Teachers play a vital role in the development of a child’s life. Yes very true indeed, but does this give them an authority to mock children. Well no, just because they impart education and make your child a better person they can in no way mock the child.
Every morning when Latika used to go to school, the teachers at her school asked the children to participate in some activity. The main purpose of the activity was to distract the child from the parents so that he/she could proceed to the classroom without anxiety. These activities ranged from pointing out shapes to colours and recognizing numbers and alphabets. Sometimes they also had some pasting and painting tasks. Anita, her mom was particularly very impressed with this part of the school dropping procedure. Her daughter had learned it the hard way around and she did take a lot of time to settle in school. But Anita did not let this factor affect her daughter’s capabilities and the person she was.
Like every morning they finished their daily chores and got ready for school that day also. Latika was excited to go to school as they had been rehearsing for the annual function. When she stepped inside the school, the teachers who were assigned the duty of the task, called her. She greeted them good morning with an innocent smile. Soon after she headed towards the activity counter; the activity for the day was identifying fruit. Teacher pointed out the fruit on the board and Latika pinpointed out the correct one. The last fruit which was to be identified was pineapple. She knew that as well and said, “Ma’am, this is pa-na-na- apple.” By now she was feeling over the top of the world that she was able to spot the correct ones.
While Latika was enjoying her moment of happiness, there was a burst of laughter. Confused Anita and Latika looked up and saw the teacher laughing. She said, “This is not pa-na-na-apple, it is pineapple.” At this Latika said, “No ma’am this is pa-na-na-apple.” The teacher started laughing even harder and called the other teachers who were standing at a distance. She asked Latika to repeat it again and again and kept laughing. Each time the laughs just grew louder and louder and they announced to others that they have learnt a new word. By now the look on Latika’s face had turned pale and dejected. She did not want to go to her class. Anita pacified her a lot and sent her to her class.
Another incident I heard of was that a teacher telling a parent that her daughter is the tallest in the class and thus the eldest and should by now adjust in the class. The child would fuss over why her cookie was broken into two. Not only this, she went around telling the world that the little girl was stupid enough to cry over broken cookies. The teacher could not decipher her fuss and tagged her as having adjustment problems. If she is tall that does not mean she is the eldest in the class … and every child takes his/ her time to settle.
These incidents got me thinking. The teachers just landed up making fun of a three year old in front of a bunch of people. It might have been a harmless joke for them but it was enough to wound the toddler’s self esteem and confidence. Though I don’t disagree that using humor is a great way to teach students to laugh at themselves; but care should be taken that sarcasm or jokes should not be aimed at the students in a harmful manner. Rather humor should be used to lessen the child’s anxiety and create a stronger bonding in the classrooms.
Children are people who love all the attention, want all the love and hugs all for themselves. Also, they are people with tender and caring hearts along with a free spirited mind and soul. They try to make sense of their little worlds and have very little control over things in their lives. So in their world pa-na-na-apple seems to be correct and crying over broken cookies is also OK.
Teachers should not succumb to every request but try to respect their feelings and HELP them … TEACH them, instead of snickering at them while they are struggling.