Friday, June 03, 2011

Enrollment stories

I was informed by the grade chairman that part of our personal development plan was the advisory of a student organization. I am one of the advisers of the student publication, and I told her that it’s enough to fill in the blank in the form. But in reality, I was just trying to avoid another responcibility because just like any ordinary teacher, I didn’t want extra work. Anyway, we were talking about it and when she told me, being the music teacher, I was expected by the boss to create a glee club. I told her that I didn’t like the trademarked “Glee.” I’d rather call it a singing group maybe a music maker club or whatever…. Though not a singer, for the sake of fun, I would do it with the help of my grade six co-teachers, of course.

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I was accepting enrollees this afternoon when a parent approached me asking me to let her son choose his section and teacher. I was surprised because this was not how it’s done. The school had its own system of classifying or grouping pupils and the pupils were not privy to it and they had no say in it unless there is an exceptional circumstance like bullying or something. I couldn’t stop myself. I told the parent that pupils do not choose their teachers because if the sectioning of the classes would be based on the pupils’ preferences, there would be chaos. She told me that she tried talking to her son but he insisted on choosing the section he liked.

This was unbelievable. I looked her in the eye and told her, “You are the mother and you have all the right in the world to tell your son what should be and what should not be. You are in charge and not him.” But her facial expression told me that she was bent on insisting her sons demand, I didn’t know if she has a spoiled son, or she was afraid of her son or something…So, I continued, “He is still under your care so you are the one who must be obeyed. One of the Ten Commandments stated that children should obey and respect their parents. It’s not the other way around. Parents were not expected to be obedient to their children.” I was preaching already. I referred her to the grade chairman and the civics teacher for further indoctrination hehehe… (Actually we were talking when she came back…)

Enrollment was fun. I was sitting behind the desk listening to music, accepting pupils and once in a while there were parents who would sit and talk. One told me that he was an alumnus of the school and so was his father and so on; generations of their family had their basic education at the school. Another, a grandfather came in to enroll his grandson. When I showed him the class organization, he was disappointed to find out that his grandson was grouped in the lower section. The grandfather started to preach with all his heart to, “study very hard, your hope is in education….” The pupil just stood there oblivious to his grandfather’s words.

I smiled and asked him, “Are you his guardian?” “Yes," he replied, “both of his parents are dead.” So, I joined in the preaching and told the enrollee that he should study while his grandfather is still able to support him. There we were the grandfather and the teacher preaching to a pupil who judging from his academic and character education grades had no serious plans about continuing his education.

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