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Old 22.06.2011, 16:55
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Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

This post was off topic in another thread and moved to a new one. Fair enough. BUT I do not wish to start a discussion on that topic. Please close the thread.

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Old 22.06.2011, 17:15
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

or you could have just reported it?

EDIT: No sarcasm or anything.
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Old 22.06.2011, 17:16
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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We nag about Yank schooling, the court cases, the profs stripped of their normal human rights, common sense, etc. But there are so many positive things, too. The creativity, out of the classroom times, career days, sports, interdisciplinary subjects, academic olympic games, etc. I still use a lot of this in my classes, it's so fun.
Playing a bit with your words: When the price for fun class is to be stripped of my normal human rights, they I say: No fun.
The point being: I DONT WANT to say "no fun", so I am pushing away from me every thing that strips me of my normal human rights.

I know what you mean and of course I agree in theory. But this morning at work was not theory. Tomorrow won't be either. It's a whole context, and when saying that, I also think of the email last week from a mother, where she suggested a grade for her son in my class... Parent rights, yes of course!, but I deal regularly with the parents who misunderstand them...

I know you are not like that, I know that one can not take away a right just because some abuse it, but it takes only one such a parent with cash for the lawyer and I loose my job for life. Do you get the actual issue behind this "permission slip" discussion? Don't ask teachers to take that risk. Just just can't. If having kindergarden kiddies buttnacked on the play ground is an issue to some parents, then teachers will back off not out of respect for some rights or good cultural pedagogical reasons, but just to save their dressed a-ss. I did in the past, and I will again.

Yes, it is written on the internet for ever: I deprived a whole class of a fantastic learning opportunity because of the determination of one parent to go for the kill. Reminder: collective punishment is forbidden for teachers, it is obviously legal for parents. Let's say I won't ever be objective about the topic again... but are parents really that objective? And what exactly operates the transfer of their parental authority over their children over to the teachers of their children? What happen exactly so that we sometimes end up with a situation where the teachers become children? I don't mean it as a procovation to you, MusikChick, I know you don't say all that either, but in my eyes, those are the implications of today's schools' situation.
I have moved the post from here to here, so we don't hijack a thread about naked kindy kids with the general discussion over parental/teacher power, etc. Because I really enjoy debates over this, so to give it more space without piggy back riding on another issue..

I think it takes a lot more envolvement of parents to understand what teachers want is actually good for their kids. I have asked myself that quesiton many times, why would somebody push themselves on making decisions on my behalf, despite of them not being trained, based on them being parents. I have never had a sticky situ of parents wanting to be in my biz, really, they were always consistently supportive. I am not saying we teach differently, me and you, this is not personal at all. We teach probably different kids, etc. But I also think when parents feel taken in, included, they will more likely support, than trying to sabotage.

You get asked to change the way you do things all the time, it is not only a parent who wants a different grade, hahaha, that made me laugh. Isn't it the main principal, edu being based on people who objectively assess, according to their own sophisticated system and not including folks who want to suggest a grade.

I think I would have approached it openly, though. Show and explain the grading system, continuous assessment, any administrative proof I keep (there is a lot, too much, exactly for this reason, too), explain and then ask again, does this parent really want to suggest a grade? Would she/he want to?

I don't care what teachers do with little kids in park. Do I objet them being naked in a public place? Yes, certainly. I actually think a lot of people like this idea, since it nostalgically reminds them their youth, without realising, this world is past that. You may nostalgically reminiscence. But to expose your kids to this, just to prove, yes, there is this spot on Earth where things are still like when I was a kid...naw. Because, even this culture is moving on. What might have been ok short time ago, might not be soon. And it takes just one little hurt kid. Be it safety, hygiene, whatever. Playing without clothes, strange. And, this comes from a person who normally advocates for zero hang ups. I just think we might be using our kids, to slow down a process which will certainly not slow down. The borders are open, different mindsets mingle, safety for somebody is not safety for others.

As a teacher, if I thought little kids, it would be on my mind. Me teaching bigger kids, I still like the way things were before, the way I was schooled, but have no reason to adopt other, new, more modern ways. Parents being included, brainstorming together, etc. I think it is ultimately parents who should have power over kids, in terms of issues like safety, being naked in a park, etc. If they disagree, they can take their kiddo to a different school, have him withdrawn from the activity (sad), but should definitely be informed on what is going on with kids, if they go on a field trip and where.

Just my two little Czech pennies, since I like to muse with other teachers over things. It's great.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 22.06.2011 at 17:58.
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Old 22.06.2011, 17:30
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

If we see a thread hijacking, it gets deleted, or moved where it's supposed to be, or, moved to a new thread to keep the original thread on topic. You don't have to participate, nobody has to.
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Old 22.06.2011, 17:39
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

Just taking a reality check for a second: Switzerland is notoriously slow for changing anything in society so I can't see how nakedness in children is suddenly going to buck the trend and gallop ahead of other issues.

Sometimes we have to just take off the "foreigner goggles" and see the culture for what it is.
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Old 22.06.2011, 18:12
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

I think the whole situation has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. When I was a kid, the teacher was King or Queen, right up there on their pedestal. The teacher was right - Punkt Schluss, point final. Some of our teachers were quite sadistic, beatings and other humiliation were common, and nobody would have dared complain. I witnessed a friend's nose being pushed into his wee, as he had slightly overrun the WC bowl, when I was 7.
Another teacher would have 'public spanking' - a kid over a chair and we had to file and hit the child's bum with a big bamboo stick in turn (if we didn't hit hard enough, the teacher would give him 3 hits in our place). Spelling mistakes in dictation would be punished with the 'ferule' (metal ruler smacked on the nail) - I made very msitakes, so no problem- but some kids who were not very bright would go home with hands torn to shreds (and got another beating at home ..). One teacher would tie any kid arriving late under the cold tap in the corner of the classroom , with tap running, 1 minute per 1 minute late. Etc, etc. Vicious times and it was WRONG. But now - you tell a kid off or you try and keep him/her back for repeated bad behaviour, after warnings (and with a letter home giving full notice, etc) and parents complain, refuse, threaten you verbally or physically - and that is so wrong too. A terrible dis-incentive for any future teachers- and really NOT in the interest of the kids concerned in the long run. I am glad I am out of it now, I must say, however much I just loved my teaching days (many years actually).
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Old 23.06.2011, 07:57
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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I think the whole situation has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. When I was a kid, the teacher was King or Queen, right up there on their pedestal. The teacher was right - Punkt Schluss, point final. Some of our teachers were quite sadistic, beatings and other humiliation were common, and nobody would have dared complain. I witnessed a friend's nose being pushed into his wee, as he had slightly overrun the WC bowl, when I was 7.
Another teacher would have 'public spanking' - a kid over a chair and we had to file and hit the child's bum with a big bamboo stick in turn (if we didn't hit hard enough, the teacher would give him 3 hits in our place). Spelling mistakes in dictation would be punished with the 'ferule' (metal ruler smacked on the nail) - I made very msitakes, so no problem- but some kids who were not very bright would go home with hands torn to shreds (and got another beating at home ..). One teacher would tie any kid arriving late under the cold tap in the corner of the classroom , with tap running, 1 minute per 1 minute late. Etc, etc. Vicious times and it was WRONG. But now - you tell a kid off or you try and keep him/her back for repeated bad behaviour, after warnings (and with a letter home giving full notice, etc) and parents complain, refuse, threaten you verbally or physically - and that is so wrong too. A terrible dis-incentive for any future teachers- and really NOT in the interest of the kids concerned in the long run. I am glad I am out of it now, I must say, however much I just loved my teaching days (many years actually).
Your story made me shiver...Pestalozzi must have had turned in his grave gazillion of times. It's nuts. I can't believe that was happening here, since it reminds me schooling back home in 1800s.

I do think parents wanting to control without seeing things in the long run, can do harm. I feel the powerstruggle is pointless, quite often stems out of miscommunication, not being informed..I think parental buletins are great, newsletters, etc. Keeping them so busy helping school, giving them function, including them in organizing things, etc. But I do not believe in surpressing them, keeping them out of the biz, it's nonsense. Kids need school and parents cooperating.

My nose was broken by a mean commie teacher when I was 7, she is burning in hell right about now.
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:21
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

I must be old fashioned. I expect the teacher to know what they are doing and how to do it (without putting the teacher on a pedestal) and don't like interfering in their work - exception being if the child is obviously distressed or in the event of physically harming the child.

Although I also went to school in the late 1950s/early 1960s- don't remember any physical violence from teachers as related by Odile (or my husband). Must have been lucky.
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:28
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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the powerstruggle is pointless, quite often stems out of miscommunication, not being informed..I think parental buletins are great, newsletters, etc.

My nose was broken by a mean commie teacher when I was 7, she is burning in hell right about now.
Think a school manifesto including all school rules would have been a wonderful idea especially for foreigners who don't understand the school system.

Also hope your commie teacher is burning in hell right now!
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:34
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

I agree MC - we should be all working together to help kids achieve their potential- sadly in some instances the 'power' of the teacher/school has gone to the 'power' of the parents - missing the ideal middle stage of cooperation.
For me, teaching in the UK was a great experience, as the emphasis was really placed on that great parent/school/child cooperation. The Form tutor system really encourages that- and it being a Form tutor was a very pleasant part of my job, supporting kids over a number of years and liaising between student, other staff and parents. Some of my ex-tutees are still in regular contact with me, and that is great. Must say the British system encourages much more cooperation between staff and staff, and staff and parents, and this made my job much more enjoyable.
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:39
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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I think the whole situation has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. When I was a kid, the teacher was King or Queen, right up there on their pedestal. The teacher was right - Punkt Schluss, point final. Some of our teachers were quite sadistic, beatings and other humiliation were common, and nobody would have dared complain. I witnessed a friend's nose being pushed into his wee, as he had slightly overrun the WC bowl, when I was 7.
Another teacher would have 'public spanking' - a kid over a chair and we had to file and hit the child's bum with a big bamboo stick in turn (if we didn't hit hard enough, the teacher would give him 3 hits in our place). Spelling mistakes in dictation would be punished with the 'ferule' (metal ruler smacked on the nail) - I made very msitakes, so no problem- but some kids who were not very bright would go home with hands torn to shreds (and got another beating at home ..). One teacher would tie any kid arriving late under the cold tap in the corner of the classroom , with tap running, 1 minute per 1 minute late. Etc, etc. Vicious times and it was WRONG. But now - you tell a kid off or you try and keep him/her back for repeated bad behaviour, after warnings (and with a letter home giving full notice, etc) and parents complain, refuse, threaten you verbally or physically - and that is so wrong too. A terrible dis-incentive for any future teachers- and really NOT in the interest of the kids concerned in the long run. I am glad I am out of it now, I must say, however much I just loved my teaching days (many years actually).
I can relate to that.
Not as extreme but this describes pretty well the lanscape I grew up in the mid 80s. My parents always made sure to re-inforce any disciplinary action from school. I turned out OK. More importantly, when looking back, I can describe my childhood as a happy one. Today the schools empower children and make them believe they can do whatever they want - does this make them happy? I don't think so. I look at the young generation and what strikes me is a sentiment of blase (i.e. indifference)...
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:54
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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I can relate to that.
Not as extreme but this describes pretty well the lanscape I grew up in the mid 80s. My parents always made sure to re-inforce any disciplinary action from school. I turned out OK. More importantly, when looking back, I can describe my childhood as a happy one. Today the schools empower children and make them believe they can do whatever they want - does this make them happy? I don't think so. I look at the young generation and what strikes me is a sentiment of blase (i.e. indifference)...
When my son started in his current daycare, (which is pretty much pre-school) he had a terrible time taking to one of the staff who seemed extremely strict and clinical but, in my eyes, fair with the kids.

He used to get upset and tell me he didn't like her until about 6 weeks later when he started to talk about her in a more positive light. Now she is one of his favourite teachers and he is thriving.

I think modern teaching has been pushed to a level of letting the kids run the show, not teaching them boundaries, too much time spent trying to be their hip and cool buddies instead of their mentors and role models. Teachers are too frightened to say "boo" to the kids in case they tell their parents.

I try to keep tabs on his teachers purely so I can try to keep a consistent message, not trip them up. Once or twice I've disagreed with something but I've gone in with the attitude "Explain to me..." rather than, "You're wrong - you're an incompetent teacher and you'll be hearing from my lawyer."

Kids see this kind of behaviour and will assume a similar position later in life.

When I was a kid and caught doing something bad, my mum sometimes used the killer line; "I'm sure Mrs So-and-so (teacher) would be very disappointed to see you doing that." And it meant something to me. I would have been ashamed if my mum had mentioned it at school.
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Old 23.06.2011, 11:56
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

Quote:
I think the whole situation has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. When I was a kid, the teacher was King or Queen, right up there on their pedestal. The teacher was right - Punkt Schluss, point final. Some of our teachers were quite sadistic, beatings and other humiliation were common, and nobody would have dared complain. I witnessed a friend's nose being pushed into his wee, as he had slightly overrun the WC bowl, when I was 7.
Another teacher would have 'public spanking' - a kid over a chair and we had to file and hit the child's bum with a big bamboo stick in turn (if we didn't hit hard enough, the teacher would give him 3 hits in our place). Spelling mistakes in dictation would be punished with the 'ferule' (metal ruler smacked on the nail) - I made very msitakes, so no problem- but some kids who were not very bright would go home with hands torn to shreds (and got another beating at home ..). One teacher would tie any kid arriving late under the cold tap in the corner of the classroom , with tap running, 1 minute per 1 minute late. Etc, etc. Vicious times and it was WRONG. But now - you tell a kid off or you try and keep him/her back for repeated bad behaviour, after warnings (and with a letter home giving full notice, etc) and parents complain, refuse, threaten you verbally or physically - and that is so wrong too. A terrible dis-incentive for any future teachers- and really NOT in the interest of the kids concerned in the long run. I am glad I am out of it now, I must say, however much I just loved my teaching days (many years actually).
I didn't realise you went to school in England...

Empire's gone downhill ever since the liberals took over...
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Old 23.06.2011, 12:02
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

Nope, sorry, went to school in Switzerland. Then qualified to be a teacher and taught in schools in UK.
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Old 23.06.2011, 12:06
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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Nope, sorry, went to school in Switzerland. Then qualified to be a teacher and taught in schools in UK.
I know...
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Old 24.06.2011, 17:33
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Re: Modern schooling, what is the role of parent and other musings

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Think a school manifesto including all school rules would have been a wonderful idea especially for foreigners who don't understand the school system.

Also hope your commie teacher is burning in hell right now!
Thanks. She did have good friends though, that made her untouchable, but on the other hand we got some fine gun training by Civic militia thanks to her buddies, so.

Some schools provide a brochure with rules and expectations, rights, etc. It's really well done. But it is true that once you learn the local language the quality of school/parent relationship and cooperation is hugely improved.

It's a tricky thing, with child centric approach/strict approach, reasonable boundaries, permissive personalities, non teaching administration or budget thrown into this mix, and the school/parent combo...Child centric used to be all the rave, it's no longer so, about 2 decades, anyways. Neither is inflexible sticking to rules, without thinking about the kids. I'd say in perfect scenario schools and parents are in constant move on a continuum, just like any other relationship. Ideally, parents are happy and trusting and don't bug teachers with excessive demands, let them work. And the other way, too.

Pestalozzi is an interesting read. I've done a lot of studies on him, and it does shed a lot of light on how things are still run here, quite modern in some aspects, though it was more than 200 years ago.

Has anybody seen Bad teacher, yet? I'd love to, but it ain't here yet...
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