I’m going to be a massive failure at PTA meetings. At least I know this in advance so I can set my expectations low.
The Pirate’s Daycare had a meeting – mostly to update the parents on construction on their main location which will bring the kids back together under one roof as they are now at 2 locations. I’ve been incredibly pleased with the Pirate’s Daycare, she loves her teachers and she’s happy going there. She’s learning a lot, but it’s not too tiring for her since she only goes 2 days a week.
The construction update concluded and then there was some talk about administrative items like the new contract year and when parents have to sign the paperwork. Someone who was pecking away on her cell phone the entire time piped up from the back asking why the classrooms were allowed to be “out of ratio.” There are 12 kids in the Pirate’s class and 3 teachers, but what the linebacker mom was saying was that she routinely drops her child off and there are only 2 teachers in the room at 8:45 a.m. This wasn’t so confusing to me because I understood the daycare operated from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and you are allowed a 10 hour window within those 11 hours in which to have your child there. Easy enough. I would hate to think all three teachers work an 11 hour day – and they don’t. Because of the staggering times of parental drop offs and pickups, the teachers have shifts. Sounds fine to me.
What this means is that when DC Power Parents have to be at their DC Power Jobs, yes, there might be more than 8 kids in the room and only 2 teachers, thus being out of ratio. But as the Daycare Owner explained, the law allows them leeway of 90 minutes to be out of ratio. This really doesn’t sound like a problem to me. A problem to me is like the one I had yesterday where I was opening the package from Amazon in such a hurry that the scissors slipped off the box and I stabbed myself in the stomach almost conducting my own c-section in the kitchen, complete with blood everywhere. That, my friends, is a problem. But being out of ratio for a few minutes? Not a problem.
Also not a problem? That the teachers eat breakfast at the school too. Except that it is a problem for this group of parents. They said the teachers should eat at home so they can have their eyes on the kids every single second. Sure. Because I bet you never eat at home when your child is awake either. They’re human beings, not your personal Mary Poppins servant. They do something for 10 hours a day that I frankly cannot and do not want to do – chase a toddler around, keep them safe and try to teach them things in between putting out fires.
Then the complaints started about the playground. I couldn’t understand that either. “The grass needs to be cut.” Seriously? The owner said it’s cut once a week. Some dad says “Well cut it twice a week then.” I never noticed the grass and I’ve been on the playground to pick up the Pirate so I had no idea what he was talking about either.
The 6 complaining parents demanded, between eye rolls and glances at each other, that they wanted a calendar on the door of each classroom to show what time each teacher was coming in to work so that when they come, they can verify that everyone arrived on time. Holy. Hell. Some people need to get lives.
Two things kept running through my mind. One, if these people hate it this much then find another daycare because when you are complaining with this level of hostility, it’s probably time to move on. And two, a happy teacher makes a happy child. If that means letting the teacher eat, or letting them have a few extra minutes of flexibility in getting to work, that is fine with me. I’m aware that my child could get hurt even when I’m in the room and watching her so whether there’s an extra teacher or not in the room for 15 minutes isn’t going to be the end of the world.
I don’t have high hopes for the next 16 years of school meetings. Not at all.