The CEO of the company I work for had linked to this post on our internal blog and he hopes that these kids don’t end up in our company!
How much of this attitude is to do with the indulgence at home and what percentage of it does the school’s heeding to such indulgence contribute to? This article got me thinking about one or two instances of the student-teacher-ayah-ma relationship my kids had and continue to have.
Varun was so attached to ‘Rajamma Patti’ in is playschool that everyday he had more stories to share about her and the lovely Tamizh songs she sang to the kids occasionally! The founder/teacher had this ‘inclusive’ philosophy and would not make statements or signs of them being lesser human beings. She does her bit in making the children see people for what they are. At the same time, I recall her telling me once how some parents specifically request her to not let the ‘ayah’ touch, handle or cuddle the little children! Rajamma patti is an adorable old lady who loves kids and the kids reciprocate if they are NOT fed on a diet of prejudices.
In his pre-school now, he looks at Fathima-amma as a person who will not take too kindly to unfinished snack-box or playing with the school ID card, but not as a ‘lesser’ person. The grand-parents get most of the news of what the fellow did in the class from the ayah-ma. All the kids say ‘bye’ to the teachers and the ayah-ma in the class. It was the same with Vyas too.
After reading this article, I felt compelled to know what is going on in my 10yr old’s mind. I had to be careful with my questions lest I end up getting the sonny to ‘judge’ his teachers. What if my son harbored similar prejudices and haughty attitude?
Post dinner, the fellow was arranging books in his school bag according to the time-table and I thought it was the best time to get him talking.
Me: Finished your homework?
Vyas: No homework. But had to redo a map.
Me: Oh, ok. Btw, am planning to take up part-time teaching da. What qualities do you think I must have to make a good teacher? I mean, what do you like about your teachers?
Vyas: Ummm… They must not load us kids with homework.
Me: But what you are given is so less. Are you complaining?
Vyas: Well… (he really says ‘well..’!), not exactly. But asking us to redo maps and things like that is boring..
Me: ummm.. ok.. And then..?
Vyas: They must be forgiving.
Vyas: Suppose I default once, they must not mind. If I continue to default, I can be called a defaulter.
Me: I see.. And?
Vyas: I like their being regular to school.
Vyas: And, I don’t like teachers comparing us with other sections (there are about 10 sections in class 5).
Me: They do?
Vyas: Some do. For example, G Ma’am who teaches us English, is the class teacher for another section. She says her class is better than ours.
Me: Why does she say that?
Vyas: God knows why. And she knows. How will we know?
Me: You didn’t ask her? May be she has a reason?
Vyas: No. I think she might be biased because it is her class.
Me: oh… I still think you must ask.. anyway.. so how about other qualities… like.. how they dress, how they talk, what they wear, etc?
Vyas: Maaa! You are asking me as if school is some party or wedding!
Phew! Not bad.. Hope things stay that way!
And then he shows me a map work, something on a world outline map, and asks,
Vyas: Ma, how is this?
Me: It looks awesome da.
Vyas: Hmmm… You think its awesome. The teacher thinks its gruesome. (Rolls eyes and all that)
Pssssst….. The teacher is right btw;)