Teachers should not give up on 'difficult' students

It is widely understood that a teacher's role, apart from imparting knowledge, involves being a mentor.
It is widely understood that a teacher's role, apart from imparting knowledge, involves being a mentor.PHOTO: ST FILE

I recently attended a parent-teacher meeting at a neighbourhood secondary school, as the son of a relative had to repeat a year in Secondary 3.

The purpose of the meeting was to solicit the help of the teachers, and to understand how best to coordinate with the teachers to help the boy make progress in his studies and improve his behaviour in school at the same time.

During the conversation, the teachers shared that there are a handful of students in the same class who belong to either dysfunctional or single-parent families, or have parents who are overly busy with their work or have somehow lost control over their child.

The teachers hinted that this group of boys will not be getting as much help from the teachers due to their behavioural issues and uncooperative parents.

It was extremely disappointing to hear that the teachers have given up on these students as they are the ones who would need help the most.

It begs the question: Who bears the responsibility of educating difficult students who are both academically weak and are having behavioural problems at the same time?

I would like to urge teachers to never give up guiding these troubled youth as that is the minimum one would expect from an educator.

It is widely understood that a teacher's role, apart from imparting knowledge, involves being a mentor.

If every teacher were to continue to mentor and guide the students to the right path despite the lack of parental support, our society would definitely be a better place.

Aisling Ong (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2019, with the headline 'Teachers should not give up on 'difficult' students'. Print Edition | Subscribe