Of School Discipline and the Parents of Today. Tsk.

Spoilt. Thin-skinned. Pampered. No, I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about the children of the present. I grew increasingly disturbed over the past one year when I read in the papers of increasing cases and complaints against teachers. Today in The New Paper, a parent complained against a teacher for using the words, ‘stupid’, ‘suay’ and ‘numbskull’. The teacher has been sent for counselling.


 I mean seriously. What is wrong with people??? After a six-month teaching stint (after which I have decided that this system is not my cup of tea), I realise that the attitude towards education is very different from the one my friends and I grew up with. In Primary School, I used to get pieces of chalk thrown onto my face and even the black board duster would find itself on the cheeks of a sleeping boy once in a while, leaving a coloured chalk mark on his face or hair, wherever it landed. Incomplete and slip shod work in lined exercise books were tossed out of the classrooms, and we had to crawl out and take it. Yes. It may all seem so barbaric. But I look back fondly. Not at the stinging chalk pieces, but at the fact that my teachers ingrained the idea that education was a privilege. We were all lucky to be there. Schools were for aquiring knowledge, and since we spent half our lives there (or more), they knew the responsibility of imparting ethics and morals to their charges. These times, it seems as though students feel that access to education is a right. While that is true, the other positive moulding attitudes do not seem to come along with that thought. It’s fine to be rude to teachers since it’s their right. It’s fine not to care, since it’s their right. It’s fine to be sloppy and push the boundaries since teachers nowadays can’t do much and their Papa and Mama will run to their rescue and ensure the teacher who used the word ‘stupid’ in class be sent for counselling, nevermind the daily stresses that a teacher goes through anyway.

 Parents play a very, very important role in the upbringing of children. It’s your children after all. But they must realise that the attitudes that they impart to their children through their  own behaviour is more crucial than it seems. By storming into the school every little time, the students fail to see their own responsibilty and role in daily life. Their actions are defended and even justified. It is an alarming trend, really.

 I think it is time that classroom discipline makes a comeback. It is under-rated and it’s importance is overlooked. I’m afraid we are breeding a hoard of nambypambies and God forbid, maybe even National Service might be of no help to them!  

P.S: I am also quite aware of the other side of the coin- teachers who abuse their authority and children/students/parents aware of the mechanism of efficient education. So, thoughts above, are a broad generalisation. 




7 Responses to “Of School Discipline and the Parents of Today. Tsk.”

  1. you should teach in schs where the parents of the children aren’t very educated. they are the parents who’ll tell you it’s ok to whack their kids :Þ it’s these lot of parents (if they do care) who want their kids to do better than they did and so are willing to let the teacher have a free hand in improving their child.

    it is hard to make a difference and can be VERY demoralising when you feel like your arms are tied, and you can’t instate a reward-punishment system to motivate the children.

    i remember the 1st day i went for relief teaching and was given a sheet saying what were and weren’t acceptable forms of punishment. i think we got MOST of the unacceptable forms of punsihment used on us :Þ

  2. well write to the papers.. although hittin a kid is not what sumone should do .. I am sure there are other things tt are effective ..

  3. there should be some kinda criteria b4 people are allowed to be parents. i do agree with u have encountered some mind numbingly rude kids while their parents just look on.man if i ever did half those stuff when i was a kid my parents would beat the shit outta me.

    i remember reading this line about how instructions are basically for stupid ppl u know things like “only for external use” see if we took away simple instructions like that (only the simple ones mind u), we’d get rid of all the idiots in the universe. den we can slowly move on to the morons of the universe.

    ok finnnneee its kinda like the holocaust. ;)

    so alternatively we can send all potential parents to “how to not be a completely moronic parent”.

    all in favour say ayyyyye…haha!

  4. tell me about it…now is the time for teachers who are more money minded and not for teachers who really took teaching seriously like in my pri and jc…

  5. vish: tell me about it. although it’s hard really to make a distinction on parents. i think the problem with having a free hand is that some teachers faced with today’s stress may abuse the system. but then again, i wonder where this stress is coming from.. hmm.

    d: hitting the kids.. perhaps. i dont know, really. my thoughts are quite mixed on this. i think a slap on the hand is alright.

    mel: hahaha, as usual, your comment always makes me crack up. criteria!!! hehehe you know, I know that if i even attempted to pull any of the stunts kids pull nowadays, i would have been thrown out of my house. no, killed, chopped into pieces and then fed to the pet dog. and hmm, perhaps a holocaust is in order.

    mahes: i think that’s a little problem too. a few teachers i talk to seem to think it’s an iron rice bowl. but i’m not sure if teachers thought this way seme time eternity. ;)

  6. I couldn’t agree more with you, this phenomenon is wide-spread and may be caused by many factors. The basis is a value-oriented education and this can only only be given by parents. Teachers have their share of responsibilities but it is hard to harvest a tree whose roots are rotten to begin with…

  7. François Cordeau: I completely understand what you are saying. I thought it was a Singaporean thing, but it looks like it is more widespread than I thought. Oh dear. This is truly frightening. Imagine a whole world of spoilt kids who think that the whole world owes them a living! :|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: