Saturday, June 9, 2012

Waldorf Hides Bullying from Parents - Teacher Assistant Speaks Out\

"There is much to provoke thought and discussion in your post. I can understand
where you are coming from with your questions having had two children go through
KG and also worked as an assistant. Anyway I have just highlighted this part to
answer for now.

When I was working as an assistant a very lovely woman was the teacher and I
liked her a lot. She had a really natural ability to work with children which
was separate from her waldorf ways. However, I was always concerned about the
way that she never seemed to tell the parents when they came to collect their
children if they had either been hurt or had caused hurt to others physically.
The events seemed not to be recorded at all either. Certainly I was not asked to
countersign anything which bearing in mind I was a witness I would have
My children were in a different KG and I got so fed up with them having to tell
me at home what had happened to them, we are talking bruises and bites here,
that I phoned the teacher and insisted that I was informed directly by her about
these incidents. In the first KG we tried I was once mortified by another parent
coming to tell me that my son had attacked her child. The teacher had said
nothing when I collected him but I had noticed he seemed very upset. As I was
doing work around the school I caught up with the teacher a couple of hours
later to find out about the incident. Turned out he had been hit by another
child, retaliated and then been chastised by the older boy whom he then hit out
at. My question was then as now, why did a child step in rather than a teacher?
This was the only time my son has ever hit out at anyone other than his sibling.
The teacher merely said that she had been planning to speak to me about it
My feeling is that it creates a strange relationship between parent and child if
these events are effectively kept secret. As an assistant I was told that I was
not to converse with the parents about the children. I later learned as we were
going up the grades that the teachers there did not like the parents to
interfere with the discipline and that that was why we were not told if there
were problems. My children were very open though and tended to own up to me
about their misdemeanours anyway. The teachers did not appear to be very happy
that I knew so much whenever I approached them to get their view.
Sorry I have rambled on a bit. I did eventually have to withdraw my children
from their WS because I had so little faith that their basic safety needs were
being taken care of. I am not talking about rough and tumble stuff as my
children physically are bold in the outdoor life and very competent in their
bodies. However, I do expect to be told if my child has been injured or had an
accident or behaved seriously innappropriately. I am just not happy with an
environment that doesn't communicate these things to parents."

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You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.