Saturday, October 11, 2008

Red or Blue Classroom

My second week at work has been a lot better than my first.  One of the other teachers unexpectedly left, and they asked me to fill in on Monday in her classroom.  I told them I loved it so much I wanted to stay, thus, I am the new teacher for twelve wonderful 3 year olds.  This is the age group I have had the most experience with in the past and it's my favorite age group to work with.  I have had a phenomenal time getting to know them each individually and spending my days hanging out with them.  And, I haven't been bitten even once.

In the midst of a political discussion last night in which I was a slightly reluctant participant, Stephen jokingly wondered aloud, "Do you talk about politics with your kids?"

"It's generally my policy not to talk about politics with anyone, if I can help it," I remarked.  But when I thought about it, I realized our classroom, if I had to define it, would be pretty blue.

For the record, I myself am neither republican nor democrat.  Anyway, here's one example:  This happens in my classroom every day.  Two children are doing a puzzle together.  One child has a pile of puzzle pieces in front of him, the other has only one.  They are having a decidedly uncivil disagreement about the purported "sharing" of said puzzle.

In a democratic classroom, the teacher says that there's plenty of puzzle pieces to go around and tells the child with the pile of pieces to please give some to the child with one piece so it's more fair.  This is how I run my classroom (with some exception).  I'm trying to teach our kids to be kind to others, but in the adult world we might call it redistribution of wealth.

In a republican classroom the teacher might suggest that the child with the pile of pieces has worked hard to get his share of the puzzle, and if you only have 1 piece, well, tough luck.  Hopefully some of the other pieces will eventually trickle down to you through the natural process of preschool classroom economics.

I know, an oversimplification.  I still think it's funny.  And please, if you have some caustic, fiery rhetoric about one party or the other, write it on your own blog, not in the comments.


a.matson said...

"Decidedly uncivil disagreement"! May I please use this phrase....especially in relation to three-year-olds?:) (And, that age group is fairly well-known for their decidedly uncivil disagreements.) Rachel, may I just say that you are incredibly clever and I want to be just like you when I grow up!

jkr said...

Don't worry, I have no fiery, caustic comments for you!

I love that you have been given this classroom. You are in your niche now, and you are going to thrive!! I love hearing about your adventures with 3-year-olds. AND - I think I can sing the firefighters song, although the hand/arm movements may take some practice. :) [one of Rachel's new charges taught her the "firefighter's song" and then told Rachel that she was to teach it to her mother, which she obediently did]

Amy said...

Don't we all want to be like Rachel when we grow up?

I'm so excited for you! (and, I must admit, somewhat jealous- I would love to find a part-time at a day care- which I plan on trying to do) That is so incredibly awesome!

I'm very curious about this "firefighters song".

I love you! :)

Melissa said...

I'm curious about this firefighter's song too- I'm always looking for new songs to sing to Gregory. He may not get bored with them, but I sure do... Hey, you should do a video!!! LOL ;)

j.matson said...

My only fiery comment is that you sound like a socialist. (Yay for you!) Frankly, most of the child worl is distinctly communist - that's how it's supposed to be. :) I totally got an image of you explaining to the kid with one piece the hard work idea. It made my day. And made me miss you and little kids. I love you!