[This is part of a series of emails about how the Pandemic has impacted and influenced K12 education]
The Parents and The Grandparents
“The whole reason school was invented was to send kids away for half the day” – every parent ever.
Well, I am a parent and it’s possible you are too. You surely have a nephew or a niece and you’ve been hearing about the plight of parents, even if you may not have personal experience. The Pandemic has truly tested parenting like nothing else ever. Balancing professional work, household chores, mental health and physical well-being while stuck at home is no mean task. Add to that online classes, and you have a true test of prioritisation skills.
Referring back to my previous email, once again, as a parent you have to be most concerned if your kid is in the Early Stage or the At Stake Stage. Managing Early Stage children with an extremely distracted mind, a serious deficit of attention and far too much pent-up energy can test the most patient parent. It is but natural to be stressed out.
The Education System, like everything else is doing the best it can with what they have. No one has any correct answers and no has any experience. The only two things you can do is to –
1. Be supportive of what the system.
2. Offer suggestions on improvement in a constructive manner.
I offer many Don’t’s though:
- Do NOT be unreasonable. Remember many teachers are parents too. So, they are facing all the problems that you face, while also holding yet another fort. They are having all the bad days you and I are having, but they can’t hide off-screen and pass comment about others.
- Do NOT be judgmental about the teacher. Period. They have suddenly been thrust completely out of their comfort zone. A strict teacher in classroom can create great wonders for a child’s life ahead, but comes across as rood from across the screen. A friendly teacher can be extremely endearing and memorable for children in a classroom, but can come across as aloof in the classroom.
- Do NOT crave attention for your child. Whether a teacher focuses on helping weaker children or encouraging smarter children, it is impossible to focus on every child every day. Expectations of personal attention to your child every single day is not only unrealistic, it is actively harmful for the child’s independent growth. Let the teachers do their job.
- Do NOT talk about the teachers or the school negatively in front of your child. This seems obvious, but is happening everywhere I see. It is beyond sad that the parents are creating an environment where children are losing respect and confidence about the education system. No matter how well-meaning your comments are, keep it out of earshot of your children. Don’t like something about the teacher or the method? Call up the school and communicate.
- Do NOT make fun of the “COVID batch”. Social media is full of this crap. You don’t have to add to this irresponsible narrative. The At Stake children are already stressed about their future. You don’t have to make it worse.
Each one teach one,