“Sparky” lost favourite teacher

I have just answered an e-mail from the pre-school teacher that “Sparky” loved at his pre-school. He connected with her right away when he started in February. She has worked there forever. Long before Johannes started at the Montessori pre-school in the village, she had been sent by the parent group that started this private pre-school up, to London, to train as a Montessori pre-school teacher. They paid for her education. So she and I had a lot in common. We’ve both lived in London and love it! And she also happened to be married to a distant cousin of mine. When Johannes started there, at the age of 4, he was the first of all of our children to have her as a teacher. She’s been part of the inventory except for the three years that she was off for having children of her own. I can’t remember how old her sons are but I think they are 13, 16 and 18 or something. Anyway, when “Sparky” started it only took him a couple of days before he learned to say Eva. And all term he called ALL the teachers EVA. One of them got offended and told him every morning that her name is not Eva but “Sparky” didn’t care. I guess he likes the name or something.

In he middle of the summer we found out she had quit. I was shocked! Why would she quit? And like that, during the summer when everybody was off on summer holiday. My first thought was that perhaps she wanted to move on to something else. She has studied photography on the side so I thought she had made a career change but then a letter came from one parent explaining the mess behind her quitting her job. The Montessori Association here where we live, consist of a school for 6-12 year-olds, and two pre-schools. At the school, in spring some time, the teacher for the F-class (pre-school class preparing for starting school) declared she was pregnant and was going to be on maternity leave for a year. So they needed a substitute for a year. Well, the pre-school in our village has five almost full-time teachers. One was off for being burned out, an entire term and he has not gone back to his original “chores” but now works in the kitchen, which I guess might be good for him since he is a chef and not a pre-school-educated teacher. But the others are more or less pre-school teachers with varying degrees. Eva only had the three months of Montessori education in London if I have understood things right while the others have the formal University training. In June 11 students quit to go to F-classes at other schools! “Boo” was one of them and we were even advised to put him in a regular school for F-class, because none of the other 6-year-olds were staying. We had already decided to do so, since he needed more language training and stimulation to talk. The special ed teacher only showed up once a month at the pre-school, while a special ed teacher is always at the school he is at now. 11 students quitting became a heavy loss for the association, money wise. They promised that noone was going to be fired. BUT they demanded that Eva go substitute for the pregnant teacher at the school. She who did not have the education for it, while all the others did! The pre-school director would have loved to have taken the job, and have someone of the other teachers, take over her tasks for the one year, but she was never asked! Could they have done her job? Of course they could! When she got pregnant and gave birth three months too early, they did and then for the entire year she was gone or was it more since she had twins??? It could have been solved but it looked to me that the board wanted to get rid of the teacher that had the least education. Maybe I am wrong about her education level? But she had told them, that she refused and if they forced her, she would quit. They forced her so she quit. Some parents have bent over backwards to get her back but the board refuses to be open about what has happened and now Eva has started working at another pre-school. She wrote me and told me that she misses the children and her colleagues. She would have loved to have had “Sparky” as well till he is six years old but…

The board has blacklisted all parents that signed a petition. I was one of them. Sadly enough, not all parents cared or dared sign the list, so the board now treats us horrible ones as black sheep. The parents that started the fight, took their child out of the pre-school last week. They are fed up with the association and how they treated Eva and how they might close down our pre-school in this village because of lack of children. It says it is the parents’ fault that there is a lack of children, that we should have been ambassadors for the pre-school and got people interested in putting their children there. Why should that be my job???? Alright, it is a private school and we all have to do chores at the school during the year, but I am not going to recruit people to the school nor do I find it my job! Some parents say that people stay away because the building is on the outskirts of the village and that the opening times are lousy. That they should be from 7:00 to 19:00 or something. You know, there are parents that leave their little ones that long at pre-school! Horrible! Why have children then? As it is now, after a lot of nagging, the opening times are 7:30-16:30. I think. I don’t really care. I am home all the time so to me it has never mattered. I drop “Sparky” at 8:50 which is the latest you can drop a child off in the morning. And I fetch him 11:20. Suits me just fine. And if they close the pre-school down, I will save 122 Dollars/94 Euros a month. He can stay home with me, if must be. I just wanted him to get to be around same age children for a few hours, get to talk a lot, learn to interact. But it looks like he is not getting to talk to a lot of people since it is against Montessori ways, so… I can have it, or loose it!

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