This isn't terribly pagan in nature, but since I feel most like-minded with you guys I'm going to throw this discussion out there and see what you think.
Short background: I come from a positive parenting background... the idea is not letting children run amok, but modeling respect, firmness, love, and acknowledgment of feelings. As I see it, I'm teaching them how to treat other people, and how they should expect to be treated. Enter... the first grade teacher.
My husband and I have been having discussions around home about who is responsible for our own happiness. My first grader has a teacher who uses reward/punishment (like paying kids for bringing in their homework, get marbles for good deeds... fill the jar and you get a popcorn party, etc.) to manage her classroom. It's become a problem, though, as the teacher gets frustrated and tends to punish the whole class... so if you're a "good kid"... why bother? A few people can ruin everything for you all. In fact, recently, the teacher got frustrated with a few kids who weren't paying attention, and dumped out the whole jar of marbles while apologizing to the "good kids". This indicates to me that she knew this wasn't a good punishment... that it wasn't the right thing to do in order to gain control of the disruptive children. (I really am getting to the happiness part... just hang with me a sec).
The latest story from the first grade classroom is that the teacher told a story. It's about each person having a bucket, and when people are nice to you it fills your bucket with happiness, and when people are mean, or DON'T FOLLOW DIRECTIONS they take away happiness from your bucket. She told the kids that her bucket is empty because they aren't behaving. Ahem... huh?
Who is responsible for keeping their buckets full? Are 27 six-year-olds responsible for a 50-something's happiness? If she's frustrated with her class, is it really the fault of the children? Or is it that her strategies for maintaining order don't work, and that she needs to choose another way?
I totally understand that when you run across a person, they can influence your mood in the moment... but is your day really up to them... or is it up to you?