A few years ago I sent a self-confident class of preschoolers to a new kindergarten teacher who had been a former middle grade classroom teacher years before. For the past ten years, she had been a resource teacher where she dealt with 1-3 children at a time. When I saw her in the hall, I asked how my former students were doing. She said with disgust, "They're all so bold and smart and confident, the entire class."
I believe that people in power should not overpower. Compliance and obedience are not synonymous. Gaining cooperation is different from demanding control. Kids are people too, and they have rights!
Before I go off on a tangent, let me tell you one more story about Nicole who is reading and writing.
She spent the night. I quizzed her on personal information: name, address, phone, city, state, parents/sibling names etc. With 100% accuracy, she answered all of my questions. Then she added, "And my nickname is Molly Rose. When I grow up I'm going to be a rock star, and that will be my name, Molly Rose."
And then, for the next hour she sang... Every. Single. Question. Comment, Request and Thought that popped into her head. Sometimes she sang like an opera star, sometimes she ch-ch-ched the ends of her songs.
Finally, I replied back in song, which startled and stopped her. "Hey, how did YOU learn that?" She asked and beamed proudly, probably thinking I was a former rock star.
With her every different voice inflection and delivery I had to smile, knowing that no matter which stage she takes to in her life, she WILL be a super star. "Molly Rose" is going to rock this world.