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The rising cases of violence against school teachers, makes this author ponder upon how we should rethink our strategies towards children’s parenting.
Do you know what is the most dangerous profession in India right now? Let me guess your answer: Policeman? Politician? Maybe, an IAS officer? No, none of those. It’s the life of a TEACHER! Yes you read it right. Every teacher’s life is at stake.
Gone are the days when a teacher was given the complete freedom to instill values in children and entrusted with the duty to discipline them. In the light of some recent unfortunate incidents that have happened in the country, one can categorically conclude that the teacher’s life is at stake!
Even a decade ago a student-teacher relationship was still more of a traditional guru-shishya status. The teacher was the true source of knowledge and wisdom, and their status was even above that of the child’s parents. Parents showed respect and the right attitude towards the teacher, being thoughtful about the significance that a teacher had in molding their child in the right way. The child too acknowledged the value of the teacher in the truest spirit. Those were the days when the teacher reprimanded the child for wrong behaviour, and their advice was taken by the parents in the right spirit.
The winds of change have transformed the formal relationship between the student and the teacher into a more friendly nature. This change is definitely for the good and has taken the learning experience to a higher level. New modes of teaching have emerged and those have contributed to effective learning and practical understanding of the concepts by the students. These positive effects are made possible by the technological interventions. Holistic growth and development of the child are the main focus areas now, rather than the mere imparting of knowledge.
BUT! If everything is going in the right direction, then what has led to the newspaper headlines of teachers being stabbed or sacked for only trying to discipline their students?
This is a point worth pondering upon.
Every parent enters the school’s portals with the great desire to equip their child with the right skills and knowledge for them to be successful in all walks of life. The parents also expect the children to be instilled with good values. But in the process, many of them don’t wish for stern actions to be taken or words to be used at their children. They will be more open to the course of action taken, perhaps, if there exists a transparent relation between them and the school. An open and honest conversation between both the parties might be the best way forward.
Most people decide to take up the teaching profession, not due to some compulsion but on grounds of love and compassion towards the journey of sharing knowledge. The thought of being with the children definitely excites them. They teach, learn, and make learning a joyous ride for the children. They treat every child like their own and instill in them values for life! If we look back, I am sure each one of us will have such great teachers who taught us some of life’s greatest lessons. Most teachers don’t derive a sadistic pleasure by hurting children.
In the course of life, the age old concepts remain the same but the strategies to fulfil or learn those concepts undergo changes. The same has happened to parenting too. The present day parents and their parenting styles have undergone a sea change. A friendlier and caring approach is the ‘in-thing’. But has there been a healthy dose of love? And not an overdose that takes a toll on our children’s well being? In the modern days, there is a great stress on allowing more freedom and space to children. It’s a good way of empowering them but in the process we have to realize that anything given in excess might not lead to good results.
For instance, if your seven year old child is rebuked by the teacher for some misbehavior, what would be your course of action? Of course you would be sad that your child is upset. And to console your child, you might set out to question the teacher the very next day. Now think if the same happened to us, how would our parents have reacted? Would they have come over to question our teachers? It’s a definite ‘NO’. Why not? Didn’t our parents love us? Yes they did, but at the same time they would have realized that the teacher would have scolded the child so that they don’t repeat their mistakes in the future.
Now on the flip side, what if your seventeen year old son or daughter goes through the same, how would you react? In most cases (from personal teaching experience) it’s seen that parents accept and approve the teacher’s actions and words. So does that mean the parents’ love for their children has reduced? No. It’s the state of mind that has changed and that seems to make the situations look different.
When children approach adolescence, they usually distance themselves from their parents and families and are more comfortable among their peers. This causes some emotional turbulence in parents. And this leads to their dependence on teachers in disciplining their children. However, since parents intervened in such matters when the children were younger, the teenagers might not accept the lack of support from their parents. This sometimes results in the children getting violent in school.
Conscious efforts from both parents and teachers will ensure the well-being of our children. Parents need to be firm from the beginning on what they believe is good for their children and also make them understand the same. Teachers are to be kept well informed about the child’s mental health at home too. Regulating the use of gadgets (studies have proved that too much use of gadgets lead to aggression and anger in children) and spending quality time (having talks or discussions) with children will solve most of the issues at the root stage.
Just like how we were brought up to be good citizens, let’s put in the same or even extra efforts to empower the future citizens of our country with the right spirits and let’s guide them on the right path.
Image Source: Public Domain Pictures