My fifth grader is taking a class our homeschool co-op (where classes are taught by teachers, not just "moms," and we pay for each class directly to the teacher) where they study a part of U.S. history and build LEGO scenes about it. Each student is responsible for a 10 minute presentation during the semester where they talk about a period of history and the rest of the class time is spent constructing models and scenes. (She chose Native Americans as her topic.)
Anyway, this seemed like it'd be the class she'd love the most, but after her first class last week she was pretty bummed about it. When I pressed her for more information, she said that it was partly because the teacher had brought her toddler and her infant (in an ergo carrier) to class with her and was spending part of the class time corraling the toddler (who at one point got an Expo marker and drew on the wall) or taking care of the baby, and also just didn't seem to have good control over the class. I can vouch for that last part because I was next door helping my son in his sewing class, and we could clearly hear that class through the wall. They were rowdy.
There have been other teachers who have small children, children who are too young for the class the mom is teaching, and so those moms get someone else to look after their little ones while they teach. Since they are being paid for this, it makes sense to me! So I emailed the co-op admins and explained my concern. They got back to me later in the day and said they agreed and had spoken to the teacher about this. The teacher had some excuses about how there were kids in there who were supposed to be in a later class but for whatever reason had to come to that one, and she said she'd find someone to watch her younger kids during class, and they thanked me for letting them know. I mean, this woman is getting paid $60 an hour to teach this class; she could at least spend the hour focused on teaching the class. I'm really surprised that anyone would even think it's okay to bring babies to a class you are teaching.
Then what really irked me, this lady and I are in a private FB group together. She was complaining in there about her child being "kicked out" of the class! Kicked out! The class is for 5th-8th grade kids and her child is not even two years old. She also said, "I just think this child is going to have a hard time learning anything from me this semester. They want instruction, and I have a more Montessori approach." Ugh... I hate it when people throw up the word "Montessori" without knowing what it means. Yes, Montessori includes mixed-age classrooms, but most typically those are mixed ages in a range of three years - like preschool & kindergarten together, or grades 1-3 together - not toddlers with middle schoolers. And even in a Montessori classroom, the teacher teaches and has control of the classroom. It's not chaos.
Ok, end of my vent!
Have any of you ever had an issue with a co-op class?