I am, by nature, a gigantic rule follower. At times, (Big Dan would argue most times) I have a slight problem thinking outside the box. I do not like to get in trouble or anything that has the smell of trouble around it. I am not, nor have I ever been, what you would call "rebellious".
There have been a few times in my life when that little genetic streak of anti-establishment, down with man spirit comes leaking out. And it usually has to do with rules that I deem ridiculous. Or standards that are overly stringent or otherwise preposterous.
One of the times the little rebel was awakened inside was at a camp where I'm pretty sure my director was on some sort of weird power trip. Or drugs. Or both. Anyway, my usual rule following self was pushed aside by Little Miss Activist. If I could've gotten away with carrying a picket sign that said, "Down with the Man", I totally would have.
This has come up at other weird times. Like with an over-bearing resident assistant. Or a nutty lawyer who most definitely wasn't putting the needs of the kids I was advocating for ahead of her own.
And now. I'm thisclose to storming the gates of "the state" and grabbing a hold of the throat of whoever decided this environmental rating scale was worth two hoots in determining a good preschool, and not letting go until they scream "Uncle!". Because seriously??? IT.IS.RIDICULOUS. I'm saying to you right now: if your child is in preschool in Tennessee, in a three-star program, run, don't walk, to hug your child's teacher. Hug him/her tight. Because it means he/she's been put through the dadgum wringer on all manner of arbitrary issues.
Let me say this. I get the SPIRIT of the thing, I do. I recognize that there are children across the state who need to be protected by standards. BUT. When a preschool teacher of 21 years is in a giant tizzy over this evaluation (a lady I work with) then something is terribly wrong.
I mean, if you know me, you know I'm all about multicultural. I've been privileged to travel all over the world and have friends from all over the world. But right now, I feel like the affirmative action of preschool teachers-White kid in a poster? Not putting that one up. Bring me your obviously ethnic, your special needs, these are the ones I MUST post en masse.
And don't even get me started about the "free art" vs. "teacher directed art". Best I can tell, I'm just supposed to let my kids run amok all day. This "freedom" will clearly help them learn and grow. Don't dare have a theme. Why, it's a profanity. You shouldn't teach about any certain subject. Heaven forbid you quench the creative genius of your three year olds.
And do not, under any circumstances, forget to pass out napkins at snack time.
So. For the next week I scramble around like a mad woman trying to make my room look free and open-minded. And reminding parents what they are mandated to pack in their child's lunch. By "the state". I try not to a) have a nervous breakdown or b) get the school shut down, or c) call in sick-for the rest of the year.
Next Wednesday is the big day. I have a 2 in 5 chance of having my name pulled out of the literal hat to be evaluated ALL DAY. I can promise you if I am chosen there will be no way I'll be able to not smirk at the evaluator. It's what happens when my hateful self shows up. I'll let you know how it goes...