I teach small people for a living, specifically 3-4 year cuties. I love 'em.

My direct supervisor and I have a slight disagreement about school birthday celebrations. I'm of them mindset that there should be a standardized celebration, something simple to make the child feel special, and doesn't require more than a minimal effort by the parents. My idea is that we should hang up a banner, give the kid a crown, let them bring/pick a favorite book to be read during morning meeting, and sing to them at lunch. We'd provide everything so that no one child has a more/less special birthday party than anyone else.

My supervisor doesn't feel this is enough and encourages parents to provide treats for the day. However, when parents aren't able to/choose not to do so, she criticizes them when they aren't around. In her room (20 months-3 years), she doesn't even acknowledge that it's a child's birthday if the parent doesn't provide treats. It's all or nothing in her room, and it's the parents' responsibility to create a special birthday at school for the child, even when she knows they threw a big party at home.

I was a kid who rarely celebrated my birthday at school, and didn't have parties with lots of friends. I'm trying to find a way to let every child feel special, probably because I rarely felt special.

As a parent, would you be bothered by a policy of no birthday cupcakes at school? Are sugary treats really a necessity for a birthday celebration?

Teachers, how can I handle listening to my supervisor criticize my kids' parents and maybe show her that there is more than one way to celebrate a birthday?