” A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding” article in NYT offers an accurate picture of how teachers and school administrators interfere with students’ friendships. We all thought that educators are there to teach and provide safe and fun learning environment. What many are not aware is that they also micromanage your child’s friendships.
Close “best friend” friendships are discouraged in many private schools for the fear that the child will not be able to learn how to make friends with other kids if he/she is exclusively playing with one best friend. Years ago I clearly remember two little girls who met on the first day of kindergarten and who held hands and played together throughout the year. Their teacher wanted girls to be apart so that they also play with other children. Needless to say, both girls were one of the youngest children in the class and the school experience was something they were experiencing for the first time.
It was obvious that they both took comfort in having each other at school and got together for play out of school. Unfortunatelly, their teacher was really determined to separate them, so they were placed in different classes in the following year. And they did made new friends, but they missed each other as well. Eventually, by the first grade, they did not play at all and hardly remembered the time when they sat next to each other and were best friends. Personally, I didn’t see the point in separating two friends, and I believe that two friends were going to make many more friends together and on their own without being in different classes.
Anyhow, the NYT article
makes a number of great points and I hope that educators across the country get to read it.