Its the school holidays and the 2 weeks break is indeed a welcomed respite. For those who thinks a teacher's job is easy think again. Yes, it is the break now but I have 7 piles of exam papers to mark in between shuttling to the hospital for my wife's surgery. She is now at home and recuperating well. Nope I am not going to write about how difficult it is being a teacher. I guess every job has its own appeals and downsides. What I want to write is more about you, those readers with school going children, and of course when we talk of schools and students we would inevitably have to touch on teachers.
I would like to blog about the kinds of parents I have met in my 30 years of teaching. Lets start where it all began.
1. 70s Kelantan 'What you have report cards in school' kampung parents
I do not know how they are now but back then when I was teaching in Sekolah Menengah Bukit Jawa Pasir Puteh Kelantan, we have parents who really do not know what is going on in schools. Once we had a visit into the kampungs for meet the parents session. We show them their parents report cards and surprisingly many have not seen a report card in their lives. Heck, I remember once giving out the report cards in class and a student returned it signed two minutes later.
2. 70s Kelantan try to be clever parents
One year we had a session with parents in schools. That was after the above incident. We gave out report cards to the parents and attempted to answer any queries should there be any. One man got on stage, took the microphone and said that his son did pretty well in all subjects except science. He said that the science teacher is a lousy good for nothing teacher. Then the teacher asked for the boys name. He took out his Teacher's Record Book and looked through. He answered. The class the boy was in had a certain number of students and a high percentage got A for science with a few failures. "If I am a lousy teacher how come so many in the same class got A for science. Its your son who doesn't like science, I know I am his teacher. The hall was filled with roar and the father sheepishly walked down without even saying a word.
3. 70s Kelantan beat my son up but don't blind him or break his bones parents
Most of the parents come from this category. Should they be called to school to discuss about their children, they usually say the above. They leave it up all to us.
4. 70s Kelantan gedebe parents
Now these are the type that we don't like. They will tell us outright that they don't like their children being punished. These are usually the more hostile type of personalities.
5. 80s/90s Penang kampung baru Chinese parents
There is only one category in this type of schools. These are parents of students coming from Chinese primary schools. Their results were not too good so they were not accepted by the premier Chinese Secondary schools in Penang. The quite good ones got enrolled into the better government secondary schools and the real bad one got sent to certain schools. I had the experience of teaching in 3 schools catering to students of these type. Their parents, almost all of them have one comment attitude. They don't go to their children's schools, especially the fathers. The mothers are only slightly better. Most of these students come from families with both parents working and the students themselves work after school. We don't have problems with the parents but a lot with the students coz these schools are the breeding grounds of triad members.
6. 90s/new millennium Penang Malay can't be bothered parents
These are the ones who gave us constant headache. Their children constantly gave problems but the parents will never come despite the countless reminders and phone calls.
7. 90s/new millennium Penang Malay my son is an angel parents
These are the ones we can do without. They will never accept the fact that their children are terrors. Usually mothers but occasionally fathers, they accuse teachers of having a personal agenda against their little 'angels'. Once I had to call a mother, coz the father had an allergy for schools, for consultation regarding her son. This boy was expelled from another school and upon appeal he was sent to my school a stone throw away from his old school. The mother insisted that her son is an angel and that it is the teachers who are giving him problems. None of his teachers could give him a good character reference. When she asked him something he shouted at her right in front of me. I had to get up and shout at him and to give him a lecture on how to talk to his mother. I could see that she now where to hide her face.
8.90s new millennium Penang Malay funny character parents.
Oh yes we had a few of these types. There were those he came shouting and upon seeing the principal rolling his sleeves up to meet him, he shut the fuck up. Then there is this weird father. Cikgu you can beat my son up even break his arms or blind him for his own good. What's on his mind? Teachers are butchers?
I am sure other teachers could add to the types of parents they have met. This post is not meant to make fun of anyone just to let readers know of the kind of parents there are. Of course what I have said is based on the schools I have personally taught. What happens in other schools I don't know. No, I am not saying all teachers are angels. As a one time administrator I had difficult times with some teachers too. Maybe in another post.
If I had in any way offended parents, I humbly apologise
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