A couple of years ago, my husband and I sat in the classroom with my son’s first grade teacher. She had called us in to talk about my son’s behavior, and how unmotivated he seems to be in class.
After going back and forth about ways to help him enjoy first grade (because it was clear that he wasn’t), the teacher asked us about our child-rearing practice.
I told her that at home, we encourage our children to express their opinion as long as they are done in a respectful manner, that we believe that they should be given options (if we can afford to give options), and that we use logical consequences instead of punishments.
Much to my surprise, the teacher said, “I am surprised then that you chose to send your son to this school.” Then she went on say that the school is blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Honestly, after that bombshell, I had no interest whatsoever to listen to what she had to say next.
We could not have pulled my son out from that school any sooner. He still finished 1st grade, and even started 2nd grade. But by the time the first anniversary of that enlightening conference came around, my son was already making friends in a new school. It is geographically farther by a few miles, but the commute is well worth it.
We now have interesting conversations in the car on our way to school. The topics of our discussion ranges from Greek mythology (which I know very little of), to their car wash services, to the next Manila vacation, to the prices of homes, to whether or not Michael Phelps should endorse a product that he does not use.
There are families (not to mention, teachers) who truly believe that teachers should rule the classroom; children should always be told what to do; and anyone who reasons out with a teacher is rude. And, I respect that.
There are families who believe that a mark of a great teacher is measured by the length of the homework, or how straight the line is when the kids go out from the classroom.
But, I don’t. Just like families, different schools have different philosophies.
So I looked for a school that had a teaching philosophy similar to mine. I am thankful to have found one.