The Parent Every Teacher Hates to Meet
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?
I'm always that parent. But since my son has autism, I've had to be that parent a lot. that is why I"m now the PTA president. I want them to know me very well.
I am that parent, too. Some of the stuff our schools do to children is senseless.
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I enjoyed the read and enjoy knowing another of such a parent because I know that I am one. As you have eloquently put it, the system is so unforgiving to the kids so yes, they should be prepared for us to take a similar stance and approach too. I am certainly not looking forward to our turn. :/ Well, our motto at home – when in doubt, ask and question? :p
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I often encourage parents of students from the the tuition centres i used to work before to fight for the child, esp when it comes to answering of questions. Often, teachers from school (no offense) would be very persistent of their answer and would sometimes brush off answers that tutors deem right. There were a few times I was actually given the permission to write into the school to question the answers provided by my student. When the attention is due all the way up to the principal, I'm at the winning end. Dun worry, so long as u know your child answer is correct, fight for it. Every mark is very important to the child. Most of the time, teachers just stick to the answer key given by the HOD or the setter.
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If it would make a significant grade impact to get it changed, I'd pursue it. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd let it go. I'm a little old school in that, I guess because I've seen so much extremism the other way.
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As somewhat of a grammar nazi, I think that I will be that parent too when my time comes! :S But I don't think that marks should be deducted for those examples that you gave, unless they say specifically something like, use a particular sentence structure, or do not spell out the number but write it out instead what, right? 😀 After all, they should keep in mind the objective of the test, and not nit-pick on (correct) variations of the answer.
Oh man. I am so going to be THAT parent too! 😛
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I think I will be one too. I feel the emotions brewing already as it is, even though Joey is only in Primary One this year. Looks like next year will be an exciting year for us. 😛
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Is this a mother thing? I am quite ok with whatever marking scheme the school uses. As long as my kids are learning, I'm quite ok with the rest.. But of course, unless the marking is so unfair and causes my child to be confused, maybe I will highlight to the school bah..
You are not alone, I'm that parent too, maybe worse. 🙂 I pulled my child from a school last year after a constructive confrontation with a teacher, then I sent a letter to her, the assistant principal, and the principal outlining the unacceptable behavior and my expectations. We put him in a private school for that year. The good news is, I found out just last night that that teacher was let go last year, which was wonderful news since my daughter is going to be attending the school next year.
Thanks for sharing!
We are all that parent!
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Oh my.. I think i will be like that too.. though its still many years later to think about but its so competitive these days and yes even a single mark counts!
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