Who’s the bully?

This blog entry is not to devalue or lessen the work that teachers do in a challenging educational setting. It is also not aimed at providing a quick fix for the situation, its simply  reminding “burnt-out” teachers to “check-in” with their students and themselves. 

My apologies… it’s been awhile since I last wrote on “Genius Fish”. There is a simple explanation: I LOVE MY STUDENTS. With such love for each of my students, it can be emotionally taxing to the body. Everyday I am thinking how can I master the perfection to make each student go beyond their abilities and prove to their teachers that they are more intelligent than how they might be seen in their class.

At this point, you might be wondering why would the students need to prove to their teachers that they are intelligent? Shouldn’t every teacher believe in their students?

My students say no.

Within two months into the school year, 90% of my students have told me that their teacher “hates me and picks on me all the time”. My students will even cry when talking about their teachers. Overall, the students have been experiencing bullying by their teachers.

You see … my students are seen as the classroom bullies or the students who perform below their grade level by their teachers. The teachers are frustrated with the student’s behavior and have been calling their parents to report how bad their child is. This is then followed with parents punishing their children and students’ decreasing their respect for their teacher. Overall, it becomes a situation/continuous cycle of the student disliking the classroom, material and teacher.

With the above negative pattern, these students will tend to act out even more in class because they feel like they have no importance in the class and will never be seen in a positive way by their teacher.  Thus, they become the label that they feel the teacher has placed on them.

It’s a sad situation. In reality, it might have begun when the student needed attention or help on an assignment, and the teacher failed at modeling the lesson/activity. In return, the student acted out because they were being ignored by their teacher when they needed help. However, once the teacher finally provided the needed attention, it was not the desired attention that the student wanted in the first place. In other words, they do not need a teacher to yell at them with negative comments when they do not understand a given task.

I understand teachers are overwhelmed and overworked. However, it is our job to be role models/leaders/teachers/adults who have compassion to make every single student feel like they are accepted in the classroom. It prevents student x crying about how his/her teacher does not care about him/her and picks on him/her.

It breaks my heart to see or hear teachers call students “stupid” in class. It is unacceptable. Maybe if the teacher took the time or energy to model the assignment, then the students will be able to complete the given task.

Overall, we need to check ourselves if we are being the right role model in each child’s life. In other words, how can we expect students to stop being bullies, if their teachers  are bullying them?  After all, the students are just coping their teacher’s lesson.

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