When parents don't pull their weight in a co-op

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When parents don't pull their weight in a co-op

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Sometimes a parent in a co-operative Preschool doesn't pull their weight. It's a very rare thing, but sometimes that happens. How we deal with it depends on why that parent isn't pulling their weight. Sometimes they are having some kind of tragedy in their life, something in their life that takes them away. Usually, the community comes together and supports that person. We often will support a leave of absence while that parent needs to undertake and do whatever they need to do to come back and be a part of the school again. We've never had this instance. Every once in a while, a parent won't quite handle their job or their in-class responsibilities, up to the standards of the community. Usually the parents deal with it amongst themselves. Usually, I'll have my board come and talk to them. The contract I signed does allow us to dismiss them for not doing their duties, but that has never happened in our school. In our system of schools in the Seattle area, I've heard of it happen, maybe, a handful of times.

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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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