An educator who was a principal for many years, writes in View from the Ark of the Catholic Times, about a visit to an Alternative School (non- traditional education) to give a talk to the parents, an occasion he has never forgotten. The educator had sent the outline of his talk to the principal of the school and was told it would also be good for the students to hear the talk, so they joined the parents in the lecture hall.
He was somewhat perplexed with the change but
adapted appropriately. During the talk, he kept his eyes on the students
and was surprised at their attention, their answers to his questions
and their questions.
After the talk, more
satisfied than usual, he was especially amazed at the happiness showing on the faces of the students, and without much thought asked a
group of students walking along the corridor: "Are you happy?' The
students stopped and answered with one voice. "Yes, we are very happy."
Without giving them much time he again asked: "Why?" One of the
students who was lively in his questioning during the lecture answered:
"We are respected by the teachers this makes us happy." Another girl
with the group smiling answered: "Sir, there is another reason also for
the happiness, mothers are not here with us."
educator had heard that at the beginning of the school year it was not
like this. Disorder and confusion was the everyday situation, but with the passage
of time and interaction with the teachers all changed. They were
away from home and living in dormitories, a different
environment from what had been their experience.
the words of the girl he was embarrassed for the mothers. They heard
what was said, and their heads were lowered. No doubt they were thinking it was their fault their child was not going to the public
schools in their area, and were at a distance from home going to an
Alternative School. The educator felt it was not only these mothers who
needed to lower their heads. Korean mothers' love for their children
requires they give them the best possible education without concern for the needs of the child. Parents put a great burden on the children
and compare them with other children which is seen as cruelty by the
children. Often they put off the religious education of the children
until they get into college.
The three requisites in
getting into a good school: the grandfathers financial situation, the
mothers gathering of information, and fathers lack of interest. This
is the reason says the educator for the feeling of some of the children
towards their mothers. He quotes the phrase from chapter 6 of Matthew:
"Set you hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all
these other things will be given to you as well."
retells an anecdote about Gandhi. He was approached by a mother who
wanted him to tell the child to stop eating so many sweets. Gandhi
heard the request and told them to return in 10 days. He had been eating
sweets himself and wanted time to not eat sweets so he could speak from
his heart and experience. Gandhi's explanation was
sufficient to have the child overcome his habit of eating sweets. The article concludes: mothers, and all of us, have to be doers of the word before we
can become Effective teachers.