Mercedes Gonzalez Amade
HAVANA TIMES — My son is 12 and currently in junior high. I was a little worried when classes started, because I knew – talking with several friends who had already gone through this situation – that it is a difficult time for pre-teens. My friends had told me about the changes their kids had experienced. I knew something similar would happen to Carlos Adriel, my son, but I hadn’t expected I’d be facing a more serious, academic problem.
I know how hard dealing with teenagers can be. It’s a constant battle against hormones and indiscipline…in short, every day is a new challenge for teachers. That is why teachers ought to be experienced professionals and, most importantly, enjoy what they do.
Today, however, many teachers leave a lot to be desired in terms of their knowledge, and, if we want our kids to get good grades, we parents have to resort to paid tutors.
I also had to do this. Luckily, I found an old teacher who had been my teacher when I was in junior high. The elderly woman, already retired, tutors kids with academic difficulties. She is a great person and has many years of experience in education – that’s why I say I was lucky. Other parents are manipulated by people whose only aim is to make money. Lacking in teaching experience, they tutor kids in a superficial manner.
Junior high school is very important. Next to primary schooling, it is the foundation for all subsequent studies.
I look back and I discover that I never had a tutor myself and that I had no need to look for one when Carlos Adriel was in primary school. Back then, I was his tutor. Back then, of course, he also had good teachers.
Today, we have no choice – there are clearly many problems with the teaching methods used at schools, for my son understands the retired teacher better than his teacher at school.
I understand there’s a shortage of teachers because of the low salaries, among other things. But those who decide to stand in front of a class must at least have an interest in having their students learn something – for the sake of the present and the future.