How do you handle giving constructive feedback to teachers.

My children attend the extended care program at their grade-school. Since I work full time, I can’t be home at 3:30pm when they would get out of school, so I sought a school that offered on site after school care. The private catholic grade school we picked had such a program. I have always been happy with it. I like the teachers. I know my children are safe. My kids can finish their homework with help from the teachers who work the extended care, spend time with their friends, and watch some after school television.

Last night, when I picked them up, I immediately noticed that my son’s left eyebrow was swollen up huge! He explained that he and another child had collided as he made his way past where the kids were playing basketball. It was just an accident, but he banged heads with the other child hard enough to cause a big old goose egg right above his eye. It was so swollen that his he was squinting just a touch.

I asked what the teachers who work extended care did to help and he let me know that, as usual, they didn’t see it happen and had no idea. I immediately walked him over to one of the teachers, pointed out the swollen eye, and asked if they had ice or something to put on it. They were very accommodating, got the ice pack, and asked if he was ok. They stressed that they can’t see everything and he needs to tell them if something like this happens.

On our way home I asked why he didn’t tell the teachers, and he answered that it was for two reasons. First, in the past when he’s asked to use the bathroom, he’s been told to wait and not interrupt their conversations. And second, he didn’t want to get the other boy in trouble. It was entirely an accident. They just weren’t looking when they collided. My son just isn’t one to cause a fuss about things.

I wrangled with how to handle this situation all night. I didn’t want to get the teachers in trouble, and I do know how hard it is to keep an eye on two children let alone a whole gym full of children in ages ranging from preschool to eigth grade. The extended care program is essential to me, and I have been very happy with the service. However, from my past experience on the board of trustees at my children’s daycare, I do also know that sometimes teachers and care givers can use gentle reminders to keep their eye on the children.

So, with that in mind, and laying out all of those caveats, I talked to the Principal this morning after I dropped my children off. I asked him for only five minutes of his time, so he could make the first bell announcements, and I stressed that I love his staff and that I am overall very happy with their care of my children after school. But I wanted him to know that sometimes they aren’t paying as much attention as, perhaps, they should.

He thanked me for bringing it to his attention and said that we can all use small reminders from time to time.

How would you have handled it? I hope that the teachers don’t feel as though I’ve dumped on them. They do a great job, and this was one mistake, but it followed a pattern of distraction that I worry could result in a larger accident occurring.

We shall see what this afternoon’s extended care pick up brings.

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About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. In addition to starting this blog, I have been writing for the parenting blog GNMParents under the name RocketScienceMom (or RSM for short). All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

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