Was it last week when Sassy hinted in one of her comments her irritation with some assignments given to youngsters by teachers which seems to be ridiculous. I am not surprised. Although I am a teacher, I have a few experiences myself.
Since I have started blogging about my eldest son, Mickey, in a previous entry with him giggling as he reads the blog and hollering to his mom, "Ma, si Papa o, pati yung ganon ikinwento!" Let me tell you this story. You see, from among my children, Mickey is the one who shares my passion for the arts. He has represented the school in Art contests, won some-lost some, and is trying to play the violin. He is a member of the school orchestra and plays second violin in a string quartet.
When he was in Grade two, he was given this project to draw and paint something, (I have naturally forgotten what already), on a big illustration board. I saw him laboring on it for several nights so I'm sure he did it. That's why I was surprised when the teacher came to me a few days after saying, "Sir, I don't think your son has submitted his project yet."
"What? I'm sure he has done it because I saw him working on it for a couple of nights now."
"No, I haven't seen his work," the teacher stressed.
"Okay, I'll ask him about it tonight when we get home." (You see, because of what I perceive to be a not-so-ordinary situation between me and my children being in school together, I set them free when we're in school just so they won't feel their father is just a breath away and lead a normal student life)
That afternoon, the teacher came to me again and said, "Sir, I found it already. I checked the names on the submitted works and found your son's" Then she admitted that she was looking for the most "beautiful" project as she expected me, an art teacher, to do it for him. So, in jest, I told her, "If you really expected me to do the project for him, you should have written on the notebook, ASSIGNMENT FOR FATHER"
I learned about this "do your own assignment" bit from my dad. When I requested him to draw a carabao for me, he asked me, "What does a carabao look like?" as if he didn't know. When I described to him how it looks like, he said, "O alam mo pala e. Kaya mong i-drawing yan!" I really felt bad at the time because my assignment was the ugliest in class. I don't regret having followed my father's footstep. here's a sample of what my son can do.
done by Mickey last night
He did this last night using Adobe photoshop which unbeknownst to him, I am trying to learn by watching him from the sides pretending to be reading a book. ;-). This is for a contest in school sponsored by the student organization for each class to design the best Hall Pass. It shows two students and a caricature of their adviser. The background states that they belong to the Performing Arts class, being members of the orchestra, theater and the like.
Back to the issue of assignments, let me set the record straight. I do not say that collaborative assignments given to grade school kids are without any merit. They do! For one thing, if done properly, the lesson is learned even before the kid comes to school. The ensuing class the following day becomes a mere re-enforcement. Most of all, these assignments can strengthen the bonds within the family as they work together doing the homework. It is when parents do all the work just to get the job done while the kid watches tv that gets to me. What do you think?