“Since God couldn’t solely be with every child that he makes, he gifts them each a mother.” When I read this lovely quote, I wished to extend it further: “Since God and the parent wish to show the child their love, they gift him good teachers.” You would agree with me, I am certain.
It is no simple matter when it comes to the parents’ choice of school for their children. The hope and trust that they heap on the school directly or indirectly lie heavily on the academics. And the hard work of the teaching faculty takes them places – while young students see them as demi-Gods, the school toppers are often heard in the media, thanking their teachers, ‘who made their thumping success a reality’.
However, there are exceptions, of course. If a person took to teaching as a passion – hail him! – he assures of a healthy group of scholars, happy families, responsible citizens for tomorrow.
This doesn’t always happen, we know. Some individuals end up as teachers and they see teaching itself as a means to make their living. Such teachers may not believe in ‘bonding’ with the young minds and in guiding them beyond the limits of the prescribed syllabi, unfortunately.
That exactly happened with my friend’s daughter, Shriya. One of her teachers was too strict and unfriendly. Though Shriya was a good student, she started to do poorly in this teacher’s subject. Every morning was an ordeal for Shriya’s mother as the little girl aged six refused to go to school, fearing her teacher.
Shriya’s worried and angry parents had made up their mind to talk to the management when they met me at a wedding ceremony. I tried to make them understand that it would only make matters worse for Shriya. We discussed in detail and came up with some strategies:
It is wiser to make a psychological approach in such cases. Instead of showing their concern and anger, I suggested that they do just the opposite : They may take a couple of appointments with the teacher (one very shortly and two more, each in the following months), tell her that they had come “just to thank her” for all that Shriya has been learning excitedly every day. Is the teacher bewildered? confused? victorious? I told them to go ahead. ‘We thought we should let you know that we appreciate all your sincere efforts to help the children learn well in class.’
I suggested that they stop talking ill about the teacher in Shriya’s presence. They passed on the resentment to her unwittingly. Negativity begets negativity.
If Shriya learns to see that ‘no body is totally bad’, she could be helped to see light at the end of the tunnel. With practice, she will only be seeing the light at the end and the tunnel itself would be out of focus. She will find acceptance and friendship easily, everywhere.
If things don’t still work out, the school management could be approached in a polite way.
In all probabilities, the problem gets solved within the first few weeks. Teachers too are made up of flesh and blood and they deserve some time to participate in a healthy triangle of child-parent-teacher. Given that the mother is the child’s first teacher, teachers of the schools are certainly aware that they play the dual role as ‘parent-teacher’.
Blending emotional growth with scholastic advancement is no mean task. Salute to the yeoman service of the Teachers!