Society is concerned about stopping the effects of bullying among students. In recent years, being bullied by teachers has also become a matter of concern. In fact, complaints against teachers who verbally abuse students have been skyrocketing.
You certainly don’t want to be accused of mistreating your students. It can cost you your job.
I doubt you have ever met an educator who said, “I am so glad I became a teacher because now I can enjoy tormenting students. It is so satisfying.”
Teachers like this may exist, but they are rare. It is far more common for teachers to complain that they are being verbally attacked or harassed by students. In fact, many teachers who are accused of bullying a student will insist that they are consistently targeted by the student!
Many teachers have at least one student that routinely drives them crazy. These students learn how to press a teacher’s “buttons” and never stop. Students bullyingteachers can be a real problem. What can you do?
If this is your situation, you need to be especially careful. While you may see yourself as the target of that student’s aggression, these days, you are in great danger of being accused of bullyingthat student.
Why is that?
If you get angry with the student, act impatiently with them, repeatedly punish or reprimand them, or criticize them in front of the class, you can be sure they won’t like the way you are treating them and neither will their parents.
Don’t be surprised if you get called to the administration office and find yourself facing an accusation.
So, what should you do?
The answer, of course, is to follow the Golden Rule. This means being nice to students, whether or not you feel like they deserve it.
You are getting paid to educate all students, including those who act up. As a teacher, you are extremely important in the lives of your students, probably more so than you think. You can help build up a child, and you can help to destroy them.
If you find yourself getting angry with a student, you, of course, feel that they’re responsible for it. But they simultaneously feel like you’re treating them unfairly. You cannot educate a child out of anger.
You get angry because you want the student to stop defying or disrespecting you. However, your punitive action accomplishes the opposite. It makes them continue because you are treating them like an enemy. They lose respect for you because teachers look like idiots when we’re angry, and we make our students hate us. Then they provoke us to act even meaner.
Instead, treat the student like a friend. Treat them the way you would like to be treated if you were the student. No matter how rude they may be, you respond respectfully. Show them they can’t make you angry, no matter how hard they try.
If you do need to punish them, do it regretfully, saying, “I wish I didn’t have to do this to you, but you are violating so-and-so rule.”
If the student is cursing you out for some reason, don’t pay attention to the curse words. Try to understand what the student is upset about and see if you can help them. You will see that they quickly stop cursing, and they will come to like you better.
If you would like students to change their behavior, rather than reprimanding them in front of the class, ask them to meet with you privately. Tell them nicely that you need their help. Explain that it’s hard for you to teach when they do such-and-such, and can they please change their behavior so that you can teach better. Ask them why they are upset with you. Whatever they complain about, don’t defend yourself. Try to see the problem from their point of view, and it will be a lot easier to figure out a solution.
Students are highly moved when a teacher takes the time to meet with them alone and treats them with respect.
So, let The Golden Rule help you become a fantastic teacher. Treat students with respect. even when they disrespect you, and you will have a class that tries to please you.