Monday, April 25, 2011

Again on the behavior at school or about the value system

   Why am I writing about this again?
   Some parents do not pay attention to the rude behavior of their children. Socially unacceptable actions of their children are repeated and become a habit. Such children become rude and arrogant people. Luckily, there aren’t many parents like that.
   In my experience, most parents take children's outbursts too dramatically and punish them too strictly fearing they would become people such as I described in the preceding paragraph. If the children were provoked by something and reacted inappropriately, severe punishment creates defiance and they don't see realize their error, but feel misunderstood and probably are likely to react in a similar manner next time.
   I will describe an event which made me confused and brought me to think about a value system installed by our school.
   As I have written, my son was an outstanding mathematician, took part in math competitions since the 4th grade, with success, but sometimes, he would make trivial mistakes  during school tests, because  he would find the assignment too easy and uninteresting, and so he wouldn not think too much and would hurry to finish as soon as possible.
    In the 7th grade, before the winter break, he informed me that grade was going to have 4(B) in mathematics and a reduced grade for behavior. He got 3(C) on the last test and asked for a chance to correct this grade. The teacher responded that there is no time for him because there were many other pupils who needed to improve poor grades. Then my son swore, very ugly, quietly, but loud enough for the teacher to hear.
   I felt like I was poured with cold water, I did not know what to say. I gave him to eat lunch (Otherwise, in our house it was a custom, we eat first, than solve problems. My daughter really appreciated this rule.) While he was eating, I was thinking how to react.
   I explained him that his behavior was unacceptable and that such behavior is inexcusable. My opinion was that he deserved a lower grade in conduct. I specifically requested from him to apologize to the teacher.
   After several months, I met the teacher of mathematics.  I remember our conversation and I can quote it.
-I am a mom of one of your pupil...
-I'm glad to meet you. I'm his teacher of mathematics. We had a small problem but we solved it.
-It was not a small problem, you had a serious misunderstanding and I apologize for my son's behavior.
-He apologized, too, now everything is fine.
-But, have you apologized to him?
   She was speechless. Around us, there were many teachers who also went dumb, waiting to hear why a teacher needed to apologize to a pupil.
  I continued:
-By giving the priority to the pupils with poor grades, you gave advantage to ignorance over knowledge, to idleness over work, to failure over success. You should have given him the chance first and, as a good teacher, explain to the class, that because of his work, competence and results he deserved to get the opportunity to correct his mistake first, and that those whose are not doing anything the whole first semester, would have to wait. That’s how you create a value system, and it’s called an educational process.
   Everyone was still silent, I just added:
-I repeat, I have no excuse for his outburst.

  And instead of a conclusion, I ask you who are reading this, consider how much time and energy we spent on lazy and difficult people, and how much on working, educated and successful people. Just look at the media, the latter are nowhere.

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