Sunday, August 25, 2013

Put yourself in their shoes and see how strange it feels

I have said it before that Kindergarten is one of the first forms of an educational institution for many people. The first few weeks are very crazy! We spend lots of time going over the rules and expectations for the classroom. Last week towards the end of the week I started thinking about what that first week must feel like to a kindergartener. Pretend that you started working for a new company. On your first day the CEO introduces himself and then instantly requires you to sit on his carpet in a seating position called "Criss-cross applesauce".  The CEO begins talking to you like you are having a natural conversation with him. Then when you go to make a comment on something he said he interrupts you and tells you he wants you to only talk if you have raised your hand and he calls on you. The CEO immediately begins going over all the rules. As you are listening carefully to his long list of rules you realize you need to use the restroom. As you are walking to the restroom your CEO tells you that you need to raise your hand to get up off the carpet even if you are going to relieve your bladder. At lunch the CEO tells you he wants to eat with you the first week so you can adjust to the cafeteria easily. During your lunch with the CEO you decide to strike up conversation to break the tension of work. Before you get the first sentence out of your mouth the CEO interrupts and says I want you to use a inside voice. If you look at the CEO confused he will respond with, "you know, a six inch whisper".  The CEO decides to walk with you to all of your meetings that day. You think it is a casual stroll and a great opportunity to get to know the CEO better. Wrong again, the CEO demands you walk through the halls in a single file line with your hands behind your back so you don't touch his pretty walls. He also expects you to put a pretend bubble in your mouth to keep you from talking.
I imagine if I ever got a job with such a regimented work environment I would probably put in my two week notice during my lunch break. It is important to remember that these small people in our classes need rules but they are also small PEOPLE that need respect. There is a fine line between a respectful teacher that loves their students and a tyrant that loves an orderly class. If you grow to enjoy your kiddos then it makes it easy to enjoy your job!

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