Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Teachers and the Christmas Bonus

December 11, 2019


We are obviously in the wrong profession.

How great would it be if scenes like this in Baltimore was replicated for teachers and nurses?


St. John Properties, a Baltimore-based commercial real estate property management and development company, provided a $10 million bonus for its 198 employees to split at its annual holiday party on Dec. 7.

“The [bonus] distribution was based solely on years of service. It had nothing to do with a person’s position in the company,” Larry Maykrantz, president of St. John Properties, told Yahoo Finance in a phone interview. “We spent a little bit of time discussing it and believe me, once we made that decision, we realized that was the only fair and equitable way of handling this.”

Individual employee bonuses ranged from $100 to $270,000, according to the company’s LinkedIn post. On average, each employee received about $50,000.


Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

The New York Public Library’s 100 Most Requested Children’s Books

November 24, 2013



Don’t listen to anyone that tells you books no longer make a good Christmas gift. Below are some of the most popular current titles to help you re-engage younger readers:

New York Public Library’s new list of the century’s 100 best kids’ books
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz (1972)
“All-of-a-Kind Family” by Sydney Taylor, illustrations by Helen John (1951)
“Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish, illustrated by Fritz Siebel (1963)
“The Arrival” by Shaun Tan (2006)
“Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer (1999)
“Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo (2000)
“Ben’s Trumpet” by Rachel Isadora (1979)
“Big Red Lollipop” by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (2010)
“The Birchbark House” by Louise Erdrich (1999)
“The Book of Three” by Lloyd Alexander (1964)
“The Bossy Gallito / El Gallo De Bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale” by Lucia M. Gonzalez
“Bread and Jam for Frances” by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban (1964)
“Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson (1977)
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle (1967)
“Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947)
“The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss (1957)
“Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson (2008)
“A Chair For My Mother” by Vera B. Williams (1982)
“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams (1952)
“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert (1989)
“Corduroy” by Donald Freeman (1976)
“Curious George” by H.A. Rey (1941)
“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems (2003)
“Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muoz Ryan (2000)
“Freight Train” by Donald Crews (1978)
“Frog and Toad Are Friends” by Arnold Lobel (1970)
“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg (1967)
“George and Martha” by James Marshall (1972)
“The Giver” by Lois Lowry (1993)
“Go Away, Big Green Monster!” by Ed Emberley (1992)
“Go, Dog, Go!” by P.D. Eastman (1961)
“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (1947)
“Grandfather’s Journey” by Allen Say (1993)
“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman (2008)
“Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss (1960)
“Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson (1955)
“Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh (1964)
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling (1997)
“Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen (1989)
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
“Holes” by Louis Sachar (1998)
“Honey I Love, and Other Poems” by Eloise Greenfield; ill. by Leo& Diane Dillon
“Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths” by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (1962)
“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick (2007)
“Joseph Had a Little Overcoat” by Simms Taback (1999)
“Jumanji” by Chris Van Allsburg (1981)
“Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” by Kevin Henkes (1996)
“The Lion and the Mouse” by Jerry Pinkney (2009)
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis (1950)
#50 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Garth Williams (1932)
“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943)
“Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China” by Ed Young (1989)
“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)
“Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey (1941)
“Matilda” by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (1988)
“Meet Danitra Brown” by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (1994)
“Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel” by Virginia Lee Burton (1939)
“Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gag (1928)
“Miss Nelson is Missing!” by Harry Allard, illustrated by James Marshall (1977)
“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” by Richard and Florence Atwater; illustrated by Robert Lawson
“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien (1971)
“Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” by John Steptoe (1987)
“My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (1948)
“My Name is Yoon” by Helen Recorvits, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (2003)
“Olivia” by Ian Falconer (2000)
“One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams Garcia (2010)
“The People Could Fly” by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon (2004)
“The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer (1961)
“Pierre” by Maurice Sendak (1962)
“Pink and Say” by Patricia Polacco (1994)
“Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren (1950)
“Pyramid” by David Macaulay (1975)
“Ramona the Pest” by Beverly Cleary (1968)
“Rickshaw Girl” by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Jamie Hogan (2007)
“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor (1976)
“Rumpelstiltskin” by Paul O. Zelinsky (1986)
“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (2010)
“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
“Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown (1947)
“The Stories Julian Tells” by Ann Cameron, illustrated by Ann Strugnell (1981)
“The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson (1936)
“Strega Nona” by Tomie de Paola (1975)
“Swimmy” by Leo Lionni (1963)
“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” by William Steig (1969)
“Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume (1972)
“Tar Beach” by Faith Ringgold (1991)
“The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit” by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (1987)
“Ten Nine Eight” by Molly Bang (1983)
“Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose” by Tomie dePaola (1985)
“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith (1989)
“Tuesday” by David Wiesner (1991)
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle (1979)
“The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis (1995)
“The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin (1978)
“When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead (2009)
“Where Is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek (2004)
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak (1963)
“Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (1975)
“Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne, illustrated by E.H. Shepard (1926)
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)


Click on the link to read Stunning Photographs of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Kids From Reading Books they Actually Enjoy

Click on the link to read The Classic Children’s Books they Tried to Ban

Click on the link to read How Spelling Mistakes can Turn a Compliment into Something Quite Different.

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important at Starbucks

Click on the link to read The Ability to Spell is a Prerequisite for Getting a Tattoo (Photos)

Click on the link to read This is What Happens When You Rely on Spell Check


Children Should Not Be Told That Santa is Real: Jake Wallis Simons

December 23, 2012



My daughter asked some pointed questions about the tooth fairy last week and my wife and I decided to come clean and tell her the truth. She took it well, but we felt like we had clearly breached her trust by misleading her all this time.

I’m not surprised that there are parents who are opposed to making their children believe in Santa Claus:

OK. I have never, and will never, encourage my children to believe in Father Christmas. That might sound heretical – but, to me, the whole phenomenon seems bizarre. I cannot understand why people try to make their children believe what is not true, in an effort to create a synthetic innocence and wonder. Parents go to great lengths to peddle this lie, from dressing up in a Father Christmas costume late at night to interpreting meteorological phenomena as evidence of Santa’s journey to Britain. People encourage their kids to leave a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie out for Saint Nick, and a carrot for his reindeer. Then, before going to bed, they drink half the mulled wine and take a bite out of the mince pie and the carrot. This is normal?

Arguing that a belief in Santa Claus injects magic into childhood is, in my view, rather cynical. It tacitly implies that the world by itself is insufficient to inspire a child with awe and delight. That is simply untrue. A child can be astounded by the smallest brush-flick of nature – the spinning sycamore seed, the sea, snow – they don’t need to be lied to. In general, I am with John Stuart Mill: “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”. But this sentiment does not apply here. Children are perfectly capable of being happy without their parents recoursing to Santa stories. I think this speaks more about the jadedness of modern adulthood than anything else.

That’s not to say that I’d actively debunk the myth. My son occasionally says that he reckons Santa is real, and I wouldn’t dream of contradicting him. The point is that he hasn’t reached that conclusion because of my own behind-the-scenes machinations. But if he ever asks me point blank whether Father Christmas is real, I’d say no. It’s just a fun story. It’s a game that we play, even though some other children believe it.

Because to do otherwise seems unfair to the child. Mum and Dad are the people children trust most in the world, the people who teach right from wrong, truth from deception. And now they are pretending that a fat, jolly man wearing Coca-Cola colours delivers their presents on a flying sleigh? Isn’t that an abuse of trust?

Click on the link to read When Do I Admit That the Tooth Fairy Doesn’t Exist?

Click on the link to read The Most Popular Lies that Parents Tell their Children

Click on the link to read The Innocence of Youth

Click on the link to read Kid’s Cute Note to the Tooth Fairy

Click on the link to read A Joke at the Expense of Your Own Child


No Wonder Children Are Not Buying Into Religion

September 30, 2012


I am not Christian but I respect the great work Christianity has done in charity and support for the sick, aged and homeless. That is why I am bewildered that a religion with acts of kindness as its best selling point would undermine its essence with an ad campaign as atrocious as this one:

The poster for the fictional ‘Godbaby’ doll imitates a conventional toy advert and features the slogan: ‘He cries. He wees. He saves the world.’

The image is to be emblazoned on bus stops, advertising hoardings and in newspapers in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Another poster of the Godbaby carries the slogan: ‘The Gift that Loves You Back.’ They come with the words ‘not available in shops’ printed at the bottom.

Alongside the £100,000 poster campaign, radio adverts will tell the Nativity story in the style of a celebrity chef. The idea is, apparently, to make the birth of Christ seem more ‘modern’.

Church leaders admit the controversial campaign by Christian media group, previously known as the Churches Advertising Network, will not be to everyone’s taste, but hope it will make the Christmas story appeal to the younger generation.

Click on the link to read Police Arrest Mother for Letting Her Children Play Outside

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Click on the link to read Parenting Advice that Hits the Mark

Teaching Kids To Be Grateful

December 28, 2011

I have noticed that kids these days take things for granted on a far greater scale than when I was a child. It is much harder to please children and equally as hard to get a voluntary “Thank You.”

I imagine that Christmas is when this trend comes to the fore. As children are expecting gifts, there is a visible feeling of entitlement. The occasion mandates a good gift so what is there to be thankful for? If the gift isn’t up to their expectation, they feel that a public show of disappointment is appropriate because the gift bearer should had a better sense of occasion and made a better purchase.

What many young children may not be aware of is the stress involved with buying presents. Parents and family members go to great trouble and expense to buy quality gifts. All the child has to do is rip open the gift wrapping.

I like this piece by Stacey Schantz, about the importance of writing a thank you note:

I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering from a fun-filled holiday. I have thoroughly enjoyed the look on my kid’s faces when they saw their presents Christmas morning, all the food, and most importantly, the quality family time.

But now that the presents are finished—and we’re putting our house back together—it’s important to me that my kids appreciate all the kindness and generosity that has been shown to them.

When I was growing up, my mother had a rule about presents: you couldn’t use the gift until you had properly said thank you. Many times, this meant a phone call to say thank you for the present. But as I got older, my mom instilled in me the importance of a thank you note.

I have been trying to instill that same gratitude for gifts in my children. We usually make a phone call or draw a picture, but now my 5-year-old is learning how to properly write a thank you note. In fact, I know the significance is getting through, because after receipt of one gift, my son whispered to me that he needed to write a thank you note because that was exactly what he had been hoping for—my heart melted.

This week, I’m determined to have my boys write notes to their grandparents, family and even Santa, to thank them for the wonderful gifts they received. We’re even going to include some drawings to sweeten the package.

Here are some tips to help your kids write thank you notes:

  1. Babies and young toddlers: Take a piece of construction paper and using finger paints, dip your child’s hand in the paint. Then make hand prints on the paper. Then you can write a thank you for the gift on the side. Trust me when I tell you that grandparents love this!
  2. Older toddlers: Have them color a picture, and then take a marker and then write in the thank you.
  3. Preschoolers: Take a piece of handwriting paper, have them draw a picture on the top half and then on the bottom half, pre-write the letter for your child using dotted-line letters that your child can trace and then sign their name.
  4. Elementary school: Give your child a head start by making them a template to follow. Sometimes the hardest part of a thank you note is knowing what to write. Elementary school kids can write the letters, but will feel less intimidated if you help them with the basic framework.  
  5. Middle/high school: Give your child a deadline. Tell them they have to have the notes completed by a certain date.

Believe it or not, your child will actually appreciate the present more because he or she took the time to do this. I know I always appreciate when people take the time to say thank you to me as well.

Research Suggests That There’s no Such Thing as a Good Divorce

December 19, 2011

I feel very sorry for children of divorced parents who find themelves the center of a tug-of-war act between duelling parents on Christmas Day.

At Christmas time, like no other, family relationships are put to the test.

This time of year seems to bring not only a rise in domestic violence, but family tension and relationship breakdown.

So much for the season of peace and goodwill.

Fights over who will get the kids on Christmas Day are common, and children are often forced to spend Christmas traipsing across town to keep both parents happy.

Many argue that since divorce is so rampant, children are able to adapt with the change extremely well. This is simply not the case.

Research suggests that there’s no such thing as a good divorce: All you can do is have a breakup that is not as bad as it might be.

A US study of 994 families identified three types of post-divorce parents: Those who were co-operatively continuing to parent together, those who were parallel parenting with little communication, and those who were effectively single parents.

Children from the first group – the good divorce group – had the smallest number of behavioural problems and the closest ties to their fathers.

However, the differences were only minor, and the children in this group didn’t score any better than others on 10 additional measures, such as self-esteem, school grades, early sexual activity and closeness to their mothers.


Parents Revolt Against Teacher Who Removed the Word “Gay” From Christmas Carol

December 8, 2011

The teacher who swapped the word “gay”with “bright” so that her class wouldn’t giggle during their rendition of “Deck the Halls” was always going to draw the ire of at least one parents. As much as she may have made the change with the best of intentions, I am sure if she had her time over, she wouldn’t have fiddled with the lyrics:

A Michigan teacher chose to censor the word ‘gay’ from the festive holiday tune ‘Deck the Halls’ and was met by a frosty response from parents.

Parents thought the Cherry Knoll teacher had been naughty and not so nice when the elementary instructor replaced ‘gay’ with ‘bright’ after her students wouldn’t stop laughing when they sang the word.

They took to the school’s Facebook page ranting about the teacher’s decision to change that word in the traditional holiday carol.

Cherry Knoll principal Chris Parker told 7&4 News in Traverse City that he was disappointed the music teacher decided to change the lyrics, saying she could have used the moment for a learning opportunity on tolerance.

‘This would have been a great opportunity to teach that “gay” has more than one meaning and is not a bad word,’ he said.

Enraged parents took to the school’s Facebook page, which has since been disabled, to voice their complaints over the word-swap.

A teacher’s poor choice is not the real story here. The real story is the way the parents handled the situation. Instead of confronting the school or teacher with their displeasure, they did what many parents are now choosing to do, and turned their disapproval into a large-scale Facebook campaign.

I have no doubt that a few quiet phone calls from concerned parents would have been sufficient to provoke this teacher to revert back to the original lyrics and make a profuse apology to all offended. Instead, this teacher had to contend with a barrage of negative comments on Facebook, and now, worldwide media coverage.

This sends a shocking message. It says that whenever parents are upset over the actions of a classroom teacher they can turn to Facebook for a fully fledged smear campaign. This amounts to bullying of the worse kind.

Teachers make mistakes. Some small, some huge. But no well-meaning teacher deserves to be pillaged on Facebook – ever!

I Thought Christmas Was About Good Will?

December 4, 2011

I thought Christmas was about family, community, good will, acceptance, tolerance and togetherness.  Turns out I was wrong.

Should a teacher have told her class that Santa doesn’t exist? Of course not. Should she have told them that their presents are planted under the tree by their parents? Absolutely not.

But here’s where the parents of these children had a choice. They could have had a quiet word to the teacher, accepted her heartfelt apology, practised the long-lost art of forgiveness and not taken the matter any further.

Allowing this mishap to get overblown and on the nightly news suggests that Christmas may not be about real values, but rather, about the “real” Santa:

A teacher ruined Christmas for a class full of second-graders when she told them that there is no Santa Claus during a lesson about the North Pole at their Rockland County, N.Y., school.

The educator even told the youngsters, mostly 7 and 8-year-olds, that the presents under their trees were put out by their parents, and not St. Nick.

The stunning behavior caused a blizzard of outrage at the quiet George W. Miller Elementary School in Nanuet, where angry parents would like to see the teacher roasted like a chestnut over an open fire.

“If that happened to my daughter in her second-grade class … I’d be very upset,” according to 48-year-old Sean Flanagan, whose child was in second grade at the school last year. “If her brothers told her [there was no Santa], they would be punished. So I can’t imagine what should happen to the teacher.”

A nanny picking up a child at the school said that anyone who tells kids that Santa does not exist should get coal in their stocking.

“It’s outrageous that a teacher would strip a child of their innocence and try and demystify something,” 59-year-old Margaret Fernandez said.

A grandmother of a kindergartener added, “I think this is awful. If it happened to my granddaughter, I’d tell her [that] her teacher made a mistake, and there is a Santa.”

The unidentified teacher reportedly made her anti-Santa comments Tuesday during a geography lesson, when students told her that they knew where the North Pole was because that is where Santa lives.

School officials would not discuss the Christmas incident or say if the teacher would face any discipline.

District Superintendent Mark McNeill released a brief statement, saying only, “This matter is being addressed internally.”

Above is one of many scathing reports about this teacher. Let’s examine the facts.

Did she “ruin Christmas” for these kids? If so, their whole enjoyment of Christmas was founded on a lie. If the legitimacy of Santa is the only thing a 7-year-old can take out of Christmas, then they are missing a hell of a lot.

Was this “stunning behaviour”? No. It was a mere lapse in judgement.

Does she deserve to be “roasted like a chestnut over an open fire”? Absolutely not! Whoever wrote that line was being quite unfair and should have been made to delete it.

Did she “strip children of their innocence”? Hardly. Innocence isn’t just about believing everything adults want you to believe, it’s about seeing the good in people. It’s about not being judgemental and giving everyone a chance.

Apparently this teacher rang all the parents in the class and apologised. I think this is a fair consequence for her improper behaviour.

But I think this story is about more than a teachers conduct.

Is it possible that the mad scramble to make kids believe in Santa eclipses the very heart and soul of what the holiday is supposed to represent?

When Do I Admit That the Tooth Fairy Doesn’t Exist?

October 18, 2011

I read a brilliant article in The National about the lies we tell our children and when is the right time to confess that the Easter Bunny they are so fond of isn’t real.

Below is just an excerpt of the article.  I strongly encourage you to read the entire piece by following this link.

The world is a confusing place for small children, particularly as they only learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy between the ages of three and five. Jacqueline Woolley, a psychology professor at the University of Texas in the US, found that by the age of four, children learn to use the context in which new information is presented to distinguish between fact and fiction. So, before long, your little one will be figuring out that the tooth fairy isn’t who you said she is. Which begs the question: at what age should we tell our children that their beloved magical characters aren’t real? Or, should we even claim that they’re real in the first place?

Last Christmas I witnessed the most heated debate I’d ever come across on Facebook. It didn’t involve politics, religion or money. No; it was Santa Claus who caused the divide. One friend posed the question: “Should I tell Sophie Father Christmas is real?” What followed was a polarised debate between those who wanted their children to enjoy a magical gift-giving time and those who believed that perpetuating the story of Santa was being dishonest with their offspring. “I was devastated when I found out it was my mum, not Santa, who hung the stocking on the end of my bed,” admitted one father. Whereas others regretted never having the chance to believe in Santa because older siblings had spoilt it for them.

“I make a point of always being honest with my daughter and now she has turned six I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable with perpetuating the lie of Santa Claus,” admitted Rosie Cuffley, a mother of two.

According to Carmen Benton, a parenting educator and educational consultant at LifeWorks, Dubai, Rosie shouldn’t worry. “Sharing the world of fantasy characters with our children is not a lie, but rather a playful way of storytelling and connecting as a family to fun events. Think about the joy and excitement that thoughts of characters such as Santa Claus can induce. You have the power to create a magical world of dreams, wishes and storytelling for your kids and I believe these are part of being a playful parent.”

It’s a different scenario when children ask directly whether Santa Claus, for example, is real. Most psychologists agree that children need to know they can trust their parents to tell them the truth, even about magical characters. “The majority of children will let go of a fantasy after the age of eight, and most would be happy for the years of the imaginary world they had been able to enjoy,” says Benton.

I feel terrible that my daughter still believes in the Tooth Fairy.  I don’t like perpetuating a lie (especially one I know will be uncovered sometime soon).  I have a feeling, irrational or otherwise, that when she does find out, her first thought will be, “What else is he lying to me about?”

Why Be Flexible When You Can Be Politically Correct?

April 5, 2011

There used to be a time when educators were self-directed.  They could decide how to teach, when to discipline and were given the opportunity to do their job according to their own unique style.

Not any more.

Everything is dictated and imposed, so little is left up to the educators.  There is such a lack of trust in the gut instincts and methodology of teachers and school communities, that Governments feel they must intervene.  What we are left with is political correctness gone mad!

Take this story for example:

CHILDCARE workers who send tantrum-throwing toddlers to “time out” risk hefty fines under national childcare laws to come into force next year.

New regulations will expose childcare centres to penalties if children are required to take part in religious or cultural activities, such as Christmas tree decoration or Easter egg hunts.

Childcare supervisors risk personal fines for the first time, under the national legislation being adopted by state and territory governments.

Centres could be fined as much as $50,000, and supervisors $10,000, for failing to ensure children are adequately supervised, or for using “inappropriate discipline” to keep order.

Centres will be banned from using …  “any discipline that is unreasonable in the circumstances”.

The Education and Care Services National Act, which has been passed by Victoria as the “host jurisdiction” and will be replicated by other states and territories, does not define “unreasonable” discipline.

But draft regulations with the legislation show childcare supervisors risk $2000 fines for “separating” children.

Supervisors must “ensure that a child being educated and cared for by the service is not separated from other children for any reason other than illness or an accident”, the regulations state.

Herein lies the problem.  Governments know precious little about education.  Here is just a few examples of how they’ve got it wrong:

  1. “Separating children” is often an essential method of conflict resolution and discipline.  If a child is threatening another child/children, they must be separated.  You can’t allow a child (regardless of age) who is in an irrational or heated frame of mind to be among other children. It is simply a safety imperative.
  2. Similarly, separation can be quite effective for teaching students that every action has a consequence.  When a child misbehaves and is forced to sit out of a game or activity for a period of time, it teaches the child that privileges come with responsible behaviour.
  3. To not define “unreasonable” discipline is just ridiculous.  How can you pass a law about something that isn’t even defined?  How can you have already thought up the fine before you have properly defined the offence?
  4. What is wrong with giving childcare centres the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not to conduct Easter egg hunts?  They are not stupid.  If they have a large non-Christian demographic, there is no way they would ever consider such an activity.  But what if they were entirely Christian in make-up?  What if the parents were uniformly comfortable with their children taking part in Easter Egg Hunts?  No,  the Government says they will fine you  regardless.

Political correctness stifles those in the know from doing their job properly.  It stops teachers from injecting their own personal style and prevents innovators from providing our educational system with much-needed positive change.  It says that all childcare centres and schools must be run in the same way, with the same harsh and uncompromising rules without any thought given to the makeup or cultural uniqueness of the institution.

Political correctness is useless and counter productive.  Instead of these harsh and illogical rules, teachers and childcare workers need to be encouraged to be flexible, sensible and sensitive to the welfare of their students and their families.

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