Preschool Nightmares: Coop Style

My oldest attended a preschool in a daycare center followed by a private preschool before attending Kindergarten at our elem. school. My then-youngest attended the same private preschool as a 2 yo. I worked from home as a Editor for a health care publisher.

I was working long hours with only the preschool as daycare. My husband got his PhD. I decided to quit freelancing as I was working nights and weekends to get my work done. Can you say stressful and lack of sleep! I needed to find another preschool for my then-youngest as I could not afford the private school. I had heard about a cooperative preschool in my neighborhood, close to the elem. school.

I registered my then-youngest at the cooperative preschool. I was excited to finally have a preschool close to home plus I knew that I would meet other moms. Waited in car for 4 hours in February. One word…cold.

Preschool began in Sept. I was psyched. I was the class historian and I volunteered once a month, plus brought snack. My daughter and I were ready to be part of the cooperative preschool culture.

On day 4 of preschool — she attended Tues and Thus a.m. — I arrived to find that my daughter had been in a timeout for 30 minutes for not saying Good Morning at circle time. Yes, that’s right she didn’t say Good Morning. The teacher explained this to me — I kept saying she just turned 3 and you gave her a 30 minute timeout?? The teacher did not move from her position. I did not move from mine. I had no choice but to keep my daughter there since there were no more spots available in other preschools. Plus I needed to honor my commitment to the school.

The teacher was rigid, played favorites, and was the director and the teacher so there was no one else to bring complaints to.

I upped my volunteering to twice a month. My daughter never was in timeout again, but rarely talked to her teacher. I wish I had moved her to another preschool.

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