As per how some parents have allowed their children to undermine their authority, the spillover effect on teachers was far worse.
Teachers in Singapore had a tough job to do, tall orders to meet and large shoes to fill. At the same time, some of them might not have the experience or the authority to cope with demanding management or persistent parents.
While I really wished MOE could produce better teachers of higher moral fiber and impart creativity (and a million other skillsets), in the short term, that would really be a wish list and I would, inevitably, contribute part of the tall orders. I used to aspire to be a teacher but a relief teaching stint showed me that teaching was a lot more administrative than it was. This reminded me of a module I took on organizational behavior where the organizations must recognize the talents of their staff and acknowledge that some people prefer the technical aspects than the administrative aspects of a job.
You would not tell an engineer to spend his days doing curricular activities, or a researcher to double up as a counsellor, so why did we assume that teachers were able to multi-task, take on so many hats and still be able to teach well?
The world got bigger but had our teachers been trained beyond their myopic views? Their experience would pale in comparison to many working parents out there. Did the teachers have the time to develop themselves? Or had their management moved beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar framework yet? I would not know how fast teaching had evolved but the parents had definitely changed .
My mom would never challenge my teachers if they gave negative feedback about me. However, I believed I would ponder, might even possibly challenge, if I felt that the teachers were too inexperienced. The dynamics had changed. The tide had turned.
Despite so, what I thought everyone could do was to be more forgiving towards teachers, to be kinder to them, to respect them and to let them assume the authority they ought to have. If they could not discipline our children with moderation, what of our children’s future of they knew rules could be bent and broken?
The teachers had their own families, required their own set of worklife balance and I believed most of them had the sincere, honorable intentions of moulding our children for the future.
Let us focus on respecting the teachers and give them the due authority they should, before jumping either sides blindly. Teachers needed to be motivated and incentivized to become better teachers to guide our children well too.