Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

Aaaaahhhhh February 28, 2008

You know, it is just amazing to me what a good night’s sleep will do. Life is so much more handleable today. We are supposed to have “abundant sunshine” today so we should be able to play at the park after Story Time. Tuesday was raining, last Thursday was raining and we were sick the Tuesday before that and the Thursday before that our friends weren’t able to stay and play. So, after three weeks of trying, Brodie and Jael and Isaac might actually get to play at the park together.

I am so glad that we have decided to home school Jael. Brodie just turned two. Isaac is about a year and a half. Jael can play fine with them. There is a little girl at play group who is a year older than Jael and she can play just fine with her. We went to one of Israel’s co-worker’s son’s birthday party a week ago and she played fine with the six and seven year olds. Yay for not being peer stratified!

I read an article last night about a teacher who has been verbally abusing the children in her class, calling them stupid and mean and threatening them. One of her students came to class with a tape recorder in her backpack. The student’s mother had put it there because she was concerned that the teacher might not be acting in an all together healthy manner. The mom’s fears were not unfounded. When presented with this information, the school board admitted that they’d had to discipline this teacher the year before for slapping a four-year old child. The discipline consisted of, get a load of this, one day suspension without pay.

*GASP*

A whole day with no pay! You mean, she took a day off and didn’t get paid for it? The horror!

Seriously though, there are a ton of problems with this situation. I’m going to start with the slapping because if that had been handled correctly, this second story wouldn’t have happened. The teacher should have been ordered to attend intesive thearapy and if she was unwilling than she should have been fired. My husband and I believe physical punishment has a place in a parent’s discipline regime. However, we don’t slap her. Slapping is a reaction and not discipline. We don’t ever spank her when we are angry. We don’t discipline based on how we feel about her behavior. We discipline because she has disobeyed and must be taught that there are consequences to disobedience. Slapping is reactive and is not thought out. So, not only was the teacher disciplining in a way reserved only for the child’s parents (corporal punishment), she was doing it badly.

Four year olds should not be in school. I’m an ardent supporter of homeschooling and we’ve started some with our four year old but only as much as she’s enthusiastic about. We’re considering not starting formal education with her until she’s about eight based on research showing that kids who don’t start formal schooling until 8 but are allowed to explore their world and learn through play, catch up with their conventionally schooled peers within six to twelve months. The “late starters” have better social and creative skills than their more heavily schooled peers.

Then you have the yelling at kids. What makes someone think this is okay? I mean, yeah, maybe your parents were verbally abusive but why would that make you think it’s okay to speak to other people’s kids that way? Don’t they cover the proper way to speak to kids and control behavior issues as a part of the “becoming a teacher schooling”? If that isn’t covered, than why in the hell are the masses letting these people spend eight hours a day to “professionally” teach their kids?

My husband has worked on cars since he was about eight years old. He worked as a Ford mechanic for about a year and has much experience working on a variety of cars in his personal time. He’s fond of saying, when presented with a car problem he’d not encountered before, “Why send my car to the dealership to have them screw it up when I can screw it up at home for free?” I ask the same thing about school. “Why send my kids away all day to be screwed up by a stranger when I can do it at home?” And of course, hopefully avoid some of the screwing up.

After ranting about strangers for a bit, I am feeling downright happy.

And I just cleaned off all (well most anyway) of the horizontal surfaces in my house (well, kitchen at least). I also swept the kitchen and vacuumed the house. No, I’m not manic. Israel asked me to clean the house today. A totally reasonable request but one I resented anyway. Until I got started and then it was so nice to have clean surfaces and a clean floor that I didn’t mind being reminded of my wifely duties.

Jael and I are off to Story Time.

Until next time…

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