This post is for the boys in my family. I want to let you know that whilst I can’t do anything to ease your pain, hurt and anger, I can help raise awareness and call these mean teachers by the rightful term: bullies.
How proud I was to hear that in the face of relentless verbal taunts you acted responsibly and wisely. When confronted by a bully, we advise that you turn and walk away, get out of their vicinity and don’t respond. You’ll probably be labelled as a difficult child, wilful and disrespectful. But in the face of threat, embarrassment and discomfort, you showed bravery and courage. You left the classroom where you were the target of the teacher bully. I can’t imagine how much you were provoked to feel that was the only action available to you.
You are marking time, surviving at school, but not thriving as you should be. Sometimes school sucks big time.
When the teacher bully targets one or two children, humiliates and belittles them publicly, the rest of the class responds with nervous titters - best to side with the bully than become a target yourself!
What strength it takes not to respond, to pretend to laugh off the humiliating comments. But you see the pain of those who are targeted day after day, week after week, month after month and you don’t know how to help. You stick up for them when you can, but see the injustice and cruelty. You’ve observed how the teacher looks for any behaviour that is out of line, draws attention to it, but never notices or praises the good. He laughs and brings attention to your classmates learning difficulty to his utter shame and bewilderment.
|A domino - Berlin 2009.|
How proud I am of you, standing up for the underdog who was being unfairly harangued. To be confronted by a large, dominant and angry teacher is intimidating, frightening, humiliating. It’s an abuse of power and is never acceptable. It never encourages a student to work harder or better or showcase their talent.
I see strong boys, acting with integrity, courage, intelligence and compassion. I’m so proud to be related to you. The teacher bullies you’re confronting appear to be sadly lacking in these qualities. I wonder if they’re threatened by these strengths in you.
To be confined in a classroom where abuse if rife, to be the target, or observe another being harangued, needled, provoked is horribly painful.
You rail against the unfairness, and as parents and family, we can’t always help. We don’t have the answers, and often feel powerless too. Sometimes it sucks being a parent. We don’t always know how to put a stop to teacher bullying - but we see your hurt, anger and frustration and are here to listen whenever you need to unload.