Tag Archives: safety

Why Do Students Want to Take Down Teachers


Teachers

Teachers (Photo credit: iwannt)

In a recent post, I quoted words used in a search that ended up at my blog.  I listed eight incidents of which I had direct knowledge. In each one a teacher had been the target of an attempt to take him or her down.

The first question is why.  As you probably surmised from the list, most these students want to get back at the teacher.  Usually the student didn’t get the mark desired, sometimes the student was disciplined for misbehaving and sometimes there was a personality clash.  Occasionally a student was mentally ill but usually there is an element of revenge when students set out to take down a teacher.

The second reason is because she can.   Without believing she can take down a teacher, a student’s thoughts of revenge remain a daydream, a bitching session with a friend or some complaining over supper.  Thoughts of revenge dwindle over time and the student may come to terms with the source of annoyance.

When revenge is not a reasonable option, a student has an opportunity to learn better ways to deal with perceived unfairness. Perhaps she may acknowledge to herself that the mark or the discipline were earned even if the student thought they were a little excessive.  Perhaps she may talk to the teacher about what is bothering her.  Perhaps she may enlist her parents’ help in talking to the teacher.

However, in England, the USA and Canada, there are many cases that demonstrate students can take down teacher or at the very least, make their lives hell.  And they can do it with relative ease.  How do they have that power?  Why are children able to cause such havoc in the lives of hard working, caring, decent adults?

Initially students are believed when they make a charge of sexual assault or a vague form of harassment.  This is a hangover from the days when the standard belief was that children don’t lie.  This standard was a reaction to a long period when adults refused to believe children who claimed that apparently respectable adults were molesting them.

That refusal was understandable.  Even Freud, who had at first believed women when they described early traumas of molestation and incest, was persuaded by colleagues that the women must be making it up.

1. There is some controversy as to whether Freud did indeed change his mind.  Chief proponent of it seems to be J. M. Masson in his 1984 book, The Assault on Truth.  Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory.

We now realise that if a child can lie about taking a chocolate bar or other things, she can lie about more serious things.  Most children have been brought up to understand how wrong it is to lie and very wrong to lie about serious things. Unfortunately, some children tell the truth, some exaggerate and some do lie.  And some lie deliberately to hurt other people.

Because of the climate of believing children on the subject of abuse, teachers and others are often perceived as guilty until proven innocent.  Whatever happens in the courts, in the disciplinary hearings run by their employers it becomes clear that the burden of proof is on the adult to prove herself not guilty.

All of this makes teachers an easy target.  At the very least they will suffer the pain of being removed from the class while the accusation is investigated.  What more they will suffer, I can only leave to your imagination.

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Update: Emma, still climbing at two


Image

Emma’s dad reports that she did all the work.  There were a few missteps.  He took her off the platform and carried her down.  The thing that looks like a scarf on the left may be one of the many slings he and Emma’s mum use to carry her.  He may have used it to partially secure her for the descent.

Just a reminder that Emma’s parents don’t push her to do anything like this.  However, if she is keen and they think she can, they encourage her and spot her to ensure it is done safely.  I suspect that it may be safer, on occasion, to support these deeds of derring do than repress them and take a chance on Emma trying something when they aren’t looking!

KEEPING THEM WARM AND DRY:


CLEAN AND STYLISH IS NOT AN OPTION

If you have done a fair bit of canoe camping yourself, then you already know how to do this for yourself.  The only difference is that children can chill quickly .

for more of this article go to the Canoe Camping Ottawa link on this page.

THUMP, SCREAM, SPLASH: SAFETY Part three of Camping with Kids


The very first thing that keeps a child safe is the child’s competence in her environment and her ability to stay calm and think.  What is important is that your children learn not to panic, to rescue themselves first and help others without putting themselves in danger.

for the rest of this article go to:  http://www.canoecampingottawa.ca/

And Now for Something Completely Different


Recently I was proud to become a founding member of Canoe Camping Ottawa.    I write articles on occasion for CCO and yesterday I started a four part article on canoe camping with kids.  I am neither an expert canoeist, nor expert at camping with kids, but I have done a lot of both.  My three children are now grown up.  The youngest is an enthusiastic  kayaker and her brothers both enjoy being active and being active in the outdoors.  One likes to hike and cycle and the other likes downhill skiing.

I mention the article because it reflects my philosophy as a parent and a teacher; children should be encouraged to learn with their mentor even if it slows things down.  Whenever possible, children should learn to do useful things and be expected to do them once they are skilled enough.  Children should take on responsibility for their behaviour and safety as they become capable of it.  A child who is raised this way will not lack for self esteem.

To read this article go to canoecampingottawa.ca

The site is on my list of random links so if you wish to check back for the next three sections, just click on the link for Canoe Camping Ottawa.  A new section should be posted each Sunday.