Thursday, August 5, 2010

That Class For Five-Year-Olds

I'm importing records and setting up segments with our e-mail blast company so that e-mails can be sent to the early childhood families.*

It brought back a very old memory.  When I "graduated" kindergarten, I received an medal button that had been customized with the school name, the year, and the word...


I spell things in my head.  I usually don't use words if I can't spell them because it stumps my brain.  My mother tells me this is not the way most people see the world, but it comes in handy in spelling bees.

As a five-year-old, I didn't know how to spell kindergarten.  But once I saw the button, I did!  Hooray!

Except it was wrong, of course.  And it was a very long time before I saw it spelled correctly, compared it to the button in my head and said, "Ruh row."  Every time I spell kindergarten, even 27 years later, I remember the button and make a decision to spell it with a "t" rather than a "d."

I asked my mom about it, and she said that a parent had lovingly made the buttons to hand out to every child at the end of the year.  My teacher had been horrified by the misspelling but couldn't figure out a way of telling the parent, who had obviously put so much effort into the buttons.

It would be unreasonable for me to say that an entire group of kids learned to spell kindergarten incorrectly because of this.... but I certainly did.  No lasting harm, of course, but it's interesting to me.

It seems to me that my teacher had an obligation to his students to tell the parent that he appreciated the effort but couldn't give out the buttons because of the misspelling.  At what point is it more important to choose kindness over education?

*Yes, it is as uninteresting as it sounds, although I did get to stump the salesperson with my weird problem, which I always enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. That is a nice story. I think passing them out was the right thing to do, but the teacher should have told the parents so there could be a teaching moment.