Monday, February 6, 2012

Teacher on Deck

Tonight was the Open House at MMO. It went fairly well. I think we had 10-12 families come through for the tour. I took four of them on their tours of the pre-school. The old public relations skills just kind of kicked in. :-)

Anyway, one of the things I like about MMO is the drop in program. I knew about MMO when X-man was a baby, but I didn't use it because in the old program before we started using the Creative Curriculum, we were a church program that did things like -- pray before snack. And that isn't inclusive to me, and it's not what I wanted for my child. So I never went.

When I started to sub there, I was only a sub, so I just ignored the Christian-based kids books in the hall and the fact that the toddler room was also the church's toddler room so it had a giant ark painted on the wall.

But then they changed curriculums to one that is inclusive of ALL religions. We don't pray in our classrooms but if a child brings up his or her beliefs (or the beliefs of her family) that is totally cool. At holiday time we talk about ALL the holidays. And it's interesting to see the kids learn about how different people are and what makes us unique.

But I digress.

So the cool thing about the drop in is that you pay a monthly fee to be a part of the program, but then you only pay for the hours you use, and you don't have set days. So if you need to drop your child off on Monday and Thursday one week, and only Friday the next and maybe the entire week the week after... that's okay! There's a lot of flexibility in it. I gained three new students this semester who were enrolled in drop-in, but they were attending pretty consistently so my director talked to them about switching over to pre-school two or three days a week, since they were coming all the time any way. It's cheaper for families to enroll in pre-school overall, and on the days they're not in school -- they're automatically enrolled in drop in. So if you child comes to my room MWF, but you need care on Tuesday, you can take them to drop in on the day, no problem. The drop in program is available for children ages 6 weeks to pre-K. But pre-school starts roughly at 2-2.5 and goes through Pre-K.

I have really enjoyed working there this year. And after the last set of families filtered out, the teachers went out to El Toro. Those of us who have kids have kid stuff to go to, some of us are in school and working, some of us have two other jobs that we do to make ends meet, so it's often very hard for us to get together socially. But tonight, we had nine people at a table at El Toro, and it was lovely to sit down and have a margarita with them.

I really do love my job. And I had to think tonight, is it the age group that I love or am I really just excited about the children that I'm teaching?

Either way, I'm very happy at MMO, and if I'd had this job and a smaller child, X-man would totally have enjoyed going to school there.

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