I'm as quick as any parent to go into protective mode, but I don't like how there is very little context presented in this situation. Sometimes the best teachers are gruff and tease and joke around with the kids.
My reaction was the same. We don't know the content of the paper or any other circumstances related to it; nor why the teacher reportedly wrote the word on other work; nor whether, most importantly, "loser" is part of the teacher's schtick to push students to work harder.
One of my teachers in elementary school would write Show work or death on math turn-ins. She was eccentric, and lacerative when she occasionally disciplined me, but was effective and unforgettable.
Hell, my tenth-grade English teacher singled out a classmate and pretended to belittle him the entire year, once asking three students to take a quarter and pose with the student for a friends' picture in the yearbook. My classmate loved it.
If the teacher has no rationale or demonstrable method over the years to explain the name-calling, he should be disciplined; but news surrounding the incident is hardly informative.
There was little said about how the girl herself felt about this "loser" business. From the video it was difficult to discern whether she really was hurt by this teacher's antics or if it was just her mother being pissed off.
Throwing her pencils into the hallway, even if in jest, was probably received as mean by the student, though. Maybe it was funny, but in the sixth grade, kids don't want to be singled out like that. Maybe the teacher thinks this girl is too sensitive and needs to develop a thicker hide, but in that case he's going about it the wrong way. If the kid is bullied and teased by her peers, and then in turn by her teachers, to whom can she turn, really? I doubt any of this stress is improving her academic performance, which ought to be a teacher's primary concern (and thus the emotional well being of the student should be taken into account).
Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise
I have a theory that some kids fall through the cracks because they feel so alienated and pushed around by the authority figure atmosphere. I think it would be good if teachers and counselors were a bit more friend-like, within reason, of course. I think some kids actually could be gotten through to in this manner...like relate to them on their level, they think you're kind of cool, you have a better chance of them actually wanting to look up to you, since they are adolescents and no longer children.
The over-emphasis on being strict authority figures with middle and high school students I think is actually very unhealthy and unproductive. Of course there have to be SOME strict authority figures, but there should also be room for fun, creativity, jokes, and trying to understand these kids on their level.
I want nothing to do with the public school system. It makes me want to vomit.
Agreed. I was one of those kids that never had a behavioral problem, never had a poor academic record, never got in trouble for anything really, until I transferred to a new high school where they treated us like inmates. Then I started cutting class because some of the teachers were such total pricks, and when i tried to explain my feelings to them they were very unreceptive.
And school counselors are sometimes way too deluded to understand that they're working with young adults and not children. I felt so utterly patronised by the majority of the adults in that school, I just said "fuck it" and started not to care about how good or bad I seemed to be. After all, what's the point of being good all the time if nobody gives you a break, or even a smile? They expected us all to be little robots or something; to study and pass the tests, not to have strong personal convictions, to be obedient, and to bring the school honor.
I didn't do anything horrendous or drop out, but I came close to failure in a few instances just because of the social vibe between administration and students. I couldn't believe how many smart, aware people never expressed any sense of indignation at the way they were treated. We had to present student IDs at the request of the security guards, or face punishment. I once got a 6 hour Saturday detention for having a sticker on my student ID. "Insubordination", they called it.
If it weren't for a few really great, funny, humanistic teachers, I probably wouldn't have made it all four years. It was truly suffocating.