Monday, September 22, 2008

Monster in a teacher`s disguise

A 30 something Lady who takes tuitions in a suburb in Mumbai (TT for convenience)

A 10 year old girl from a reputed English medium ,ICSE school in a suburb in Mumbai (G for convenience).

The concerned, harassed mother of the girl (M for convenience).

Tuesday evening 4.30 at TT`s residence.

M drops G for her tuitions. G is tired after a long day (school from 8.30 to 3.30) and has been dropped here straight from school. On the way , in a rickshaw, M fed her a sandwich and she sipped cold flavoured milk. G is sweaty, tired and just wants to lie down.

G enters the class. There are at least a dozen more such students sitting around with their books. She walks up to the TT , “Good evening Miss.”
TT ,” Oh! Good you are here. Sit down and quickly show me your handbook. Prisha ,have you finished learning? Hmm G show me your work.”
G listlessly opens her handbook and shows it to TT.
TT, “ok let`s start. Have you finished the home work I gave you yesterday?”
G fearfully shakes her head and mumbles, “No, Miss.”
TT thunders ,”Why?”
G, “ It was my friend`s birthday. After tuitions I went home and changed and went to her house. I came at 8pm and was very tired ,so I went off to sleep. There was no time.”
TT,” No time? You lazy girl. You just don`t want to work. Get up right now. Pick up that broom and sweep this room. That`s your punishment. You don`t study ,then this is what you will do when you grow up. Become a maid and sweep houses. Get up”. She pinched G.
G is sobbing, “Please Miss, sorry Miss.”
TT, ‘You get up right now. I am going to click a picture and show it to your friends in school.”
G is traumatized and hangs her head in shame. When M comes to pick her up G is sullen.
They reach home and G bursts out. “You don`t love me. You know what the TT made me do today?”
She narrates the incident and the M turns around, “But Beta , it is your fault. You must finish your work on time na. Now , now. It`s ok. She wishes well for you.”
M is taken aback by the incident but thinks it is wise to keep her thoughts to herself. The TT may throw her G out of the class. Better to be quiet.
This is a true incident. It happened to my friend. She shared it with me and asked ,“What can I do?”.
I just couldn`t take it. Where are we going? All of us are to be blamed. So caught up we are in the rat race, that we do not realize the harm we cause to our own children. We cry ourselves hoarse over capital punishment but what about Mental abuse?
It is so demeaning and demoralizing for any individual to be treated in this manner.Mental abuse erodes a child`s self esteem and self worth. It kills the will to excel and cripples him emotionally.
As for the TT shame on her. Anyone who treats children like that cannot be a teacher. She is a monster who will devour any child`s self esteem and confidence. Beware of such monsters in a teacher`s disguise.

p.s. I wish we would actually listen to our children. We tend to brush off their fears and complains and constantly push them to be strong,smart,brave etc etc.

p.p.s. Would any of us brush the incident if it happpened to us as an individual? Why can`t we stand up for our own children. Why do we find faults with them and justify the teacher`s actions ,no matter how shameful they are??

pic courtsey


Mampi said...

I and My daughter were horrified to read this. Yes, children must be listened to. Their fears are never unfounded. They must be treated with respect not only by parents but also by their teachers.
Good that you posted it. It would awaken many complacent souls.

DeeplyDip said...

I agree that M as a parent feels scared to say anything to the TT. But if it is actually bad for G, why should M not go ahead and tell the TT her mind and pull G out herself? Why continue to obey unwillingly?

Sandhya said...

I was upset reading your blog. Aren't we, as parents also to be blamed? A 10 year old child needs help and understanding from her parents, esp. mother. The mother should take time to teach her child in lower classes at least. When they come to 8th std., then, we can, if need arises, send them out to tuitions. We should not expect each and every child to come first in the class. If they get slightly lower marks, we should ask them to take it easy and do better in the next test/exam. Yes, the competition is too much, nowadays. The children are not brought up as children. No time to sit and read story books, go out and play - nothing. They don't even play carrom! No scrabbles. Just study the same school books, tuitions or TV or Computer.

Sorry, I am going overboard, hmm? The child should be given some breathing space. The mother should check what the child is going through - if she has got homework, she should make the child to finish it or she has to personally inform the teacher, why the child could not finish the home work. Now, she should make sure all the parents of the tuition children know how the teacher abuses her students. The parents should make sure, the teacher is ashamed of herself for her behaviour.

my space said...

@mampi..i was horrified too..makes my blood boil..i feel horrible every time I think of G.

@DD..G no longer goes there. But I wish M had told the TT off..instead she was very apologetic to her and to top it TT forfieted 1 month fee..

@Sandhya..I agree totally...we as parents push our kids...we want to take all the credit for their achievements and to be one up on other parents we just go overboard...'I will listen to my child', should be every Mom`s mantra

Roop Rai said...


that's abuse straight up! kids are human beings too and deserve that respect. how wrong. really hurt me reading this. :( i hope M acts in the best way (the only way) possible.

Aaarti said...

Whoaa.. u kidding me... the mother should go have a talk with the teacher... she cant let her child be abused like this... sad....

the kid will not want to go back to tuition
the mom will not let the kid miss cos for her grades are important
the teacher will continue to harrass kids lke this....

the kid doesnt deserve this..
the mom should put her kid as top priority....

I am upset reading this post....!!

Aaarti said...

OMG, am so upset reading this post...

What did the mom do?
the kid need not go thru this..
the kid is being harrassed for no fault of hers... i mean, give her a break.. she is just 10...

the mom should also realise the teacher is being cruel and tell her what she is doing is wrong..
the mom should not be quiet and let it pass by... she sets a bad example..
the kid will anyways not want to go back to the teacher

i sure hope the mom stopped the classes!!!
shucks!!! this is bad!!!

DeeplyDip said...

yeh to ulta chor kutwal ko daante wali baat ho gayi! It is M's fault that she apologised instead of telling the TT off. It is completely the parent's fault if they allow the TT to behave like this with their child. If you don't stand up for their one will...

Shalom said...

Education should be a character-building and life-preparing experience, yet I think we tend to obsess only about one thing: marks, marks, marks. And for that, many parents run their children ragged going from school to one tuition to the next. Getting "good marks" in school doesn't necessarily mean you're set in terms of your career. Your personality and abilities count just as much. Scarring that personality, especially at such a tender, impressionable age does only harm, no good. Your friend's kid is much better off on her own than left to the whims of such crazed teachers.

Solitaire said...

Forgive me for asking but did this incident happen in India? Are there no child protective laws?

Piper .. said...

gosh! How awful! I wonder what M will do.. there are too many scary stories of nasty teachers in the news these days. cant imagine the horror the child must be going through..

Mystic Margarita said...

This is terrible - this is cause for major emotional trauma. Is exceling in studies that important that parents would subject their children through such humiliation?

Mystic Margarita said...

This is terrible - this is cause for major emotional trauma. Is exceling in studies that important that parents would subject their children through such humiliation?

my space said...

roop-children need to be respected..only then can they build self-esteem

Aarti-as i have posted earlier, M jus kept shut...infact she was apologetic to the TT!!But thankfully she has stopped the classes.

Shalom--i agree..we are such suckers for marks that we are ready to bear atrocities for them..It is really a sad state..
btw, thanx fr drpng by :-)
Solitaire--Yep India , in a posh suburb in Mumbai .
Thanx fr drpng by :-)

Piper...Don`t know who to blame for this messy situation..first and foremost parents. But again they too are forced to take such steps(tuitions etc) to keep up with the cut throat competition.

MM..It bugs me to no end..thanx fr dropping by :-)

Prakhar said...

Its really horrible...nd TT certainly needs help...psychologically some thing wrong with her.

Poor child...M should have stood up for her child...

if you can...plz ask her to give earful to TT..


Dear you are very far from teachers have beaten children to death here..

GettingThereNow said...

I am horrified reading about this incident! This happened recently??? And I think M's fault is bigger than TT's. She should have stood up for her daughter. It is very difficult to do, but it is the ONLY right thing to do. Poor G must think NO ONE is on her side. Humiliating her like that?? I would have had a fit if someone treated my daughter like that. EVEN IF it was my daughter's fault. 10 year olds make mistake (and in this case I don't think it is G's fault). But humiliating them like this does not fit ANY mistake.

my space said...

@Prakhar..You know TT is in my yoga class...I jus could not concentrate on pranayams cos was so upset ..M is a very timid lady..I did tell her to let TT know that this is jus not done..M being M sd its ok..i am not sending G anymore.
@CK..Yes jus last week..I think M is jus too sweet for her own good..Jus today i read a quote that said..."Children may not remember what you said, but they never forget how you made them feel" heart bleeds for G..
Children deserve love and dignity..

Reflections said...

So many problems like this were untold previously. The parents kept quiet for other reasons too. They feared tht their child might be singled out for more toture if they spk out abt it. And so they kept quiet.
But now situation is different parents must not keep quiet. Keeping quiet doesnt solve anything.

Renu said...

I feel that the person to blame here is mother. As parents we always have high ambitions for our children and sacrifice our chidlren's childhood for them.
Here teacher is harsh, but she has a job to do, tomorrow if a child is not doing well ,parents immediately blame the teacher, secondly teacher never knows whats the truth, child may be making excuses also which is not very uncommon,Here mother is the only one who knows the situation completely, why make a child's routine so tightly planned that she cant afford to go out on a bday? Then if u do so, its ur duty to write a note to the teacher telling that ur child hasnt been able to do homework because of this reason.She does neither.Her daughter is made to take the blame for the lapse which was not because of her doing.

D said...

Our education system is in shambles. And the parents are as much to blame as the teacher. It's time we paused to think what we want to give our children: an education or a degree?

my space said...

@D...easier said than done!
@renu..well i agree that TT was not aware but that does not amean that she can demean or demotivate a child in this manner.M surely did not knw the repurcussions of not doing the HW. It is a sad situation.
@Reflections..parents are still scared least in India they are.

Indian Home Maker said...

even if the child was difficult, bad behaved, lazy (??), irresponsible etc the teacher had no business to behave like this. This is so outrageous. I read the next post before this, and did not know what happened.
And if he mother truly cared to, she could do a lot. To start with she could give a serious thought as to why a ten year old needs a tuition teacher!
And if she truly feels the need, then she better look for another teacher. My fist reaction was: 'dare anybody try something even half as much as this with my kids!'
Somewhere in her mind this mother believes it's okay for teachers to try anything to get the little girl a good (?) report card. Many Indian parents feel this way :(
I have my own stories of having confronted such **&&^%$.

-It's like this. If anybody else hurts/abuses/ill treats your child you will pounce, but if the culprit happens to be a teacher, some people will accept any thing. I always, right from play group age never told my kids that teachers are always right, or only think of you best! (We know they don't!!)
I always said, the way a mother can make mistakes, teachers can too, if they do/say anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, they must tell me.
Weak mothers have sad children.

Renu said...

Where are you Arti?
Did u see today's newspaper? one child was thrashed by a teacher and got disgusting.