I have on more than one occasion defended our teachers, but today it is with a heavy heart that I write about our teachers and, sad to say, it is not in their defence. It is what I consider to be unacceptable behaviour for some of those who are given the responsibility of educating our children.
So often I hear teachers say that parents act as though they are to do all the work and they act as if the school is a nursery which they are paying for so they can drop off and pick up their children as they please. While that may be true to some extent, I believe that it is the teacher that the child spends most of its waking hours with and so the onus is also on the teacher to make sure that the children are developing into the young adults that we would want them to become.
Where am I going with this, you may ask? Well, recently, while visiting a school, I walked in on a teacher asking a child whether he possessed any common sense or furthermore, knew what common sense was. When she saw me, she stopped in mid sentence and waited until I was out of sight to continue to quarrel. To say the least I was livid, and it took every fibre in my being not to approach that teacher and give her a few words of advice.
Now what made me more upset was after some investigation, I came to understand that the woman was not just any teacher, but in fact the principal. Now if that is how she leads, I can just imagine how her flock follows. I am quite aware that teachers are only human, but they need to separate their personal lives from their professional ones and treat the children with the respect with which they would like to be treated.
I thought about how much that incident probably upset that child, because while he is young, that it not to say that he will not remember that scolding as he gets older. The children of today are indeed not like the children of yesteryear and retain so much more than I did at their age, and that is not that long ago.
I remember quite well, being scolded by a teacher while at secondary school for not knowing the answer to a question. I was in my 8th grade, I believe, and the teacher asked me how I managed to get to that school if I could not answer such a question. It is a memory that will last with me for the rest of my life. Back then I was certainly not as outspoken as I am now, and having great admiration and respect for that teacher I bit my tongue and took the insults.
I say that to point out that often teachers are oblivious to the fact that what they might consider simple comments, can have seriously negative impacts on the children to whom the comments have been directed. Granted that teacher’s comments made me a lot tougher, but made to someone else, it might have had a totally opposite reaction. Frankly I am of the belief that teachers need to do a refresher’s course in how to relate to children, that I think could help a lot of our children to relate to them better and put an end to a lot of the tension exhibited in the school between these two groupings.