Brooklyn just completed a short two-month stent at All-Saints Preschool. We only lasted that long because All-Saints began in September, while the high school preschool, which had us on the waiting list, didn't begin until November. The high school preschool called us late September to notify us that we were in, so we had to give our month's notice at All-Saints, and we were sad to say goodbye. The highschool preschool begins in November and there are only 12 students that they accept each year. The class is a lab for a high school class that is learning about child development. The perks of the high school preschool is that it is much much more affordable, even though All-Saints was the next least expensive option. Another thing is that to go the "economy" route, we only signed up for two days a week at All-Saints while we're going to the high school four days a week now, and are still paying less than half the price.
Even though I sometime teased Brooklyn about the very loose academic structure at All-Saints, the staff was so warm and friendly. The administrator would greet all of the children by name every day as they all filed through her office to go to their various rooms. Also, the teachers would wait by their doors with a smile on their faces in the morning and the same pleasant expression after three hours with 12 preschoolers a piece. (Come to think of it, I believe I smiled biggest when I taught school at the magical moment at the end of the day! Oops! Did I just write that?)
Here is Mrs. Preston. She is wonderful. I can tell she has a great love for the children because she listens to their dialogue during freeplay and sometimes relays funny conversations to me when I'd come to pick up Brooklyn. Also, she received the highest rating of approval from Brooklyn on the day when Brooklyn had a little accident.
The accident? you say. Yes. It all happened one day when I picked up Brooklyn from class and noticed she was wearing a different skirt and socks. I immediately knew the unthinkable had happened. I was so embarassed for her and for me. 'How could this happen?' I thought. 'She never has accidents at home. This is toddler stuff. What on earth?' All of this raced through my mind in a matter of seconds, and then I proceeded to sort of remind/nag her to not wait 'till the last minute, etc., etc. while the whole time, Mrs. Preston was trying to sooth it over like it was no big deal. After talking to another friend of mine, I realized that this is not uncommon for kids to have accidents in a first school-type setting because they are not always certain of the procedure, how/when to ask the teacher or just leave the room/playground and go independently. So, I finally settled into the taste of humble pie, and to top it off was this crowning comment of Brooklyn's, "I like Mrs. Preston because she never gives mean faces and she never puts me in time-out." It was a double hit to my parenting self-esteem that day. I then realized that Mrs. Preston is exactly what a good preschool teacher should be, someone who really cares about the child (not that I don't care about my child, you know) but who sees things in perspective and tries to make the kids feel comfortable even when they have really embarrassing moments. When Brooklyn had her accident, Mrs. Preston just discretely escorted her away from the scene and changed her clothes without making Brooklyn feel bad at all. She was comforting and kind and I so appreciated that! I guess I just got all caught up in my parenting pride and basically had to take a chill pill! We will miss you Mrs. Preston!