A parent, a teacher or both? Teachers feel more heat from parents

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Art YEN YOK, Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd

I refer to the letters “MOE has role in ‘arms race'” and “Parental involvement in schools must go beyond studies” (June 7).

I was one of those kiasu parents who attended a lesson in “Heuristics (Models, etc) In Your Child’s Maths”. I felt like I was taking tuition myself, and it made me laugh.

There I was, doing sums for two hours to understand how to teach my son mathematics when he had teachers to do so. Now, when I receive a flyer about such lessons from my second son’s school, I throw it away.

The Education Ministry’s role is to ensure academic excellence. But to the point where lesson time is insufficient and my son stays back thrice a week for two to three hours to finish the lesson plan? These are not remedial lessons; the whole class stays back.

My role as a parent is clear:

  • To inculcate my children with the right values and
  • life skills to survive the world,
  • to teach them about graciousness, respect, responsibility and,
  • most of all, resilience.
  • It is important to be healthy and
  • have a balanced life where relationships are what matter.
  • I want to raise confident children, who feel valuable to the community.

There is no point if our children are high achievers

  • but abandon us in our old age,
  • treat people badly,
  • lie or get suicidal when they feel like failures.

I cannot predict how my children will turn out; I only know that time spent with them is to give them memories of a happy childhood, not of me slaving over school texts, cracking my head over why heuristic models are more important than the maths I learnt.

I do not want to “learn new ways to teach (my) children”.

  • What my grandparents taught us is still the right track.
  • I am my children’s teacher,
  •  but only to raise them to be good people and citizens.
  •  If they bring home straight As, that is a bonus.

Maybe the Government can now understand better why our birth rates are falling.

  • Apart from the rising cost of living, whereby a single income is no longer viable,
  • with the rat race of education and
  • asking parents to now teach their children how to do their homework,

our greatly expanded roles are just too demanding.

From Jo-Anne Lee Fei Ming

Jun 08, 2012, Todayonline
Link : A parent, a teacher or both? 

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Comments re post from the net : 

  • Excellent Checklist for Parents: Values/ Life Skills Parents should be inculcating in our children:
    – Right values
    – Life skills to survive this world
    – Graciousness
    – Respect
    – Responsibility
    – Resilience
    – Importance of health
    – Importance of a balanced life
    – Relationships matter most
    – Confidence
    – Be of value to the CommunityFood for thought for Parents:
    (1) Have we been teaching these values or have we been trying to outsource the role?
    (2) Are we ourselves good role models for these values?
  • Kiasu Parent’s’ syndrome seems to be the norm nowadays
  •  If minor efforts to appreciate the relevant environment in education is frowned upon by parents, and in addition twisting it into a blame game, then its a pity.
    Appreciations may mean some hands-on time.
    It doesnt mean you are the prime educator of the school subjects. And its still your choice how far you wish to be involved in. However, dont demand magic wands when things go astray.
    That would be my feedback to Joe-anne lee…
  •  I know it can be difficult and not all parents are able to help their children with their school work, we should at least try be involved and help rather than leaving it all to the school. Parents’ taking an active interest and getting involved with their children’s school work and other activities can make a big difference to the children’s academic achievements and schooling experience.

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* Related Article *

Excerpts :

  • An upper primary student had hit another boy and broken the school rules, which led teachers to hint of possible disciplinary consequences, including caning, as spelt out in the school’s handbook.
    The next day, the student’s mother called the school and threatened to go to the police if her son was caned.
  • While such parental behaviour is considered in the “minority” and the “extreme”, these anecdotes reflect growing concern among most educators TODAY spoke to – parents becoming increasingly vocal and demanding in recent years, adding to the emotional stresses on teachers.
  • Parents want to have a say in a range of matters, such as classroom management and teaching methods, and some have confronted teachers or threatened to go to the media, educators said. Parents, meanwhile, said they just want the best for their children’s education.
  • Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the ministry will stand by teachers who do the appropriate things, including maintaining discipline, and urged parents to give teachers their support.
  • “But at the same time, as a matter of policy, we must also stand by our teachers … who seek to maintain discipline, teachers who seek to do the right things for the child.”
  • He added: “When the school imposes discipline … the objective is not to punish (the child) per se – rather, it is to help the child learn from the lesson and to help other children learn from what is right and what is wrong.
  • “We are also becoming more of a consumerist society in which parents and their children see themselves are clients or customers, while teachers and schools are service providers,” said Dr Tan (sociologist Tan Ern Ser)
  • Dr Tan called on parents and schools to collaborate closer, or it may result in “demoralised, jaded teachers who may unintentionally pass their negative vibes to students”.
    He added: “This could lead to a downward spiral, in which the victim is the child.” 
  • Said Mr Heng: “You’ll find that in the best schools around the world, if you do not show respect and regard for the person who is teaching you, it will be very difficult for (the child) to learn … It is not just teachers but it is also teaching our children basic respect to other people.”
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