The year end examinations for Nicole will end today. Yahoo!! And after coaching her intensively in preparations for her papers, I think I am going to become a monster parent that I have always looked down on. Have you heard of the nasty, obnoxious parents who question the teacher’s marking scheme? The ones who bring up their theory of hows and whys to confront the teachers? The very ones who drive educators up the wall? Yup, those very ones. I have a feeling I may morph into one. I’m specifically referring to her Exam Scripts. (Do note, for behavioural issues, I give all teachers the final say. No problem.)
Let me explain. Nicole is my first born. And she’s 8, in Primary 2 this year. If you don’t know, P2 is the first year official examinations start in our little pressure cooker island Singapore. Everything would culminate to the FINAL MARK which would determine which class she ends up in for P3. (and etc etc all the way for the rest of her academic life.)
Honestly, I’m ok with any grade Nicole gets as long as she does her best. BUT I’m not ok if her paper is unfairly marked. (If the actual questions were unfair, that’s another issue altogether!)
Ahem… that’s when my transformation into THAT parent begins. You see, during revision, I came across questions which can have more than one answer. (that’s quite normal, especially if you have questions on the *beautiful* language—English). A good marking script would be one filled with the possible answers so that whoever that marks the papers would have it easy. And of course, a conscientious HOD would ensure too, that all possible answers are explored and agreed upon accordingly. I was a teacher before. I know how tough it is.
So now I am a parent. On the other side of the fence. Every mark does make a difference. IF for sentence construction, she has a mark deducted for saying “PETER CELEBRATED HIS BIRTHDAY LAST SATURDAY” instead of the answer the teacher was looking for “LAST SATURDAY, PETER CELEBRATED HIS BIRTHDAY”, I will be THAT parent. If for Math, under Fill in the Blank with the Correct Answer, she spelt out FIVE instead of writing the answer 5, and has a mark deducted for that, I will be THAT parent.
You see, as long as I am UNABLE to explain to her why her answer is wrong, I will be THAT parent. That’s my bottom line.
Right now, we await her results. I am not proud to be THAT parent. But I’ve laid my case. I will if I have to. The education system is unforgiving to the child, so forgive me, if I do the same to the education system. (I’m not a confrontational person, so I’m not looking forward to this at all!)
What would you do if you are unable to explain why your child’s answer is wrong?