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Teachers and learnings


The UK media is awash with this news story.

Interestingly, normally a case of an adult assaulting a minor would result in headlines about demonic behaviour and much hand wringing. Not so on this occasion, there seems to be a degree of sympathy and understanding.

Now I’m not normally in favour of teachers hitting kids (if indeed that is what happened) BUT this highlights a number of areas that really need to be addressed.

– Teachers no longer have the power to deal with unruly pupils. This is to the detriment of the education system as a whole. In each class there will be kids that want to learn. I’m not talking about the bright ones, they will succeed anyway. I’m talking about the middle tiers, the ones that might make it or might not the ones that could be making a really productive contribution to society in years to come.

– The behaviour of some children is becoming beyond a joke. When a child thinks they can stand up in a classroom and swear at a teacher, or swear at an adult in the street, things have gone too far. This is unacceptable behaviour. Where are the repercussions, where are the punishments, where are the rules?

– Where are the parents in this? It used to be that adults believed other adults over the children. If a teacher said that little Joey had been badly behaved at school, little Joey was in deep doggy doo-doo with the parents. These days, too often the response is, “Not my little Joey, he’s not a naughty boy. He’s just lively”

– The pressure on teachers dealing with these sorts of situations day in and day out is incredibly stressful. Think about being abused, insulted, disobeyed, and contradicted and in some cases physically threatened day in and day out. The end of term is 6 school days away and it seems for this chap it became too much.

Our economies, our prosperity, our futures are being determined here. This is the generation that will be running the world when we are in our twilight years. And I tell you what, I for one am terrified by that thought.

So beating up a pupil can never be right, but if it makes a few kids think, a few parents consider and brings this subject into mainstream debate, then there is something to positive to come out of this sad, sad affair.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Corporate Daycare permalink
    07/10/2009 17:23

    HRD, you are right – beating a student can never be right. Ever.

    However, in circumstances like these, the real issue is not that a teacher attacked a student, but the conditions that led to this happening.

    As a parent I firmly believe in holding kids accountable for their actions and allow them to experience the gamut of possibilities (learn, fail, succeed, struggle).

    As HR, I see the result of those parents that didn't. It's scary.

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