There is a rather funny photo that I saw on Facebook a couple of weeks back. I immediately saved it to my computer because away from the jokes it hides a message that I think I should share with my readers today.
In the picture that is split into two, the first part shows a student on one side while the teacher and the parents are on the other side and asking him (student) to explain why his grades have gone down. The second part of the photo has the same student this time standing together with the parents and the teacher is on the other side being tasked to explain why the student’s grades have gone down.
In other words the photo is highlighting the dilemma of teachers today. In the past the teacher was respected, while today it is the student who is respected. The tables were changed at some point for us to arrive at this state. However, the student remains the loser in this new setting.
If I am to recall the days when I went to primary and secondary school parents formed a partnership with teachers. It was common for a parent to identify a particular teacher and ask that teacher to always keep an eye on their child.
This teacher served as a guardian to the child while at school and many times when the student fell out of line the teacher was quick not only to punish the student but to remind the student that the new development would be communicated to the parent as well.
Each time the parent came to school, he/she would seek audience with this teacher and ask the teacher how his/her boy or girl is performing at school. The teacher would be quick to point out issues the student’s declining performance or improvement. More importantly during this encounter, the student was tasked to explain why things were not going well.
It was a chance for the student to be heard as far as his/her performance was concerned. I remember a cousin of mine who was brave enough to argue that because he was sitting near the window he was compelled to look at everything outside the classroom. He was consequently moved to another position.
These teachers would also use such meetings to discuss with parents several issues aimed at improving the student’s performance and general behaviour. Parents would also get to know from these teachers what scholastic materials their child needed in order to perform to their best abilities.
Fast forward to the current situation as depicted in the photo described above, teachers have become useless with their role confined to the classroom. Students are quick to blame everything on the teachers.
I used to wonder how a student who never bothers to come to class with an exercise book would be among those claiming ‘that teacher does not teach’ without seeing that they have never been ready to learn anyway.
When it comes to discipline things get even worse since many students easily convince their parents that their teacher’s ‘hate’ them as if that can in anyway lead to an increase in the teacher’s wages. Often times a student is sent home and asked to return with a parent based after a case of indiscipline.
However you will be shocked by how many parents turn up as pseudo lawyers very ready to defend their students as innocent and even threaten to take their child to another school. Others remind teachers of how their child did not join the school to do punishments and that he/she should be in class.
At the end of the day, the spoilt brat whose parents would rather be lawyers than parents is the eventual loser. An opportunity to correct the child is missed and buried under senseless pride. Such parents are the real enemies of their children’s progress.