Open Discussion Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Two classroom related questions

  • 1.  Two classroom related questions

    Posted 06-22-2021 02:28 PM

    1. What is your facililty policy pertaining to a teacher having a related child in their classroom? Does age of the child matter? Do parent opinions matter? Pros and cons? In a nutshell, we have a wonderful infant teacher (highly regarded by parents) who is scheduled to have her grandchild in her classroom in the fall. Our policy would be to move her to a different age group, but parents want her to remain for obvious reasons. Good infant teachers are hard to come by as you all know. Thoughts?
    2. Thoughts on referring to a child as "little" or children as "littles." I'm finding myself being rather old school about this. This terminology seems to really bother me. For instance,"come have a treat with your little." Or, "your littles are on the playground." Can someone explain why this bothers me? Is it disrespectful? Unprofessional? Trendy? I'm just trying to formulate in words why it bothers me.

    Thank you!

    Cheryl Dillingham
    Office Administrator
    Nashville, TN

  • 2.  RE: Two classroom related questions

    Posted 06-23-2021 07:50 AM

    We try not to have parents and their kids in the same classroom, however, you need to look in the best interest of the whole.  When we hire we try to separate but if the staff is a rockstar in toddlers and they have a toddler I am not going to put the staff in another classroom that is not a good fit.  Also, if their child moves up to their room we would not move the teacher unless the teacher asked to be moved.  Sometimes it is too hard to have their child or grandchild in the classroom and they ask for a switch. Of course, grandma's love to dote on their grandchild but you can't assume it will be an issue until they try it.  If it is an issue then you talk to your staff to see what will best for them in the situation.

    Brandy Sroga-Coons
    Creative Kids Academy
    Execitove Director
    Elk River MN

  • 3.  RE: Two classroom related questions

    Posted 06-23-2021 08:46 AM
    Our focus would be providing the most developmentally appropriate placement for the child. If your program only has one infant room, than that is where the baby would be placed. I can understand why a parent would want an infant with their 'grandmother' - who wouldn't?  We have had this situation a few times and always meet with the teaching team or staff member to discuss parameters- it is hard not to want to focus on your own family member so it is important to have clear expectations since there are more children in the classroom.

    I am right there with you- they are children, not "littles"  Is that a word that is used in your region of the country? I have not heard of that- our slang would be "kids"  but we don't use that. We would refer to any groupings by the classroom name (ex: Owls or Pre-K class).  I would imagine it bothers you because they have names and we work so hard to instill a sense of person in them, to develop their individuality, the self concept and emotional regulation. Littles is a descriptor that may come with a sense of value- that might bother you as well... Might be worth talking through...

    Pamela McCullough
    Holland PA

  • 4.  RE: Two classroom related questions

    Posted 06-23-2021 02:05 PM
    Hi, Cheryl!

    Great question! The idea of having staff serving as teachers to their own children is a topic that keeps coming up on the message board and speaks to the challenges of this particular issue. You are correct when you say that great infant teachers are hard to find. For that reason alone, having this teacher remain in her current position may be the best option. Moving her may cause her stress and may create tension in the working environment, as well. In order to make this situation the best it can possibly be, communication is key. Focus of communication should be on maintaining professionalism and on managing difficult situations that will arise. In the grand scheme of things, the baby will be with this age group at your center for a brief period of time. Making sure that the baby is well cared for in this age group is just as important as it is for the other babies. Having an engaged and loving caretaker for the baby and his/her future friends won't be a problem in this case, as this teacher has demonstrated her abilities in the past and she has a loving bond with her grandchild.

    Referring to young children as "littles" annoys me, too. This term came from mommy blogs and social media. I am old school, myself, and find that using this term is inappropriate in a professional setting. If we want to elevate our profession (and we all do), then we need to avoid using terms that have negative connotations or that seem to align with problematic media. Mommy blogs are the source of a lot of disinformation with regard to child development. My opinion is that we should avoid any association with them.


    Jennifer Cottle, PhD
    Graduate Teaching Assistant
    Texas Woman's University
    The Colony TX