When your child doesn’t fit into a mould

Just before the March school holidays, we attended the PTM to get an update of how Sophie has been doing in school. At Primary 2, she comes back with more homework now which is still manageable since she never has to spend more than half an hour completing it. Other than that, she’s been coping well in school and her daily routine of finishing her homework and smart work from mummy before TV and play time has been going well.

Her sense of responsibility and independence puts my mind at ease when I’m at work and I seldom have to worry about her. One thing that Sophie is very proud of, is the fact that she got nominated by her classmates as class monitress at the start of school term. We were naturally very proud of her since it’s a testament that she’s well liked by her peers and scores high in being a 人气王.

When your child gets misunderstood

On the day of the PTM, we met her form teacher first who also happens to be her Chinese teacher. It was heartening to hear that Sophie has been making good progress for Chinese and scored well in her recent test in Term 1. However her teacher stressed that it’s vital for Sophie to converse and read more in Chinese as there’ll be more writing in the second half of Primary 2 to prep them for composition writing in Primary 3. Those who don’t read in Chinese regularly will find it a struggle with a lot more catching up to do and I’m totally not looking forward to that.

But one thing that left me feeling rather disturbed after the whole PTM was her form teachers’ disappointment in Sophie’s conduct which failed to meet her expectations. Given that Sophie is the class monitress, her form teacher has a much higher expectation of how she should conduct herself. Her teacher even went on to say that she’s spoken to Sophie about this matter on a few occasions and expects her to pull up her socks when school reopens, otherwise Sophie may have to relinquish role as monitress if she fails to set a good example to her peers.

If you know Sophie, you’ll know that she has a spritedly personality and can get pretty loud and appear rowdy with her belly laughter. But that doesn’t mean she’s any less responsible or sensible. For a 7-year-old, I’m sure there are times she slips up and talks to her classmates even when she shouldn’t. But to her teacher, that’s unacceptable and her teacher even graded Sophie average for her conduct.

Now I get that her teacher may be a very stereotypical Chinese teacher who demands unquestionable discipline and absolute obedience in class as it can be challenging to manage to class of 30 if everyone is out of hand. But a part of me feels that she has totally misunderstood Sophie and is somewhat bias in her assessment of Sophie as other teachers gave her a much higher rating for her attitude and conduct.

As one who believes in tough love, I never give excuses for Sophie’s behaviour or sugarcoats her conduct if she behaves badly. I acknowledge that there is a place and time for everything and perhaps she just needs to be more discerning on how to conduct herself appropriately to avoid getting black marked by her teacher.

See a child differently and you’ll see a different child

Thankfully, Sophie’s co-form teacher is not too bothered by it when we sought her opinion on this matter. She added that Sophie may be just restless as she’s a pretty smart kid who tend to be more ‘jing’ or street smart and thus she’s more forgiving when Sophie has her playful moments.

In her view, schools are not factories and teachers should not assume that the vocal or playful students are naturally bad students or troublemakers. Most importantly, I really agreed with what she said that

 

We shouldn’t expect student to behave like robots in school and all fit into a mould.

 

I love this teacher already and I’m so thankful that she brings a balanced view to the whole situation. It’s no wonder Sophie adores this teacher simply because she take the effort to know her students and sees her students in a different light.

 

~Never lose your sparkle darling~

Have your kids ever been misunderstood by their teacher and how do you feel when he/ she is expects to fit into a certain mould that the teachers expect?

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Comments: 4

  1. DinoMama March 21, 2017 at 8:58 am Reply

    What is a “mould”, is there a standard mould that all teachers look for? If “Every one wants a quiet, obedient student” is a standard mould that all teachers adhere to then I think no one wants to be a teacher hahahaha!

    A child is expected to behave differently in different situation, same expectation on adults too.

    DinoBoy is loud, noisy and rowdy (I am sure 100x more than Sophie), he walks around the classroom when he’s done with his work disturbing his classmates and have to be told to go back to his seat numerous times. If there is a “mould”, I think he definitely does not fit into that “mould” LOL. However, he is the class leader/monitor in his MTL class and when teacher is not around he is supposed to keep the class quiet n in order. His MTL teacher praised him for doing his job well. No nonsense or anything mischievous from him and the class is in order.

    So, no doubt a child has its unique personality but when a role or duty is given to them, they have to live up to it, same goes for adults isn’t it.

    • Susan March 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm Reply

      The mould that her Chinese teacher expects in this case since we got the feedback from her. And from what the teacher said, she’s the kind who wants all kids to be quiet even after they finish their work and not walk around in class. I do agree that there is a time and place for everything and as a class monitress, she needs to uphold an even higher standard of conduct else her peers will not listen to her. Sophie has learnt that the teacher is serious about her warnings and she’s no longer the monitress for the new term.

  2. Alicia Tan March 21, 2017 at 10:21 am Reply

    I feel ya! Dumpling, though chatty, is usually quite reserved in class except with a few closer friends. But she has been scolded wrongly before ~ e.g. Chinese compo correction was done and marked so she did not bring back to school yesterday and apparently, the teacher told her off. (HUH???) And there was another occasion where I think CL was swopped with CCE and seeing that it was not on the timetable,we removed the CCE books from her bag but who knew? The teacher decided to do CCE. :/ Again she kena. So I now have this theory – Chinese teachers seem to be from a different zone.

    • Susan March 21, 2017 at 6:48 pm Reply

      I’ve no problem with Sophie being punished if she’s clearly in the wrong and there are times when her friends have gotten her in trouble with the teachers. But when such things happen, I told her she can explain the situation to the teacher, else suck it up and make sure she don’t get sabotaged again.

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