Friday, April 17, 2009

Students We Love (and the Teachers Who Hate Them)

"How did make it through the year with _________?" is not an usual question to be asked by a teacher. What happens when the student identified happens to be a personal favorite? How does a student that is funny, charming, intelligent, honest, and caring become public school enemy number 1?

There are teachers, we all know some, that do not like children. Instead of treating them with respect and love, they treat them with contempt and disdain. When they aren't barking at the students about some perceived mistake or infraction, they are complaining to others about how bad their students are.

I have observed students being berated and belittled over little things by teachers who then complain about the lack of respect the students show them. How dare they backtalk or glare at them! Who do they think they are! Never mind the simple fact that the same teachers would blow their stack if another adult treated them the same way they are treating the students.

I am not writing about students that have behavior changes due to family problems, drugs, or other outside motivations. I know these students haven't changed that much because they still treat me and other teachers they had in the past with respect.

What should we do when we know teachers that take our former wonderful students and turn them into something much less? What is our responsibility to the students? What is our responsibility to those teachers?

This post, slightly modified was originally posted on Reflections on Teaching in 2.0 Although I posted this last September, the questions are as relevant today.

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