Category Archives: School

This is what DD thought her kindergarten teacher did

I wonder how many little kids think their teachers sleep at the school.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 11, 2012 in School


Tags: , , ,

Bullying’s effects from an adult survivor

I was bullied on and off from kindergarten to Year 12.

I sort of survived but had depression and anxiety all through high school. It affected my marks, my ability to study, and my ability to retain information. Leaving high school and secondary college was the best time of my life. I stuck out. Smart alecs and intelligent kids are not welcome at school. My teachers didn’t care. My parents simply told me to ignore them. That was one of the most useless bits of advice I’ve ever received.

To this day I remember the names and faces of most of my tormentors. It has overshadowed my memories of nice times at school, though I undoubtedly had some enjoyable days and I did have a few friends.

One thing that I got from the experience was the ability to make alliances with other bullied and discriminated people, and my friendship circle, continued after secondary college, was the richer for it. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend this as a way to learn.

It has made me more aware and observant of children’s actions and words in the playground and in the classroom. As a teacher, I was alert to comments that were precursors to bullying actions. Whether my words and actions ever helped anyone, I don’t know. Sometimes all I could offer was safety during lunchtimes, so the vulnerable would be near me while I was on playground duty.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 30, 2011 in School


Tags: ,

School rules gone mad

I’m in favour of children learning to behave well in all aspects of their lives – it’s an ongoing process and it takes a long, long time.

Nevertheless, I think that a policy to make an entire primary school class go to the toilet when only one wants to go is completely nuts.

One parent said she only became aware of the trial when her daughter wet herself at home and told her she had held on because: “I didn’t want the whole class to have to come with me to the toilet. […]

[The principal] said the “whole class” method of toilet break supervision was “used successfully by some other schools” and was being tested by some classes.

For child psychologists’ take on this nutty policy, see this:


I can’t imagine an adult’s union putting up with this. I don’t remember having to put up with this as a primary or secondary school student. Amazingly, we were expected to to go to the toilet during breaktime, and if there was a need during class, we had to put up our hand and wait for the teacher’s permission. Not hard. A 5-y-o can do this very well.

Thank goodness the policy seems to have stopped and now replaced by a policy where the students go to the toilets in threes.



Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2011 in children, Defies description, School


Tags: ,

Loveys, blankies and other comforts

Now that DD is 5 years old, I was interested to read a short article from BabyCenter .

Just recently I noticed that DD had stopped sucking her fingers at night (yeah, it’s taken long enough). She still wants her stuffed cat toy and finds comfort in having him held tightly, but the accompanying tooth destruction seems to have decreased to almost nothing. One night when she was very distressed about bad dreams, I suggested that she might want to rub the toy and suck her fingers, and she looked at me with a hurt expression. “I don’t suck my fingers anymore” she said. What about rubbing the toy with your hand, I asked. Hmmm. She wasn’t too sure about that.

I am grateful that DD knows Kitty doesn’t come to school or parties or church (though it took a bit of effort sometimes). I’ve seen kids in kindergarten who arrive at the gates with their loveys and have to be peeled away from them by their parents. That must be hard.


Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Child Development, children, School


Tags: , ,

The Education and Care Services National Act

Article from The Australian here.

I had to check the date on that article – it is 4 April, not 1 April.

The act has been passed in Victoria, which is the host jurisdiction, and it’ll be rolled out to be passed in other states. Whether it’s done in the Territory, I don’t know. The problem with parts of this is the open-endedness of its directions which will undoubtedly be tested in cases.

Now, this isn’t a toothless law. There are fines in the thousands of dollars for breaches of the Act.

Children cannot be “required to undertake activities that are inappropriate, having regard to each family’s family and cultural values, age and physical and intellectual development”.

I can see that – not forcing children to participate in Christmas celebrations if they are not of the Christian faith, and not making Christmas cards or decorations, or writing a letter to Santa. No Easter bonnet parades, no Easter bunny, and so on. In fact, if one were to go completely potty about this, secular humanists’ and atheists’ children shouldn’t participate in that either. I guess that means my DD wouldn’t get to talk about Purim with Jewish classmates, either. (DD also likes Pesach and Hanukkah, for the record.)

Supervisors must “ensure that a child being educated and cared for by the service is not separated from other children for any reason other than illness or an accident”, the regulations state.

So, would that mean no more naughty corner? Well, at childcare centres where DD has gone, the child is always in sight of a carer, it’s only for a certain number of minutes, and the kid is usually making enough noise that nobody could forget about them. That is sensible – the child is always under supervision but they know they’re in trouble. I see that part of this section as being set up to stop unscrupulous carers from putting a child in a locked room as punishment, or to stop teachers from shoving a kid into the corridor for being disruptive, without ensuring there is supervision of that kid.

I imagine quite a few people see the entire act as political correctness gone mad. They may be right.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 4, 2011 in children, News, School


Tags: , , ,