A few days ago I wrote about out-of-control kids - and parents who neglect their responsibilities.
I now wish to apologise for many of my comments, as it seemed as if I was saying that ALL kids were badly behaved and ALL parents were incapable of caring for their offspring.
I was (and am) certainly wrong about that!
I will tell the reasons for my bleat, after this apology is issued.
I apologise to parents and children as I have recently been made well aware that there are (still!) many children and many parents who ‘do the right thing’ (to put it plainly).
In the news during this week, I read of children who made things to sell and then donated their takings to a charity. There was also a young boy who busked with his guitar, raised a few hundred dollars and gave it all to an organisation that helps refugees and asylum seekers. Then there was the youngster who set up an online petition asking for parking fees at hospitals to be reduced for regular users. (He is a regular hospital patient himself). His petition gained enough support to be very successful.
Apart from these good news stories proving that many (most?) kids are good kids, it also says a lot about their parents.
Hooray for these children and their mums and dads!
And, not just these good guys who have made the news…Twice lately, when I have been out walking my dog and have made room on the footpath for passing scooter riders, I have been ‘rewarded’ with big smiles and cheery ‘Thankyous’. Now, that tells us something!
So, now that I have owned up to being a biased and grumpy old ex-teacher, I will reveal how this happened.
This is the report that set me off (and I quote):
(The heading read): “Australian kids behaving badly in classrooms, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report says.”
(And adds): ‘Things you would find in a classroom: a student pointing a replica gun at the teacher, an entire class deciding to ignore the teacher in silent protest, chairs thrown, threats and overturned desks.
One teacher had three Year 9 boys skip her class and smear their poo all over the school gymnasium walls, while others had been cursed with the full spectrum of profanities.
The list went on…and on.’
Some quotes from teachers:
"They just didn't listen to a word I said. They shouted across the room, pushed and shoved each other and threw things around the room. The worksheets I handed out got scrunched up, covered in glue or torn."
"I taught a boy whose grandfather was a Nazi so he wanted to debate with the class that killing the Jews was in fact the right thing to do."
"The whole class tried to stand on the desks or hide under the desk before the teacher turned around."
"The brightest student in the year would hold his breath with frustration and anger, then go bright red with a hysterical crying tantrum."
Therefore, it would not come as a surprise that two global reports have revealed Australian classrooms are among the most disorderly of the OECD nations.
Australia has a "problematic situation" in terms of classroom discipline, according to the report on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
"About one-third of the students in advantaged schools, and about half of those in disadvantaged schools, reported that in most or every class there was noise and disorder, students didn't listen to what the teacher said, and that students found it difficult to learn," the report said.
And so it went…
And, now can you see what upset me?
But I didn’t mean to condemn all parents and all school students…
Here’s the response from The Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, who says teachers and principals need more support, as well as parents playing their part (my emphasis) in addressing the issue.
Minister Birmingham states: "Parents must be part of the solution (again, my emphasis) this cannot be something that rests on the shoulders of teachers and principals alone because attitudes, respect are of course formed as much in the home environment and the rest of life as they are in the school community itself,"
So, the minister acknowledges that parents have a responsibility. But saying and not doing – that is, not suggesting how we might improve the situation - doesn’t really solve any problems
That won’t get anyone anywhere, will it?
And so the problem remains.
But, in the meantime, I do apologise to all the very many decent people involved in schools, whether kids, parents or teachers.
Keep up the good work!
This is NOT about ADHD, I just liked the puffin's comment....and quite possibly agree.
‘The problem is not the kids, it’s the dysfunctional and/or aggressive parents……parents who won’t accept that their kids can do any wrong, or parents who have particular personal or political agenda…’ so wrote school principal, Mr Kevin Farrell, from Beelbangera, in a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald last month.
Someone willing to tell it as it is.
And, may I add: Parents who don’t ‘give a stuff’ what their kids are doing - and when and where and with whom?
Then in last Saturday’s paper, child & adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, stated, ‘Taking the path of least resistance seems to be the parenting strategy that way too many parents are taking now’.
It’s well past time that the responsibility for inappropriate & disruptive behaviour in classrooms - and subsequent stress on schoolteachers and schools - was sheeted home to parents.
When did parents cease being responsible for their own offspring?
When did they stop encouraging their kids to love school?
When did they start to rely on organisations to worry about what their kids were up to?
When did they stop actually ‘looking after’ their children?
And, when did parents decide that teachers were fair game for gross criticism?
Decades ago, teachers were respected members of the community; schools were looked on as privileged places of learning. Teachers were appreciated – esteemed even – by parents of school age children and highly regarded by children of all ages.
More recently schools are being considered (predominantly for younger kids, at least) as somewhere for them to be minded while mum & dad go to work or are involved in other (child-free) activities - and the place where all dilemmas and disputes concerning kids and society are to be dealt with.
Schools are also often looked upon as a facility to enable children to be treated exactly as each parent wishes; the continuation of the ‘me, me’ entitlement epidemic. (Groan!)
Meanwhile, well behaved students with a wish to learn suffer, owing to the huge amount of time that teachers and administrators must devote to maintaining a suitable learning environment as they cope with behaviours previously unseen in schools.
Also - it seems that, almost weekly, another issue is put upon schools, for schools (no, not the parents) to deliver appropriate ‘lessons’. Leaving aside the actual imparting of educational skills and knowledge that is the main reason for schools to exist, more and more social problems are being left to the school to solve.
Where are you?
With many children holding little respect for school (in general) or teaching staff, the resultant effect on the ‘good’ students can only be a negative one.
Not to mention the effect on teachers.
To place blame on to schools for poor student behaviour and resulting poor results (in some cases) and never taking into account the attitude imparted by the home and the parental influence is crazy.
Hooray for the few (very few, I’m afraid) voices bravely suggesting (to put it bluntly) that if it’s your kid, teach him/her how to behave correctly, how to be cooperative and, dare I say, be grateful for the privilege of school - instead of being a badly behaved, demanding and disruptive annoying egotist* – or future jailbird!
* have to admit, I really wanted to write ‘little shit’!
Last week I stopped following a (usually interesting) person on Twitter. His tweets were leaning more and more solely towards the (to him) worries faced by the LGBT community, and I was becoming tired of it.
Now...I’m happy that people have been able to ‘own’ their sexuality. It’s great that the stigma seems to be disappearing from the labels and the former insults and so forth, but, when ‘owning’ their sexuality, do these people have to shout quite so loudly?
Sure, some LGBT people have experienced some difficult times but…BUT…there are other groups of people who (IMO) have experienced much more difficult situations AND there are so many more of them.
BUT these people do not have the ability or outlets to be able to shout out their situation - and are unable to gain similar attention as that generated by the LGBT community.
Lately, the Australian Marriage Equality group has begun ‘inviting employers to confirm that they grant full recognition to the same-sex marriages of their employees and customers and do not reclassify these marriages as domestic partnerships, de facto relationships or something else that they are not.’
Dozens (maybe hundreds?) of business and large corporations are now choosing ‘to treat all their employees and customers with the same dignity and respect, regardless of their sexuality or gender.’
It’s been announced as quite big news.
Dozens (Hundreds?) of big name companies are doing this…..Well, great! But is this truly necessary? And, what (or who) is behind such moves?
And for what purpose?
Isn’t it just a bit over-the-top?
Let me quote some statistics. (You can find your own if you wish…they’re all there in one way or another on-line).
Currently, in Australia, 1.8 of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual.
Not that many really.
And, how many of these people are desperate to be married?
Okay, tell me I’m bigoted – or ignorant or just wrong – but I would like to offer a few examples of other groups that might need our attention.
Here are some groups of people, who may need their voice to be heard.
At the most recent count, from the Australian network on disability, there is estimated to be over 4 million people with some form of disability.
That's 1 in 5 people.
Certainly some (perhaps many) have only a slight – and manageable – disability, but there are still many profoundly disabled people who need the community to take notice of them.
For instance, in the count of disabled, there are approximately 34,000 people living with cerebral palsy in Australia.
These people do not have the ability or means to join together in an outspoken community – and, even if they did - and they managed to dress up and parade in glittery rainbow colours, most people would only look away in an embarrassed fluster of awkwardness. (That’s the way it works!).
I seriously doubt that there would be any celebratory parties or announcements by international corporations about supporting them
Think about it.
Then there are the carers; people, usually family members, who care for disabled people.
In 2015 there were 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia. Now that’s a huge amount of people (remember, unpaid) who are working under difficult circumstances – and mainly for LOVE…and necessity.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that around 856,000 carers (32%) are primary carers, those who provide the most informal assistance to another individual.
How about that?
Do we hear much about these valiant folk?
No, because they possess neither the time, nor the energy nor the money to exhibit their plight.
Compare that with the very loud and visible LGBT community, with their voice, their money and (now) the audience.
The disabled and their carers have few opportunities to grab the public’s attention…And yet isn’t their plight somewhat needier than that of the LGBT community? But who gets the attention? Who do we (usually via the media) take notice of?
I could go on.
I have not mentioned needy people who are simply the poor in our midst. It is perhaps enough to offer the Oct 26, 2016 report by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Services), that states that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.9 million people - or 13.3% of all people - now living below the internationally accepted poverty line.
So, where’s all the attention that should be given to that awful fact?
Can someone please start a publicity campaign for all those truly in need of attention in our community?
Oh, well, didn’t think so.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.