Anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time knows i abhor worksheets for preschoolers. That’s not to say that there isn’t some developmentally appropriate papers that can be done – but those certainly do not include worksheets!
So one morning last week I was talking to 2 of my co-workers and this was thier brief conversation:
Teacher A: “Oh, I almost forgot to ask, did you give Teacher C those worksheets she wanted?”
Teacher B: “Yes, I almost forgot but I gave them to her right before I left yesterday.”
Teacher A: “Oh good, because that parent has been bugging Teacher C for a few days now telling her she needs to send papers home with her daughter!”
Teacher B: “Well, that’s good, it will give the child something to do and it never hurts to start young.”
Me: “Why would Teacher C be sending home worksheets when she teaches 2 year olds?!”
Teacher A: “Because she has a few kids who are really bright and are getting bored and in trouble so thier parents asked for paperwork for them.”
Me: “So, you’re telling me instead of educating her parents on what is developmentally appropriate for thier children and giving them ideas of activities they could be doing with thier children she is just going to give in to their demands and send home worksheets?! They are 2 for heaven sakes! They can’t even hold a crayon correctly – much less do a worksheet! I teach 4 year olds and I have not sent 1 worksheet home all year and, as young and needy as they are, they are still picking up on what I’m trying to teach! I don’t get this at all!”
Teachers A and B stared at me as if I had lost my mind. They were literally speechless. After a minute or two of silence they made a feeble attempt to defend worksheets at Teacher C – they soon realized I wasn’t going to change my mind. It bothers me how easily teachers (and parents) of young children turn to worksheets. Parents ask me all the time what they can do to help their children. When I give them age appropriate suggestions, most of the parents ask, “Can’t I just get them one of those get ready for kindergarten workbooks instead?” Are parents really that lazy? Or is it the teachers who make the parents believe it’s okay because it’s what they do in class? I don’t know. I can’t believe what they world of education is coming to these days.