Mar 28, 2011

What Parents want Teachers to Know: 3. Destruction

Destruction: Teachers seem to have a slender grasp of the law on criminal damage. An educational technique used by some involves noticing that a child has erroneously used (a) the wrong writing medium or (b) the wrong piece of paper, or (c) the wrong exercise book, or (d) didn’t properly comprehend an instruction delivered too quickly, out of context or unclearly.

This technique, which must take lots of instruction, thought and practice on the teacher’s part, then involves sneaking up on the child, ripping the improperly used paper from the book and destroying it; wrecking the child’s day, publicly humiliating them, distressing other children and modelling rage as an approach to social intercourse!

Criminal damage to my child’s work is unacceptable (particularly if I’ve purchased the book), as is the modelling of destruction as a means of exercising power or of communicating to correct a misunderstanding! Or if the teacher is wanting this type of interaction; should parents then rip up the teachers’ report at the parent-teacher meetings?

Mar 25, 2011

Earth Hour

The farcical 'earth hour' is coming up.

I for one am going to turn on as many lights as I can!

Mar 10, 2011

What Parents want Teachers to Know: 2. Homework

Homework: Oh joy! Parents look forward to their child’s returning home from school so they can share the delights of homework. And little children, after their six hours of effort, naturally come home full of enthusiasm for more of the same. Not!

And it appears to be universal: the disruption of helping a young child with homework, when they are tired and distracted; while attempting to prepare the evening meal, provide snacks, help unpack the school bag, check on lunch consumed (or not…thanks school for your diligent supervision), have light conversations with them, settle sibling disputes, perhaps arrange for a play with friends, or even to do some little chores around the house makes a fair crack at homework complete family drudgery.

Given that the research base on homework shows no discernable beneficial effect and plenty of detrimental results, please, just don’t bother with it. If you can’t teach effectively in 6 hours, change jobs. If you want me to help you do your job, then pay me.

On the other hand, given that research can’t identify any benefit, I’ll do it in a few minutes. Then our family will have a reliably pleasant evening instead of one fraught with tension. The calm evening will help prepare for the next day of school, and the teacher can mark work done by someone with more degrees than they have.