I occasionally receive e-mails from readers who take issue with my stance against teacher terrorism. However, even I am surprised by how few negative responses I get. In fact, I have been overwhelmed by e-mails from readers who are in agreement with most, if not all, of what I have to say. And usually it’s because their own children have experienced teacher taunting and bullying in one form or another.
Having said this, I want to point out that my section heading on this subject does not say “The War Against Teachers.” Rather, it’s “The War Against Teacher Terrorism.” When you stop to think about it, how could any rational person of goodwill not be against teacher terrorism — or terrorism of any kind, for that matter?
Once and for all, I want to make it crystal clear that I totally support teachers who are kind, compassionate, and understanding — teachers who try hard to provide an environment in which a child’s efforts to succeed are totally supported.
This is particularly important if a child has learning, emotional, or family issues that make it difficult for him to perform at a high level without extraordinary support. Of course, it also helps if the teacher is both intelligent (referring to mental capacity) and knowledgeable (referring to what one actually knows).
I urge you to do all you can to help stamp out teacher terrorism and rid schools of those teachers who are hopelessly addicted to flaunting their power over children. I also urge you to do all you can to help fight for a dramatically increased pay scale for teachers who are committed to both protecting and teaching their students. Higher pay would, in turn, attract the highest-quality individuals to what perhaps could be rightly referred to as the noblest of all professions — teaching.
When you do your part to help in this cause, it’s like giving to charity. You’re helping to save young people from having their lives ruined forever by bullying scars that never heal. In my view, it’s one of the most civic-minded actions an individual can take.
The single most important subject that a teacher can teach his/her students is not reading, writing, or arithmetic. It’s kindness. And to effectively do that, he/she must be a role model whose actions are beyond-reproach.
I’ve said it many times before, and I will continue to repeat it ad infinitum: Show me a student who is happy at school, who feels good about himself, who is made to feel he is accepted, and I will show you a student who can achieve academically.
Right now, most everyone is missing the boat on the education crisis in America. The main emphasis is on low grades and scores. We constantly hear about how bad our education system is compared to those of other industrialized countries. We are told that we must work our students harder and prep them better for SATs and other tests.
But this is nothing more than media babble aimed at those whose brains are set in the power-down mode. The underlying problem of the education crisis in America is bad teachers.
By bad, I am referring to teachers who are ignorant and/or unknowledgeable … teachers who don’t know how to teach … and, above all, teachers who enjoy flaunting their power over their student serfs. And the baddest of the bad are teachers who are mean-spirited or flat-out malevolent.
Humiliation and despair virtually guarantee that a student will not do well academically. The first and foremost goal of every teacher is to provide an environment where each and every student develops self-confidence and self-esteem. Once those two traits are firmly in place, just about any student will be motivated to succeed academically.