Child Sucks at Using Glue Sticks

By | December 13th, 2016 | Glue, Sawdust, Uncategorized

May also be a terrorist

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Miller,

We hope you and Kevin have enjoyed your first few months at Silver Springs Nursery School. As you saw from Kevin’s progress report, quantitatively, he is succeeding in almost all regards. He can count some things, he can pretty much hold a marker, and, on good days, he can practically write his first name.

Yet there is one strong worry we have about Kevin: his use of the glue stick.

As you may recall from your own nursery school days, the rules for using a glue stick are oft-stated and simple. You apply a small circle of glue to each of the four corners, connect them, and make an X across the middle, essentially connecting the corners diagonally. This has been proven throughout various studies of early childhood pedagogy to be the best way to instruct children to utilize a glue stick, a vital aspect of the “arts and crafts” portion of each day here.

Kevin has a frighteningly blatant disregard for the rules of the glue stick. He scribbles all over the back of the page, creating clumps of purple dry-clear Elmer’s Glue. A few other children had this problem — in fact, according to our records, your older daughter Emily struggled for a week or so, but quickly caught on — and all corrected their mistake. Kevin will not. He essentially plows through a glue stick a day.

Why does this matter? Because it’s the one thing we nursery school practitioners are taught to look out for. Misuse of the glue stick in pre-K is the most likely predictor of a child becoming a terrorist as an adult.

Kevin is a bright-eyed blonde-haired sweet-looking kid. His closest friend at school, I would say, is Ayesha P. Due to racism and stereotypes, Ayesha, with her brown skin and hijab-clad mother, is going to have to go through life being profiled, pulled aside at airports and made fun of for her un-WASPy name. It makes me want to scream: “But have you seen Ayesha use a glue stick?” She got the corner tactic on the first try. We have nothing to worry about with her.

Kevin, on the other hand, has the privilege of being an adorably freckled white kid — the son of a Protestant minister, I believe, Mr. Miller. But we seem to forget that white men, boys only ten years older than Kevin at times, are the ones who execute the most domestic terrorism. As a part of my dissertation research, I reached out to these criminals’ pre-K teachers, and my theory rang true. Every. Single. Time.

I know this must come as a shock, but it’s always better to be prepared. For tips on how to deal with this new information, please check out my dissertation e-book: “On the Lookout: Spotting Terrorists in Early Childhood Education.” I can give you an offer code if you have a Kindle.

With concern,

Karen Robinson-Stewart
Founder and director of Silver Spring Nursery School
Former NSA Specialist

Alexa Salvato is a fourth year Journalism student who is proficient in all glue stick related skills. You can email them at

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