Amen. I am an ex-assitant teacher at Paideia Academy and I agree with every aspect of what is written below in the comment addressed to Julie's son. It truly could not be conveyed more acurately, articulately and honestly, as to what the experience of working there is like. On all levels.
I worked with the sweetest most lovely teacher there, who was also taken advantage of, and would not quit although she was paid equal amount to me when I began working there, even though she had been working there for 5 years! She as well like most of the women there was an immigrant, and ultimately wanted to keep a job. The woman who worked as the kitchen head/janitor had been working there 8 years and was still being paid $8 an hour!
I quit after 4 months of working there. I loved the children, but the management was unsavory, lazy, harsh and convoluted.
The final reason I left was the sexist philospohy that was allowed in the toddler room where I worked. There was a man who worked in the toddler 1 room, where 14- one to two year olds were in the classroom, who was allowed to not change diapers. When working in this classroom it is mandatory that you change each child three times a day plus any additonal need to change. With another teacher there you split the changes in half. Without the help of another teacher, this means you are changing 42 times a day, lifting every child up and down, it is very physical labor!
This worker was allowed to work in tthe toddler room and refused to complete a duty required of a teacher in that classroom, because he was a man. Therefore making in more difficult on the women teachers. I voiced a complaint, and even had a meeting with Julie, the man and the manager, and they all conceeded to allow him to continue refusing to do the work neccessary and opted to swap out an infants teacher with him three times a day so that she could do his share of the work! Meaning additional changing for her.
In addition I was made to feel I was a trouble maker for voicing any opinion on the matter. I suggested that he get tranfered to another classroom where changing was not required, but since he did not want to work in another classroom it was not an option (he had been working there for a year or so). I suggested hiring someone else and they said it was too difficult. I told them how I felt about bringing in another teacher to do his work, and they asked me if I would prefer then to just continue doing it alone! I felt incredibly defeated being in a room full of older women who had the authority to correct the situation, and the responsibility to prevent such sexist behaviour from occuring, and swept in under the rug.
I was truly apalled at this behaviour and hap hazard management. I should have reported Julie for this sexist behaviour allowed in the work place as well as the advantages she takes over the immigrant women who work there. Honestly I was so frustrated from working in that irrisponsible work environment I was eager to leave it behind.
Equal treatment of worker's and fairness to their rights is not upheld at Paideia Academy.Worker's right's are an important issue always, and an especally important issue when involving child care.
To the parents: Your children might be getting the attention that you need them to recieve every da, but the additional question here is also, what kind of establishment do you want to be supporting. As a child care worker and nanny, I would not send my child to paideia.
I am one of the teachers who wrote below. I'm just writing again to address Julie's son's claims:
He makes it sound like any ex teacher must be viewed with suspicion because (s)he is bitter about being let go for incompetence. I agree that, through the years, some teachers have definitely been let go for incompetence. However, Paideia has been a revolving door for at least a decade; does this mean that Julie only ever hires "incompetent" people? No. Julie hires capable (and often desperate) people she wants to pay next to nothing, provide inadequate breaks and benefits for, and then expects them to just to tolerate it. This results in the more autonomous teachers leaving and the desperate immigrant women staying for years and years.
The fact that former teachers don't want to identify themselves has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their claims; it has to do with common sense. They still want to be in the work force and therefore don't want to burn any bridges. Some of us may still be listing Paideia on our resumes and it's a bad business decision to burn that bridge while potential employers may still be contacting Julie. I can only speak for myself but the reason I wrote is not because I am disgruntled about my job there - I was never let go and worked there for years. I write because it is horrible to exploit women, provide less-than-good care for kids, and then cover it all up with a sugary tone and a smile in front of parents; it's important to expose such things wherever we find them.
Parents: paychecks don't lie. It's a pretty simple investigative matter to learn how much Paideia employees make and what kind of benefits they receive. Find out about the kitchen lady's experience there and her wages. Find out about the old Korean lady's wage (if she still works there). Find out how much the Albanian lady made when she retired. More importantly than wages, find out about their *experience* as employees at the school, although this will be difficult if they still work there. You will be stunned. Immigrant women who have put in years of their life in Julie's service are frequently paid less than an American newbie, who might just be making some extra cash for college days. Like I said, it's not hard to verify these things and, as parents, you want to make sure the women caring for your kids all week are happy and cared for themselves. So find out, and make Julie step it up.
The notion that unhappy teachers should contact the State with the complaints is laughable because most employees, in any field of work, aren't fully aware of their rights and fear losing their jobs; immigrant women who speak poor English are even more unfamiliar with the fact that they have any rights or resources at all. Perhaps Julie should spend a section of the next teacher inservice day informing workers of their rights and resources. It won't take very long and it will make her a better employer.
Speaking to the teachers while they are at work, or even while they are employed at Paideia, won't get any honest responses. This is especially true if Paideia is the only job they think they can hold due to their language skills, etc. Jim makes it appear as though the teachers ought to jump at the chance to be transparent with parents, but that's an awfully black and white view of the situation. Considering many women come from countries where "respect" for one's boss and elders (Julie is an elder) is a HUGE cultural issue, and considering that most teachers in general value a job in this insane economy, they're probably going to remain tight lipped. That doesn't make them disingenuous about their complaints; it makes them regular workers with regular concerns.
Teachers everywhere get paid poorly, yes, and that needs to be a change we all take up. While wages are a big disadvantage at Paideia, I think most Paideia workers are most concerned about the structure of the school in general. Benefits and RESPECT are far more important than wages. Teachers feel taken advantage of, overworked, exploited and disrespected. Being scolded and reduced to tears when you're an adult is never a good experience.
The response from a defensive son must be taken with a grain of salt because, of course, he will defend his mother and their family business. That doesn't change the fact that there are way too many teachers from Paideia with uniform experiences [about worker exploitation, health standards, not a good place for kids because teachers are so run down, etc.] to ignore. If you have even ONE teacher complaining this seriously about the structure of your child's school, it is necessary for you to second guess this place - for the sake of your kid's experience. Another reviewer below me said it best: Value worker insight.
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Background info: My eldest attended Paideia from the age of 3 months and graduated in 2008; my youngest also started at the age of 3 months and is currently in the preschool at Paideia. We have been a Paideia family since 2002 and will be until our youngest graduates in 2012.
The school is inspected regularly by a public health RN who inspects all Seattle area day cares. The nurse told me personally that the infant care at Paideia is among the best in the city. You know this already if you have an infant at Paideia.
The preschool is great as well. The teachers are montessori certified and do an excellent job preparing the children for elementary school. My eldest was a full fledged reader before entering kindergarten and I have high hopes for my youngest.
I have known the Director, Julie, since 2002 and she is a wonderful lady committed to the early education of our kids.
Stand out classes: Infant I, Toddler I and both Preschool I and II.
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I'm sorry, but after reading these spurious comments, I have no choice but to step in and set the record straight. While these so-called "ex-teachers" refuse to identify themselves or have their own work histories scrutinized, I will begin by stating that I am the son of the owner and have been very much involved in the administration of the school over the years.
Readers must understand that in every business there are employees who are fired or demoted for their incompetence or unwillingness to perform their duties. The less honorable among them are likely to distort facts, present things out of context, or just make things up in a half-baked effort to enact revenge. That's what we're looking at here. The idea of my mother being "greedy" or "exploitative" is patently absurd. First of all, the teacher salaries at Paideia are as good, if not better, than all the comparable schools in our area. Second, my mother receives a ridiculously low salary for her role as the director. For the first ten years she invested lots of her own money and countless hours of her time to make the place run smoothly.
My mother's responsibility is to see that the children at Paideia are educated and well-cared for and to insure that employees are given every opportunity to provide such service. When selfish-minded employees fail to create lesson plans or show up late for work everyday, it is the children who suffer and the other staff who are forced to pick up the slack.
I am not going to dignify these specific charges except to say that if they were true, the employee(s) should have contacted the Washington State Department of Licensing, Department of Health, and Department of Labor and Industries. I can only speculate that they did not because their claims are baseless.
I would encourage any interested parents or employees to check these records, but more important, I would expect them to visit the school, talk to the staff and even to the parents rather than draw conclusions from the angry posts of aggrieved and anonymous ex-employees.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
enrolled my daughter in the toddler 1 class and after 3 days we decided to pull her out. all the teachers seemed nice however they all questioned me when i told them about giving her breast milk. the last day i took her there, i was questioned by 2 of the teachers and both the director and assistant director about the fact that no other child in that class consumes breast milk. i then was told that if she were to continue on to other classes, NO breast milk was allowed and perhaps its time for me to ween my child! they had to confirm with the state dep of health before letting me give my baby her milk. seriously disturbing, i hope they educate themselves and NEVER make anyone feel bad about breastfeeding.
This is a response to PaideiaMom. I'm glad you have peace of mind sending your children to this school. After reading what the other workers below have had to say, and after working in Paideia myself - I can tell you that you SHOULD pay more attention to what the workers are saying here!
It doesn't matter what the RN said because she reports what she sees but looks can be deceiving! As a former worker below stated, the school is barely ""one step ahead"" of the nurse and that is really true! They would rush and clean the rooms and tell the employees to make sure the bathrooms and everything looked tidy - put the food they feed kids out of sight so that there are no questions asked. Because Julie knows that kids there get substandard food like bruised bananas and expired frozen pancakes. This is NOT the kitchen lady's fault because she only works with what she is given by Julie, and Julie does not like to give or spend money on your kids' care or food - she likes to save.
Also, PaideiaMom says that ""the teachers are montessori certified"" in the preschool. NOT TRUE! Only the ""lead teacher"" is certified, but is she the one that looks after your kids? No! It is the ""teacher's assistants"" that do most of the caring AND most of the teaching, and those assistants are barely given any training and are overworked, like the girl below also mentioned. The certified lead teacher just throws together a lesson plan and sits in the circle for a few minutes in the morning. She probably spends only half the day in the room, whereas the assistants spend all day. They are not paid well, given benefits or treated well at all - so of course they will be too tired to care well for your kids. They want to love your kids, but the truth is that they are not given any respect or rights, so they are tired and cut many corners, aren't alert and just want to relax on the clock. Take all these issues up with Julie - and believe the women below. Don't write them off as disgruntled workers; they are just women who are smart, caring and want to share their inside knowledge with you.
Pros: Relatively cheap-ish rates
Cons: Worker exploitation, health violations, cockroaches, & more
Background info: My eldest attended Paideia from the age of 3 months and graduated in 2008; my youngest also started at the age of 3 months and is currently in the preschool at Paideia. We have been a Paideia family since 2002 and will be until our youngest graduates in 2012.\r
The school is inspected regularly by a public health RN who inspects all Seattle area day cares. The nurse told me personally that the infant care at Paideia is among the best in the city. You know this already if you have an infant at Paideia. \r
The preschool is great as well. The teachers are montessori certified and do an excellent job preparing the children for elementary school. My eldest was a full fledged reader before entering kindergarten and I have high hopes for my youngest.\r
I have known the Director, Julie, since 2002 and she is a wonderful lady committed to the early education of our kids.\r
Stand out classes: Infant I, Toddler I and both Preschool I and II.\r
Pros: Excellent infant care and preschool education
I have witnessed the abusive conditions under which immigrant women work as caregivers. Most caregivers are brought in through word of mouth, by their friends who are employed at the school, and therefore lack much of the training and experience needed to deem one a ""teacher.""\r
These immigrant women are exploited by being paid next to nothing and are scolded/yelled at in front of the children - they may work from open to close and forego badly needed lunch hours. By the end of the day, they appear run down and most unhappy, but put on smiling faces for the parents. Most of these caregivers love the children they look after which makes their work conditions and lack of rights particularly heartbreaking. \r
Parents MUST know: the immigrant women who work at Paideia are NOT awarded the dignity and respect you want your own children to learn about and earn in life.\r
Immigrant women brought to tears at work is not an uncommon sight at the school. The owner's very own family member (also an immigrant) was a beloved caregiver in the infant division. She was a school teacher in her home of Albania and, upon immigrating to the US, looked to Paideia for a job. She was reduced to working for miniscule wages, receiving the same lack of respect other women did in the school. This particular caregiver carried on, however, most loyal to her job and ""her babies,"" working for over 10 years. At the time of her retirement, she made little over $10 per hour. I think anybody who cleans babies behinds for over a decade, as lovingly as this woman did, deserves a lot more than $10/hour coupled with bullying lectures and scoldings.\r
I also agree with the above post in that strong teachers don't last long at the school. In fact, the principal of the school openly discourages the workers from ""spending time together outside of work"" or ""discussing wages."" These are t ypical and tyrannical tactics to keep workers from unifying and growing a backbone.\r
I could go on to air a laundry list of problems with Paideia Academy but the treatment of workers is above all other issues. If Paideia does not keep its workers happy, they are not caring for your children as well as they could - and I don't blame them. Additionally, you want your children to spend their time in an environment where they can witness love, dignity and respect for all - not racism, classism and sexism, which is at the core of the exploitation of women at the school. Witnessing the open mistreatment of other human beings can only harm your children.
Paideia Academy is constantly on the run from licensers, staying one step ahead of being shut down by the sweat of the low paid employees on whom the burden of keeping the school open is firmly placed.\r
The director knows very little about what goes on in the classrooms, leaves very early every day without so much as a status report from her staff, and at any given moment may or may not have a program director. The staff is paid barely more than minimum wage and any strong teacher is basically discouraged from finding a home at this ""school"" due to the director's refusal to offer pay raises for hard work and constant attention to the basic needs of the children. She is exploitative, hiring mainly from a pool of immigrants who she believes will be easier to bully into remaining under her unfair work ethic. Strong teachers have a life expectancy of less than 6 months, which is to her liking as she prefers that these people not develop bonds with parents or children; she has been known to make up stories casting ex-staff in a negative light in order to explain the turnaround of a popular teacher.\r
Many of the teachers are positive, strong individuals who take good care of the kids, even though there are currently only two Montessori trained teachers at this ""Montessori"" school. The vast majority of them, however, are clueless as to even basic child care, leave children with feces crusted on their little behinds, pay little attention to them in group settings - a dangerous thing in a downtown daycare that must walk across busy 1st avenue to get to its outdoor play area - but instead sit and chat amongst themselves rather than interact with the children. You will never see this if you meet them only at the beginning and end of the day.\r
A bottom-of-the-barrel day care, you should think twice about putting your child in such an environment. The director offers competitive prices but makes up for it by operating in much the same way as a sweat shop.