When I first joined the school, there was a meeting a week before the beginning of Term 2. We had the meeting in the library. The meeting was chaired by the CEO, and the Founder was there too. The Founder made a speech, and in that speech, he mentioned: "We have to treat each child as our own, then things will turn out alright." - in brief, he was merely trying to tell the newbies that we have to treat them well, the way we do our own children. I was touched; to me, it made a whole lot of sense because if we don't love them, there's no way they would love us and pay attention in class.
Six months had passed (a tad too slow), and I realise that whatever the Founder had said was just his words of wisdom. I have tried to be nice, to be a "parent" to them, but it backfired. They won't listen but would continue with what they were doing at that time, be it chasing their friends, talking too loudly or not doing their work. Maybe I wasn't strict enough from the beginning, but then, they are not my kids and teachers are not allowed to impose physical punishment including getting them to stand on the chair. When they cause trouble, I tried talking nicely to them but it didn't work - not the primary kids whom I'm teaching.
I began to think...
It is easy for others, particularly those who have never been teachers - or those who assume they know what it's like to be one - to tell us to treat students like our own children. This is pure fallacy; it's just fatherly talk. In reality, we can't treat students that way, not in this era. Firstly they aren't ours; we can't impose our rules on other people's kids because they may rebel (one of my students recently spread rumours about his teacher because he dislikes her), and their parents may not like the way we try to mould their children. Heaven forbid, they may even sue us if we say or do things that we know is right, but to them it's wrong. Secondly, those who offer such advice to teachers have dealt with only two or three children (of their own); they may not even have brought them up by themselves!! They obviously do not know the problems that we have in dealing with hundreds of kids of various backgrounds, varied attitudes and different upbringings. We deal one student differently from another, and we certainly can't help all, or even ten of them, given the amount of teaching load and non-teaching duties that we have per week. Some are able to accept our ways, others are not. And when things get too heated up due to the number of students teachers have to handle, they would not be motivated and will end up being burned out just trying to educate the recalcitrant or obnoxious ones. Teachers are humans, so they do get stressed out easily if the expectations are too great but the results too insignificant.
So, do we still need to treat students like the way we treat our own children? Nope. Students don't want another "mommy and daddy" - they already have enough naggers at home. Perhaps the Founder was trying to make his point across metaphorically, not literally. I don't know. Go ask him.