An Open Letter to Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori penned by Annasaurus Rex, edited by me.
To Whom it May Concern:
I would like to express my extreme concern about the running of Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori. Not only is there a severe lack of communication between teachers and parents, but student welfare does not seem to be a priority. Additionally, it appears the administration lets the staff run wild, making decisions willy-nilly with no cohesive rules or regulations to govern their actions.
First there is the issue of communication. My daughter, The Girl, was asked to leave school and there was virtually no warning or reasoning. The weak reason given was that she was disruptive in class. Putting aside the fact that my mother observed The Girl in class and found she was no more disruptive than a normal pre-Kindergarten child, the fact that I received only two phone calls, a single note, and a meeting request before the request to leave strikes me as bizarre. With something as serious as this, surely there should be more of a process in place.
Also, I am baffled by the lack of involvement of the administration at Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori. Teachers are allowed to kick students out of school, making decisions that influence revenue without any oversight? Putting aside that odd business model, it seems out of line with the school’s principles that a child would be rejected without even attempting a solution involving the parents. I suppose I am especially astounded because this decision appears to have been arrived at with little to no thought at all. It was treated as a mere trifle, like deciding to wear a green shirt instead of a red one. However, it was my child’s education and mental well-being that was dismissed so easily. These actions show a major lack of concern about student welfare, which is especially concerning for an early education program. These are formative years for the children at Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori and it seems their welfare is a low priority for the teachers and administration alike.
Why was there no warning about the request that my daughter not return? Is that any way to run a school? Is there no process in place for children exhibiting unacceptable behaviors? Even criminals are given three strikes with ample warnings. Perhaps I could have become more involved if I was given a real warning about the escalation of The Girl’s status within the classroom. However, I was given no reason to believe she was about to be asked to leave, or that her behavior was anything other than normal, therefore I could do nothing to help the situation. Was the teacher willfully withholding information, hope to have The Girl leave the school? Given the circumstances that does not seem like an illogical leap. The fact that a seasoned teacher is willing to dump a student this quickly with no thought is alarming to say the least.
The fact that a Montessori school doesn’t bother to find the source of an unwanted behavior and work with parents and child to improve the situation is disturbing, especially considering the amount of money being spent. What exactly were we paying for? Overpriced day care? A bit of casual thought and observation show an obvious reason behind The Girl’s disruptive behavior – she was bored. Her teacher only let her do the same five activities day in and day out. Now, imagine you are a five year old, one who loves to learn as my daughter does, and I think you can understand why she was frustrated and unhappy. Why, then, is the solution to kick her out of school? This can only have damaging psychological effects, teaching her that school is a place where she will be rejected and dismissed easily. Is this what your school teaches children? I thought the Montessori way was to instill a lifetime love of learning. Your school has done exactly the opposite of that.
I have no delusions that The Girl is a perfect child, but I do know her. The levels of frustration she reached while attending Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori was unprecedented, as was her behavior in the days surrounding her being asked to leave. She can be willful and resistant to certain responsibilities just like a normal pre-Kindergarten aged child. She does not have abnormal behavioral issues, and the fact that her teacher suggested she does tells me she is a bully who wants to shift blame onto those who cannot defend themselves. The fact that she brought up that The Girl was admitted to the school due to a “favor” multiple times tells me she may have a personal vendetta against my daughter. This is petty, sad and unacceptable in any adult, but especially in an early education teacher.
Overall, I am happy The Girl will no longer be exposed to the toxic environment of that classroom, but it is worrisome that her teacher continues to have dozens of children under her care. She will surely have to find another child to pick on now that mine is now safely removed from her reach. I look forward to working in partnership with a school that appreciates children and values their education and well-being. Your school has failed in all areas and I count my family lucky that we are no longer contributing to a rotten institution.
So, this has been taking up my time, dear Reader, how’ve you been? Also, while it would be a delight to name names on what school this is, I cannot do so publicly at this point because in the bylaws you sign when you enroll your child there you must agree not to gossip or spread negativity about Nameless Atlanta-Metro Montessori. Weird. Unless this has happened before.