It's been a long week. I almost made it all the way through without opening up the proverbial can of whoop-ass on my boss. To make a long story short he criticized me for my method of rewarding a group of children by allowing them to have lunch with me in the lounge, instead of in the classroom with the rest of the children.

Now, I was raised on that reward system. So, I kindly explained (okay maybe it wasn't so kind) that I obviously don't know what I'm doing as a teacher, and that my four years of college have failed me. Thus, I informed him that he will be in my classroom Monday morning so that he can explain to me exactly HOW he would like me to run the classroom. Because heaven knows I've tried everything, from giving stickers, to earning stars the children can trade in for school supplies, to giving certificates, to making phone calls to parents pleading that they praise their children.

If I can't reward children who behave, or discipline children who do not, I guess I'll just let them run about like wild indians. Of course, then he'll have something to say about that too.

But what do I know? I just spent $100,000 and four years of my life in a private college known for turning out the best teachers in the state. I hate being criticized for breaking the mold. If it's not the same boring, routine rules they've followed for the last century, then it is hands down not an acceptable practice.

When the children in my class walk away at the end of the year, I don't want them to go only with the knowledge that they've gained through the year. I want them to leave with an unquenchable desire to learn everything they can, and love doing it at the same time. I have three-year-olds counting well past 100. Some of them are already reading and writing small words. And they're CREATIVE. They paint windows, color the floors, lay under the table and draw pictures pretending they're Michelangelo working on the Sistine Chapel. They play instruments as loud as they can and sing at the top of their lungs until their little hearts are content.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to know everything or saying that I'm the greatest teacher to walk the face of the Earth. But if you're going to come to me with a complaint on my methods, you better have a legitimate reason for saying so.

Sometimes, you just can't win for losing.


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