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A Composition Written by my Daughter who is Afraid of Going to School

Popularity 21Viewed 18192 times 2013-12-31 04:02 |System category:Life

This autumn my 9 year old daughter became a student of Grade Four. However, two months later, she said she was afraid of -going to school, and she was willing to stay home for self-taught. It's too bad for me and her mother. You know, the school she is studying in is one of the best one in my city, and we got access to it after operating a series of Guanxi(关系)and offering an extra sum of money for the school. Now she feels hatred of the best school in parents' eyes. Why? The other day, she was asked to write a composition with the title "My Class Chief", which I read several times, not because the writing itself is well written, but because it answers my doubt about her hatred of schooling. I translated her writing with a little adaption. After all, I know the whole scenario better from the point of view of a parent and a bystander.

 

 

Mr. Gao, Teacher in Charge of my Class

Written by Sunny

Translated by ALittleBoat

 

Mr. Gao is my Chinese teacher. He is in charge of Class 8, Grade 4, in which there are 85 students, including me. In the eyes of us childern, as a chief, he is the top officer with much more power than our parents. We hate him and love him simultaneously. We are scared of him but we also admire him. He’s humorous. He’s very special, anyhow.

 

As soon as he took over my class, the whole class was engulfed with the air of fear, for Mr. Gao is good at punishing us, either ordering you copy all the assignments ten times or moving you from the front row to the last one. In the very beginning, I was so frightened at him that I began to tremble at thinking of him.  

 

Once, he made me grind me teeth with ‘hatred’ for him. He assigned us to make a copy of handwritten newspaper. I toiled for a whole morning, and worked it out. Heartedly I was satisfied with, or even proud of, the beautiful handwriting and elegant writings in my newspaper.  “It deserves the praise of my teacher.” I thought. However, there was no praise at all the next morning, and even worse, I was moved backwards two rows as a punishment!

 

  According to Mr. Gao’s arrangement, the seat is determined by your academic achievements, and correspondently, the quantity of your assignment is determined by your seat. The good students in front rows will have less assignment than those in the back rows. Likewise, in one period of class, if you answer a question not so good as the other student in back seat, you’ll be forced to exchange your seat with him at once.

 

Don’t you think how different from other teacher he is?

 

Concerning his difference from the rest, here is another example. Once, Mr. Gao asked me to write out some Chinese characters on the blackboard, but he offered me no chalk! I asked him for it. He said he had just written on the blackboard and so there surely was some chalk, and what I should do was to look for them. I had to look around on the ground for chalk under the staring of my 84 classmates. I felt embarrassed very much, my cheeks flushing. In the end, I found out a piece of chalk sized as a nail and managed to finish the writing. Later on, I learned that Mr. Gao did so on purpose in order to boot my courage and improve my ability to cope with difficulties.

 

Mr. Gao is very humorous. One boy in my class had wrongly read “ a pinch of hair” (一撮毛儿) as “ a pee of hair”(撮毛儿)Mr. Gao said in an ironical tone, “Thank you, you teach me a brand-new word ‘ a pee of hair’. With his word the whole class burst into laughter. 

 

Mr. Gao is also a serious teacher. He had punished me to copy the whole test paper because I had made a mistake in one question. I hadn’t thought that he would check the copy seriously. To my surprise, he found two misspelled words form the whole copy!

 

He cares and loves his students very much. I had been in bad health for a period and asked for a sick leave. He told me to see a doctor as soon as possible, and mercifully allowed me to cut down my assignments. You’d better to know, we have to stay at home to finish all the assignments until 10 pm without playing outside after class! During those days of my sickness, I felt what happiness is!

 

Stern and strict as Mr. Gao is with us, we know by heart what he does is for the benefit of us. So, our parents think of him as a good class chief, so do WE, the students.   

 

The original writing by Sunny

 

我的班主任

我的班主任高老师是一个让我们又爱又恨,又怕又喜欢的人,而且还非常幽默,与众不同。

高老师刚到我们班时,便使我们全班人心惶惶。因为他惩罚我们的招数非常狠,不是让你写作业写十遍,就是把你的座位调到最后一排。刚开始,我怕得夜里睡不着,一想到他就心惊胆战。

可是有一次使我咬牙切齿地“恨”上了他。那次他让我们办一份手抄报。我费尽心思,花了一上午的时间,终于办出了一份自己觉得还不错的手抄报。可是第二天不仅没有得到表扬,而且座位还被往后调了两排。唉,一个上午的努力又付诸东流了。

高老师认为学生的好坏都能从所坐的座位上看出来,所以便按座位来定作业量的多少。坐前面的作业就少,越往后作业就越多。同样,如果有人问题回答得比你好,那么你和他就要互换座位。

他的与众不同还不仅在于此。有一次,他让我到黑板上写字,可却没给我粉笔,我向他要,他却说他刚才也写字了,所以一定有粉笔,让我自己找。没办法,在同学众目睽睽之下,我在讲台四周仔细搜索,终于找到了一个指甲盖儿大小的粉笔,凑合着写了。后来才知道,这是高老师故意的,想要锻炼我们的胆量,提高我们解决问题的能力。

他还非常幽默。有一次,一个男生把“一撮毛儿”读成了“撮毛儿”。高老师说:“谢谢你,让我知道了‘撮毛儿’这个词。”全班哄堂大笑。

高老师也是一个认真负责关爱学生的好老师。有一次,我抄了卷子,原本认为老师不会认真改,可高老师竟然还改出了两个错字。有一段时间,我身体不太好,经常请假。高老师让我抓紧治疗,还让我量力而行。

高老师虽然对我们很严厉,但那都是为我们好。我们都很喜欢这个又严厉又幽默的班主任。

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (29 comments)

Reply Report tradervic 2014-1-1 15:16
Sorry... this is just the pre-lims for College and a Full Time Job.  If nothing else, your teacher is just being more honest about it than others.
Reply Report juzunme 2014-1-1 15:48
One thing that struck me was the huge number of student in a class - 85. It's no wonder mass production method is used in teaching.

The other thing is the over use of negative motivation as opposed to positive motivation.

The key difference is that negative motivation will make the student produce the work as close to the one they think the teacher expect - everyone will produce the same type of work. Positive motivation will open up ways for student to think of another better way to do it without any fear of repercussion.

That said, of course there are times when negative motivation is useful when teaching class where discipline is a problem. There is no one single method of producing results.
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-1-1 22:45
Very nice teacher to me. Good mix of gravitas, fairness  and dedication.
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 00:13
tradervic: Sorry... this is just the pre-lims for College and a Full Time Job.  If nothing else, your teacher is just being more honest about it than others.
Maybe you're right. Mr Gao has been a teacher in charge of graduates in that primary school fom many years. He's very experenced in impoving the rate of addimision for the top secondary schools.
Howvere, I don't think it is due time for Grade 4 students to suffer form the experience so early.
Thanks for you comment. Happy new year, my good friend!
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 00:15
Dr.Bill.Shen: Very nice teacher to me. Good mix of gravitas, fairness  and dedication.
Do you really think so?! Haha.
Anyhow, my daughter doesn't think so.

Happy new year!
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 00:16
juzunme: One thing that struck me was the huge number of student in a class - 85. It's no wonder mass production method is used in teaching.

The other thing i ...
Happy new year!
We share the same interest in cross-culture communication. Great!
Hope to read your writings on it.
Reply Report KIyer 2014-1-2 07:06
A teacher should be respected, not feared. Children sometimes fear authority out of habit. It is up to the parents to have some input and give feedback if their children express fear of the teachers. Just because one went through a lot of money and effort, one should not continue with the children in a school for too long - try to work out things, if they fail one has to make a hard decision and pull the kids out to send to a school where they will be less stressed. Some stress at school is OK, but not too much.
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-1-2 11:54
ALittleBoat: Do you really think so?! Haha.
Anyhow, my daughter doesn't think so.

Happy new year!
I do think this teacher is good. Teaching is not only about the knowledge from text books, but also about cultivating the right mindset and attitude facing adversity and setbacks. Right now, most children in cities are over-spoiled and believe everything should be taken care by someone else. Sugar-coated approaches give the kids wrong impression that whatever they do, they will be ok and bear no consequences. If a kid can tough out this teacher's class, I tend to think he/she will be better mentally equipped when facing various difficulties.
Reply Report Canadianman12 2014-1-2 13:04
Fear can be a great motivator but it depends on where it is directed.  Fear of punishment squashes creative thought as the student learns to do only that which circumvents punishment.  Students must have the freedom to fail to foster an open classroom with no fear that an idea will be admonished.  I always say criticize the class praise the individual.
Reply Report liu5222512 2014-1-2 15:33
Nice translation.
Learn a lot.
Thanks for your contributing with your daughter's article in Chinese,which make us Chinese understand better.
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 15:51
liu5222512: Nice translation.
Learn a lot.
Thanks for your contributing with your daughter's article in Chinese,which make us Chinese understand better.
It seems you're keen on learning English. Great!  I recommend you to read articles in the editorial column of Chinadaily. They're well written and thought-provoking.
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 15:58
KIyer: A teacher should be respected, not feared. Children sometimes fear authority out of habit. It is up to the parents to have some input and give feedbac ...
Class for students is also a stage. A harmonious class depends on the interaction of teachers and students. A teacher full of love for children is definitely going to know what the kids desparately need, and how to deliever those needs to them.
You're right. Kids need some pressure for better developing. Also they need a relaxed surroundings for growing.
For a student of Grade Four, i think it's the teacher who needs to refresh his teaching ideas and means.
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 15:59
Dr.Bill.Shen: I do think this teacher is good. Teaching is not only about the knowledge from text books, but also about cultivating the right mindset and attitude f ...
Good comment!
Reply Report ALittleBoat 2014-1-2 16:00
Canadianman12: Fear can be a great motivator but it depends on where it is directed.  Fear of punishment squashes creative thought as the student learns to do only t ...
I agree with you. Good point of view on kids education!
Reply Report liu5222512 2014-1-2 20:51
ALittleBoat: It seems you're keen on learning English. Great!  I recommend you to read articles in the editorial column of Chinadaily. They're well written and tho ...
Thanks for your good recommendation.
Why not.
Reply Report tradervic 2014-1-3 03:10
ALittleBoat: Maybe you're right. Mr Gao has been a teacher in charge of graduates in that primary school fom many years. He's very experenced in impoving the rate  ...
That is what parents are for - to help children understand the world around them - including questionable teaching methods.  
Reply Report SoCalChevy 2014-1-6 05:56
Very interesting article!
Reply Report SoCalChevy 2014-1-6 06:29
Good to see you are posting again!
Reply Report Robin-Zhang 2014-1-15 21:47
May be it is the tradition way to success in china
Reply Report futsanglung 2014-1-23 15:22
You hit the nail on the head when you say it is too early in her studies for this, it is never too early, maybe you are too soft with her at home

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