During the whole educational life, students face considerable financial, emotional, and personal challenges. Sometimes tutors are able to comprehend students’ demands and interests and try to support them and give some hints.
But sometimes tutors fail to achieve the necessary comprehension, and many unpredictable challenges appear again. The duties of any students vary from time to time: they need to perform written tasks, read a lot of books, visit classes, and learn all the necessary material. Tutors’ expectations are all about to give the necessary material and make sure students learn it on the necessary level. However, is it necessary for tutors to follow the same expectations on students with children? Maybe, it is time to remember about the challenges of being parents and assist students if necessary.
In my opinion, nowadays teachers set too high expectations on students with children: child priority cannot be neglected, and tutors need to support these students in some ways and appreciate the attempts to get education and bring up a child at the same time; health, educational, and childcare challenges may deprive a student of time to study, eat, and even sleep properly, and tutors as well as parents should be more indulgent from time to time. There are many ideas of why tutors may set too high expectations on students with children. First, tutors are aware about the existed financial support and believe that such support make up some challenges and obstacles. Second, tutors may think that students, who make a decision to have a baby, need to evaluate the situation and be ready to deal with many assignments and other important work. Finally, tutors believe that if they appreciate and support students with children, other students may realize that having a baby promotes teachers’ support and encouragement. It is known that there are several possible grants for students with children: the Childcare Grant provides students with certain financial support; Lone Parents’ Grant is paid annually; and Parents’ Learning Allowance covers some course costs (Coughlan 72-73).
If a student with a child faces some challenges, the existed financial support may be used. Tutors expect that the ability to buy new books and learn the material exists but it is not used by these students completely because some students may spend money not for educational purposes. Tutors truly believe that students have already evaluated personal abilities and interests, and now they are ready to cope with educational challenges. However, it is also necessary to admit that sudden health problems and emotional disturbance cannot be planned in advance, and students with children have to be able to cope with them even at expenses of their study.
Finally, tutors’ expectations may be too high on students with children because they do not want other students follow the same example and have a hope of being forgiven on compassionate grounds. This is why tutors try to evaluate the situation and present the same conditions and requirements for all students. Their high expectations are based on the idea that even students with children have all chances not to lag behind the group and grasp the material on the necessary level. Without any doubts, students with children face numerous challenges during their educational and personal lives, and teachers’ high expectations promote the increasing of students’ anxiety and frustration.
Having a baby is not an easy thing especially for students, and tutors are one of those people, who have a chance to help such students and make their lives easier at least from some perspectives.
Coughlan, Sean and Universities & Colleges Admission Service. The Student Finance Guide: Fees, Grants and What It Costs. London: Kogan Page Publishers, 2005.