Tim “VidSnacks” Holt posts another example of a teacher losing it in the classroom and being caught on video. Students have cameras and audio recorders in their pocket? Should we be surprised?
The teacher who was caught on tape has since resigned and the news story has interviews with union officials and administrators pointing fingers in all directions. Teachers yell at kids all the time. I find it a little disingenuous that we treat videotaped verbal beatings as if they’re worse than the yellings that go on every day unrecorded. Are administrators really unaware that there are teachers on their staffs who yell? I find it hard to believe that this was a one-time incident for this teacher.
One of the values I bring to my classroom is that kids are people. Shocking, I know. I don’t implement any rule that I wouldn’t expect to be a rule in a faculty meeting and I talk to my students as I would talk to my colleagues. Have I ever gotten mad in the classroom? Yes. We’re people too. But one of the most effective things I do is to say in a perfectly calm voice, “I am getting very upset with you (class) right now and I need to calm down.” I go to my desk and shuffle paperwork for a minute and come back to the front of the class. This works in my classroom only because students get to a point where they really care about me and know that the feelings are mutual.
Admittedly, teaching in the upper grades might be different. But do your students know that you care about them? I don’t mean that you bring them stickers, I mean that they know you want them to do well and are interested in what they’re interested in? Do your students feel like people in your classroom?