Teachers Dehumanize Students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AnnNorCal, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. AnnNorCal

    AnnNorCal Rookie

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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Wow. I've never personally heard of incidents like the ones she describes, except the pregnancy one, but I don't doubt they are probably true and do happen.

    I think I agree mostly with what she said at the end, that teachers don't come into teaching with blank slates and that they have a slew of personal beliefs and -isms that they bring with them. Some more blatant about it than others.

    I've come to realize people can be racist or something similar all while thinking that they are very tolerant or that they are the last person to be racist because society does influence us with racial stereotypes both in media and daily communication, so some stereotypes are deeply held and could affect the way a teacher treats a student.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm irritated. If she is a professor of educational leadership then she knows full well what crap teachers are getting from the public now. To write this article, which seems totally self-serving, is only going to make things worse. Her caveat about not wanting to paint teachers with a broad brush falls flat.

    And it doesn't even make sense. Saying that a girl will become pregnant by 14 is far from dehumanizing. Inappropriate, yes, but not dehumanizing. I think she needs to review the definition before throwing the term around.

    I admit, I've made some not-so-nice predictions about some students. Suzy will drop out by this time next year. I wouldn't doubt if Sally is pregnant again within the year. I even predicted one of my students would be arrested for dealing drugs. These are born from frustration usually but sometimes said with a proactive intent. Either to get the student help that he/she needs or to prepare coworkers for what will probably come down the line.

    Teaching isn't all sunshine and roses. I make predictions about positive outcomes for students too - Bobby will get into an Ivy League school, Karen will own her own business, Seth will become a nurse. To tell teachers that they can only imagine good things for all their students is very idealistic.
     
  5. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    :yeahthat:

    I was more than perturbed by her tone and, quite frankly, I was offended. As 2ndTimeAround points out...we're already being scrutinized and vilified at times. We don't need "help" from one of our own.

    I was also bothered with her example of when a teacher felt one of her kindergartners would be "gay". How is that dehumanizing? Is "gay" now less than human as well? I suspected a few of my sixth-grade boys were homosexual, but never once felt that was dehumanizing, or never once felt negative towards them (unless they misbehaved, of course, and then I was just frustrated).

    As 2ndTimeAround, I, too have made some less-than-stellar predictions about some of my students and each time I sincerely pray I'm WAY off mark.

    Teachers are human and we're flawed. For society to hold us at a higher standard, not to come to our profession with any -isms, or a belief system is unfair at best. What's important is that we don't SHOW those beliefs...not to our colleagues and most definitely not to our students.

    Not being without sin myself, I won't judge racists, homophobes, bigots, or misogynists. But I will find fault with their statements or behaviors.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think it was that she "disparagingly" said he was gay. Despite what you may think, there is a large body of people out there who believe homosexuals are less than human.

    I also believe that if a teacher is aware that they have an -ism, they better **** well do what they can to fix it and grow out of it. Not just hide it under wraps.

    I had dealings with a student in which race came up as a possible motivator for me calling him on his misbehavior. Completely ridiculous of course, but it made me think, and it made me realize that there was a little bit of racism there, and I'm someone who is multi-racial myself and have experienced being part of a minority and had thought myself beyond such thoughts, but I realized that a part of me was slightly blaming the student and students like him for "playing the race card". Which was actually a racist thought in and of itself.

    I did my best to move past it. Can't say for sure if I've succeeded, but I will know if a similar situation ever arises again. The first step is to become aware of these thoughts.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    If I've ever mentioned someone is likely to drop out and/or get pregnant, it is usually said with defeat. I don't like the choices and it is my fear that this will likely happen. I don't write someone off and say "who cares- they'll end up pregnant anyway", it is more "Nothing is working. I wish I could fix it. If they continue this way, they'll likely just drop out."

    I've had a few students that I'm pretty sure will come out as gay. I had one fifth grade boy who loved the Disney Princesses and brought his pillow autographed by all the princesses (and ONLY princesses) to school to show off. His favorite color was "aquamarine sparkle turquoise". He had very feminine mannerisms as well. My best friend through college was gay- I have nothing against anyone being gay. However, I constantly would think to myself "yup, he's gay".
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think what disgusts me about this article is not so much the disservice it does to teachers, but the idea of comparing the dehumanisation of a group of people in Vietnam to a few bad (some admittedly nasty) comments from a handful of teachers does an incredible disservice to those who truly ARE being dehumanized on a daily basis. This author should be ashamed of herself.
     
  9. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Hm, I'm most interested in what she did in each of those instances to address the problem she observed.

    Surely she did something, right? :rolleyes:
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's where I have issues with the article. She admits that its only a few teachers out of thousands that does this, and bemoans that it shouldn't happen to any students period, but doesn't provide any solutions to it.

    As 2nd said, there doesn't seem to be a point to the article except that it is self-serving and complaining.
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    For someone leading a school of education her inability to rationally reach conclusions based on evidence she herself provided is frightening.

    Even if every single thing she said were true her interpretations are just ridiculously off-base.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    In my personal observations, those "leading" educators after spending time in the trenches themselves, typically are doing so because they couldn't handle the classroom any longer. They were either burned out or highly ineffective to start. I'm sure that there are exceptions but so far the ones I've met did not seem to have a strong grasp on reality.
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is my opinion as well.
    "Those who can, do; those who can't, don't.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sadly, it completely reminded me of a (thankfully) retired teacher I know. One time, in the middle of dinner conversation, she announced, "Just line up the kindergartners and give me a gun. I'll know which ones to shoot. It'll save taxpayers a lot of money." I will never look at her the same way again.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Although I never had her as a professor, she's employed by the university where I spent my undergrad and graduate level years. I'm literally sitting here shaking my head. :mad:
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My first thought is that it is just more fodder for those who choose to vilify teachers.

    At the same time, it made me think of a current "specials" teacher at our school. She constantly bi&*es at the kids ABOUT each other: "that boy is just strange," or "Whew! she makin' my eyes water!" (about a child with "leakage" problems from being raped at age 4 two years earlier), or "he just bad." That kind of garbage spews out of her mouth almost constantly, only stopping when the principal is near. She's definitely "old school," having retired once in a different state, and is now working on her second (20+ year) retirement fund. She graduated from college before I was born, and I'm 50!
     
  17. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    :eek::wow: That is terrible and extremely sad.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Comparing POWs to classroom mgt is asinine....
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I hope she reads the comments section.

    I could write something similar and make assumptions about lawyers, cops, doctors, politicians, judges, etc. all doing the same thing. Some people are like that, many people are not regardless of what line of work they're in. This definitely is just a way to get press by bashing teachers.
     
  20. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I've seen it over and over with my own eyes. I have realized that it's a coping mechanism. It feels better to say that the child CAN'T be reached. You are not saying that YOU can't reach the child, you are saying that no one could ever reach this child. Then the blame goes to this invisible pit in the world where no one has to take responsibility.

    It doesn't just happen in schools. It happens in social service facilities a lot as well.

    Sometimes I feel like we should be more like medical doctors. They see the worst case as a challenge. Most doctors will fight for their patients until death. What if failure truly wasn't an option? That doesn't mean that every child will do everything the same. That means that we would look at every child as if he/she has unique gifts to give to the world.
     
  21. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Trust me when I say, there are many medical doctors that will give up on a patient as well.
     
  22. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I don't really think her article is worth all this attention. Her comparison sounds like the enlightened reasoning of someone who just enjoyed a superb doobie.
     
  23. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    This is just someone looking for attention.
    I'm not sure why teachers are the ones to be so demonized in the media but it sure does seem to get easy press.

    I could probably write an article and send it to my local paper, "All teachers hate children" and they would probably print it without reading it. I don't doubt their are some teachers who take pride in making guesses about what their students will turn out like but in my experience most just hope they can help their students succeed.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :eek:
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    As to my reaction to the article, just :rolleyes:.
     
  26. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    CRIMINAL!!!
     
  27. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    :eek::eek: OMG about the poor girl who was violated like that. That disturbs my spirit.
     
  28. Ms.History

    Ms.History Rookie

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    Absolutely infuriating. This woman and the two others mentioned within this thread have absolutely no business being in education, and I hope their individual administrations will see to it that they are removed with all due haste.

    And of course nobody has a blank slate going in to teaching. I try to impress my own beliefs on students EVERY DAY. Especially the beliefs that each one of them has value, is loved, can succeed, and that they are each responsible for their own decisions.
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm happy to report the woman of whom I wrote has been retired for several years. My hope is that her comments were made in the heat of discussion (standardized testing for kindergarten) and over a couple of glasses of wine. Still, my esteem for her as a teacher and a person is diminished.
     

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