Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do Over: Kindergarten Is Not For Sissies

Sunday is the day for "Do Overs" because I'm too lazy to think of anything new ... and today I thought I'd reprint one that is as appropriate today as when I wrote it months ago.

first pulished 3/24/10

I've decided that teaching school is the best training in life for any management job in the world ... especially teaching elementary school.

The more undisciplined the kids are ... the better the training.

I think back on my teaching days often, now that I manage adult children. Last week, for example, I had to discipline one unruly "child", lectured another on appropriate behavior, reminded another how to play well with others ... and one was so bad that I was tempted to bring in her parents.

We never really grow up, do we? We act up ... we suck up ... we still throw up ...  but grow up? Naw. We'll never grow up ... you know ... Tinker Bell sure had LOTS of patience with Peter Pan.

What a day! I wanted to rush out to the bookstore to see if there were any copies of "All I really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten" ... the book by Robert Fulghum. It was brilliant ... and SO true.

Here are his guiding principles:

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. Clean up your own mess.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.


Toni said...

I teach a severe/profound special ed. class in a middle school. My students are so happy and loving no matter the obstacles they face every day. They stun me with their abilities to live life to its fullest with little physical capabilities.
When I encounter those regular middle schoolers...I sometimes want to turn them over my knee and whip their rears with a hickory switch! My nanny taught me that before I ever stepped foot into a kindergarten room!

joel said...

Toni ... kudos to you. Teaching is an honorable profession ... teaching special children is about as honorable as you can get. I taught middle schoolers as well and know how you feel. To paraphrase a famous quote: "Those Who Can ... Teach!"

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