Education is a pillar in all our lives. Most of us start at the very beginning when we’re 4 or 5 years old. It is something that is too fundamental to our being, it affects and raises us to be who we are as individuals in society. Our schools allow us to have a certain privilege in the world; a kickstart as some may call it. However, being in school can, sometimes, be a heartbreaking experience. One that is filled with bad memories and coping mechanisms that linger in adulthood. The things some people go through at school are not a walk in the park, nor are they a lesson to take on later in life. Some schools affect their students so deeply and fundamentally that it becomes too hard to recover for most.
So, without further ado, we’ve gathered a list of things that teachers and schools do wrong, based on so many people’s experiences and ours too.
Not Allowing Kids to Go to the Bathroom
Scene: a 6-year-old kid asks their teacher to go to the bathroom, and the teacher refuses because they think the kid is lying. 10 minutes later, the kid doesn’t hold it, the entire class laughs or gives them weird looks while the teacher looks angry. And the kid is left with that memory for their entire life.
For some reason, this seems to be an unspoken rule that has been passed on for generations, and teachers still think it’s okay. Yes, kids, sometimes, do use the bathroom as an excuse, but so what? Is the suspicion worth the humiliation?
Teachers need to understand that not allowing students to go to the bathroom is wrong and inhumane.
Making Fun of Students’ Answers
While having a fun easy-going relationship with students is always a plus when it comes to the teacher-student experience. That relationship can’t be based on mockery. Some students take an entire year to muster up the courage to raise their hand in class, only to find their answers met with laughter from the one person who is supposedly there to help them understand.
It is not okay to make students feel embarrassed for not knowing. A teacher’s job is to help out, not to mock.
Public Humiliation Because of Dress Code
Rules are rules. I get that. It should not be acceptable for students to dress differently when the school has a specific dress code. However, why do most schools take that as a chance to, again, publicly humiliate the students?
They make them stand for hours in the sun, go as far as cut out their unmatching hair ties, and yell at them for hours in front of everyone present.
Why is the dress code more important than a student’s mental health?
“Playful” Smacking on the Hands is Still Abuse
I remember seeing this once; a second-grade teacher lining up 6 students because of the noise they were making in class. Then, carefully, raised her hands all the way up only to make it land with a lot of force on each of the student’s hands. Resulting in each of them laughing it out because “it didn’t hurt” with tears in their eyes.
Why do we teach our children to take pride in keeping it in? and in not expressing their pain? Why do we teach them to take pride in abuse?
Abusive teachers should go to jail.
Not Speaking Up for the Students
A school is a shelter for many students. It is okay to give students the benefit of the doubt at first. Immediately not believing them when they tell you they’re being bullied or siding up with their bully just because you decided they’re lying is not the way to go. Being a teacher means assessing and investigating, it means helping out and being a safe space for those who need it.
This might not be the case in modern schools, however, this is the norm in many schools in Egypt; schools that are deemed respectable and good. It is time for us to teach our kids to speak up for themselves, to not be scared of the repercussions of a faulty system; one that allows so much of what hurts them.
Schools, do better.