Friday, 25 May 2012

Dear Teacher


Picture of a woman writing a letter to her child's teacher
My little boy is transitioning into the stage where every word you say matters because he just repeats it. I didn’t realize how crucial this stage was until he started attempting to say words that didn’t quite go down well with me. I was upset because I figured since these words were not spoken at home he had to have picked it up from school.

“What are these Teachers saying to these kids?” I wondered out loud. “What kind of learning environment do they foster these days?” I questioned no one in particular. I decided this wasn’t just a conversation to have in the hallway as I dropped off my son the next day, this had to be documented even escalated so the Principal was aware in order to correct it.

I decided to write a letter to the Teacher to express my disapproval.

Dear Teacher,

Thank you for taking out the time to teach my son how to identify shapes and point them out in his everyday life. Last night he pointed to the hazard blinker on the dashboard of the car and said, “tra-angle”. I was pleased to see my little boy attempt to incorporate his learning into our everyday life.

I paused for a minute and smiled at what the Teacher had done right for starters.

In spite of your hard work in impacting knowledge I have to bring to your attention the new words my boy is trying to sound. While I appreciate you have a number of kids to attend to it’s important to remember you have a duty to bring up these kids in a honest, decent and respectful manner.

Duty! The word stroke a cord it my heart. If it was the Teacher’s duty to bring up my son in an honest, decent and respectful manner what was mine? I pushed away the thought and continued with my demands.

You are obligated to ensure that while they acquire their educational basics they also have the sense of responsibility that would help them develop into true citizens.

Really? Was the Teacher obligated to impact that kind of knowledge? Isn’t it too much to ask? Wouldn’t my son be more inclined to listen to the voice he has trusted from birth? Even better, learn about honor, decency and respect by example from me? I paused and thought about what I was writing, what I was demanding of this poor Teacher. I was asking someone paid to impact educational knowledge to take up my role as my son’s life coach and that wasn’t fair. 

It’s so easy to point an accusing finger to someone else when things go wrong that you forget to assess what you may have contributed to it or not. It is certain that I can not be there at all times to ensure my little boy is doing the right thing; but I can teach him to discern what is right or wrong and to make the right decisions when I’m not with him.

I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this: Who has more influence on the character of a child: the Family or the Education system?

7 comments :

Myne Whitman said...

The home in my opinion is the primary educator. I wouldn't also jump to conclusions on where children learn new words, it doesn't necessarily have to be the teacher. There may be other adults in the home other than the parents or children at home or at school. But maybe a chat with the teacher will help make you more comfortable?

Ola said...

You are absolutely right Seye. It is the parents’ duty to train up a child. The teacher is only paid to impact academic knowledge. Period!

Segun Olalandu said...

My humble summation takes into cognizance that it takes more than just parents to raise a child and build a society. You are the primary beneficiary of your child's good upbringing but society through teachers, authority figures MUST do their part too. Some families in the day's of old sort such influential social institutions to correct anomalies in their child s upbringing. Not to make light of things the teacher and society ultimately benefit as well. If lesser animals hold others in their group to such tasks how much more humans. What we are witnessing is slow and shameful degradation of society. While you do your part for your family on behalf of society (and God) too, if society is in a downward spiral you may get hit first as in this case but society will get its share also for its failings.

Redine said...

The home front is the first point of call in any child's life. As the child grows through being a baby to an adult, other influences comes in. I remember one of my 1st cousins. After her 1st week in nursery class, I saw her. Too bad her brother decided to do something that annoyed her. Her instant response was, "a baye e ni?" I looked at her, at 3, 1st week in school? My mum questioned her parents about the school, and of course, nothing positive came out of it. What am I trying to point out here, as the child grows and start stepping outside the home, it is left for the parents to instill discipline. Even if the parents will not be there physically, adequate provision has to be made on the child's well being, which includes good manners (a child cannot teach him/her self that)

Anonymous said...

I will go with the "family" over the "teacher"...Very important food for thought..Thanks Seye. I noticed you used "pulsed" twice...did you mean "paused"?

Seye Oke said...

Hey thanks for pointing out the errors, I meant paused.

Seye Oke said...

If the home front is the first line of preparing a child for the future and most modern women including me are hardly at home. How do we manage this task?