I am so very saddened at the way our political candidates for the most important office in our nation are handling themselves at our presidential debates! Very few candidates display "Random Acts of Kindness," and watching a presidential debate has proven to be more like watching people get beat up in a boxing match, which is the very reason why I never liked boxing!
|Think Before You Speak!|
We teach our little ones entering school for the first time the importance of communicating their needs and feelings in a socially appropriate manner, because other people have feelings, too. I reiterated numerous times to my students, "Think Before You Speak" as the words you say can really hurt! That being said, one candidate in particular has broken nearly all the "Classroom Rules" generated by good teachers in America's Kindergarten Classrooms, and there is no need to name him as his "fruit" speaks for itself!
During the last South Carolina Presidential Debate, I saw things being said that I wouldn't want my Kindergarteners to hear. The rude behavior exhibited by this candidate, as he hurled insults at both his competitors and the general public, is totally uncalled for. No handicapped person deserves being made fun of and labeled a "retard," and no woman should ever be called a "fat pig", "dog", "slob" or "disgusting animal!" And, that was just the beginning of the language we heard from this individual!
Our Kindergarten students are encouraged to take turns, share, converse, and play with other children without teachers having to remind them to use "polite language." Children learn at a young age that polite language does not include bragging, exaggerating, name calling (such as "liar"), and hurling insults at others to make themselves look good. Most assuredly, such rude behavior at school results in a "time out!"
Furthermore, using bad language anytime on the school grounds ensures our students a trip to the principal's office. That being said, it is a tragic thing when a presidential candidate either insinuates or speaks such forbidden words on public television during the prime time hour when our little ones are present as it only reinforces the idea that it is "okay" to speak this way!
Respect for others has been a character trait in every school I have taught and respecting others' views, opinions, and rights is practiced across all grade levels. Students are never allowed to bully nor threaten others either on or off the school grounds without consequences. They are taught to show respect for authority and especially people in high positions (such as a former President of the United States) and no war hero should ever be mocked! Haven't we heard such atrocities in our recent presidential debates?
Perhaps it is old fashioned, but our Kindergarteners are taught to act like "ladies" and "gentlemen." Such people would never lie or tell mis-information or stories to either draw attention to themselves or intentionally inflict emotional pain on others! They are taught to practice the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and are often asked, "Would you like to be treated this way?" When others are talking, our children are reminded to wait patiently, as it is disrespectful to interrupt, and other's opinions are valuable too. Usually, most students leave Kindergarten with a new awareness of how to take turns, unlike a certain presidential candidate's recent performance at the South Carolina Presidential Debate!
Finally, our Kindergarten students are taught to be people of integrity. They learn it is important to keep their word and do what they say they will do. If they fall short of their goals and don't get their way, they are taught not to be bad losers and accusatory towards others. When they mess up and hurt others (as Kindergarteners are prone to do), they are taught to say they are sorry and try to make things right. Sadly, I have yet to see this happen in our presidential debates! There is much to be learned in Kindergarten as "no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."