Monday, September 14, 2009

Time for a Time Out

I teach pre-K to 17 four- and five-year-olds. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had. Some of the children have been angels, some quite frankly NOT, most just lie somewhere in between. But no matter what their temperament, they all must be treated equally and nurtured so that you know you’ve done everything in your power to help ready them for what lays ahead. So that you know they’re on their way toward becoming decent human beings.
We have simple rules to follow in pre-K. It may take some time, but eventually most of the kids remember the rules, follow them, and come to understand why they’re necessary. This week in the “real world” there were a couple of very naughty boys who just don’t seem to get these rules and we’ve all seen the outcome. I’d like to talk to these naughty children, Rep. Joe Wilson and singer Kanye West. Have a seat boys, Miss Suzanne has a couple of reminders for you.

1.Everybody Gets a Turn: Kanye, if it’s little Taylor’s show and tell time, you should sit nicely and listen to what she’s saying. Give Taylor a chance to shine. You might think your friend has a better show and tell. Maybe she actually does. But you’re not in charge of those decisions. You don’t get to yank little Taylor’s show and tell away from her and give your friend a holler instead. And Joey, if it’s little Obama’s turn for show and tell, and you don’t like what he’s telling, you wait your turn and talk about it afterward. You don’t scream out in front of everybody. Now sit back down on the rug you two before you get a time out.

2.You Are Not the Only One Who Matters: Everybody in class is important. I know you like to be the center of attention. Most of the kids do. But now is not the time to jump up and try to make everyone watch you. You’ll get your turn soon. Standing up, being pushy and giving a shoutout to a friend or loudly and falsely accusing another kid of being a liar is really just you trying to get attention for yourself, isn’t it? We’re not dumb. We could see it coming and we know why you keep doing it. Now sit back down on the rug you two before you get a time out.

3.It’s Not Nice to Hurt Others' Feelings: Doing or saying something that you know will make a little girl cry, become embarrassed or upset is just mean. It doesn’t matter that you may think you have a point. Same goes for yelling out mean things at someone in front of everybody. Even if you completely believe in what you're yelling out. If you do something in a mean way, the meanness is all anyone will remember. And saying you're sorry only counts if you actually mean it. You fellows don’t mean it. Now sit back down on the rug you two before you get a time out.

4.Don’t Suck Your Thumb in Public: Sometimes some of you kids like to do things that make you feel comfortable or secure. Things like sucking your thumb, carrying a blankie or constantly tucking your hand down the front of your pants. That’s OK, but you should try to not do it around other people because it just looks bad and makes you seem silly and immature. Sometimes grown-ups do these things to. Sometimes when they grow up they swap their thumbs for bottles of Hennessey. Sometimes they swap blankie carrying for yelling out. Either way, don’t suck your thumb in public. Makes you look dumb. Really, really, really dumb. Now sit back down on the rug you two before you get a time out.

5. You Only Get So Many Warnings: If you keep doing #1-4, then you’ve had enough chances. Talking to you isn't working any more. Time to move things along. Get up off the darned rug, Kanye and Joe. You’re both grounded.

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