when a teacher is winging it and gets in trouble

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Amy B, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. Amy B

    Amy B Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2021

    I've been a teacher for 15 years and am taking some college classes. Today, in a Zoom class, the teacher obviously had run out of material and started to fill up the remaining time with a strange lesson about fear. She described a scenario where we were supposed to imagine being asleep in bed at night and realize someone has broken into our house. Her question to us was ‘what do you do?’ The students individual responses; call 911 and hide or hide then call 911 , didn’t satisfy her. She created a more graphic scene ‘you are in bed and wake-up to find someone standing over you –now what do you do?’.

    Even as the students attempted to change or dilute the topic of home invasion, the teacher pushed on saying ‘ It’s important that you do this -that you think about this, rehearse this so you’ll know what to do’. The imagined scene she created was implied rape, being beaten and even murdered.

    Although there was still another 30 minutes of class I left in disgust and very shocked. This weird discussion had nothing to do with the course material. To confuse matters even more, the teacher is well regarded by students. I wonder if I need to report this. I have emailed the teacher and expressed my concern. As teacher to teacher I would appreciate your thoughts. thanks
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 1, 2021

    How often have you observed this class?

    What is the class?

    How old are the students?
     
  4. Amy B

    Amy B Rookie

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    hello thank you for your response - This is a college communication skills class that meets once a week for 3 hours and has a written curriculum. It was just such an awful and bizarre thing to have this teacher just go off the deep-end. I have actually reported it toan administrator that I know at that college who will check-in with this teacher to see if everything is okay.
    There have be many times in my own classroom where the lesson plan flopped or I decided to 'wing-it' because the classroom energy was so low. I hope I have never made any student so uncomfortable or distressed as I was today.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jun 2, 2021

    I have definitely been in classes where teachers go off script into areas of discussions that would be topics I would otherwise avoid.
    Unless this is a habit of this teacher, I probably wouldn't "report" the teacher.

    It is interesting that is a communication skills class and the teacher wouldn't accept not communicating as an answer. How do you talk down a threat? When do you talk down a threat?

    My assumption is that the class is full of adults since you are a teacher, even if those students are young adults.

    To be frank, Amy, in my expectation, the new societal expectation that nothing that "triggers" any person in class should be discussed is more detrimental to society than hearing some disturbing information every now and then especially since people claim being triggered from even the smallest thing. However, I will agree that the idea of someone hovering over you at night when they have broken in your house is a frightening idea.
     
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  6. Amy B

    Amy B Rookie

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    Yes agreed that 'triggers' vs opportunity for discussion is a balancing act. The school where I teach is an inner city community college and we have a lot of rules for teachers, students, and anyone who comes on to the campus. Safety is a huge concern. One of the rules most referred to is the '3100' - which basically says any behavior that can be seen threatening or implies acts of violence is grounds for academic suspension and/or removal from campus. Our students depend on enforcement of these rules to keep them safe while on campus.

    The communication course that I am taking and where the 'home invasion' melt-down occurred is a course in writing papers using statistical modelling. So it's not that the teacher was doing a clever intro into a lesson. No this was to me a real #3100 abuse of the power a teacher has over students. Students were subjected to a teacher trying very hard to emotionally manipulate them by forcing them to listen and respond to a very violent and graphic fantasy of surviving, or not, a home invasion.

    To me the teacher's clear objective was for the students to feel threatened and terrorized.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  7. Amy B

    Amy B Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2021

     
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jun 2, 2021

    Assuming this is not a free course students have a monetary interest in receiving a product as advertised. The instructor has an obligation to deliver said product with contingencies to substitute similar product should original supply be depleted. Substituting a dissimilar product without consent of students should be considered fraud. In other words, the instructor took advantage of a captured audience.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jun 2, 2021

    So the teacher was threatening the class? Implying acts of violence against the class?

    In my opinion, feeling distraught or disturbed by a topic is not the same as being threatened or implying acts of violence unless there is an implication the person will do or have someone else do the same to you. Did the teacher imply he or she was going to do this to you or just that it could happen and you should be prepared? I'm not saying the discussion wasn't graphic or horrific to hear. Home invasions are scary things. Not having any game plan if confronted, is scarier. Hence why there are so many self-defense classes available in my area.

    I will concede that the teacher should have used class time to teach, allow you to work on papers, or dismiss you early. I just don't see how your example violates the meaning of the rule you stated.
     
    Tired Teacher and Ima Teacher like this.
  10. Amy B

    Amy B Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2021

    I want to thank the teachers who responded to my thread- very helpful. I am moving on and signing-off . :)
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Jun 6, 2021

    I winged many a lesson my first 3 years . I was overwhelmed with the workload. What teacher has to teach two subjects, two grades for two years straight? On top of that, grading, making calls, professional devt.
     

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