Co-op preschools and the missing fathers

Last night Beautiful and I went to the first parents meeting for Primo’s new preschool. We met the teacher earlier in the day with all three boys in tow but at this meeting it was just her and I and the other parents. There were thirty one parents present and I was one of four dads in the room. That’s it, just four of us there for the meeting to get the school year started off. There can be a number of reasons for this, one of which being since there were no kids at the meeting I assume most of the dads were on kid duty but I am interested to see how this plays out moving forward. Being the at ome parent I will be the one in the class two out of the three days a month that we get to be there helping out. Beautiful wants to take one of the days so she can be an active part of the learning process and not miss out on this dynamic time in Primo’s life. I’m sure that is a sentiment held by the other parents too, but I doubt many of the dads will go to the lengths that my wife will to make that a reality. I understand having to work and not having the time for this sort of thing but as a family we have all chosen a Co-op preschool so there is some assumed co-operation. For a little more on what a Co-op is here is an explanation from Parent Child Preschools of Oregon:

A cooperative preschool is a program that is operated by a group of parents who take an active interest in their children’s first educational experience. Parents help the teacher in the classroom, are given opportunities for education, and are involved in decision-making.
Benefits a Co-op Preschool Offers Children:
  • New experiences and a wider world to explore and enjoy
  • A teacher who encourages their sense of self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Parents in the classroom which insures an above average adult to child ratio
  • Children of similar ages with whom to play and learn respect for the differences and rights of others
  • A positive attitude toward future school attendance
Benefits a Co-op Preschool Offers Parents:
  • Participation in their children’s education away from home
  • A better understanding of their children’s individuality through observing them with other children the same age
  • A voice in school decisions and policy-making
  • Education in child development and parenting skills at parent meetings, PCPO Conferences, and through publications
  • Mutual understanding and moral support from other parents with the same concerns, interests, and problems

By choosing this type of school there is an assumption that you would like to be more involved in the learning process of your child. From the first meeting I can see that is true for all of the moms. They were all there. But it remains to be seen if that is true for the dads, and I have to say I don’t hold out a lot of hope. I want to be proven wrong, and that can still happen. This is just the first meeting, there will be more chances to step up.

  4 comments for “Co-op preschools and the missing fathers

  1. 09/10/2010 at 11:07 am

    Hi, James.

    Funny, my wife worked at home on the first day of school so that she could attend a meet and greet with our 3.5 year old’s JK teacher. Not sure I would have done the same if I were the one working.

    And the weird thing about the meeting was that the teacher’s eye contact and conversation was directed almost exclusively with at my wife. Made me feel kind of like a third wheel at the meeting.

    It’s easy for all of us to fall into the stereotype traps.
    james@doodadblog´s last blog post ..doodad wrote it- Are you an absent parent

    Portlanddad Reply:

    Yeah our teacher talked to both of us so that was great but the rest of the moms there talked only with my wife. It took a long time to get them to send the information to me instead of her email. Being an At Home Dad you get used to that but sometimes it seems you have to prove your self over and over again to get respect as a parent.

  2. Jamie
    09/10/2010 at 12:03 pm

    But, as you prove yourself over and over you are continuing to grow and change minds. You pioneer you. Love you lots. I’m so proud of you I could burst!!

  3. 09/12/2010 at 9:36 am

    That is very sad to hear. I am searching for a Co-op preschool for my son and am looking forward to participating in his education. I’m pumped for you that you have that opportunity.
    PJ Mullen´s last blog post ..Et tu- Amazon

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