These Powerful Adults Need a Day in my Classroom... Compromise is NOT a Sign of Weakness.......

Hello Friends,

I know that I am a teaching blog and writing political posts is not the purpose of what I do. I apologize to those of you who tuned in to read about the wonderful week I had with my wonderful, wonderful kinders and by the way, I DID have a wonderful wonderful week with them....but.......  I just cannot sit back and watch what is happening in our country right now. The constant political ads are nothing new, but the meanness and hate that is coming from them is unsettling. My stomach is in knots over what I am seeing in the news, on Facebook, in the newspaper.... I am a kindergarten teacher who teaches my students to treat others with kindness, to compromise to reach a decision, and to understand that we are not always right. These are lessons learned in kindergarten and it breaks my heart that they are dismissed as our children grow into adults........If the politicians in our country were students in my classroom, they would be spending much of their day in time-out, sitting across from each other, making eye contact, and coming up with a plan that works for both of them.

I watched a news clip of a major candidate belittling people who were protesting at his rally. He called them names and told them to "go back to their Mommies." What?? Really? Doesn't the President of the United States PROTECT the Freedom of Speech amendment? If he was in my classroom, I would take him aside and talk to him about tolerance. Tolerance is understanding that not everyone is like us and not everyone shares our opinions. Tolerance is acceptance of the differences of others.
Tolerance is NOT yelling at a person who does not share your opinion.

In my own state of Illinois, we have had no budget since our governor took office. Instead, our legislators are arguing with each other, pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Eastern Illinois University just laid off several workers because the university is not receiving state funding. These are PEOPLE. People who no longer have insurance benefits or a pay check. They have no way to make payments on bills. They are hurt by a group of people who profess to protect citizens, but instead they refuse to compromise and do not listen to the ideas of others. In my classroom, we discuss the meaning of compromise. Compromise means coming up with an agreement that works for both people. Compromise does NOT mean that you will receive everything that you want. It means that both parties give up a little and gain a little...... If these legislators were in my classroom, they would have face to face meetings with each other; coming up with a plan that works for both of them... no recess until that was accomplished......

Watching all the name calling that is happening in this national campaign is shameful. Name calling is not allowed at all in my classroom. When this happens, an apology note is written for the first infraction. If it happens again, an apology is once again given and free time and/or recess is lost. This should happen to politicians, too. After one infraction, an apology is issued. After 2 infractions, they no longer receive media coverage until they change their tone. Instead of name calling, they should take a tip from my kindergartners and understand that name calling does not gain you friends.

I wish these politicians could watch what happens at my Lego table everyday. The compromise and sharing that goes on every SINGLE day is such a wonderful thing to watch. These children come up with creative ways to share the one Lego piece that they all want. They make agreements as to who can build the vehicles that fly and who can build the vehicles that drive. Sometimes agreements cannot be made immediately, so they step away, think about it, and come back to the table with new ideas. It is amazing to watch and our politicians should take some lessons from these little children.

I am scared and ashamed of what is happening. Politicians have little regard for the people and laws that they were elected to protect.  I look at the sweet face of my kindergarten kids and wonder what kind of role models they will have? Will they strive to be President of the United States because they want to serve and protect our constitution or will they strive to be President because they want to be powerful? I KNOW that our world is frightening. I KNOW that we need strong leaders. But being strong does not necessarily mean being ruthless.... Compassion can be as powerful as strength.

Politicians... take a tip from the future leaders that are presently in my classroom..... Stop, listen, talk, make an agreement, shake hands, and compromise....... There is no weakness in negotiation and compromise.....

Until next time ( and I WILL be back to sharing classroom activities in my next post!)