I kid you not, I have been summoned to my son’s (hereafter referred to as T2) school today. He has, apparently, become a discipline case. He has been sent to the Principal’s office twice in the last week. Did I mention that he’s three?
Apparently, the latest offense is the most serious, warranting a parent teacher conference. His latest crime? (Again, I kid you not) He was recruiting a group of other toddlers in opposition to Circle Time. That’s right. My son the community organizer was no longer content to simply sit out of Circle Time. He was actively recruiting other children to join him in his non-conformity. I think the school is afraid my little cult leader may stage a coup.
While I am concerned about his long term development on many fronts, this really isn’t one of them. I just don’t know if it’s a great idea to teach toddlers that a) they must conform to what everyone else is doing, b) they must be a happy part of the collective, and c) they must never question that authority that demands they go along.
On many levels, I find it amusing, and even reassuring that T2, at a very young age, is displaying the traits of an organizer. The ability to not only refuse to be a sheep, but to also teach others not to follow blindly, is quite admirable. From a teacher’s perspective, I get that it can be quite challenging. On many occasions, I have been trying to get his sister to focus on something only to have him lead her away. It’s annoying, to be sure.
Also, from a teacher’s point of view, conformity is key. If the kids were expressing individuality, and pursuing only those things that interest them, we might end up with a world of innovative thinkers. It’s good to have teachers who will choke out the weed of self-expression and creativity. The productivity of the collective demands that we create a workforce of nimrods capable of simply pushing a button all day because they were told to. I get it.
From my point of view, however, I’m strangely proud of my child for resisting the brainwashing. I’m actually excited that he won’t simply go along with the crowd. I have even considered introducing him to Facebook and setting up the group “One Million Strong Against Circle Time”.
Well… maybe that can wait until he’s four.