Friday, August 22, 2008

My Own Little Guinea Pigs

I was 20 and in college when Boy was born. My college, near where I live now, is primarily known as a teachers' college. One of the things that teachers have to do before they become teachers is observe children. I know this because when he was a baby, nearly everyone of my friends sat in my living room and watched my son do his baby things for an hour or two.
Then they wanted to put the things they had learned in class to practice. Once one of my friends put a dot of lipstick on his nose and held him up to a mirror to see how he reacted. I think it was supposed to show how babies can't recognize themselves if they have some lipstick on their noses. They look at themselves and think, "Oh hey that's me! Oh shit, no it's not! That kid has lipstick on his nose. Hi weirdo! Who the hell are you?"
Now that I don't actually know anyone at college anymore, I thought my days of letting people experiment on my kids were over. But I got a letter from Girl's preschool the other day letting me know that students from the college were coming to observe the children. Apparently the students not lucky enough to have a friend have a baby before Junior year have to get setup by the school to do their observations.
I didn't think that they would be putting lipstick on my daughter's nose. She's far enough in her development that she recognizes herself even especially when she wears her Hannah Montana wig so I doubt a little lipstick will fool her.
Then I got a letter from these students. Their little forms were all filled out. Girl got top marks in everything until the last part. She got low marks on the money section, and I got a little note at the end.
Girl has no concept of the value of money. She can not identify the values of any of the coins and will switch a dollar for two quarters. Girl shows no interest in money and would rather play with the other toys. You should work with your child with value amounts. We have sent home some play money to help you in this task.
And all I could think was, "Um, she's four. Is it important that my daughter isn't Alex P. Keaton?" I very clearly remember learning about money in higher grades. More importantly why are the teachers of these future teachers not telling them that their letters to parents shouldn't be so negative. That they should compliment the child, remarking on their successes before easing into the areas that need work. In the end I guess it doesn't matter. These are just notes from students not from professionals, but it's never fun to get a note from school telling you your kid is a moron which is essentially what the note said.


Midwest Mommy said...

Wow, having been a teacher I am shocked they sent that out from the student teachers. And I taught first and second grade and money was still hard to grasp. Pre-school...I don't think so :-)

Woodlandmama said...

I am not sure that the school was aware. Girl came home with the bag of stuff that they "played" with. In it was the note, the play money, a small plastic chalk board/ wipe board. A thing to thread yarn through and some other misc. stuff.

jenboglass said...

The other day my son received a "better next time" with a frowny face on his gymnastics slip. I was all WTF? I had a little chat with the 17 year old substitute coach. I so wanted to leave a note on her car that read "a little less bitch next time".