When I was only 5 years old, I won the Headteacher’s Special Award for creating a business plan for my own T-shirt boutique. I came up with a proper brand name, created my own business cards, listed the needed equipment, designed the layout of the boutique, planned ahead for launching day, what would happen on launching day, made invitation cards and even wrote a song for it! Now hold your horses, everyone! If you think that I am just bragging about another achievement of mine, you’re wrong! This is a special shout-out to all the parents and teachers out there.
From my humble point of view, education should start at home. God had blessed me with the amazing Mrs Mom and Mr Dad. They prepared me well before sending me off to school and they taught me everything that I needed to know. I only joined school when I was 5 years old. Mrs Mom and Mr Dad would take it in turns to bring me to work with them and they wouldn’t just let me sit there and do nothing! They would give me a pencil and a piece of paper and let me get involved in whatever they were doing. If they were concocting a business plan, I would create one too, and if they were working on a branding project, they would assign me to make my own as well. When they were preparing for a presentation, I would get the chance to present my work too. They would also let me get involved in their discussions and ask me for my opinion to polish my communication and decision-making skills. And they wouldn’t leave me to watch TV or play games while they did something else, we would all watch television and play games as a family. And when I went to school, I used the experience from Mrs Mom and Mr Dad and applied it there. For example, I created a series of leaflets for the school. I also created a logo for my Dance Club and designed a T-shirt for it.
You might say that it was easy for them because I was their only child but even now, we practice the same thing. Mr Dad and Mrs Mom still take turns to teach my brother and sister. But if they are busy, I will carry out their responsibility and teach Fatimah and Ali. Every day, I will read them a book and sometimes, I will do an arts and crafts activity with them. However, if I am busy with my writing, I will give them each a pencil and some papers so that they can work alongside me. The best part about Mrs Mom and Mr Dad is that they would always treat my project as if it was real. They were highly supportive and would encourage me to keep on working for my dream. They even motivated me to send out invitations and business cards for my boutique! So, I personally think that parents are the best teachers for children!
Teachers also play an imperative role in a child’s life as they are the ones who can render additional support. Teachers are almost like children’s second parents and are seen as their role models due to the fact that children spend the most time with them. In my opinion, they should not just focus on children who are exceeding in school, they should also pay attention to those who need extra help so that they can bring out the potential in them. If my teachers didn’t spot my talents, then I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have now! But sometimes, due to the lack of engagement and support from parents, teachers are becoming de-motivated and become less enthusiastic, therefore having an effect on the children and their learning. As a result of this, parents and children will face a big loss, not the teachers. Teachers always plan ahead and work hard to organise activities and events for children but without enough support and parental engagement, the events end up being cancelled. If I was a teacher, I would be very frustrated because all that time and effort would have gone to waste. So be careful, parents, and play your role wisely in order to let teachers continue working their magic in the classroom!
Always bear in mind that some children are more advanced than others but can also contribute to assist those in need. Take it from my story; it wasn’t just my teachers who helped me. Me and my friends also worked as a team. We all learnt in a collaborative and cordial environment and we were always willing to help each other. We weren’t competing against one another to become the best, we were always helping around and looking out for each other. Nobody would make fun of anybody if they got something incorrect and we would encourage each other to do our best.
In addition to my classmates, I salute my parents for finding time in their busy schedule to voluntarily help children with their reading. My parents will always be an example for me, not only do they educate their own child, they are also willing to help other children. So, I plead all parents to stop competing against each other to show which child is better when you should help other children as well as your own to help educate the next generation and set the best example for them.
To conclude, I would like to reiterate the significance of starting your child’s education at home to ensure the best for their future. I am not saying that you should fully homeschool your child – in fact, I quite disagree with that. From my eyes, children also need to be exposed to the outside world so that they are able to socialise with other people and create friendships as well as receiving support from parents in order to give them a good education and a better chance of becoming successful. Social skills and teamwork are very important in life. In my view, a child educated only at school is an uneducated child and we shouldn’t dump all the responsibilities of tutoring children on teachers and expect them to work miracles when you should be playing your role as a parent as well! So please, parents and teachers, DO YOUR BEST TO BRING OUT THE CHILDREN’S BEST SO THAT TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
‘Education is like a recipe. It may take many ingredients to make it perfect. Each ingredient compliments each other to create a masterpiece.’
O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
Thursday 23rd March 2017