Friday, November 18, 2011

In those days...

I had a teacher who yelled at me ‘you numbskull’ because I misplaced her worksheets. Another teacher, with peculiar imagination, made us ‘hold our tongues’, literally, whenever we got too noisy. It was a slippery and wet experience. And we are none the worse for all such punishments, no lasting trauma left its mark upon me.

Now I am not condoning the behavior of the teachers mentioned in the newspapers lately. Parents complained that some teachers shouted ‘shut up’ or called students names, and wanted these teachers to maintain discipline in the classroom in more polite ways. I suppose, we can agree that a teacher should never resort to abusive ways to control the class.

What I want to caution against though, is an over-protective culture in which our children are sheltered from every knock and shock in life. A parent was upset that her child burst into tears after being yelled at. What if I suggest that after this experience, she might develop more resilience to unpleasantness in life? 

At any rate, I’m sure that people don’t grow up stronger being swaddled in cotton wool, hand-held and spoon-fed in their developmental years. 

Incidentally, I thought there is an obvious way to keep the children from being scolded in class. If respect for the teacher is ingrained in them, and there is little defiance in the classroom, I don't see why they should be in trouble for anything. Is it really so hard to get there? 

No comments: