When Teachers Bully Kids
As Bobby walks down the hall the other kids taunt him and tease him. They call him names and make fun of him for how he looks. The torment does not end there. He is constantly bullied when he enters the classroom too, but not by the other students. This time his tormentor is his teacher. The one person at school who is supposed to prevent bullying, is sometimes the one doing the bullying.
Teachers may not be aware that the way they sometimes treat students is taken as bullying, but it is as tormenting to kids as being bullied by other students is.
Bullying is defined as repeated acts over time attempting to create or enforce one group or one person's power over another. Some teachers do this very thing to students on a daily basis, and may not be aware that what they are doing is bullying which can be very damaging to kids.
When a student is late to class, a teacher may have the other students tease him as he enters the classroom. The teacher will stand in front of the classroom and joke, "Look its Johnny, he's late. Say hi to Johnny, everyone." The class may laugh and tease him. Some kids may not be bothered by this, but there are many kids who will feel very intimidated when treated this way. They become very anxious about going to class and may even be late more often because they are so anxious. There are also children who may reach a point where they have panic attacks and are unable to attend the class altogether. The teacher may think that their approach is going to stop the tardiness, but it is bullying that will make students feel inferior.
Instead of making fun of Johnny, the teacher should take Johnny aside privately at the end of class and talk with him about the importance of being on time. It is not the other students business and the teacher should not use them as a disciplinary tool.
Teachers tend to think that embarrassing students will make them behave. If a kid does poorly on a test, a teacher may inadvertently tell the class that everyone did great on the test except for a few students. The teacher will embarrass Johnny and the other, not really knowing whether or not they tried their best. This makes them feel stupid and many times they will not ever try again. They will just shut down and feel inferior to the other students.
There are students whose parents are very involved in their education. They talk to the teachers and try to stay informed. Some teachers do not like to be bothered by parents. They use this against kids and tell them that their mom called in front of the other students, because it annoys them that the parent is involved. Or the teacher airs personal issues about the student in front of the other students. Teachers do need to remember that all information about each kid is confidential and they should not use it to discipline. It is not discipline, it is bullying.
Some teachers make it a point to embarrass students every chance they get. They never stop to think that these are just kids and maybe they are feeling insecure and scared. They might just need one person to be nice to them, to actually care. There may come a day when a kid who is being bullied by a teacher might have thoughts of suicide because he is also mistreated by elders and peers. Teachers do need to discipline students but never should they do so in a way that they are being a bully.