What’s a teacher supposed to do?
The pendulum has swung this far. Bored students used to shoot spit wads. Today’s class has gone much further. They provoke a teacher (baiting) until she reaches her breaking point (who doesn’t have a breaking point) and then secretly film the subsequent yelling or crying to post it online and further humiliate her.
A recent survey of 24 nations found that 21% of teachers had suffered some such shaming. One teacher cited experienced a nervous breakdown and was placed on indefinite administrative leave. This is the new fun, a way to while away the school year, to put a flavor into the dry algebra class. Has the “Question Authority” mantra gone too far? If they take out a teacher, a lot of kids congratulate themselves: “Well, she wasn’t apt for teaching anyway.”
Never mind that most of us enter the profession with illusions of serving humanity, changing lives, rescuing souls. We are purveyors of light and understanding. But we are shouted down by the promoters of Middle Ages.
Granted, teachers have long humiliated students. But cyberbaiting turns the tables, it would seem, in a much nastier tenor. (It is supposed that teachers strive for classroom management with an illegitimate technique, but students have no worthy end to justify their actions.)
This article has useful tips to avoid such provocations. What do you think about such student goading?