Confessions of a high school teacher

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“Dealing with parents is a nightmare. Most mothers do not respect a teacher’s point of view... I feel like... slapping such parents”

The quality of students has seen a drastic change. As they graduate from the lower to the higher classes, they seem to grow up suddenly. It is now very difficult to use the time-tested traditional methods of teaching as they are not interested.

My job as a teacher has become extremely difficult. Even when I go to class prepared, I often have no answer to students’ questions. Students have all the time to watch TV and they are knowledgeable about a whole lot of things. As teachers, we never really reinvent ourselves to fit the needs of students. Each year I realise my shortcomings, but however much I try to keep pace, it is impossible.

The entire school system needs an overhaul. The older methods don’t work as it is difficult to sustain the interest of the students. Today’s children have a higher IQ. The education system is being designed by people who are predominantly from the old school of thought.

Often, the frustration levels of both teachers and students is high: teachers because they can’t answer complex questions and students because they don’t get the answers they seek. Though I am considered to have a modern outlook, I still find I am not ‘modern’ enough.

Dealing with parents is a nightmare. Most mothers do not respect the teacher’s point of view. They argue in front of the children who then refuse to listen to the teacher. I often feel like slapping such parents or giving them a piece of my mind.

Parents send their children for tuitions even if they are unnecessary. And when teaching methods differ, children get confused and parents usually side with the tutor. I once requested a parent to bring the tutor to school, and found the child was taught by a Class X dropout with below-average marks. When the child failed, though, it was “the school’s fault”.

(The confessor has been a high school teacher for 25 years)

As told to Haima Deshpande