Teachers should stop disciplining students

An article that appeared in The New Paper, nine out of 30 parents randomly approached (presumably) by The New Paper said that teachers should leave disciplining children to parents. One parent even said that teachers should just “focus on their role as educators”. I suppose this parent doesn’t think instilling discipline into children is a part of education. The reason why these parents think this way? One parent explained that it’s because her son is precious to her so it’s not up to the teacher to punish him.

Yes, ma’am. Your son is PRECIOUS. What? Your son is Sauron’s ring. A manifestation of pure evil and corrupts anything that comes close to it? Then maybe it ought to be destroyed by being cast into the flames of Mount Doom, deep in the heart of Mordor. Any brave hobbits want to take on this arduous journey?

Ok ok… I jest. Somewhat. I don’t think that all children are evil. Only some of them are.

Teachers have a hard time as it is. The recent brouhaha over whether teachers ought to pay to park in schools saw teachers explaining that they do many things that aren’t in their original job description. So if parents really want teachers to absolve themselves of the responsibility to discipline their kids, I think teachers should gladly take up that offer.

But. In order to prevent parents from going back on their word and accusing teachers of not doing their job properly, we should get all parents to sign an agreement on the first day of school. That agreement should state explicitly that:

  1. The parents and parents alone are responsible for the disciplining of the child.
  2. If the child has any disciplinary problems, it is the responsibility of the parents to address and rectify those problems.
  3. If the child doesn’t learn and thus doesn’t do well in school because of disciplinary problems, it is the responsibility of the parents. Parents therefore cannot blame teachers if the child performs poorly in school because of a lack of discipline.
  4. If a child’s disciplinary problem in school disrupts the learning of other students, the parents of the other students cannot blame the teachers. They should direct their anger and frustration at the parents of the child with disciplinary problems.

To help enforce the conditions in this agreement, there should be cameras in every classroom so that teacher so that in the event of any dispute, the teachers can show that it was the child’s poor discipline that led to the poor performance of the child. And if the child is being disruptive because he lacked discipline, the teacher can immediately send videos of that child being disruptive to the parents of all the children in the class so that those parents can take immediate action against the parents of the disruptive child. What sort of action? Any that they think is appropriate! Write an angry letter, flame the parents and child on social media, demonstrate outside the house, whatever! Just don’t blame it on the teachers.

Then the teacher need only focus on delivering the lesson. Don’t need to bother about classroom management. After all, if the children are well disciplined at home, then they would all be obedient, respectful, hardworking, and considerate children in school, right?

And if they aren’t obedient, respectful, hardworking, and considerate children in school, it must mean that parents aren’t disciplining their children well. And since parents have already said that teachers shouldn’t discipline children, that means that parents should bear the responsibility, ALL of the responsibility and consequences of failing to discipline their child. Teachers won’t be penalised for any problems caused by disciplinary problems of the child. One less thing for teachers to have headache over.

Brilliant idea, right? Teachers happy. Parents happy. Win-win for everyone.

Good luck to us if that really happens. The durian generation’s rise would then be inevitable. And we would all be doomed to a terrible future.

Instead, I hope that more parents will respect teachers more. Work together with teachers as equal partners in the education (which includes disciplining) of children. Respect teachers more (oh have I said that already? Pardon me. It’s a point I cannot emphasise enough). You want teachers to behave in a saintly manner? You better respect and honour them the way you would a saint, then. Then perhaps we may have a fighting chance to build a better future for all of us.

[Featured image: scene from movie Ilo Ilo]

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