Friday, January 19, 2007

mean old Ms Amber

How do children do it? One day they are absolute angels. Then they act like the spawn of Satan incarnate. All in the course of a couple of days. I don't get it.

Today was one of those days that left me questioning my well as my sanity (which those who know me personally already deem questionable). I spent my whole day in one power struggle after another...with preschoolers. How pathetic is that?

Don't get me wrong. I don't nitpick just to be mean. I'm not a dictator. I'm just trying to teach the kids that actions have consequences. So when I say "If you play at naptime, you cannot play with your show and tell this afternoon," I have to be willing to follow through. If I don't, I'm not teaching them that they are responsible for their choices and the consequences of those choices. Not only that, but what I am teaching by failing to follow through is that I don't mean what I say (which has disastrous consequences for my authority in the classroom).

But honestly, I think I punish myself just as much (if not more) than the kids when I follow through. Because if I follow through with enforcing the consequences I've laid out, I have to deal with the tantrums they throw. And they do throw them. And when I'm standing in the middle of my classroom with 2 four year olds screaming and crying and thrashing on the floor while the other 10 kids decide to start getting out of control because they can see that Ms Amber has her hands full and can't possibly deal with everything that's going on all at once, it's hard for me to look at the rationale of what I'm really trying to accomplish. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, is it such a terrible thing that they played on their mats the entire 2 hours of naptime? Would it really be so horrible for me to just give in and let them play with their stupid little dinosaurs and cars?

See, they're only 4. They don't realize that I'm doing this because I care about them. I want them to learn to be responsible, functional members of society sooner, rather than later. To them, I'm just mean old Ms Amber, who won't let them do the one simple little thing that would make them the happiest little creatures on the planet. The only thing I can do is to hope that someday years down the road, probably when they are dealing with preschoolers themselves, that I had their best interests at heart, and was only trying my best to teach them valuable life lessons that, hopefully, they are glad to have learned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if you stick to your guns you are gonna make an awesome mom some day