A student of mine told her friend, " I will not bring my composition book nor will I do Miss Larissa's homework."
I was a bit shocked to hear what my student had to say about me. How did I find out? Well, let's say I have my own ways in finding out stuff from kids. Children would actually tell us a lot of things if you were to spend some time with them.
Anyway, as a teacher, I find it pretty difficult to teach students who frequently refused to complete their homework or do their revision at home. How am I supposed to tell them about the importance of education? Was I too hard on them by giving them homework? Seriously, one particular student of mine refused to do her homework and bring any of her books. She would not even pay her tuition fees. Note that she does not come from a poor family as both her parents own a restaurant. It is pretty weird to me though as they refused to pay their fees and books which cost only RM5.10. I used to complain that surely her parents will not allow people to owe them after having their meals at their restaurant? As a teacher, I did inform her parents about this but well as you can see, they would throw me a smile and promised to pay the next time their children attend my class. They never pay and when I tried asking my student about it, she would laugh at my face as if I was joking. Did I also mention that her parents paid their daughter's tuition fees for other subjects except English Language? It is very unfair indeed! I am not sure why on earth they're doing this but all I can say is that some people can be very ignorant and selfish.
Throughout my experiences as a teacher, I noticed that most parents usually expect us teachers to educate their children and to help their children to score As in their subjects. Did they realize that as parents, they play an important role in their children's academic performances too? Often, when students fail to achieve good marks in their examinations, parents tend to put the blame on the teachers. They would complain that the teachers did not know how to teach or they're not fit to be teachers. Were they aware of their children being lazy at home or at school or did they ever try to talk to their children about their studies? Nope...most parents were too busy working and all tuition centres and music centres will eventually turn into daycare centres. Parents expect teachers to do all the jobs in assisting their children's studies. Sometimes, like in my case, besides teaching, I get to babysit children as their parents had to attend important meetings or work overtime. Parents would only fetch their children late in the evening after work. I once asked a particular student of mine about how she usually spends her weekends at home. She told me that, "Mummy will send my brother and I for music classes every weekend." I asked her whether she gets to spend time with her parents and she replied me, "Mummy and daddy work every Saturday. Aunty took care of us. She made us sandwiches." I asked her again whether her parents ever took her out on Sundays and she said, " No...mummy and daddy got tired. Daddy would prefer reading news and watching TV at home and mummy would sometimes bring me to the market but I never like going to the market...It's dirty and smelly." I was shocked to hear what my student had to say. I am glad that when I was a child, my parents used to spend their time with me by bringing me out for lunch or dinner and they would also bring me to the museum, beaches and shopping malls. Often, we would just sit together at the table and just talked about our day drinking hot drinks and eating biscuits. Indeed, I had wonderful time with my parents throughout my childhood days and I felt pity for my student that her parents never took the chance to spend time with her and her brother instead they send them to music classes and occupy their time with other activities as they work throughout the weekends.
Sadly, this is how it works nowadays...We tend to neglect our responsibilities as adults in educating our younger generation. It is no surprise that these children, as they grow up, would in turn neglect their responsibilities in taking care of their parents and instead sending their parents to old folks home. Their excuse? No time of course...
So a little advice for parents:
Teach, guide, care and love your children as much as you can.
Try spending some quality time with your children as they learnt the meaning of life. Listen to what they had to say about themselves. It might be about their day at school or the new friends they just met. Parents can also take the opportunity to learn about their children's performances at school, relationships with friends and teachers' comments. Also, try to understand them. As parents, you might be surprised to find out that you can actually learn a lot of things from your children...
"Kids spell love T-I-M-E."
- John Crudele -