Saturday, February 5, 2011

Coaching classes in primary school?

"Don't worry about your kid. Allow him to have a happy childhood. We'll take care of his studies", my second grader's teacher told me. I was more than happy to take her advice.

Till I found his grades slipping. Till I found him struggling with basic concepts. Till I came to know that other kids have tutors giving them extra coaching at home.

The story is no different in government-run schools. Teaching is so bad, even people who can't afford it need to send their kids to coaching classes to get educated. Is that how education is supposed to be?

drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Anonymous said...

No... Is this because teachers haven't been given the skills they themselves need to actually teach?

Dorte H said...

How discouraging.

Sadly it has also been much like this in Denmark during the 70s and 80s. Not because the teachers were uneducated or anything, but they believed children should also have fun in school - and before or later they will grow interested in reading. Some did, but of course the weak readers didn´t.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's sad! A teacher can't do everything but he should at least be able to teach the basics.

Mary Vaughn said...

Sounds like your teachers were educated over here. Same thing is going on with my younger grand children. If everyone needs coaching, why aren't we looking into poor teaching skills?

Jemi Fraser said...

That's appalling! As a teacher I'd be horrified if all of my students needed to go to tutors on the side!

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - NO! Trust me - that is not how education is supposed to be. At least, that's not what I teach my students to do when they get their own classrooms. There are any number of reasons for which teachers do not accomplish what we hope they will do. I don't want to monopolise your comment space, so I won't go on and on. But it takes teacher passion and preparation, parent involvement, community and government support and the child's own creativity, knowledge, motivation and will to succeed. If any of these isn't there (or more than one), schools fail. There's a lot more to it than that, of course; I've oversimplified in order not to take up too much space. But that, to me, is the "nuts and bolts."

Al said...

Like Margot, I'll try not to dominate. It is always a fearful experience when your child struggles.
It is worth checking to see if there is some other issue contributing to your son's struggles. For example an undiagnosed vision problem can often lead to real problems at school.

kmckendry said...

We have the same problem here. My daughter's 6th grade geography teacher couldn't pronounce some countries in Africa. I became so frustrated with the lack of quality education that now my husband and I work with our kids and we do lots of supplemental lessons on our own. I think parents must take on greater responsibility for what their kids learn.

Jen Chandler said...

This is NOT how education should be. Ugh. Too many times, people go into teaching because it's considered an "easy" degree. We need more teachers who are passionate about KIDS and NOT about having long holidays in the summer.

I'm so sorry your little one is struggling.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Fiona- or it is that schools insist on new teaching methods even they do not understand fully.

@ Dorte - it is so sad, isn't it? Fun is great, but kids do need to be taught the basics. And there is no substitute for that.

@ Alex - precisely. If you can't even teach the basics, you perhaps should be in a different profession.

@ Mary - precisely. 100% of the kids doing well in school go to coaching classes. How sad is that?

@ Jemi - I am not a teacher, but if I were, I would do my best to ensure none of them need extra coaching ourside school.

@ Margot - I do get the gist of what you are trying to say, and I quite agree with you. In this case, the teacher had it relatively easy- she had a parent willing and able to do anything she was required to do. And yet, things got to this stage. Which is such a pity.
Coaching classes for seven year olds- what next?

@ Al - I never thought of it. Yes, will get his eyes tested this weekend.

@ kmckendry - that's so sad. But then it comes down to the question of why schools, if kids need so much supplementary effort. Not that I grudge it (far from it), but in that case, what is the school doing?

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jen - I totally agree. I would never become a teacher because I do not have enough patience to be one. I wish others too only got into it if they had the skills and the inclination for it.


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