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A Parent's Responsibility

Viewed 3051 times 2019-11-21 08:49 |Personal category:Education|System category:Life

I'm a teacher in China. I've been teaching here for 8 years and have had over 5,000 classes. 

I've had students who have far exceeded my expectations. One went to Harvard Medical School. One went to Princeton University. Two were given offers from Yale University. One went to Johns Hopkins Medical School. This year, Gary Mao, my student, was given an offer from the University of Chicago. Gary scored 1580 on the SAT exam. The lowest score on the SAT (美国高考) of my students was 1480 (out of 1600). My average student scores 1530. I consistently see scores of 100 or more on TOEFL.

Perhaps most teachers won't tell you what I will tell you. I'll tell you that a good teacher accounts for about 20% of your child's success. They are like a bus driver. The driver isn't strong enough to carry others to their destination. The bus must do that. Not only the bus, but there must be a road/street and many other things for you to get to where you want to go. The teacher does a very necessary part though their time with your child is limited. Nonetheless, without the driver, you won't go anywhere.

Many parents ask me, "Who is the most important person in my child's education?" The answer to that is easy. The parent is. The parent has the power and responsibility over the child's life. The parent will in fact choose the teacher for their child. The parent, in fact, is responsible for their child 168 hours a week. Teachers only have a few hours with the child each week. In my classes, it is no more than 1.5 or 2 hours a week.

The success I've seen with amazing students has come because I've found parents who will cooperate with me in their child's education. As I reflect on my 8 years in China, I've never had any problem with a parent of a successful student. These parents are smart enough to know how to cooperate with me in giving their child the best English education that they can get. That's why we've seen such amazing results.

Parents who don't cooperate or are always having some kind of problem, sabotage their own child. I've experienced some who have caused trouble for me and their child and have said, "Oh, well maybe I won't come back to you with my child next time." Actually, I have more students than I need now. Such a threat has no impact on me and what I do. I usually have 2-3 children who are wanting to come to my class, but, I have no seat for them. Likewise, I don't need their money. My first priority is excellence in English education for children; not money.

Parents who don't cooperate will cause some trouble for the teacher and a lot of trouble for their own child. They are people who will attack the bus driver (or worse, pilot of the airplane) and cause him trouble when the driver/pilot is simply trying to get them to where they want to go.

When I first came to China in 2011, I saw a sign in English that said, "The child always reflects the parent." Teachers have some effect on the child; parents have the most effect on their child.

Today, I don't try to get great students. I will get great students, but, that's not what I focus on. I look for great parents. There are many great Chinese parents who are mature enough to know how to do what is best for their child. These are parents who mature, civilized and responsible. Children who have such parents are lucky. They will experience the success that they want.

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




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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