The Libertarian in First Grade
Posted by wordforit on January 21, 2008
I remember only one event from first grade. It happened on the first day of school, a time of excitement and new challenges for all of us, I’m sure. I was excited to be a “grader” – that is, to be in a grade which ends with “grade.” The school had a milk program, where parents could pay each week for their children to receive a pint of milk at snack-time. My parents had paid, and so I was to receive milk at snack.
As the school day began, the teacher settled down the class and taught us the basic rules for the classroom. Some were familiar from previous years – don’t hit each other, don’t put your finger into the pencil sharpener, don’t put your finger into the door – in fact, most rules seemed to revolve around keeping our fingers out of places. However, one was new and unusual – if you have something to say, raise your hand, don’t just shout or jump out of your seat.
In earlier years, shouting and jumping out of our seats had been the normal way to get the floor in order to speak. Now we were introduced to this new idea of “raising the hand.” The teacher would then recognize each student in turn, and each would get a chance to talk. I have never been one to respect authority all that well, particularly as a child when I didn’t yet have the discernment to differentiate legitimate and illegitimate authority. Nonetheless, this rule immediately struck me as wise and worth obeying. . .
Continue here: The Libertarian in First Grade
(Such a good essay about ‘common sense’!)
by: Joshua Katz (other writings)