No humiliating the students!

teacher humiliates studentsMy high school physics teacher was a German physicist, whose accent was as thick as his mustache. He loved two things in life: opera and physics.

His teaching technique: Send kids to the board to do physics problems from the previous night’s homework — in front of the class. To say I dreaded being called upon understates the case. I was terrified.

One day, a girl didn’t know the answer, which to my brilliant physics teacher appeared as obvious as the sky is blue. He kept pressing her to cough up the answer. She tried to say that she didn’t know. He was unrelenting. The light bulb moment would occur; he kept insisting.

That girl cried in front of the whole class.

I cried for her inside.

The teacher was befuddled, as astonished that she didn’t know the answer as that she cried. Instead of turning on, the light bulb broke. Instead of thrilling students with physics, she hated it.

As teachers, we are positioned to humiliate kids easily. And we should never do it. Humiliation never is a good teaching technique. Nothing good comes from it. in the way of learning. Fear of being humiliated is not a good motivational technique. Avoid it always. The days of the dunce cap are done.

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One thought on “No humiliating the students!

  1. “The days of the dunce cap are done.” I loved the way you ended it.

    This too: “Fear of being humiliated is not a good motivational technique. Avoid it always.” I think it might be good to put it up on a placard as a reminder. Because, as was apparent in your post, the teacher didn’t even Realize that he was pushing way beyond the “I believe you can do it!” intention. It’s sad that something he might have considered an encouragement actually turned out to be the total opposite.

    And: “Instead of turning on, the light bulb broke.” That’s really the last thing any teacher wants to cause.

    Like

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