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Kindergarten: Magic Moments

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When a five-year-old enters the classroom for the first time, expectations of his parents and teachers are high, but still higher are the expectations of the child. S/he has heard of this magical day from the time words were understandable. However, the dreams and magical moments are quickly dispelled when s/he finds that s/he cannot conform to the demands of a regimented curriculum. S/he looks around the room at other children who seem to be laughing and doing their activities with ease. Most of them are drawing compliments on their neat work. But no matter how hard s/he tries, the work always seemed to be messy, and even s/he is not pleased with the results.

The small child who walked in with head held high now shuffles out with a dejected backward glance, for this child feels s/he cannot compete. School is not fun--it is exhausting when you are expected to do things you cannot. One may withdraw or may lash out angrily at one's more competent peers (Hammond, 1986). S/he certainly lets everyone know that s/he does not want to be in school. A failure IS in the making.

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