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Calling a child an idiot will make him such

Elena Barteneva:

Calling a child an idiot will make him such

PanARMENIAN.Net - Pedagogic weakness and how it affects relations with the students, controversies in bringing up theories, creativity, freedom and adaptation to the society, truth and lies, as well as uselessness of shouting at the child – all this has become a topic of conversation with psychoanalyst, member of the Yerevan subsidiary of the New Lacanian School, head of the social and psychological service at Quantum college Elena Barteneva.

Looking for crutches. Pedagogic weakness

Today, teachers come across a big problem: even the most obedient kids, who are gathered into a class of 35, become nearly uncontrollable. Besides, they have to stem the onslaught of parents, who firmly believe that if they don’t protect their children’s rights, these would certainly be trampled. Parents, as a rule, remember the situations in their own school time, when they couldn’t protect themselves. Now, they tell their kids’ teachers all those words, they were not able to tell their own teachers. Perceiving the school as a dangerous place, they come into the building “armed” with the desire to fight for their children.

On the other hand, teachers are suppressed by the school principals, who are, in turn, are obliged to fulfill the curriculum on time.

My advice to all parents: if your child encountered a problem and you think that the teacher is to blame, please, don’t engage in a showdown. Just start with asking questions and let the teacher know that you have a common goal. There are brilliant teachers in Armenia, but there are also those, who need some training. Teachers must not keep parents on tenterhooks and try to resolve all problems with their help. There issues that must be solved with the child only. During this process, a teacher gains experience, tolerance, patience and reliance. Calling parents on every issue testifies about the teacher’s being inexperienced or just tired. It’s like looking for crutches: easy ways to find a solution. Some think that it’s enough to tell parents to make their children behave properly. However, each teacher should have a direct contact with the student and ask questions, if needed.

For the child, the teacher should never be someone who blackmails and complains to parents. This is how weak teachers act. If there is no authority, they look for extra power, be it parents or school principal. If you choose to become a teacher but feel that you lack the authority, please contact a psychologist or your successful colleagues, who holds lessons without shouting, beating and threats. If you have a weak point, you had better first accept it and then try to overcome it. Continuous need to ask other to help is a sign of pedagogic weakness. If a child sits nearby but the teacher has to shout to be heard, it means something has gone wrong.

To become a personality, a child must learn to speak out

There is a period in the life of each teenager, when parents are not well-regarded. It’s a natural process, because the teen must learn to be independent. However, some parents are not ready to lose the grip. They say: “Shut down, you, kid.” Meanwhile, a teenager must gain self-trust and this results in a revolt. “Look at him, he is speaking out,” the parents condemn. But there is nothing bad in expressing oneself. To become a personality, a child must learn to speak out. Teenagers are not always easygoing. Parents just need to be patient and the resistance will abate.

You haven’t done your homework, have you?

Our organism performs how we program it. By saying something accidentally, a doctor can involuntarily deceive a patient into belief that he is seriously ill. The same can happen in school. Not expressing their opinion about the students, teachers can show attitude in some phrases like “You haven’t done your homework, have you?” said in an accusing manner.

Calling a child an idiot will make him such sooner or later. My mother, a teacher herself used to say: “A teacher enters the class with his/her own teachers behind the scenes.” It means that we teach our children just like we were taught by our own teachers. Here, a very strong motivation and serious work is needed to change something. Armenia has already started this process by organizing trainings for the teachers and inviting psychologists for cooperation.

Turning off the lights

To respect a student means to value the personality. Sometimes you can meet an uneducated man, who understands the others so well as if he has several diplomas in psychology. However, you can also meet an educated man who treats people like trash.

I once visited the schools in Gegharkunik province of Armenia. Imagine the situation when the students and the teacher are going from one classroom to another. The teacher utters phrases like: “Hurry up”, Boys and girls, we are waiting for you”, “Do you need help to take your bag”. The other opinion is to say, “We are going, please turn off the lights and lock the door.”

There is no one and only correct reaction, but there are many wrong ones. The most awful situation which happens is when teacher turns off the lights, leaving the child alone in the classroom, as if he/she doesn’t exist. To make a student change for the better, the teacher should first of all change the attitude towards the child.

Society wants predictable people

To treat every child as a personality is not an easy task for teachers, as school often deprives its students of individuality. Some say that only 3% of all people are creative, although modern pedagogical science strives to awaken creativity in children. As a matter of fact, creative mind is not controlled easily, that’s why many teachers prefer not to support creative ideas, with their own possibilities being limited by the curriculum, textbooks and administrative inspections. It’s always easy to say, “Just shut up and don’t try to be clever.”

Society wants predictable people. Meanwhile, the school’s main task is not teaching mathematics but teaching how to distinguish between the useful and useless information. 60 years ago, a teacher as the only source of knowledge. A village school had one teacher and his library consisting of a dozen of old books. He served as a link with the civilized world and enlightened the people. Today, no teacher can provide more information than the Internet. That’s why it’s so important now to be able to filter the huge amount of information.

Don’t run and don’t shout

In many schools children are not allowed to run and speak loudly during the breaks. Of course, dozens of shouting kids in a school corridor is not a pleasant scene, but there is a school yard, where they can run out of steam after the lessons. In China, for example, it’s a usual practice. In our schools, teachers are mostly women and they prefer not to risk and keep the children “safe”. They are just afraid of the anger of the parents if something happens to their kid. However, any rational parent must understand that a child can run and sometimes fall. No one has grown up without scratching a knee. Sportsmen are first of all trained to fall correctly. Our goal is not to prohibit children from running but to teach them how to fall without hurting themselves.

Lusine Dallakyan / PanARMENIAN.Net
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