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.
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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