As an aspiring teacher, this is something I have been trying to get my head around for some time.
I have come across such teachers in my life time and so have some of my family members. Of course, there are two sides to a coin, but do we not too often dismiss what the children say about their teachers ‘picking’ on them and believe they are in the wrong? How many times have children moaned and groaned about a teacher, but not the subject, and we’ve simply told them to run along to school and not sat down to discuss what the issue was?
I’ve never had the pleasure of being victimised by a teacher, but I remember seeing it happen occasionally to others in my class. The teachers were smarter and would swat it away as banter. But as I grew older and thought about it more, it bugged me. And I wasn’t able to give it a name then, but I can now: Bullying.
Times have changed and campaigns to support victims of student-on-student bullying has made an impact. In an ideal world eradicating bullying is at the top of the list, but most importantly, it’s to educate students on the impact of bullying and what it says about you as a person. That is, if you are the very criminal the people are trying to disinfect the world of. But what happens to teachers? Although bullying teachers is an issue that has been recognised, its not really an issue that’s addressed in schools, for multiple reasons:
a) Teachers bullying isn’t usually reported to higher authorities in the school
b) Students might not pick up that it’s bullying if the teacher gets the class involved
c) If by some chance a student does report it to a member of staff, it might not be taken seriously and will be dismissed. Often the student being made to look like the bad guy
What’s made me post on this issue is me remembering the time my niece was bullied by her primary teacher in year 5/6. She was picked on by her male class teacher who made unnecessary comments about her fringe, which eventually lead to her cutting it off herself! When the teacher was challenged by my sister about his behaviour he laughed and said ‘Good! I’m happy it’s gone!’
Luckily, my sister took it all the way to the heads and the man had to formally, and in person, apologise to my niece and sister. But that teacher still teaches at that school O_O My niece was lucky, but not all kids can get their parent’s attention and overcome teacher bullying. But what worries me more is that these people are in education around vulnerable children and they use their power and abuse it. By having the teacher status they think they’re untouchable. What shocks me is knowing that they are qualified teachers who might have been doing this for a long time, and all without being detected. It’s sick, disgusting and they shouldn’t be around children any more!
I urge parents, family and friends to children of any age to be willing to listen to a child when they tell you “My teacher keeps picking on me”.