I know parents complain about teachers all the time in Singapore, and I am determined to keep a clean record.
Unfortunately, yesterday I received my first ever complaint from one concerned parent.
The issue brought up was that her daughter has enrolled into my class for the past 6 months but still can’t identify basic vocabulary like “window” or “door”. Furthermore, I was also accused of not allowing my students to bring their books home. (I have no idea how that accusation came about, since I don’t keep a single textbook, workbook or exercise book.)
Being the professional and responsible person that I am, I took full blame of the complaint, but secretly vowed to get down to the bottom of the issue.
Today, with the help of some other teachers, I managed to identify who the student was, and it explained a lot of things.
Firstly, she just enrolled into the school this year and was placed in the primary 5 class. She has a history of switching schools for whatever reasons unknown. For the past 6 months that I have taught the primary 5 students, my emphasis has been on the proper usage of present tense and past tense. If you want to learn vocabulary like “window” or “door”, you should be in primary 2 or primary 3, because that’s the level you get introduced to simple vocabulary. You may come without a solid background in English, but if you are enrolled into my primary 5 class, you can’t expect me to be teaching primary 2 or primary 3 vocabulary during my lessons. If you ask me for a solution, I am sorry I will not slow down my class just for one pupil, but you should enroll your child for tuition classes.
And secondly, I noticed that this pupil isn’t even regular in her attendance. There are only 4 hours of English lessons each week, so if you miss 2-3 days of school per week, you probably only get 1-2 hours of English lessons every week. I am an English teacher, not a magician. I can’t perform magic or miracles.
I am not afraid to voice out because I feel that parents also have a part to play in their children’s upbringing.
While I take responsibility for whatever happens in school, parents have to take responsibility for their own children’s development at home.
Additional commentary: If your child has learning disabilities, please seek proper treatment. As much as you would like your child to grow up in the same environment as everybody else, you need to acknowledge that your child needs extra help.
And with this, I would like to say that I still maintain a clean record.