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#61 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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OMG that made me cry. it is a billion times worse than the first recording. i hope she LOSES HER JOB FOR GOOD!
I agree. The extended version is even worse than a couple of sound bites...this wasn't her having a bad day. This was abuse pure and simple.

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#62 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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I am a special ed. teacher. I have worked on psychiatric units and in juvenile detention. I have been physically threatened, spit on, called horrible names by young people. I have experienced extreme stress with little support. I would never do anything approaching this, ever. I would not make excuses for this behavior.

As a teacher though, you learn to make distinctions between judging behavior and judging the value of a person. It is quite possible that this woman was at one point a good teacher, and could be again. She definitely needs a break, and most likely some counseling or treatment for a mental illness. But who would be willing to "see if she could handle it" after that performance? Would parents be willing to put their kids in her class? Would an administrator be able to sit in on her class indefinitely to make sure that she was being appropriate? It is just not feasible.

I grew up with a mother with borderline personality disorder, and the things she said to me were pretty similar to what the teacher said to that little boy. People with this disorder will try to find a scapegoat for all their problems and rally others behind them to "prove" that they are right.

Poor little guy. Regardless of what his behavior may have been like, he did not earn this treatment.
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#63 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 02:00 AM
 
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I'm actually a kindergarten teacher in Indiana, too.

What this woman did was completely unacceptable. You just CAN'T say things like this to children. Getting angry and saying something you regret to an adult is a lot different than doing the same thing with a child. And this doesn't seem like it was a one time thing, either.

I do believe she should get fired. One of my friends is a sixth grade teacher, and she was asking a child one day which teachers he had. He mentioned that he liked all of his teachers except his first grade teacher, because she called him stupid. Yeah, that stuck with him for 5 years, and it will probably stick with him forever. I can't imagine how this kindergartener feels, even if he was a difficult child.

And putting him in front of the class to be ridiculed had to have been premeditated. That's not a spur of the moment angry reaction.

As teachers, we are supposed to be child advocates. What she did was detrimental, and it will sure as heck affect him. I've had much less harsh things said to me by teachers, and they have stuck with me.

Oh, and I agree with a pp that verbal abuse is possibly worse than physical abuse.

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#64 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 02:13 AM
 
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Oh, and I just wanted to add, maybe this will make other teachers think twice before they react to a student that way.

Although it shouldn't take something like this for that to happen.

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#65 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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I do believe she should get fired. One of my friends is a sixth grade teacher, and she was asking a child one day which teachers he had. He mentioned that he liked all of his teachers except his first grade teacher, because she called him stupid. Yeah, that stuck with him for 5 years, and it will probably stick with him forever. I can't imagine how this kindergartener feels, even if he was a difficult child.

As teachers, we are supposed to be child advocates. What she did was detrimental, and it will sure as heck affect him. I've had much less harsh things said to me by teachers, and they have stuck with me.
EXACTLY. That is the point of this. What she did does not just hurt his feelings, it effects him after class, at home, and later on in life. When i was a kid my 5th grade P.E. teacher told me, " You'll probably be fat like your mother." and i've had weight problems ever since. She doesn't have the right to effect that little guy's social life just because he pissed her off.
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#66 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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The teacher was definitely out of line. I am a teacher who has had very difficult classes and I would never do that to a child. So I am not defending what that teacher did.

I want to point out though that there seems to be an assumption that there is always support for students who are serious behaviour problems. I have to say that from my experience there is not. I have had very unsupportive administration or administration with limited resources. It sometimes takes a long time to get support or proper placement for students- like I sometimes do all the work to get the documentation in place and it is the next years teacher who gets the support but I dealt with the behaviours on my own. Administration will usually look really supportive to parents but when it comes to teachers requests does not always happen. The flip side is that there are really supportive administration also.

I have to ask myself why did the administration not know what was happening? My principal wanders the halls frequently and knew what was going on in the classrooms so I wonder if they dropped the ball themselves.

Also why did the parents accept the answer of "I don't have time to deal with this." from the teacher. As a parent I would not accept it- would anyone here? Why were the parents not down in the office demanding something be done as soon as they heard those words. I would never be allowed to say that to a parent nor would I ever say something like that. We also only know the information that the parents are releasing. We do not know the whole story- once again I am defending the teacher just that we are only hearing one side right now.

I hope the little boy gets the help he needs and finds a school that appreciates him. I also hope the teacher finds a job which suits her abilities and that she gets some help with anger management. Once again I am most definitely not defending the teacher cause you don't treat kids like that no matter what the behaviour.

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#67 of 165 Old 05-31-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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I've taught, and I've even (once) lost it at a student and raised my voice. I never belittled a student's person and there is no excuse, none, for that, ever.

People can yell "I am angry!" or whatever, but this is beyond that. I don't care how underpaid and stressed out you are.

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#68 of 165 Old 06-01-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
And under extreme stress, sometimes we make really poor decisions. If you make a really stupid decision at work today, should you be fired immediately?
Sometimes, being fired is a good thing, because you're no longer in a position to do your job well. There are jobs where one really stupid mistake, one serious error in judgment SHOULD mean that you need to seek a new job.

If the stress has gotten to this teacher so much that she is berating a 5 year old like that, then yes, she needs a new job.

If her stress level is extremely high that she cracked because she's dealing with the class from h*ll and has an unsupportive administration, a new job still may be in her best interests. I come from a long line of teachers. I've HEARD the horror stories. If you've got a major problem child and the administration isn't picking up their end, then you keep pushing. You contact your union. You take days off. You file for short-term disability. You don't humiliate a 5 year old in front of his peers and ask them to join in.

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#69 of 165 Old 06-01-2008, 06:32 AM
 
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Maybe you just don't ever lose your cool, even with your own kids, but most of us do from time to time. And if you can lose your cool and say regretable things to your own precious child from time to time, can't you dredge up a drop of empathy for a woman who had to deal with somebody else's little hellion all day? Seriously?
If no one would dredge empathy for a parent who did a similar act, why would they for a teacher? It is inexcusable in either case.

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The report says this kid was rolling on the floor, kicking and biting. What if he was kicking and biting YOUR kid every day? Would you ease up on the teacher a bit? What if his behavior was making it impossible for the teacher to teach YOUR kid? Principals and counselors don't just whisk problematic kids out of the classroom so we can teach. We are expected to handle it. I suspect this teacher had exhausted every approach she could come up with in the nine months leading to this day. And then she lost it. She was, as she said, done.
If this is kid were such a problem, why wasn't he REMOVED from the classroom into a proper environment? A child that is kicking and biting a teacher need not be in a regular classroom. That is a child that needs attention. Not every child may need to be "whisked" from a classroom, but if this child were such an awful case, then obviously he needed more specialized teaching. However, that didn't seem to be the case. Especially when she belittled him before peers as the example of the kind of kid that the rest of the class wouldn't want to be around if they wanted to do better for themselves.

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The woman needs a Classroom Management refresher for sure. She needs a support network. Maybe even counseling, but she does not need to lose her job. If she'd hit him, yes. But an ugly tirade, no.
So as long as she did not physically strike him, it's ok? So she could taunt him, belittle him, make fun of him, and set him as the example of what other FIVE year olds did not wish to associate with. Umm, ok...

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It's interesting to me that so many of us here at MDC are anti-punishment, but so eager to see this woman bleed.
I have no comment that isn't probably a UA violation in regards to this.
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#70 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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OMG. I just cannot believe that teacher spoke to a five yr old that way. It's completely uncalled for and inappropriate behavior.

I taught preschool for 10 years. I taught the youngest children in that preschool... at the beginning of the year most of my students were around 18 mos - 2 yrs old. One year I had a particularly difficult student. This child was just all over the place, couldn't keep her hands to herself, drove me batty sometimes. She had this horrible habit of licking everything as well... she would lick the floor, her shoes, the wall, the garbage can (YUCK!!) and other children. I am a bit of a germaphobe and this habit of hers would completely wig me out. When we were having a rough day with her or I was stressed for other reasons not related to the children in my class I would just take a 2 minute break. I would tell my assistant "I'm going to run into the resource room and swap out a few books" or something similar and that was code for "This child is driving me crazy and I need a few minutes for my sanity". I NEVER said anything to this child when I was frustrated. If there was a discipline issue to handle with her that I felt overly stressed out about I would ask my assistant to handle it. There was another child we had a different year that had the same effect on my assistant and I handled that child if my assistant was feeling frustrated. I handle my own children the same way... if my oldest child is driving me crazy and I just cannot take it anymore I take a break. I tell her that Mommy needs a little break and I go sit on the couch with a book for 5 minutes until I am calm and can talk to her in a rational manner. She is learning this same technique and will tell me "Mommy, I'm too mad to talk right now. I want to go play with dolls in my room for awhile and then can we talk?" I am so proud that she is learning self-control and recognizing when she needs a break to calm down.

Now, I don't know the situation in that 5 yr old boy's classroom. I don't know what kind of support the teacher had (if any) from the principal or if she had an assistant. I do know that she should NOT have talked to a child that way. Period. Even if she told everyone to work puzzles for 10 minutes and she sat at her desk with a glass of water to relax... anything to regain her self control. Seriously, how can she expect her students to be learning self control if she doesn't model it to them??

It's things like this that have me stressed out about sending my oldest to K next year.

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#71 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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She said, "Nobody wants to be your friend now."
I kind of feel the same about her.
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#72 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So as long as she did not physically strike him, it's ok?
Oy. Why do I feel like I'm having a conversation with my mother? She has the same knack of pulling exactly what she wants out of my words, regardless of what I have actually said.

No, what she did is NOT okay. It was miles from okay. It was lightyears from okay. I don't have time to re-read every word I've written in this thread, but I'm pretty sure I've said nowhere that I think what she did was okay.

What I am saying is that I think we should try not to act like a swarm of vultures circling her bloody corpse. We should try to relax our Mother Tiger protection mechanisms for a second and see if we can't scrape up a drop of empathy for the woman. We should take one minute, stop, and try to imagine what she's going through. She's a person, too.

YES, she screwed the pooch in a big way. YES, she was wrong, wrong, wrong. But I still manage to see the bigger picture, which is most likely that she's a very good teacher who just snapped under stress.

Did I mention that I don't think what she did is okay? Just checkin . . . .
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#73 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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I am sooo angered by what this teacher did:. One poster commented on how parents here have confessed to losing their cool. I'll admit that I'm one of those parents. However; this doesn't sound like this teacher has lost her cool. IMO what she says sounds methodical and very well planned out.

I don't care what this 5 yr old did. She had no right to say those things to him!!!! If I were in those parents shoes, I'd want her fired. What lengths would she have gone to if she wasn't caught? She honestly thought that she was teaching her class a lesson. What she actually taught them is how to gang up on another child!

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#74 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 10:48 AM
 
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She said, "Nobody wants to be your friend now."
I kind of feel the same about her.
I definitely feel this way about her

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#75 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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YES, she screwed the pooch in a big way. YES, she was wrong, wrong, wrong. But I still manage to see the bigger picture, which is most likely that she's a very good teacher who just snapped under stress.
I completely disagree with this statement.

Why? Because sometimes that one mistake, that one occasion of snapping under stress, is so wrong, so huge, so unbelievably bad that the person making it deserves to lose his/her job, no matter what the job record was before that day.

If it were my child's teacher, I wouldn't care how many awards, fellowships, or glowing reports the teacher had received; they would be meaningless in my eyes if she treated my daughter in this manner.
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#76 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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But I still manage to see the bigger picture, which is most likely that she's a very good teacher who just snapped under stress..
No. She's pathological. She clearly has psychiatric issues, most likely personality disorder, and she should not be working with children.

This was not a momentary lapse of angry words. This was a systematic, ongoing pattern of behavior.

You can feel sorry for her or not feel sorry for her. It's beside the point. She's ill. She's not fit to work with kids.
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#77 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Anyone wonder if that teacher has posted on this thread? I just find it hard to believe that people are actually defending her . . . :

Hey, look, I've lost it with my son before. It was a momentary lapse of judgement. I apologized afterwards and made it up to him as best I could. That's kind of the key, isn't it? What this teacher did was not momentary. It was cruelly calculated. It sounds like she has a personality disorder and she should definitely NOT be working with children.

Quote:
She said, "Nobody wants to be your friend now."
I kind of feel the same about her.
: Karma's like that . . . I think it's probably one of the best things that could've happened to her, actually. Hopefully it'll finally make her face up to reality and admit she has a serious problem.

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#78 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Ok, if this was a teen I coudl give the teacher this much room }{ . Teens are known for pussing buttons. But a Kindergartener--I give no room for the teacher.

With the parents sending a tape player with him I don't think this is a one time bad momment.
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#79 of 165 Old 06-02-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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OMG. She is learning this same technique and will tell me "Mommy, I'm too mad to talk right now. I want to go play with dolls in my room for awhile and then can we talk?"


Beth
that is adorable
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#80 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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That didn't sound like someone who "snapped." She went on and on and on and on, calmly listing off all the adults whose lives were made miserable (and for how many days even!) by this five year old; she went on and on and on and on slowly and calmly about what special events he could not attend and how he was wasting her time at work, and what an outcast he is and should be. That was sadistic and dehumanizing. It is clear to me that she wasn't thinking about this boy as a little human being. If it were a quick one-time outburst, that might be different - that would be what I call "snapped" - but it sounded slow, measured, calculated, and cruel - not what I would call "snapped."

I still remember with shame and rage a seventh grade math teacher telling me in front of the class that I was a waste of a perfectly good mind. That was one quick statement he blurted out once and it is vivid in my memory and still elicits strong emotions. How do you think this kind of treatment might affect the boy?

Heffernhyphen - have you spoken to a student this way?

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#81 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Heffernhyphen - have you spoken to a student this way?
Honestly? No, I'm not much the type for long-winded lectures and character attacks. When I lose it, which I do from time to time . . . even though I only teach sweet, innocent five-year-olds . . . I tend to get much more heated up and much more sarcastic. I know five-year-olds don't even get sarcasm, but it sometimes helps me. For instance, if we've been in class for 10 months, doing the same procedure every stinking day, and a kid acts like it's the first day of school, I will extend my hand and introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Ms Heffernhyphen; I'll be your teacher this year."

I know, it's shitty, but it helps me.

I wouldn't say, "You're ignorant." But I have said, "Are you thinking?! Was that a good idea?!" My words may be a bit nicer than hers, but my tone is much worse when I'm good and fired up.
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#82 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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So you model poor anger management and pretty sub par social skills for a classroom of five year olds.

Fantastic.
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#83 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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Honestly? No, I'm not much the type for long-winded lectures and character attacks. When I lose it, which I do from time to time . . . even though I only teach sweet, innocent five-year-olds . . . I tend to get much more heated up and much more sarcastic. I know five-year-olds don't even get sarcasm, but it sometimes helps me. For instance, if we've been in class for 10 months, doing the same procedure every stinking day, and a kid acts like it's the first day of school, I will extend my hand and introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Ms Heffernhyphen; I'll be your teacher this year."

I know, it's shitty, but it helps me.

I wouldn't say, "You're ignorant." But I have said, "Are you thinking?! Was that a good idea?!" My words may be a bit nicer than hers, but my tone is much worse when I'm good and fired up.
Have you considered working with older kids? I'm not being sardonic or insulting. But older kids tend to laugh off remarks like that, where as saying that to a young child might make them feel stupid.
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#84 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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Heffernhyphen: There are a couple of threads here on MDC which might be a help to you. There's parenting and rage thread in Personal Growth and an "I'm a new mama today" thread in Gentle Discipline.

Maybe give them a look over to see if you might be able to find some good, self-nurturing coping strategies to help you respond in a constructive way when you're feeling hard pressed.
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#85 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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I thought that "teachers" were suppose to be held up to a higher standard than other professionals.

There is no excuse for this behavior. period.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known. ~ John Lennon
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#86 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
Honestly? No, I'm not much the type for long-winded lectures and character attacks. When I lose it, which I do from time to time . . . even though I only teach sweet, innocent five-year-olds . . . I tend to get much more heated up and much more sarcastic. I know five-year-olds don't even get sarcasm, but it sometimes helps me.
Are you in your job to help them or are you in your job to help you?

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For instance, if we've been in class for 10 months, doing the same procedure every stinking day, and a kid acts like it's the first day of school, I will extend my hand and introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Ms Heffernhyphen; I'll be your teacher this year."

I know, it's shitty, but it helps me.
Are you in your job to help the students? Or are you in your job to help you?

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I wouldn't say, "You're ignorant." But I have said, "Are you thinking?! Was that a good idea?!" My words may be a bit nicer than hers, but my tone is much worse when I'm good and fired up.
So what steps are you taking to correct that problem?
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#87 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Honestly? No, I'm not much the type for long-winded lectures and character attacks. When I lose it, which I do from time to time . . . even though I only teach sweet, innocent five-year-olds . . . I tend to get much more heated up and much more sarcastic. I know five-year-olds don't even get sarcasm, but it sometimes helps me. For instance, if we've been in class for 10 months, doing the same procedure every stinking day, and a kid acts like it's the first day of school, I will extend my hand and introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Ms Heffernhyphen; I'll be your teacher this year."

I know, it's shitty, but it helps me.

I wouldn't say, "You're ignorant." But I have said, "Are you thinking?! Was that a good idea?!" My words may be a bit nicer than hers, but my tone is much worse when I'm good and fired up.
Tone is more important than words, but both are critical.

See the same things at 10 months that you saw on day 1? That's common. The children get comfortable and resort back to old habits. They also get a little bored and go back to those habits. It's time to change the layout of the classroom (moving the shelves can make all the difference in the world) to counter act the boredom. To fight the old habits, they just need another presentation on the right way to handle things.

There's a difference between a bad tone and a very direct tone. It's impossible to type the difference, but there's a way you can be very direct and very serious with a 5 year old and still be appropriate.

At the very least, turning into a sarcastic person just sets the behavior back. As frustrated as a teacher can get, we need to keep that in mind. If we react like we are frustrated, we help set that mood of frustration.

I've found it best to focus exactly on what the problem is and focus on exactly how to solve the problem. If a child did a table scrubbing activity and left water all over the floor, I would bring the child over to the table and just say, "I noticed you just did this work. Do you see anything you forgot to clean up?" It's not a sarcastic tone. It's not a harsh tone. It's actually rather unemotional either way. It's just a very basic way I say it.

I see this teacher as a sign of a bigger problem. It seems many teachers are not taught how to try to diagnose behaviors at all! For me, a child who is having trouble behaving a certain way means I have to really take the time to step up and ask, "Why is this child behaving that way?"

If a child is hitting, biting, kicking, etc. the worst thing to do is make the environment a terrible place for him. Those behaviors may be easily caused by the way the teacher was acting.
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#88 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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I can tell that one of the posters is getting pretty schooled on this thread and I do believe in having compassion for others and I do, BUT what the heck?!?!? Be sarcastic with your own kids and stay away from mine!!
Matt is right about kindergarten students doing a sort of regress at certain points and thats when it is ok to harass them to make yourself feel better?
I will say again that I have walked out of a classroom in frustration before being shitty to a kid.
I am just being convinced that I will NEVER feel comfortable sending my kids back to school. I am going to do my very best to NEVER let them endure this sort of serious abuse. I feel like this is more common than people really realize and I am scared scared scared.
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#89 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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FWIW, I can think of a couple of teachers I had who were bullies who singled kids out and encouraged others in class to gang up on them. I've also seen it in the workplace.

I don't think it's uncommon at all.

Most people just look the other way and are grateful it isn't happening to them.

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#90 of 165 Old 06-04-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
FWIW, I can think of a couple of teachers I had who were bullies who singled kids out and encouraged others in class to gang up on them. I've also seen it in the workplace.

I don't think it's uncommon at all.
I agree. I remember teachers like that too. I also remember having my parents talk to the principal (before i started 1st grade) about making sure i had "Mrs. Buddenburg" because she was the nice teacher and the other first grade teacher had a reputation of being mean. I was shy and sensitive and they didn't want me getting stuck with her.


For those of you who are teachers, i'm sure you'd agree that not only do you effect the young ones in your class room, but when you act like that you get a reputation in your community.
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