Monday, February 8, 2010

Uncalled For

Since I've started my field placement this semester I've been thinking a lot about how a teacher is perceived by the students. I'm finally completing my last placement and I am in the inner city again. It may sound weird, but I really like being in an inner city school. Although, I hate driving in the city. haha! Anyway, there are two teachers in my classroom of 1st graders. One of the teachers has given me this thought of how much do we affect children. All three times I've gone so far, this woman has torn apart at least one (if not three or four) children for something they didn't do perfectly or something they're having trouble with. I wonder if she saw herself on a camera and heard the way she sounds if she would continue to act and speak the same way. School is supposed to be somewhere these kids can come and feel secure and not judged. Instead, one kid gets balled out because he didn't cut something the right way and another one gets yelled at for answering a question honestly. I don't care whether a child is a troublemaker or someone who is frustrating a lot, no child deserves to be yelled at in front of the entire class for being "bad". Today, one particular child was having a really hard time sitting perfectly during the math lesson. So this teacher asked him if she was boring him. He was completely honest with his answer. He looked her in the face and said yes. She then proceeded to yell at him for giving an honest answer and told him several times how rude he was. Umm excuse me, but you asked him a question and he gave you an answer. If you didn't want to hear that you weren't keeping the attention of your 1st grade student, don't ask. It makes me wonder how I come off to kids and what messages I'm sending them. I certainly hope I'm not making them feel like they are a waste of my time and that they frustrate me all the time or that they're worthless. If I was one of those students that is exactly what I would feel from this teacher. It constantly reminds me that I need to watch my body language, the tone of voice I use and the words I choose. Just something to ponder.


@eloh said...

I do remember a kindness here and there from a grammar school teacher.

But the things I can recall as if it happened minutes ago were those times when someone was humiliated by the teacher (happened to me once too). It was such horror that I wonder sometimes if those incidents didn't scar those kids for life.

Jordynn said...

Oh Em, this must be so hard to watch. You are going to be an amazing teacher! It's good that you have this awareness before you even start working in the field though--as you can see, you have wisdom that even some of the most experienced teachers don't have.