A good teacher is a gift to the world, a bad teacher a burden.

To understand just how valuable a good teacher can be, one needs to appreciate something about children: they like to attach themselves to adults.  When children become attached to an adult, they tend to develop characteristics and behaviours like those of the adult they’re attached too.  If they are attached to an adult who is kind, the child learns how to be kind, if they are attached to an adult who is cruel, they learn how to be cruel.  Because children are not good at making judgements, they tend to attach to adults for the most superficial or trivial reasons: they liked their hair, smile, clothes, hug, body movement etc… Adults do this too, for example when you adopt characteristics of your romantic partner or a co-worker you admire.  However, adults are selective and cautious in forming attachments, children tend to be far more open and less discerning.

When children go to school it is normal for them to attach themselves to a teacher, they won’t necessarily attach to every teacher or just any teacher, but typically they will find a teacher they feel a connection with.  If this teacher is kind, patient, studious, thoughtful, understanding and enthusiastic, the children tend to adopt these traits into themselves via their attachment.  If the teacher is rude, anxious, lazy, careless, uninterested and dull, the children tend to adopt these traits into themselves just as easily.

To be fair, parents and genetics generally play a bigger role than teachers do, but research into narcissism has revealed that when children from an abusive household have a good teacher as a role-model it gives them a second chance at becoming a healthy well-rounded adult despite the bad start at home.  Conversely a bad teacher can actually damage a child even if they come from a healthy supportive family.

So, choosing a good teacher for your child is an important decision.  However, due to government restrictions it is near impossible to control what teacher your child is going to get.  Maybe you will get lucky, maybe you won’t.  It is often a waste of time talking to the school if you want to move your child out of a grade into another, but even that is assuming that you can tell the difference between a good teacher and a bad one.  From visiting various schools I’ve come to realise that different schools have an atmosphere, this atmosphere refers to the general quality of the school: schools appear to be either run by good teachers, or by bad teachers.  Another factor is that due to zoning laws, you may not have much choice as to what kind of school you wish to send your child too.

If you can find a good teacher, or perhaps a group of good teachers for your child, that’s excellent, but very often parents do not know or question the quality of their children’s teachers and they are powerless to do anything about it.  If you are worried about the quality of your children’s teachers then you should definitely consider homeschooling.  One year with a bad teacher could cause life-long harm to your child’s mental health.  Do not take the chance with your child’s education and well-being.  Be fussy and concerned about your child’s teachers and know that you as a parent have the final say as to what’s best for your child.

(add article link to “How to Spot a Good Teacher”)

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