15 Things Your Child Should NOT Do in Class
Are you kids doing these things in class?
A classroom is a place where your child gets to be part of his/ her very own society. It is where they learn social skills and put values they have learnt into action. Constant communication between you as a parent and your child’s teachers allow you to monitor your child’s progress in this environment that will not only be a stimulant for academic success but social development as well. Embrace the journey of guiding your child through his/ her school days and watch in amazement as your child manoeuvre the classroom jungle swiftly! (Albeit there will be hiccups. Normal, as the learning curve for each child is different.) Just keep in mind the things they should be aware of and they will navigate with ease!
1. Not your maid
Independence is key.
No one deserves to be ordered around, not even your domestic helper. In the case that children do get dependent on others at home (be it your domestic helper/ their grandparents/ older siblings/ yourselves!) it is time to change that habit for them. Advice them that it is fun to be able to do things on their own, as they enter the big kids league!
Teachers are normally super helpful and will assist when kids don’t know how to do up all the buttons on their clothes, have problems with unscrewing the top of their water bottles, lace up their shoes (we all have to start somewhere right?)
Soon enough though, your juniors will have to pick up these skills for themselves and not depend on others.
2. Peeing and pooping in class
Some P1 students may not dare or be too shy to ask the teachers for permission to go to the toilet and hold it in until they could no longer do so and end up peeing or pooping in class.
Teachers have to interrupt the class to clean up the mess and the soiled child. They also have to leave the rest of the students alone while they do so. In addition, they have to deal with the child who is upset and embarrassed for soiling him/herself. Poor kid 🙁
Let’s face it, accidents happen! Not just to kids, but adults too on bad days (oh those delicious spicy food!). Sometimes, the circumstances make the kids feel awkward to ask to go to the toilet, for example, during tests or in between classes. Assure them that they can always approach the teacher in the case they feel an urgent need to use the bathroom. The more confident they are that they can voice out, the more they will not hide and make a (physical and emotional) mess.
3. No toilet manners
Teach your child to practice good toilet manners by aiming properly into the toilet bowl and flushing after use. Of course, they should also wash their hands after each visit and dry them.
It’s basically hygiene 101. These are simply toilet etiquette they should be familiar with by now. It’s just that, without mummy and daddy to remind them for the millionth time not to sprinkle water from their hands after washing, they might forget these things.
It’ll be great to practice going through the motion of peeing/ pooping/ washing their hands after meals etc at home, so you’ll be confident that they can pull it off all on their own in school. *beams proudly*
4. Challenging your teacher with arrogance and defiance
Kids these days aren’t as ‘afraid’ of teachers as much as we were, way back when. While it is unacceptable for teachers to pick on students, there are now reports of the opposite happening. Citrix Chee, a former primary school teacher who taught Mandarin and now a counsellor at Kang Ren Group shares this story:
She caught one of her students doing his Kumon home. Politely, she asked him to put it away so he could concentrate on her lesson. However, he continued doing as he pleased after she turned her back.
When she reprimanded him again, he proceeded to curse at her in Hokkien and even threatened to get her fired. Needless to say, she called the principal.
There are many possible reasons why a child would do that. Maybe he felt embarrassed that he was caught in a public setting, maybe he felt the pressure of finishing his work etc. Whatever the reason may be, respect is an important trait for our children to instil in themselves. Encourage your children to be respectful to everyone in school, especially their teachers, who are their guardians when parents are away. Teachers are an amazing bunch who care about pupils’ well being and not just their performances. They do deserve our kids’ respect and ours 🙂
5. Interrupt when someone else is addressing the class
Be it a teacher or a classmate, it is good manners not to interrupt when others are addressing the class or in a conversation.
This is not something to be too worried about though, as schools tend to have a system on getting the kids on board when it comes to talking in class. They will have to raise their hands to get their turn to speak. There are even classrooms that make taking turns a more hands-on approach by holding on to a cube or plushie before he/ she gets to speak. (Read the ‘conch’ from Lord of the Flies.)
6. Expensive material possessions
In increasingly affluent Singapore, parents often buy their children expensive things. But having expensive things in class can distract others and make things very difficult if they get lost. Trust me, kids lose their things all the time.
This may be reduced very much in government schools as uniforms and shoes tend to be of the same brand. However, throw in an expensive water bottle, bag, pencil case, wallet etc and it makes for a very nervous parent. Save yourself the worry (and the money) and get them age-appropriate things that everyone else has. It can even be pretty fun for kids to own the same things (just be sure to label the items with their names)
7. Leaving the class without permission
This is just common sense. Especially for the lower primary students who may not be familiar with all parts of the school grounds, advised them that it is unwise to leave class/ classmates on the move, at any point without informing the teachers.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to keep track of the pupils in the class, and in turn, it is the pupil’s responsibility to keep their teachers informed of their whereabouts. Remind them that it is not safe to leave the class (for toilet breaks or simply to catch up with friends from other classes) without letting their teachers know.
8. Not handing in homework on time
Homework teaches your child to be disciplined and helps to keep the lessons learnt in class fresh. Emphasize the importance of doing their homework – it helps to build a responsible mindset! Better yet, make it fun and they will be eager to finish it as soon as they get a chance!
9. Bad handwriting or sloppy work
Primary schools do pay attention to handwriting and you would definitely get feedback on your children’s penmanship during parent-teacher conferences. There are so many exercise books to help kids get into the groove of writing neatly, to help with this cause. Reward them for maintaining neat work but most importantly, let them take pride in their work, even if it just means maintaining legibility. It’s a big step!
10. Incomplete work or missing workbook
Like us who suffer from mummy brains, kids live in a world where they only remember things that are important to them. Like Pokemon characters and lyrics to a song of a game.
We can beat this! It is a matter of conditioning. Get in the habit of asking them to go through their organiser and timetable daily. If they pack their own bags, they will be reminded of what to bring the next day and which homework to complete. They will even bug you for your signature after checking their work.
11. Fall asleep in class or fidget because of boredom
Your child may have advanced past the work being covered in class. However, the teacher still has to teach the syllabus dictated by MOE. Help your child find ways to be patient in class even if he or she knows the material already.
For instance, by helping their friends who might be struggling with the class or by asking useful questions to enhance the learning experience. Do also make sure that your child gets enough sleep at home so that they are not too tired for school.
12. Borrowing money from classmates
Teachers end up mediating when a child borrows money from his classmate(s). It’s never a good idea so do make sure that your child has sufficient pocket money for his or her activities and place a prohibition on borrowing or lending money to friends.
Or at least ask them to inform you so you can teach them about boundaries. Can’t really fault them for being nice and treating a friend, can you?
13. Bringing a handphone to class
Using a handphone in class risks having it confiscated by teachers. That is actually the least dangerous event that can happy. Gadgets are a bad idea to bring to school as they are notoriously expensive and extremely distracting. It can invite theft, especially outside of school grounds.
Check what the school rules on handphones are and teach your children about the boundaries of handphone usage. If your child takes their phone to school, make sure they know to turn it off or silent (depending on the school rule) during class. It is best to get them to approach the school office to make phone calls to you instead of holding on to a mobile phone.
14. Bringing sharp objects to class
Teachers advise that sharp objects should not be brought to class. The reasoning is obvious – it’s dangerous. This is because the students are in the care of the teachers, thus it becomes their responsibility when a child is accidentally hurt from fights or play. Not to mention the dangers to the classmates and the disruption of the class routine.
Do they need a pair of scissors for an art class but a penknife? Swiss army knife? No, just no.