Discipline Policies at Preschool

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Preschool teacher grabbed son by the arm

Sept 2009


I would appreciate some input on this: my son goes to what seems to be a great preschool, but I recently saw through the window that the teacher grabbed his arm during some circle dance they were doing. He is very energetic and was running around outside of the circle. The teacher then grabbed him by the upper arm and quickly pulled him back into the circle dance. It looked like she was grabbing him a little to forcefully, but then again he is very quick...I am not sure what to make of this. I know my son is very energtic, he was not crying or anything, but just looking at it, it seemed a little harsh. My husband thinks it's better for him to learn to listen to the teacher and stay with the group so that he will be ready for kindergarden. I would hate to switch preschools over this, because of all the friends he has made. I will definitely talk to the teacher, to see what she has to say. Any thoughts? Concerned

I think your husband is right. Grabbing your son so he would stop running around and come back in the circle with the rest of the kids was appropriate so that he remains with the group (safety) and so that he learns that he must listen to teachers, both for his own development and so he doesn't interfere with what the other kids are doing. This is your son's opportunity to develop some self-control and discipline. It's a good thing.

Not knowing your kid or the situation exactly, but having been a preschool teacher and having observed lots of ''energetic'' kids at my daughter's preschool (and other venues where the preschoolers go), I'd bet your son is just fine and he just needs to learn to follow rules. The teacher probably had to react quickly so as not to have chaos in the whole group. Even by your own admission he wasn't doing what he was supposed to be doing. Again, I didn't observe it, and I'm not saying it's impossible to have a teacher who is too rough, but my experience and observations have been that the ''energetic'' kids sometimes need more direct intervention and have a tendency to disrupt the entire group. Sounds like your son didn't even notice what you are terming ''harsh,'' and it sounds like your husband is conscious that your son may need a little more discipline in order to survive in kindergarten and beyond. Sounds like you'd be doing him a disservice by switching preschools (and who knows, if he's that ''energetic'' he could encounter teachers who really aren't willing to deal with him.)