Parents and Teachers working together
In my day, it was clear that the adults in my life were capable and knowledgeable when it came to what I needed. My parents provided unwavering support for every one of my teachers, operating from the premise that the teacher was in that position as a result of her own education and training, and that her experience in the classroom gave her the edge, so to speak, when it came to matters of my own education and development. The result was that as a student, I deeply believed that my teachers were the primary source of my success or failure – I trusted in them, in their knowledge and in their ability to lead me through the trials of primary and secondary education to that desired goal of success at GCE O and A Levels.
Fast forward to 2018 – Nobody believes that the teacher knows what he or she is doing. Everybody goes for lessons. And the lessons teacher is empowered with great respect and trust, while the school teacher is ignored, disrespected and often dismissed by the students and parents. And the irony of it all? The lessons teacher is a school teacher in some other school. How did we get here? How did we get to this point where the student complains that his or her non performance in a subject is because the teacher does not make the subject interesting? And the parent openly agrees that it is the teacher at fault when the student does not do what is required in the class, is often disruptive and distracting to other students?
This unfortunate cycle of blind faith in our children and overzealous agreement with their every complaint, has to stop now. We cannot fully prepare our children for the future, for “the real world” if we continue to blindly support their stories and not at some point give a verbal shakeup and demand to know what they have done, or failed to do to result in their unacceptable performance. No longer can we accept the excuse that “the teacher did not teach” – we are really not helping our children become capable, responsible young adults.
After more than 38 years in secondary education, I finally believe that a teacher can “bring the horse to water, but cannot make him drink it”. We can provide all the engaging strategies for learning, incorporate ICTs in our teaching, prepare copious notes and worksheets, conduct reviews and one on one sessions – we can continue to do our part, but if the student – supported by the parents – does not do their part, learning will not happen.
The British Academy
AARON at ASCOT 2018
I’m Aaron, the only child at the British Academy who went to St Mary’s School, Ascot in London. The School was working on a program with Oxford and Cambridge, for children aged 8-17 years to learn a topic/s of their choice for 1-3 weeks. I applied for coding. I decided to go, because I thought getting closer to Cambridge would allow me to have a higher chance of being known when I asked to go to their school.
Breakfast was served at 7:30am, so you had to wake up accordingly. For my roommates and I that was 6:00am. After breakfast, you’d go outside and when everyone came out you’d go to classes. Mine again, coding; you’d spend 45 minutes working, have a 15-minute break, another 45 minutes of work, then a two -hour lunch and then a two-hour class. We’d then proceed back to the courtyard play a bit then go to the extracurriculars we had signed up for. Later we’d have random activities. Finally, you can head back to your dorm and indulge in your Instagram for one and a half hours.
Now think about our canteen staff, Ms. Melissa in her small space cooking for hundreds of students and the food is very good. Now at St Mary’s lots of kitchen staff, big space but more children. There was a wide variety of food and it was just as good. But I still missed wontons and CHOW. The beds were quite comfy, and the rooms were spacious and clean, as were the showers.
The usual no graffiti, obscene language and bullying besides that, nothing. So just have FUN. We also had houses, mine was Hazel. You weren’t allowed to use electronics all the time and the internet shut off at 10:00 pm but I didn’t really use my phone. Except a hockey video game, Colour Hockey, I played with my friend to see who was the best. I won when he scored… on himself lol! I was not lonely at all I had all my new friends. Actually, my dad was a few 100 kms away and I do feel a little guilty for not calling him for the whole week. I was having too much fun!
I am definitely going next year however, I may be going to Oxford since I’ll soon be thirteen. I do advise people to go too but don’t bring your old friends get some new, fresh, ones for only… the price to go. Hope I see you next year.