‘Support your teachers’ writes: Mr Samuels (principal at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School) needs to step up and defend his teachers, and speak up for them if they are unable to do so. Most teachers do not chastise well-behaved students because they have nothing better to do. Students, as young as Year 2 or 3 have figured out that there is little that can happen to them no matter how crazy they act.
Teachers cannot punish them (keeping them in for recess means absolutely nothing; talking to them is a waste of breath), principals cannot or will not punish them, and the parents certainly won’t do it either – why do you think that the kids come to school acting as they do? Suspension will not work either – it’s added PS4 time for the kids.
So what you have here is an educational system that is unable to deal with antisocial students who go to school to terrorize their peers and teachers. They are kids from broken homes whose parents don’t know how to parent, will not parent, or simply neglect them. They are kids who grow up without two parents in the household, whose parents may be abusing drugs, etc.
These are kids who roam the streets all day long or sit in the rooms playing violent games for hours on end, in essence babysitting themselves, who face no consequences for any of their actions either at home or their school, and who are promoted through the system whether they pass or fail.
Their emotional needs being unmet (love, attention, routine, discipline), some of these kids end up in gangs, on drugs, and/or dead. Sometimes they’re kids from regular families whose parents allow them to do whatever they want in an effort to be their best friends and to “buy” their love. And sometimes they come from good families and they’re simply “bad apples”. When you throw 3, 4, or 5 of these kids in a classroom, they influence the rest of the classroom’s behaviour.
Just imagine being a student in a classroom and seeing another doing whatever he/she wants with little repercussion (sure they get pulled out for a few minutes, but then they’re back laughing minutes later) – your behaviour will, for the most part, also be pulled down a bit.
You wouldn’t necessarily act as poorly as the ringleaders but your behaviour won’t be exemplary either, especially not when your teacher is running around trying to get a handle on some of the other kids. So instead of working quietly on your work, you start talking with your friends, you watch the ridiculous behaviour of some of your classmates, you laugh at some of the inappropriate things that they do or say, and once in a while participate in the foolishness that occurs.
Many of these troubled kids do not belong in a regular classroom as they affect the learning of the other children – as few as one poorly behaved child can draw as much as 50-75% of a teacher’s attention, so imagine what 3 or 4 of them can do. In some classrooms, teachers do not teach – they simply end up putting out one fire after another, in essence babysitting .
Little wonder then that some teachers cannot handle it. There’s only so much that a person can take. Teaching seems to be the only profession where it’s okay for someone to be abusive towards an adult. If a student hits a teacher, nothing really comes of it. If a student swears at a teacher, nothing really comes of it. If a student refuses to listen to a teacher, nothing really comes of it. If a student is disrespectful to a teacher, nothing really comes of it.
When it happens on an hourly/daily basis, over and over again, little wonder then that some teachers strike back. I’m not saying that it’s right, but I’m not at all surprised by it.
This comment was posted in response to Ministry admits second WB teacher on leave