Being the Teacher Almighty for long enough gives you ideas. And airs. You begin to believe you’re invincible. You believe that you can change the world – at least for the 200 odd students under your care. You believe you can mould them from just any other twelve/thirteen year old to The twelve or thirteen year old who is a little above the rest of the world. Maybe it’s this belief that makes you give everything you’ve got to do, undo, redo, until they pass from your hands on to somebody else’s. At times, when you see the results, you pat yourself on the back and smile a self-satisfied smile at the mirror.
Then you come home – and it’s reality check time.
My ten-year-old has been having teacher troubles for the past couple of years. His woes are endless. His teachers target him all the time. They scold him, pick on him, pinch his ears, not give him chances or responsibilities… the list goes on. On a good day, they just ignore him. On a bad, he comes home with tears in his eyes.
I was at my wits’ end. I had tried talking to him, talking to the teachers, complaining… anything and everything that a self-respecting mother could do, at times even forgetting that I am myself a teacher. And it only gave him more troubles – the under-paid, over-worked teacher, often somebody who considers it beneath her to be teaching an uncontrollable bunch of primary children when she is qualified to do a lot more, naturally considered it a transgression that a parent, that too a parent who is a teacher herself, would complain about her. The news spread, and things became worse for my son.
In an attempt to start all over, I am now trying to leave the school part of the deal aside and work things out bottoms up. I have tried stuff on my students, and they have worked – why can’t it work on my boy? I’ve had more-than-marginal success at inducing Positive Thinking into my students through admittedly unconventional methods, and all I have to do is to use the same on him! I cursed myself at not having thought about this simple solution prior to this.
Day 1 went like this:
My son has just come back from school. He comes smiling – big relief.
“So, how was your day?”
“Good.” Pause. “And bad.”
I sigh. Why do I get a sudden sense of déjà vu? But nope. I’m determined to make him a positive thinker if it is the last thing I do.
“OK. Tell me one good thing your teacher did today. Anything. But it has to be good.”
I watch anxiously as my son’s look of distraction changes to one of fierce concentration. I wait.
Suddenly his face brightens. “You mean Honey Ma’am, right?”
“Yes…” I affirm hopefully. *Honey Ma’am is his class teacher – his current nemesis.
A slow smile comes to his face and my heart sings. Ah finally!
“Something good she did? Yes, there is. She didn’t come to class today!”
Well, I’m not giving up. Not yet.
*Honey is not my son’s class teacher’s name. I’m using that name for obvious reasons.
P.S. Honey, do forgive me for using your name. You’re one of the few friends I have who’s not a teacher, and is not likely to be one in the near future. I know you won’t take offence.