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Incident 1: Assembly going on in the school's hall. It's a preschool. A girl in Junior KG is not that interested in doing the exercise, this is a four year old little girl. The teacher comes, stands right in front of her, looks at her in a threatening manner, shakes her and shouts at her, 'Why are you not doing? Do it properly now.' I couldn't take my eyes off that little girl. Her big eyes well up with tears, yet she acts strong and does not let even a single tear fall down from her eyes. She wipes her eyes and tries to do the exercise. I still can't take my eyes off her and that teacher. I keep looking at the teacher again just to make sure if she even knows what she has done.
Shaking and shouting right at the face of a four year old and for what?
The teacher looked unapologetic, and somewhat proud. I talked to another teacher about it and she said, 'Kisi ka toh darr hona chahiye na bacchon ko(kids need to be scared of someone).'
Let me put this in simple words, 'Bacchon ko KISI KA DARR NAHI HONA CHAHIYE (KIDS SHOULD NOT BE SCARED OF ANYONE) that too for education. You need to put fear in the minds of young minds because you want to hide your own failure as a teacher. I have been a teacher myself. Teaching both in India and abroad and what I have learnt is that, it is only a teachers's responsibility that her students take interest in what he/ she is teaching. No matter what the activity is there is always a way to make a child participate and if for once the child is not interested, it is not right to shout at a child. Kids also need break, sometimes they might be feeling low or not much interested, it is the teacher who needs to understand her students inside out.
Do you even know what harm such shouting, screaming does on a child? It hampers their personality forever, some develop the fear that stays forever, they are scared to ask questions, scared to express what they truly feel, scared that their questions might be silly and this is not the kind of education we want to give our kids.
Is this just the teacher's fault? NO. Management of the school is equally responsible. I am talking about preschools her. Shift starts at 8:15, first bath ends at 11:30 then without even half an hour gap the next batch starts and ends at 3:15. Three teachers with 30 students and you justify that saying that each teacher can focus on ten students. When the Management does not make sure that the teachers are getting enough break time to prepare for the next class. I could not see the difference between a teacher and a maushi.
Incident 2: The "academic coordinator" comes to give a fifteen days plan to teachers as to what lessons they have to take. Why "academic coordinator" in quotes? Because it is a 22-23 year old girl with definitely no experience in proper academic management and with a lot of arrogance. So, this person decides to double the number on lessons kids are supposed to do because they have sports day coming and a lot of time in consumed in its practice, so instead of doing one worksheet in a day, the kids have to do three. Since the teacher has more lessons to do in class, she gives less time to explaining, keeps pestering students to copy, write quickly without bothering as to how many students are actually able to absorb what they are being taught. 'Writing quickly is not equivalent to understanding the concept' But what can the poor teacher do, she has to show that she has completed lessons to the management. Who is getting affected - only the students.
Incident 3: There is a little girl in Junior KG with ADHD. When I had a student with ADHD in Dominican Republic, I was told to treat her with extra care, love, patience and affection. Here teachers advised me to be extra strict with her. The teacher shouts at her, scolds her ... Why? Because she has to complete the lessons on time otherwise the management would scold her. No respect to students, no respect to teachers and showing a different face to the parents.
See, the reason we send our kids to preschool is to lay out a strong foundation and not to hamper their personalities forever. The school is crowded, has untrained, inexperienced staff, immature teachers and absolutely no sense of responsibility.
A good preschool is the one that has enough trained staff, time, time management to carry classes. Just filling up students for a hefty fees is not done. parents need to make sure that just because a school is a franchise of a big name does not necessarily mean that the school would be good enough for the child.
The management of any school needs to think about the students overall growth and that includes emotional well being as well. Teachers should be given more importance, better break times, regular training and counselling and respect. Schools with poor academic planning end up putting burden on kids and teachers and only students face the consequences.
A good school needs to have better planning when it comes to completing the syllabus. Completing the syllabus does not mean writing in notebooks. It is the management of a school that can work in a better manner to make sure that along with making profits they are providing kids with good education.
Parents, please make sure that yous end your child to a school that values its teachers and makes sure that the teachers are counselled regularly. It was horrible for me to see that teachers even in today's day and age believe that fear is the right tool to instill discipline that too in preschool. Even the simplest rule that 'Raise your hands if you want to ask a question or say something' was not introduced to the students and the session is about to end.
This article is based on my experience as a teacher in a preschool that my daughter goes to.