become more academic and less just an introduction to the classroom. As a result, many developmental preschools feel parental pressure to "prep" children, and some have added more structured academics for pre-kindergarteners.
I dont know what to say when parents call. I know in my heart I am doing my job exactly the way it should be done but the school system makes me look and feel inadequate. My kids are exactly where they need to be if not ahead. But they leave me happy, accepted, confident and curious.
Well, until someone sits them down for hours, throws papers in front of them and tells them to color in the lines.
Don't ask me to color your green frog. Give me a piece of paper and I will draw one and color it in for you.
Frustrated.... Should I start popping the flash cards and stuffing the cubby with all those worksheets?
Atleast then... people would know I didn't something all day besides play.