Monday 4 June 2007

Its Not Only The Students

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


Anonymous said...

Wow Bro! The various types of parents you've met. And that gedebe parents, I noted have spruced up in my hometown too... you see the ones that would come to school with parangs just because a teacher pinched a student for not doing a schoolwork. Heard about a case where a teacher was mugged until lembik longlai because the teacher punished the students...

If ada teacher 'lempang' macam saya kena lempang dulu... saya ingat mau teacher tu dok spital dah laa ni...

Tak tau la... apa nak jadi dgn parents laa ni...hak yang gedebe la tu... yang lain okay kot.

Being a teacher is nobel job... I salute teachers who have strong dedication in their roles and functions as teachers, who inspire students and encourage them to become a better citizen... I salute you too bro, for I know, you are THAT one teacher...

Anonymous said...

not sure how my take on this one as i'm not a parent myself. but i guess teachers do too, like other professions, meet alot of fucking weirdos.

I believe cikgu bernard can really relate to this as he has taught at least one infamous school in PJ.

back in my hometown subang jaya, amongst the dudes, our least favourite teacher has always been this stern and mean-looking diciplinary teacher called 'rahman bootcut' for he's known to go around slapping students.

if he ever, by 0.000001% chance upon this blog and be reading this, well...wei rahman, UP YOURS!


Unknown said...

Well, I guess some teachers got it coming to them. The teacher who gave me the hardest slap was Mr. Malakar when I was in std 6 in Stowell School. It was because I was talking while he was teaching. Serves me right. I don't know if he is still around but he is one of the teachers I respect most.

There was a ms Chung my Eng Lit teacher. She chased me out of the class because I forgot to bring my Macbeth book. From that day I stayed out of her class every Eng Lit lesson. I studied the subject on my own. When the MCE results were announced, I was the best student for Eng Lit. When I met her while walking after taking my results, I acknowledged her and wished her good morning but she just turned away. What can I do, maybe she was just pissed that her favourite students got grades way below me in Eng Lit. I bear her no grudge but it is difficult to forget.

Unknown said...

I wrote just to let people know of the kind of things we teachers face in schools. Let us re examine ourselves and see in which category of parents do we belong to. I myself was a parent of school going children so I have been on both sides of the fence.

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

Apa yg che'gu tuleh tu memang betoi dan agak common juga sehingga la ni.
I remember in the 70's my mak was posted to Simpang Empat Semanggol/Sg Kepar. Kawasan orang Banjar. Mostly farmers/paddy planters.

One day she scolded a boy was being mischeivous in class. This lad told his father. The next morning, the father came to school with a parang panjang looking for mak. Mak was teaching in the same class and that boy was there too.
The Banjar father shouted to mak waving the parang panjang. Other teachers and Guru Besar came out.
The Banjar father wanted to know why mak caned his son for not doing his homework(thats what he told his dad). When mak explained that she only scolded the boy for his behaviour, the father fell silent. His head drooped.Chin to chest. Without saying a word he walked off.

The next morning, he waited in mak's classroom. When mak arrived he gave his salam and apologised of the ugly incident. He gave mak 2 long cane and told mak to use it on his son if and when necessary.He told mak he believe his son will behave from now on bcoz he had given his son 'some lessons' yesterday at home.
Mak said that boy did alright in life now.

Alhamdulillah your wife getting better each day. Yes fibroids can come in various sizes and shapes. The more there are the bigger the surface area of the uterus and if there is any bleeding the more blood she will loose.But with the removal that will not be a problem anymore.

Unknown said...

I respect the father for apologising. At least he knows that is the decent thing to do. If only we have more people who believe in the word and deed 'apology'.

Thanx, the missus is doing ok now but still in pain occasionally.

Salam to you and family.

aN_archi said...

Common dude, give us parents and the kids a break. Lets hear about the bosses, the Jabatan fellas, the PPDs, the Pengetuas, the Guru Besars, the Penolong Kanans, the Penolong Kiris, the Head of Departments, the dictators, the bitches, the Neros, the PIBG head who behaves like a VVIP etc etc. THAT will make more color to your postings; I am sure you have tons of stuff or is it cans of worms to write about.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I have some can of worms of all these people. Let me compile them first.

So hows the hols man? 5 fucking more days man.


KTN: I dont know to which category I belong, Cikgu.
I know one thing, they don't make teachers like they used to.
I never believed that a pupil should be hit if he or she made a mistake in his/her schoolwork or cannot remember her times-table or anything to do with schoolwork.
Corporal punishment shoudl eb reserved for disciplinary violation.
I am one of those parents who would go see the teacher if she or he hit my (or any) child because she could not colour the picture properly or because she made a grammatical error in her work.
BUT, I am not going to take my child's word for it. I don't know if my child is an angel or not at school. Regardless. But I take any complaint of physical abuse seriously.
If you hit a child becos she cannot recite her 7 times-table, what do you do next, if she cannot recite her 12 times-table?

Sorry, Cikgu. I end here.

Unknown said...

As a teacher, I too would not accept coporporal punishment for non serious category A offences. We do have meetings and remind teachers about these. A teacher is CRAZY if he/she beats, pinch, slap or cane students for not finishing their work, not able to understand lessons, not able to meet the required standard of the school or other non-discilinary offences. Even discipline offences are categorized.
I am glad that you did mention that you would not take your child's word as the solemn truth. Yes, there are problematic teachers and I am not going to justify their actions, stress or no stress. They should be professional and learn to control themselves.

Actually cases of parents who confront teachers and school authorities are few and far in between. The biggest headache is the parents who cannot spare even a little bit of time to go to school. Let me give you an example. In the PIBG, there should be 8 commitee members representing parents namely the YDP, NYDP, 5 AJKs and an audit. We have had PIBG AGMs where the parent turnout is not enough even to fill these posts. Some schools resort to having special draws. Some gave lunch.
When students have disciplinary problems we call the parents. Some would rush immediately but some would cite work. Heck, can't he/she (usually he) take one day annual leave or even half day off?
Thanks for contributing towards this discussion.

aN_archi said...

One time I met up with a recently retired teacher and he told me that he had never been happier in his life. Quote " The teaching profession is the most f____d up profession that I know " ( This one from a Brinsford trained old-timer who has been around quite a bit )Another time I was in a seminar and the speaker ( an acedemician from the establishment ) said if a ship is a methapor of the teaching profession, then it has lost its direction, maybe its going round in circles, maybe its sinking, maybe its being pulled round and round the Pacific by some political Moby Dick (pun intended), maybe its getting mouldy and the Captain is sleeping or in the words of Henry Miller its a c____t; all f______d up and used by whoever who needed it, milked and pulverised for whatever it is worth.... OK the poor guy didnt drag Miller into this, its me. But some corrections here; teachers are not grouped in the professional group. They are in the 'pelaksna' group dumbos, bozos and SYMP-s ( saya yang menurut perintah ). You have heard it countless times before from the admin I know but let me repeat it again : a teacher has two basic rights; to work and receive his pay OR to b e r h e n t i kerja kalau tak suka sebab ramai lagi orang lain naik masuk jadi cikgu, got it mate ? This is from a well-known principal who has won many awards.Maybe up there in the Ministry level they are more level-headed and professional, I wouldnt know.
OK my dua sen worth.

Unknown said...

Thats not 2 cents worth thats a 2 million RM statement. Hey I am as pissed off as you are. I should be more pissed off. I don't toe the line, I don't blow their dicks I got the boot. I refused to go meet that senile Mahathir when he visited Penang my boss is not pleased. I fucked my boss for being stupid I got the boot. Would I stop doing what I did, fuck them if they think I would.


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