how about better parents?

Sometimes, you have to agree with even Thomas Friedman, when he makes sense – especially when, he is not making sweeping generalizations. (link thanks to Mary)

While what he is revealing is not earth shaking, I know that, sometimes we adults (I mean, Suppandis) read and agree with the opinions of only our erudite and ‘well known’ scholars. We don’t have respect for hometruths or bare facts. So.

But here’s what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents.

Being a parent and a teacher, I straddle both worlds, I feel dizzy at times…

To be sure, there is no substitute for a good teacher. There is nothing more valuable than great classroom instruction. But let’s stop putting the whole burden on teachers. We also need better parents. Better parents can make every teacher more effective.

I love it. I love it. I love it. (bold facing in the above quote is my contribution)

I have dealt with many parents (that of my biological children, my class children etc etc) but it is only on very very rare occasions that I have bumped in to reasonable parents – for a given value of reasonableness, I mean.

Incidentally,  I have narrated a few of my encounters with Suppandic parents earlier and hope to do a few more when my time permits it. oh how can I not tell you the stories of our cowardly Suppandis and Suppandinas and their bluster and their arrogant sense of entitlement and their phoniness… oh well.

Please check out the comments of Friedman column readers too…

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  • sipayi  On November 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

    The argument reminds me of my yearly appraisal discussions. A manager complained to me, “you are not being proactive.” When I asked him why, he replied, “I expect you to volunteer to do most of my work.” Sounds logical to him, but not to me.
    In the same lines, does that mean parents who did not have a chance to become literate themselves cannot dream of their kids getting that break?
    I believe teachers, like in every other profession (including mine) are dozen a dime. Good teachers do not expect a student to be helped at home, or belong to a family of educated background. They take the kids as they are, identify their talents, and *help every kid learn*. “Unleash the potential” is overused, but never so correctly did it fit the bill as here.
    So, if I expect my students to have great parent for me to be effective, I would agree that I am mediocre, and not harp about the importance of great parenting. If I am not a great parent — cannot teach my kid (simply because teaching is an art,) — I would suck it up, and hope the kids somehow ‘get it’ if they have it in them.

  • Ramjee Swaminathan  On November 27, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Sipayi, thanks for the comment. I agree with your comment.

    But I don’t think the parents have to be ‘educated’ or erudite. I sincerely believe that if a good sense of robust ‘work ethic’ is passed on (may be along with a good love of books and stuff – this would be a bonus), that .will suffice.

    I would also say that surprisingly(!), erudite & ‘seen the world’ nature of the parents – the higher qualified they are, the worse it is – does not automatically result in passing on of this work ethic that I love to harp on!



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