Saturday, May 30, 2009


Picked my son home on Thursday afternoon and he was grumbling in the car. He said that he was seated right in front of the teacher and not making any noise in class, and the teacher, being in a bad mood shouted at some of the noisier ones at the back telling them to quieten down. But they just ignored her. Feeling frustrated, she told them all to write a reflection on their bad behavoir and to have it on her table 1st thing the next morning or they would all be given pink slips.

In their school, 3 pink slips = 1 detention class, or 1 pink slip would wipe out 3 blue slips. Blue slips are slips given for good behavoir or good deeds done by the child. My son being a generally good boy has been amassing his blue slips and is waiting to redeem his reward. (10 blue slips = an extra hour at the computer lab, or 3 blue slips = a toy) To him, these rewards mean a great big deal.

He was a bit upset with the teacher coz apparently she threatened that if they did not write that reflection to her satisfaction, a pink slip would be given.

I then told him that if he did not do anything wrong, he should write that in his reflection and say that he still did not understand why he was being threatened and punished for others' misbehavoir.

But he told me that he did not want to risk getting a pink slip at all !! He also refused to let me see what he had written. After he went to bed that night, I took out his reflection sheet and read it. In it he apologised for mis-behaving and being noisy in class. I think he really wrote what the teacher wanted to see.

I have met two of his teachers recently, and they both had commented that my son was a very well-behaved child in school, participates actively and is generally very helpful, and that was also written in his report book. In addition, he has been selected to be a discipline monitor next term! What more, his blue slips collected is testament to it!

On friday night, the teacher sent out an email to all parents saying that we must have heard about the reflection she wanted the children to write. She said that she was shocked that the children admitted to playing in class, day-dreaming and talking to their peers when she was teaching! She also complained about the drop in discipline in general. I believe the children wrote what they thought she wanted to see!!

I really dont understand this teacher. According to my child, there are basically two or three really naughty boys in the class (which is to be expected). Her inability to control them has resulted in the whole class being punished. He had complained previously that she doesnt do much teaching in class, prefering to spend the time shouting at the naughtier boys, and punishing the whole class as a result. (If you dont keep quiet, I will not teach. And some of the naughtier ones think: Hey! that's great, no lessons, and so they continue to make more noise, and she doesnt teach!) She is always sending notes home (via email) for the parents to teach their children, coz all the time in class is lost with her inability to control a few boys!

I dont mean to criticise her, but I think she has to learn some management skills. Just punish those naughty ones, and carry on teaching the rest!! But I have a feeling that she is one of those "All talk and no action" sort. She has big plans for what she wants to do, but doesnt know how. So she delegates the teaching to the parents, covering her own (pardon my use of the word) ass, by telling the parent to go thru the work with their children! She was also conveniently not present at the parent-teachers meeting!!

My son has to learn to stand up to his teachers, especially this one!

Sorry for the rant - but I had to get that out of my system!!


TripleJin said...

Hmm..they do really write what the teacher wants to see, huh? Very high EQ.

But, I doubt those 'naughty' boys are really naughty. I think they find the class too boring. I have found that these boys behave better when they are given challenging tasks.

The teacher should have the wisdom to realise that, instead of shouting at them, and wasting everyone's time.

just me said...

If what you said about the teacher is true, could you rally a few parents to go talk it out with her, failing which , to have a chat with the principal?

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi Mott
Yes,I agree. I think boys will be boys, and those few are the "really cant sit still ones".

Hi Just me
We told the teacher that we think that he wrote what she wanted to see. We also told her to clarify the situation coz our feedbacck from other teachers on our son is good. To see the principal would be our next step if we dont get a satisfactory resolution of the situation.

bp said...

Sounds like the teacher is really stressed. I like that you did not just leave the situation the way she wants to see it, but taking the extra effort to speak up and point out to her what's wrong, hope she can see that. I know sometimes teachers make it a "class effort" when it comes to the punishment -- a few kids misbehave, and the whole class is punished, but in this case for her to expect all the rest of the class to "own up" to what they did not do and them willingly "admitting" to doing what they didn't do just to please her, it should not be the case, should not be encouraged. This brings to mind when Jon had to return a similar slip to his teacher when the whole class was punished, but he simply wrote down what he was doing in class (and he could not think of what he had done that might have been out of line then), and I think the teacher accepted it. That seems more fair, yah?