Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bye Bye Gymboree

Last Sunday was the last Gymboree class that Ryan attended. There were 54 classes in total. When he first started, he was in Level 4. He left Gymboree in Level 7.

It has been an enriching experience for Ryan and also to us, more for me actually. Ryan first listened & followed to instructions when he was not even 2 years old. By the time he left last week, he was able to respond, share, take turns and co-operate most times. There are also times when he decides to be a little rebelious.

However, there was a disappointment with 2 things at Gymboree:
1) They maintain a pool of teachers who were fairly good when we started. Lately, they changed them because they had gone back to school. And so a guy took over the class and you can see an immediate drop in response from the kids. The mothers in the class started conversations amongst themselves! We all ignored him!

2) We had bought the sessions to be completed within 2007. However, we could not and had to carry forward 9 sessions. We had asked for an extension for a month and asked if we could do this without any charges. We were denied flatly! Outright! I was pissed. I mean, how can anyone dealing with children be so rigid? How can we be sure that the kids are healthy all through the year? Surely some degree of flexibility will not cause the business to go bust??

Nevertheless, we paid for the additional 9 classes. We were constantly asked if we would continue with more classes etc. Each time I will refuse them. On my last day, they had asked again. This time I mentioned that I will not come back again, neither will I recommend anyone to Gymboree.

Really, for development wise, why not! But to Gymboree with the current management? Maybe not. Teachers' standard dropped, and management is so rigid. Definitely not somewhere I would continue nor to start again.

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