We had a visit from the Fire Marshall today. Our annual inspection. Just to assure you, we passed. But it got me to thinking about rules and regulations. I know we have to have rules and regulations and there are many good reasons for having them. But I also have experienced rules and regulations that inhibit or stifle things. Let me give you an example.
One agency that we are accountable to requires handwashing all day long…when the children come through the door, before and after snack, before and after playing in the discovery table, before and after going to the playground, before and after they leave their classroom and go to chapel, etc. And I could go on. But if we followed all of the rules of handwashing the children would spend 1/2 of their day just washing their hands. Because remember, we have to multiply that time for handwashing by the number of children in a class. So ten children washing their hands at the same time is 10 to 15 mintutes every time. So, you get my drift, right? This rule is a rule that was meant to have the children develop cleanliness habits and instead has snowballed into something out of control.
So, when do rules and regulations become a strangle hold on our lives? I think we all have to take a look and determine that for ourselves. There are many rules that I have to uphold in the Preschool and have no choice but to follow or I might get a fine or be closed down. But then again, there are rules and regulations that I have a choice to follow or not. And I have to weigh those and decide whether the quality or our school is enhanced or hindered by those rules and regulations. Are they helping the child? Does choosing not to follow them compromise the safety of the children or the health of the children? I have to excercise my judgement at those times. When that happens I usually discuss it with one or 2 other people and then come to a decision about what our center will do. I may do some research on it to make sure that my decision is based on good information. And then I respectfully make a decision to not follow the rules. Is that a bad thing, not following the rules?
I don’t think so. People are not all alike. Preschools are not all alike and to try to make us all conform to the same thing is, in my humble opinion, ludicrous.
So, there you have it. My thoughts for the day. Ponder on this for you and your family. Or for you at your job or club or church. Here at the Preschool we try to help the children learn to be creative and to be individuals and think for themselves. Let’s not forget how to do this as we grow. Ask questions, try something different, buck the rules. But do your homework first and get wise counsel. Then break the rules and celebrate freedom!!
Have a great day!