The never ending story – Part II
The story continues and the subliminal effect carries on. This time, the protagonist is my brother. He was active like any typical boy, not too mischievous to be considered a bad boy, yet not diligent enough to be considered a good student. Who would think that he would one day become a chief/senior engineer of two global top 5 semiconductor foundries! In the eyes of his teachers, he was someone with borderline intelligence.
This was how the story started. As usual, my brother deemed throwing one dollar bill in the air and catching it thrilling and full of fun. I could never understand it and his logic. It was just one of his many hobbies as a little child. This time, he, a fourth grader in one of the public elementary school in Taiwan, was playing with his one dollar bill at school during recess. The son of the teacher caught my brother’s money. My brother demanded that the teacher’s son to return it to him. When the request was not honored, my brother moved from words to actions and grasped his money back. All this commotion caught the teacher’s eye as he stepped in the class. Actually, the teacher only saw the latter part of the scene, which was when my brother was grasping the money from the teacher’s son. The teacher, without listening to the reason, grew mad at my brother, calling him a thief and accusing him of stealing money from his son. The teacher later called my mom to request a box of imported cigarettes and a bottle of imported wine to avoid a demerit recorded on my brother’s disciplinary record. Did the story end there? The episode did stop after my mom brought the imported cigarettes and the imported wine to the teacher, but the subliminal effect carries on.
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher (a new teacher) went out of his way to show his favoritism upon me. I did not like the attention. I was too naive to enjoy the attention and to show any arrogance. I hate to stay under the spotlight. I know that teachers usually love kids who are smart, industrious and obedient. However, by placing favoritism, the teacher unwittingly created a wall between the child who received the favoritism and the rest of the students. It is unhealthy to the kids who received favoritism and unfair to the other students. After a year, I realized why I hated the attention. This time, the attention was placed upon another child. She came from a wealthy family and was tutored by the teacher. She was the apple of the teacher’s eye. The teacher’s exclusive favoritism upon her drove her to be extremely arrogant and to place insults on kids she deemed as stupid and kids who exhibited higher intelligence than she. What value are we teaching the students when the questions of the exam were leaked to students receiving personal tutoring from the teachers? Is it that money talks?
Now, you probably know where I am heading. In these stories, I see bias, threat, bribery, labeling, distrust, dishonesty, favoritism, negligence (neglect the little mind’s feeling, disregard the young pupils’ safety, ignore children’s well being, and etc.), power misuse, wrong priority, lack of morality, incapable of introspection, short of exemplary leadership, caving in to power and money, and subliminal effect to the little mind. This list goes on.
You might have read an article I wrote about my son who was born in the US. When he was three years old, he was asked to be evaluated for learning disability by his daycare provider for what he showed on his speech. He was enrolled in speech therapy and graduated 1 ½ years later. His mom’s friends thought that he might have dyslexia. His aunt thought that he might have ADHD. His pediatrician suggested that we had him evaluated more extensively for any learning disorder. Finally, the mom asked if the school would perform any evaluation. The only answer from the school was the fear from the test to label my son as something that he is not. Their suggestion was an ESL program. Would an ESL program solve his problem? I would think not. When he turned a 2nd grader, we finally confirm that he is just a late starter like Albert Einstein as I have always suspected. All his test scores turned out to be either high or high average. The reason I brought up this is the danger of labeling and the significant impact from the educators to the children in their early years of learning.
To me, educators place a very important role in a child’s early education and the molding of a child’s value and personality. Of course, the role of the parents is much more important and the influence from the parents is much more profound. However, the prolong impact to the life of the youngsters from the teachers is undeniable. An educator’s role is sacred. The work of an educator is tough, like sending owls to Athens. Yes, there are black sheep in any walk of life. However, the ones among the educators are the most heinous ones for their prolong impact to the life of the youngsters. I do have the utmost respect to the educators for the love they pour onto the kids. I see them the same as I see clergy, monks and social workers. That is why I also criticize heavily on teachers who are a disgrace to all teachers. If they do not have the love for the children and the love for educating the children, they are not fit to be an elementary school teacher. I know it is hard to ask someone to love children outside of their own families. Nevertheless, am I asking too much? I don’t believe so, at least not from the teachers in my son’s school. He is so fortunate to have such great teachers.
Written by Elisa English, 版權所有
On 10/21/10 in Minneapolis
This is the link to the previous article: It all started with a story