Meet the Teachers Session

When we first enrolled Malcolm in the school a month ago, we were briefed the things that he will be taught and the things that he had missed out, since the school term was already 1/2 way through.

The school will teach reading, writing, phonics, math and flash card. Apart from these, they have speech and drama, music, art, gymnastic which are optional. I was glad the teacher did not pressure me into signing him up for any of these classes but pointed out that gymnastic was very popular with his classmates and the kids enjoy it. So, Mal was put in the gym class which is held once a week during school hours.

I attended my first Parent Meet Teacher session in Malcolm’s school last Friday
I didn’t know what to expect.

It turned out that his teachers have all the good things to say about him
perhaps they do that to all parents
Her praise for Malcolm’s learning attitude
was perhaps what that matters most

Since I was back
I’ve heard and read this umpteen times
‘How to prepare your kids for Primary 1 ?’
Frankly I was perplexed
perhaps a little disturbed
I want to prepare my kids for life
NOT for Primary 1

and I know I want him to learn
not through stacks of flashing cards
not through sounding every vowels he sees
not through feeding him
this is this
and that is that

Throw him some numbers
he is happy to juggle them
What is 53 – 7 ?
He will tell you 46
How did you do it ?
‘Pretend it is 13 minus 7
which is 13 minus 3
minus 4
bring you 6’
and that’s how he ends up at 46

making big numbers small
is his way of doing it
It is a system we didn’t feed
A system so precious
like many things I am still waiting for him to figure out

I realised
I have really little or nothing to teach
A is for apple ?
B is for boy ?
Frogs are green ?
Roses are red ?

“Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them”

~John Holt (1923-1985) American Educator,
How Children Fail