Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ms. Gulch!

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Since Paprika started taking dance classes a week or so ago, I have been thinking of The Wizard of Oz. Paprika loves her dance classes. She loves being with the other kids, and she is so proud of herself and ever the little student. She has JOY when she dances.

But her teacher...ahem...is not a very nice person. Her teacher is the living embodiment of Ms. Gulch...you know, from The Wizard of Oz.

If you've been reading my blog for long, you know I've pretty much never said anything bad about anyone. And I'm not starting now...but...

Ms. Gulch is especially mean to a few little girls in the class who aren't good at following directions. This is a class of three year olds, mind you! Isn't the point for them to just jump around and have fun?

She's pretty hard on all the kids. Paprika has thankfully been spared from this treatment. I think it might have something to do with the fact that Mr. Mustard works on Dancing With The Stars, which we chatted about before the first class. Hrmmm...coincidence?

Ms. Gulch locks the parents outside during class, and we can't hear what she's saying. We are literally standing on the front lawn, peering in through the windows of the studio. When some of the girls start crying, she won't come get the parents (these are 3 year olds, remember?) Then, half-way through the class, she lets three parents come in and help change the kids' shoes. There are 16 students in the class- so three parents is not going to cut it!

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Last class, I told Mr. Mustard that he had better get in there and be one of the three parents, because I didn't want Paprika to get the short-shrift and get ignored. Well, when Ms. Gulch unlocked the doors, three moms barged in (probably to comfort their crying children) and Mr. Mustard got locked out.

I sat and watched from outside the windows as no one helped Paprika put on her tap shoes. She kept trying to put them on, but they weren't going on...and then they were on the wrong feet.

The class was starting to tap, and she was still sitting there, alone, trying to figure out her shoes.

Even though I was carrying (and breastfeeding) Ginger in the Ergo at the time, I couldn't take seeing Paprika sitting there struggling like that. I tried the door, but it was locked (of course). So, I ran around to the back of the house, found an unlocked door and barged into the middle of the class, ran over to Paprika (still holding Ginger and still nursing her, for crying out loud)...and managed to get Paprika's shoes on her.

Ms. Gulch was NOT pleased with me. She shot me a death-stare. How dare I barge in on the class?! Her precious class!

But, my word...seriously? Are we the National Ballet here or are we a bunch of three year olds in tutus?

Thankfully, Paprika is oblivious to it all, and has a grand time in class twirling and dancing. And that's what's important, right?!

14 comments:

Sheri said...

That is so horrible. I won't say on here what I would have done to that teacher. lol

Kelly G said...

Thats really sad. I'm guessing there are other dance classes in that town or around. My child would not be going there.

Jara said...

WOW! I can't believe she is actually LOCKing the parents out! That's ridiculous!

Poppy said...

If it was my daughter in that class with that woman, even if she were not being treated harshly...I'd be finding a new dance class pronto. That's not the kind of environment I'd want my child to be in. I'd not want her being left out. I'd not want her witnessing other children being treated horribly and somehow getting the idea that it was ok for a child to be treated that way. I'd not want her to start associating crying and being unhappy with dance class. I'd certainly not want her to think I condone an adult, someone in a position of authority that I entrusted with her care, treating children the way that woman is. There's nothing worth exposing your child to that kind of behavior from an adult.

People like that woman disgust me.

JESSICA said...

WOW! i'm at a loss for words. Is it even safe to lock the parents outside so they can't get in? That just doesn't sound right. How sad that they left paprika just sitting there trying to put her shoes on herself. I'm glad you barged in. I would have done the same thing lol.

Heather said...

Wow I think it's time to look for a different teacher. That is crazy to lock everyone out.

Spanish Ab Initio said...

Welcome to the "wonderful" world of Ballet lessons, one of the reasons why I pulled my oldest out of ballet after 2 lessons (mind you this was when she was 4) was because she was always on the "fluffy" side as a young child and the comments, stares, criticism were HORRENDOUS!
Ballet instructors are very tough and strict.

You handled it amazingly well, I would have lost it!!!!

Sarah said...

I would absolutely not come back after that! How ridiculous!

withoutmypunkin said...

I think I would sit in there with P and watch the whole class, that is a bit much! Glad that she still enjoys class, its nice to rub what Mr. Mustard does in her face too!! :)

Mama Reiberg said...

new studio!! f- mrs. gulch!

Erika said...

Thanks girls!!! I am not going to be renewing Paprika for the class next session- but we'll probably stick it out for a few more weeks, since Paprika is SOOOOOO excited about her little dance recital. It would break her heart not to get to do her recital with her class, since she loves it so much. But, yea...after this, we're moving on to a new studio! That is, if I don't go totally ballistic on Ms. Gulch next class. ;-)

noswimmers said...

Woah, Nazi dance camp! That lady needs to figure out she's teaching kiddos, not prima ballerinas. Ugh.

At least Paprika continues to love it!

Mamala/Jack Jack's Granny said...

I agree with Poppy and most of the others. Who wants their child to witness an adult being "stern" and indifferent to another child.
Glad to hear you'll be looking for a new place for next session.
It would be great if you could scout them out now and talk to the Mom's waiting and watching their children at the dance schools. I love Moms, they really tell it like it is. Also, I'd have one of your wonderful Paprika conversations and ask her to tell you about dance class since you don't get to go inside. What's it really like to wear the pink leotard and tutu? How does it feel to dance in pink ballet slippers?
You'll know if any of the ugliness is registering with her. I love her conversations! They remind me of my own angel baby girl at that age. Three year olds can literally have a conversation on any topic.
They are magical!!!

Lost in Space said...

Yikes, she sounds pretty hard core for sweet little girls in tutus! I'm glad Paprika seems to be oblivious to it all and is still so excited about it all.

I love the first picture you posted!! Are you taking pictures through the window? (-;