While the debate on bribing kids against rewarding them only for good behavior seems to have no end, I am going to touch upon gifts in an all together new reference in this post.
Last month, post Holi was Pari’s progress report day. She was due to receive the report of her performance in the final exams.
For the records, her school has grading system as Good, Could do better and Needs to practice more; instead of the regular A, B, C. And ranking is not allowed. Besides, it being the result of the performance of 4 year olds, I was excited to see how Pari had performed after the hard-work she’d invested in preparation for the exams.
When I reached Pari’s class, what I saw was totally unexpected. The parents were less into seeing through the exam sheets and more into giving gifts to the teacher. Gifts are not allowed in Pari’s school so the teacher could be heard making meet-up plans in hushed tone. There were a few parents who could be heard boasting aloud how lavish a Holi party they’d hosted and how they loved to see the teacher and her family enjoy after having taken care of their child.
I might sound like an alien, but, I found these words and scenes pretty disturbing. The joy on finding how wonderfully my child had performed, how her exam sheets were lined with stars and ‘Very Good’ everywhere seemed to have suddenly taken a back-seat.
I have always felt that I’m a crazy parent but that day I witnessed first signs of confirmation of this belief.
I was left unnerved by the brief events of that day. I couldn’t help but wonder what good did such gifts bring for the young minds. Is this not a way of bribing the teachers to seek good grades in exams and leave worry of the child’s performance on the back burner?
While the corruption aspect of this didn’t bother me as much as it fueled a train of thoughts, as to what impact such behavior had on the minds of their children?
This was the scene when the school wasn’t giving marks, grades or ranks. And who amongst us remembers what marks we had scored in kindergarten or class 1 or even class 3 for that matter? And even if you do remember your marks, does it have any impact on your life?
But, what I learnt as a 4-year-old is still etched in my mind. I still remember what my parents or teachers at that tender age taught me or showed me. Maybe I am over-reacting to a norm, maybe I dwell in a Utopian world in my mind, but somewhere something felt very wrong to me. Now that I know what is the usual practice by other parents, still I have no intentions what-so-ever to go out of my way to give gifts to Pari’s teachers in the new session.
What are your thoughts on gifting teachers?
Is it a norm and an acceptable practice?
* This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge 2016. My theme is Parenting.
Please find my other posts here.