- Teachers, Please Be Nice
- Rules Without Relationships Part 3
By Barrington H. Brennen
Dear Sir: You have been writing about how we could help our children become less
violent, and how parents should be kind to their children. But what about the
teachers who are mean and rough? Shouldnít teachers also be nice?
You are correct, dear reader. Teachers are to be kind to their pupils.
Unfortunately, there are too many teachers who are not nice in the classroom.
Before I pursue with the naughty teacher, let me command all the kind,
compassionate, and progressive teachers in our public and private school
systems. These dedicated teachers go to sleep and wake up with their students on
their minds. They sacrifice sometimes their own personal health for the
betterment of their students.
However, far too many of our teachers are
just in it for the ride. In previous articles I stressed that parents are
really the primary educators of their children. Parents provide the first
environment for physical, social, spiritual and mental growth. They provide the
ethos for passionate learning. I also stressed that rules without relationships
in a home breed rebellion. Doubly so, when we have parents who cannot lovingly
train their children. When these children go to school where teachers cannot
lovingly teach, we now have double trouble. That is really a catastrophe. When
a child is living in an environment where there are drunkards, emotional or
physical abuse, drug abuse,
neglect, lack of affection, etc., it becomes even
more important for teachers be kind and understanding to their students,
although this might be hard to do.
- DOUBLE TROUBLE
It is true that some students are so angry
and bitter that being nice wonít make much difference. But the teachersí
duty is to try. They must not add fuel to fire by being unkind. Many of our
nationís great leaders credit their success to a caring and companionate
teacher who was not just concerned about the subject matter they were teaching,
but they were concerned about the learners. In other words, they were
student-centered. In reality teachers are surrogate parents who spend more time
with the children than the parents do.
Children spend an average of thirty-five
hours a week in interactive contact with teachers. On the other hand, many
parents spend much less than five hours a week interacting with their children.
Yes parents might be at home longer with their children, but not interacting
with them. Therefore, teachers can, and do make a big difference in the lives of
our nationís youth.
There are at least three types of
teachers in our nationís classroom. Which one of them do you want to be?
- TYPES OF TEACHERS
The bully teacher.
This is the teacher who walks into the classroom to take control of things. She
walks with a stick during recess and into the classroom, not to point to
directions, but to hit students for the slightest mistake made. Primary school
children are afraid of this type of teacher. Secondary school students are just
waiting for her to "get on their nerves" so they could give her
"a piece of their minds." The bully teacher tries to coerce respect
by flexing her muscles. This teacher makes enemies of students, but boasts to
her colleagues how committed and concerned she is about the well-being of her
students. When this type of teacher meets a bully student, we have war, not
The passive teacher.
This is the teacher who does not really care much about the students and who
refuses to get involved in their lives. She is only there to draw a pay check
and complains about everything, but refuses to be proactive, or move on with
her life. This is the type of teacher who is careless about the growth of her
students. She refuses to learn new skills to reach her students or to
incorporate new techniques that could make a difference in the classroom. The
passive teacher is a textbook-centered teacher-Ėfocusing more on dispensing
information rather than encouraging critical evaluation and thinking. A passive
teacher produces passive learners.
teacher. This is the teacher that
enjoys teaching and does everything to make his classroom a haven of learning.
He is constantly upgrading himself intellectually, and joyfully shares his
knowledge with his students. We do know that enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm.
Thus, when we have an enthusiastic teacher, the students will also exude a
level of enthusiasm. The proactive-friendly teacher is the kind teacher. His
classroom teaching method is not textbook-centered, but student-centered.
Hence, there is a greater chance of the outcome being a developed, happy, whole
person, than a miserable, "want-to-get-out-of-this-mess-student."
We do need more proactive-friendly
teachers. I believe that they are one chain link in the chain to help build a
nation of positive thinking, productive young people. Teachers, would you please
be nice in the classroom.
Send your questions or comments to
Barrington H. Brennen,
email@example.com or call 1-242-327
1980, or snail mail: P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas
Part 2 Part 3
Rules Part 4