Sitting at your desk in the classroom which is kept at a perpetual constant temperature, you find yourself taking in the words of your superior. The teacher is rambling on about the lesson, trying to get his point across. Sensing that he is losing his audience whose attention spans are short enough already, he attempts to add a dab of humor or relatable personality to lighten the tense atmosphere of the class.
In trying to do this, the teacher informs you and your fellow students of a personal opinion he holds. What he says astounds you. You either find his remark offensive to yourself or others and are taken aback that an adult would say what he did in this day and age.
Whether a teacher in high school or a professor at a national university, many of us can recollect at least one educator in our lives that has made a statement like the one eluded to in the hypothetical scenario above. On numerous occasions, the opinion of a teacher can cheer up the majority of his or her pupils. But there are also those times in which the teacher simply pushes too far or slips up in the way he words something.
A lack of interest in education plagues individuals and entire schools. In addition to this, and perhaps more crucially detrimental to public education systems, is the habit teachers have of infusing lectures with little and often subtle comments which are commonly opinionated. Now, an opinionated comment could be anything from expressing who you think is the greatest football team to spewing out slanted political remarks. Of course, some people can argue over anything including which ball team is best at the game.
But it is even more of a problem when someone, especially a teacher who sits in the place of authority, makes a slanderous comment regarding a person’s color, sex, or religious beliefs. The question arises of what is to be done to balance out a teacher’s own opinions with his or her natural personality and enthusiasm for the subject.
The Source and Magnitude of the Issues
Many people can remember one or more of the courses they took in high school or college which was extremely mind-numbing. This reaction can be normal to a certain extent. However, recently it has become a growing trend to have a genuine lack of interest in one’s own education and to even shirk assignments. This is a sad development in and of itself. In addition, on the total opposite of the spectrum, schools and universities are becoming more and more of a battleground for acts of terrorism and juvenile violence. Such instances range from disrespecting an instructor to shooting classmates.
A prime and horrifying example of such violence is seen in the Kentucky school shootings in which several youths were killed and many more were injured. That happened a few weeks ago. Even more recently, there was a severe school shooting in Parkland, Florida, resulting in more deaths. The United States can not go one year without having several shootings take place in public schools.
Psychiatrists have been studying cases like these for years, frequently spewing out theories as to what causes such outbursts. But many seem to overlook some of the simplest and most reasonable answers to insane incidents like shootings. It is likely that quite a few of these sad events come about from bullying or snide remarks from fellow students and perhaps even teachers.
What To Do about Acts of School Violence
The violent and uncalled for outbursts could be brought on by a number of things going on in the lives of these young, misguided individuals. But one aspect is known for certain; even if the workload involved with education is not stressful, the social engagement which goes on at a school definitely strains one’s self-consideration. This is because of a certain part of human nature. Human beings tend to compare themselves with their peers. In turn, they make judgments. A few examples of such thoughts of comparison could include: “I am skinnier than he,” or “I wish I was as attractive as she.”
Some people voice their comparisons and their opinions relating to them. This habit leads to disrespectful remarks, even bullying. Bullies see themselves as more powerful or better than other people. And many a time it is the victims of bullying who go on to become bullies themselves, some taking drastic, fatality-causing measures. Fewer bullies would breed even fewer numbers of bullies. And in addition, if the youth of humanity were taught to be polite and were to learn when to stay silent, people would not be offended as much.
Teachers and professors have an obligation, and by diligently keeping their duties they can help make their places of employment safe for themselves and especially for their students. Part of being a teacher is having authority. A teacher is the dictator in class. That being said, a teacher has to know he or she needs to be a positive role model to the class. By this, a teacher or professor should strive to not say something obnoxious that could offend or disturb a pupil. An added measure to cut down on the likelihood of making an inappropriate comment is to become familiar with each member of the class which is often easier said than done.
How Educators Can Still Be Entertaining In Accord with Being Decent
Students have reason to fear both physical and verbal assaults. Most instructors do not want harm brought on themselves or their students, or at least they shouldn’t. Those who genuinely feel this way ought to be willing to do whatever is within their power to protect their pupils (which is their primary responsibility) as well as themselves. Probably the best procedure to take in order to accomplish this is to simply refrain. The teacher needs to take control – of his choice of words, of his personal views, of his material, and (in doing these) of his own students.
Jokes are perfect for the classroom. While innuendos of a sexual, religious, or political nature have no place there. The biggest problem for teachers comes from political correctness or a lack thereof. As ridiculous a method as some may consider it, PC is something which many individuals and especially schools take rather seriously now. In many ways, PC truly does not work. If we were to label some actions as offensive, all actions could be labeled with similar bias. Political correctness is not necessarily the answer, but just some common decency is.
An instructor can go about being more decent in the classroom by simply taking a step to watch what he or she says in front of the class. A teacher needs to engage the minds of the pupils in healthy conversation. (It’s also appropriate to commonly have a side-conversation about something that is pertinent to the subject.) One should not automatically assume a student’s ideals.
A teacher should strive to better know every individual in his room. With this notion in mind, it becomes clearer in deciding what to say in front of the whole class. In the end, with a ratified judgment, it is up to the instructor to responsibly take charge of the classroom.