Monday, May 12, 2014

Are you expecting too much from your child's teachers?

Have you ever been in situations where your friends complained about their children's teachers?  How the teachers are "not doing their job." or "dunno how to teach.", unable to engage their child, lazy, slow in teaching etc.  I have, and many a times I wonder if the teachers are really "not doing their job" or we are expecting much more from them.

I have expectations from DinoBoy's teachers too, however I also choose to put my utmost trust on them that they will be able to impart their knowledge to him, influence him so that he yearns to learn more.  That does not mean that I am not involved with his school life, even though he attends student care after school where his will finish his homework, I take time to check his work to make sure that he is doing ok academically.

There are almost 30 students in a class and the classroom is full of activities at every minute.  Coincidentally, a friend posted a status about her kid's teacher in her facebook and got a few responses from her friends, one of her friend wrote this and I think she speaks for most, if not all teachers.
Well, being a teacher myself, I agree with you that the teacher should be mindful of what she/he say or do but I guess that's one rotten apple that shouldn't mean all are bad.

In terms of classroom management skills, kids nowadays, no doubt, are very vocal. No noise doesn't necessarily equate to good classroom management skills. There are also constructive noise in instances like group work, group writing or reading a big book where teachers will discuss the big book with pupils. Kids do get excited and when they do, they tend to speak all at the same time even though they are class rules like 'raising your hand' and 'waiting for your turn to speak' or 'be polite in your responses'. This is where the teacher will continuously remind them of the class rules and how they should respond. It is not easy to be aware of what 30 pupils (in a lower primary class and 40 for upper primary class etc.) are speaking/doing at the same time throughout every lesson.

At every lesson, you would have kids who want to use the restroom, have a sip of water and also have complains of their peers disturbing them etc. while you, the teacher are teaching or checking through their work as you walk around in class or helping those who are struggling.

Teachers do care and are mindful with the exception of a few and it would definitely help too if parents reinforce good behaviour and social skills. Sometimes, a good teacher can do so much but due to the lack of home support of some parents and their parenting skills, we too end up with kids bringing the bad language or behavior to class and influencing their friends. - A teacher who wishes to remain anonymous

It has never crossed my mind to micro manage the teachers as I find there is no need to do so.  As it stands currently, I'm already up to my neck trying to managed the boy's school schedule, family and work demands all at the same time.  If I have any hint of extra energy left I'd probably spent them sleeping, surfing the net or watching tv (yupe, I'm so tied up till I have lesser chance of watching my favourite tv series).  I do my part as a parent by ensuring that DinoBoy finishes his school work and hand them up on time, spellings are learn and tested.  I don't set a timeline for the teachers to mark them or return the work to the students because I believe the teachers have their own schedules and they have good time management skills.  A teacher only gets to spend so many hours in the school and probably busy as a bee, that's not counting the number of hours they spent at home doing research on curriculum, lesson plans etc.

I have some blogging mummy friends over at my blog to share their views on their perspective of a good teacher and their expectations from them.

*** *** ***

Actually to me, as long as teachers don't call me to complain about my children, it is good for me. But I will appreciate feedback on my children's progress in school via email every term - which actually doesn't happen. I prefer most "homework" to be done in school because the teacher will be able to guide them through it versus not being able to complete it at home because they do not understand it. It has also been a practice for spelling books to be returned for parent's signature every week. But if it doesn't, I don't think that's a big issue. - Adeline Oon

~ ~ ~

Too often we judge a teacher by what we hear or the work our kids bring back. Too little we see the actual efforts of the teachers; staying up at night preparing for lessons/marking; buying learning/decorative materials out of their own pockets; making every effort to make learning fun in the class. I don't want a teacher who is just good in PR (with the parents), knows how to please parents. I rather a teacher who makes every effort to make learning fun, sees a potential in my kid despite his weaknesses and have a never give-up attitude on my kid. Returning of spelling books/homeworks are mere superficial basis of how good a teacher is. In short, I see a good teacher base on her teaching attitude & beliefs never mind if I don't get regular updates from her. - Elin

~ ~ ~

Based on my own schooling experience, and with my husband being a teacher, a good teacher to me is one who is dedicated to teaching and motivates the children positively. more of, "Yay! you scored a B4 for your O level chinese! well done!" and none of, "you're the one person who pulled down the entire class passing percentage!" - these are actual words my teachers said to me.

You will be able to tell a good teacher from the bad cos the children will all love these teachers, no matter how fierce they are said to be. My DM was greatly feared but loved at the same time by all the naughty students. and they actually learn something from these teachers (may or may not be academic related, but definitely positive).

As for homework, to me, it's more of a revision from the day of teaching. so i don't expect a lot of homework, just a reasonable amount (e.g. 2 pages max on a topic learnt today for open-ended, 4-5 pages max if it's MCQ). - Mabel Lee

I think a good teacher is one that passes on the love of learning to children. Not the knowledge but the love of gaining knowledge which will lasts forever. I hope my boys will love going to school so much because of his teachers and friends. - Cen-Lin Ting

~ ~ ~

A good teacher is someone who is a role model, motivates and inspires children. Not returning the spelling book weekly, I don't think we need to penalize the teacher on this as they are also busy people. I am an educator myself and I know the hefty amount of admin work to do. Homework is not a compulsory thing but at the end of the day, when a child learns something about moral or a topic, a learning is achieved. - Allison Tan

~ ~ ~

Base on personal experience. A good teacher is one that is able to inspire and motives. We need to understand and learn, not understand to be tested. Doing homework and spelling is a form of testing to gauge how much a child has learn. If the teacher was an engaging teacher you do not even need to do homework. You just need to pay full attention in class. I went from normal technical stream to express stream not because my teachers gave me tons of homework and corrected my spelling in time. I was motivated because I had engaging teachers. - Irene Soh

~ ~ ~

For me, as long as the teacher is someone the child looks up to, gives me feedback when feedback is due (like when child is not meeting expectations) I'm ok. A bad teacher is one who doesn't even know the student enough to give feedback. but of course as parents, we also must manage expectations. - Jiahui Lu

~ ~ ~

I would love it when teachers give feedback on child's progress on a regular basis rather than just throw the bomb at us during PTM (Parent Teacher Meeting). Spelling book and homework to me is not exactly on the top priority cos i know and understand the heavy admin work of being an educator. Motivating and inspiring and engaging children are what I hope a teacher can have but sometimes these can be so immeasurable. - Connie Huang Low

~ ~ ~

Every teacher has her/his own teaching style just like every child has her own learning style. As much as we do not want our children to go through a one-size fits all education system, we must also try to understand the different methods teachers may use in the classroom, and not compare between teachers. As a parent, I would recommend that the parent speak to the teacher to better understand the teaching approach she adopts instead of flaring up without basis yet simply by comparing. Also, there is no basis in saying the lousy class gets lousy teachers. that is labeling not only the teacher but her child's progress in school too. - Nadia Efron

*** *** ***

So, are you asking for unrealistic performance from your child's teachers?  Do you agree with what I have shared in this post? Share your view by leaving them in the comment box below.


Post a Comment