My internship tutor, Melanie came in today. She was supposed to come in the day before, but called in sick early in the morning, so it had to pushed to the next day instead. This is the first time I was observed during teaching, so I was not used to it. Ok, I was pretty nervous. It is different if one is observed without knowing, rather than being observed consciously. I shall not comment on how I fared, as that might even worry me further!
Anyway, today I observed a scene where a child was reprimanded for doing something which is deemed inappropriate by social standards. He was scratching his private areas.The thing is, I did not manage to catch him at doing that.
What the teacher did was, as a reaction to the child’s action, she immediately scolded the child for doing that. I shall not even try to describe it because I feel that the teacher was too harsh in the way she handled the child. The worst part is that, she did not even ask the child why he did that. She just scolded the child for doing it without even asking the child why he did it. It was so sudden that I could not even respond to the situation!
I understand where the teacher is coming from. Where her good intentions are, but she did not use a good strategy in which to approach the child. The thing is, I think that the teacher has probably let her assumptions and prejudices about the child overide what is a rational move, which is to never reprimand a child without asking the reasons why. Children are and will act like children. They do things for a reason, firstly among which is curiosity. But educators should learn to question things before assuming. All in all, I think she could have frightened the child, and the child probably still did not understand what she meant.
The other part is which, I know that I have been guilty of doing it myself in the past. I know as I have got myself into such a situation, that is almost losing my head over a child’s actions. Sometimes it is because adults forget that children do not understand things which may seem apparent to the adult but not to small children. I know this is re-inforced in my learning, as I have seen the way that the principal handled the situation, and she only gave me those reasons. I guess you can call this learning by example or learning from other people’s situations so you won’t have to make the same mistake again!
As I am the one to send this child home, I decided to explain to the boy why the teacher’s response was as such. So I told the child a story to which the child gave me a response, that seemed to show that he understood what I was trying to say to him. Whether he repeats the same actions, that remains to be seen in future however.
Anyway, to end the entire episode, I brought this up to the principal, as I felt that the way the teacher approached the child was not right, and I think it is right that the principal knew what happened.