I'm going to pull Gabi out of Awana.
One of her friends wanted to start coming, and the friend's dad decided to sit in on the class for a while to see what it was all about. I joined him to keep him company and answer any questions he might have, and it's a good thing I did.
The teachers were unprepared, and kept stumbling through stuff, so the kids weren't engaged. The teachers were then very stern with the kids, and said some pretty inappropriate things.
Example 1: The were doing a puppet show, but the kids couldn't hear what they were saying. Also, they teachers kept messing up the lines. It was awful. Since the kids weren't paying attention, one of the teachers said, "Fine. No more puppet show!" And then went on to name each child that "was naughty," and told the rest of the group that it was those kids that were to blame. Wow.
Example 2: A little girl, probably about 3, had a name that could be pronounced two ways. When she corrected the teacher when he said her name wrong, he got mad, said her name both ways and told her, "same difference, now sit down." That poor little girl sat down totally deflated.
And that's just two examples! There were several other things that happened that had me shaking my head.
It has me deeply concerned. It goes way beyond simply keeping kids in line and teaching them to pay attention and obey.
I remember loving Awana. But the attitude of the teachers can make or break any classroom type of situation. This situation? Totally broken.
The only thing is that Gabi loves it. She's very strong willed and I think a lot of the chastising rolls right off her back because of her personality. And she's all about earning those badges for her vest. It's going to be hard pulling this away from her.
And yes, I'm planning to discuss this with the program's director. He might think I'm being silly, but no child should be subjected to behavior that could damage their emotional well being. And in my opinion, that is exactly what was going on in there.