Wednesday, December 17, 2008


When working with four year-olds, it's important to keep them busy and focused, otherwise chaos is most likely to ensue. Idle hands are curious hands and if you want to maintain even the slightest amount of order in the classroom, you will think of ways to use this energy to your advantage. One thing I do and I'm still amazed at the effectiveness (for the most part) is to explain that I'm in need of helpers and I'm looking for boys and girls who are sitting like they're supposed to, not talking, etc. (basically what they're supposed to be doing all the time but they are four :-) As soon as I make this announcement, every child sits a little straighter and looks oh so angelic. There's always the one or two, even though I said I wouldn't call on those who are talking who say, "I want to be a helper." I've tried using the tactic of saying I'll be watching from the time we go to praise and worship until after the lesson to instill that thought of, "Oh, she's watching me. I better be good!" but I'm still working on that.

It's like when parents tell their kids year-round to be good because Santa's watching you. I never believed in Santa growing up (and I'm thankful because how traumatic would that be to believe in this person but then find out he's not real?) but I would think that might be a little scary to kids that someone is watching them, without their knowledge. And the whole coal thing? Don't get me started.

There's also the instance of in school, when the teacher has her back to the students and says, "I'm watching you. I've got eyes in the back of my head." What's the obsession with letting children know they're being watched? I think we all know it doesn't ensure good behavior, otherwise they wouldn't need the constant reminder. Add your pastor telling you that God's watching you as well and you realize that there's always someone who sees you, 24/7. So why do we do things when no one's looking, thinking no one sees us? Apparently, there are a lot of people watching us, whether we know it or not. I don't know that this post really had a point but was something I was thinking about...


  1. "Idle hands are curious hands"
    you truly are a teacher haha awesome

    hey, i guess that means someone always sees you when you do something nice? no flaunting needed.
    speaking of which, really bothers me. if you do something good, do you really have to make a facebook album of pictures letting everyone know how nice you are? no. but that is another rant for another time...
    i'm going to try the "Be good and be a helper" thing next time :)

  2. oh yeah, carly, i really try to use the need for helpers to my advantage. kids love distributing anything (napkins, crayons, coloring sheets, cups, germ-x, ANYTHING). feel free to take full advantage of it as well :-)

  3. i always let them help.. vacuuming is a plus ;) but i never enforce their being quite and use cleaning as a reward... that is a smart one