Nowadays, a child of four years old wouldn't be allowed to start kindergarten. In 1960 when I turned four you could start kindergarten at that age as long as you turned five years old before a certain date in October. My teacher was one for perseverance. She wanted me to learn this and she demonstrated this to me by keeping me after school one day. We were supposed to cut out a picture of Paul Bunyan holding his ax. All the other children completed this little assignment without any trouble and were allowed to go home. Well, I struggled. My little fingers couldn't cut out the corners of the ax. Every time that I took her my cut out, she would look at it, throw it away and give me a fresh paper and then make me go back and try again. I sat there trying for what seemed an eternity, and in truth, I cannot tell you if I finally cut the ax out to her satisfaction or if she took pity on me and let me go home. I suspect that the latter is true.
I do remember what I went through trying to please her. Humiliation, shame, tears. No matter how I tried, I couldn't please her, couldn't do it right. After that day I refused to go to school. I would walk a little ways from the house and sit down on the curb until my mother came out and made me go. All of this reminds me that ' God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful.' I cling to that...because I know that I will never get it completely right .......but if I am faithful..He will let me come home anyway.
Such a sad story, Debbie. Teachers should encourage perseverance, but not through punishment and humiliation.
I offer help to students who need it, often letting them come in my classroom during breakfast or lunch to review for a test or help them with a project if they are struggling. When a student rises to a challenge and eventually succeeds, I celebrate with them..... yeah, kids chuckle when I draw smiley balloons and confetti on their papers and then proceed to dance around the room in celebration, but it makes them feel good that I share in their successes.