Aiden's PreK Stepping Up Ceremony was this week and I couldn't have been a more prouder single mom. And a pretty stylish one too. I wore these heels:
And I was all smiles:
But, Aiden was kinda/sorta/maybe a little bored. So he was doing this:
He probably was doing what most of his classmates were thinking. Boys will be boys...
Then it was time for him to step up. So he was like this:
And his momma was all smiles. Again.
Now I'm all like, "It's been real PreK, but we're outta here!" And after a few incidents this week, I'm a little happy to be saying those words. As a a former NYC Public School Teacher and a person who is very passionate about education (and educational equity), I'm convinced that the NYC public school system is not designed for little brown boys to succeed.
There's been an "acting out" and hitting epidemic going on in Aiden's class. Mostly amongst the little brown boys. Mostly being silly and mostly hitting to get attention (as opposed to using their words). Yet, instead of taking those moments to facilitate the correct way to interact in a social situation, the teachers have been sending the boys out of the class and making them sit in another teacher's classroom for a set period of time. (I didn't realize this was going on until Aiden told me because his teachers didn't reach out to me to let me know themselves.)
I'm so disappointed and saddened that this has been going on. Don't get me wrong, I believe in time-outs. But I also think that they should be used effectively. When children (who are FOUR-years-old) are hitting and being silly, it is up to their educators to utilize teachable moments in order to model for them effective behaviors. Sending them away is another missed opportunity that could have been used to teach them social skills, which is exactly what kids should be learning in PreK.
After these incidents, I'm happy that we're heading to private school in the Fall where I'll be able to work with the teachers much better. I attended the curriculum night a couple weeks ago and I am convinced that it'll be worth every single cent.
Oh yeah... he's going places alright. I'll make sure of it.