Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates

Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.

The Teacher as Hypocrite


I was working at a service the other day and the children would come running up to their educators repeatedly and tell them of all the trespasses against them – “Sarah hit me!” “Xavier took my car! I had it first!” “Thomas said he’s not my friend.” We’ve all heard these statements.

They are responded to with well rehearsed often used suggestions of: “Well, go tell Sarah ‘Stop it, I don’t like it’ ” (with the obligatory ‘stop’ hand gesture) or “Tell Xavier you don’t like it and you’ll give him a turn when you’re finished” or “Be nice, we’re all friends at Happy Sunshine Rainbow Bumble Bee Honey Pot Kinder Early Learning Child Care Centre.” I’m sure that we have all made these or similar responses.

I’m not knocking the teaching strategies. I’m knocking the hypocrisy.

Those very same educators will turn around and complain about a member of the team to their mutual colleagues. They will go to their supervisor or manager to complain. They want to get in first with their side of the story, or they simply want someone else to fix their problems for them. They don’t want to take responsibility and be a pro-active member of the learning community.

I’ve witnessed firsthand these educators who don’t deal with their conflicts themselves. They don’t approach their colleague with whom they have the issue and say the adult-non-confrontational-I-statement-grievance-procedure-version of “Stop it, I don’t like it.” And they certainly aren’t all friends at Happy Sunshine Rainbow Bumble Bee Honey Pot Kinder Early Learning Child Care Centre.

I wonder, does it ever occur to them that the rules should apply to them?

What would happen if we all practiced what we preach on a daily basis?



© Jeanne de Clisson 2014

Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates. Refuse, Resist, Rebuild.


13 comments on “The Teacher as Hypocrite

  1. Opinionated One.
    January 30, 2014

    Agree 100%, but I also think you should patent the name “Happy Sunshine Rainbow Bumble Bee Honey Pot Kinder Early Learning Child Care Centre” ! I have seen actual services with names that approach this.

    • Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates
      January 30, 2014

      Why thank you Opinionated One. On one hand it made me laugh while on the other I felt a touch nauseous for having dirtied valuable brain cells with creating such a name.

  2. Aunt Annie's Childcare
    January 30, 2014

    And the true irony is that many of the children notice. That smart, annoying child will be the first to comment when one doesn’t practise what one preaches. That’s why I love having a gifted child or two in my classroom. They keep one honest.

    • Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates
      January 30, 2014

      I think many get caught up in their own idea of what they believe a teacher to be and I sadly think the term “intentional teaching” is misappropriated for this in a great many contexts. I think educators and teachers forget that children are human. I think they forget that they themselves are human. Imperfection is okay. Hypocrisy not so much.

  3. Carly
    January 30, 2014

    I do not like the ‘we’re all friends here’ line. I don’t have it with my groups. Everyone has to be polite, and sure it gets complex, but nobody has to be friends with anyone else. Parents have questioned me on this and I ask them if they’re friends with everyone at their workplace, and then they usually get it.

    • Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates
      January 30, 2014

      I’m so glad to read this Carly. I realised one day as those very same words were coming out of my mouth:
      1. I sound like an idiot.
      2. I’m not friends with some of my colleagues.
      3. I actually can’t stand two of my colleagues as human beings.
      4. I would HATE to be told to be friends with said colleagues.

      (I don’t like being told what to do especially when it involves being friends with people I severely dislike)

      So I stopped saying them.

      My other most loathed is the inane ‘saying’ in the EC sector:

      “Sharing is Caring”

      Pass me a bucket.

      – Jeanne

      • trash
        January 30, 2014

        Seriously? People actually use the phrase “Sharing is caring” ??? Pass me the other sick bucket.

      • Fran
        January 31, 2014

        Well said!

        The ‘sharing is caring’ thing came from a TAFE student

      • truly47
        March 7, 2014

        I think I’ve died and gone to early childhood heaven on discovering this page, I’m in love! I too take issue with the sharing is caring aspect. I too have observed hypocrisy on this level wher it is openly encouraged to tear down others and pay them back for imagined slights at meetings etc! I feel I’ve come home! thank
        you thank you thank you! I am relieved I am not having a breakdown!

  4. Tansy
    January 30, 2014

    Great if working in a professionalised environment. There are some early years settings that are in the process of evolving from ‘we’re just mums at a little play group’ to becoming a workplace with an awareness of professional practices and structures. It’s not your average workplace..

  5. ecmangreg
    January 30, 2014

    I abhor the “Stop it I don’t like it” line. It teaches the children at both ends very little other than there are ‘magical’ words and phrases that can fix all our woes. Personally I encourage the children to explain to their peer what it is that has upset/angered/hurt them and what they want their peer to do or not do and why. Of course this doesn’t eliminate any hypocrisy present, but at least the children will become better equipped at dealing with real-life issues using real-life solutions. I guess they’ll discover the hypocrisy soon enough.

    • Heather
      January 31, 2014

      I also hate “Stop it, I don’t like it.” What don’t you like? What has upset you? What is the problem? I usually prompt children with, “Tell your friend what is upsetting you.” Many children still come out with “Stop it, I don’t like it,” from years of experience, but at that point, I will prompt, “What don’t you like? What should they stop?” With younger children that are unable to verbalise their problems, I never say,”Tell them to stop it.” I model, “Tell them, ‘Don’t hit me.’ ” or “Say, ‘I was using that, give it back.’ “

  6. thinkingaboutkids
    January 31, 2014

    I always say that I learned how to deal with conflicts when I started working with young children, helping them to learn how to deal with conflicts. We learned together. When I was growing up, in the 50’s and 60’s, people were not so good at it. Girls were taught to be passive and swallow their anger, boys taught to “hit ’em back.” Working with teachers, I realize how difficult it is for them to even have a good discussion where there is disagreement! It requires a certain kind of attitude/culture in the center that is inspired by a good leader.

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