How to protect children from a teacher?
Tuesday November 03, 2009
Dear Dr. Miller;
I have been working as an early childhood educator for many years — in both the US and Canada — and your books have been the cornerstone of my philosophy. I have been always dedicated to working with children in a compassionate, empathic, respectful way and it has served the children in my care — as well as my intrinsic self — very well.
Still I am amazed at the way many educated people — teachers, administrators, parents — still manage to cling to pedagogic, authoritarian, “let’s show them who is boss” ways of working with children. As if they were trying to break the child as one would break a horse.
Now, at the age of 51, I am a parent (for the first time) of a four-year-old. I continue to parent my son along the same philosophies outlined in your writings. But as he approaches his school years I am frightened for my son concerning what sort of educators he may encounter during his school years. How is it best to continue to protect my son, yet also allow him the independence he needs to grow and flourish as a human being?
Thank you so much.
AM: You can hope that the good time he enjoyed with you in the first years of his life when he was respected and loved by you will help him to recognize cruelty and injustice if he meets them in school and to look for your support. Mistreated children are too much afraid of doing that.