Monday, March 11, 2013

Students bullying teachers: professional boundaries

This is an issue that will only increase in this millennium. Teacher training is key.
Teachers should never be alone with students. This is something the faculties need to teach student teachers. The same principle applies on-line.
Teachers should refrain from on-line interactions of a personal nature. Keep it professional.
Horror stories abound.

I had students send me dirty jokes. These were grade 6 students. They sent them to me at my school board's email, which the board has the right to monitor. The students were also sending vulgar photos they purported to be jokes. I told them they must stop this. It could have meant my job.

It is important to keep a professional boundary between yourself and your students. You are not their friends, you must be like their parent, unafraid to discipline and show them where the line is that they must not cross. Faculties are weak in the areas of classroom control, very weak in technology lessons.

When teachers are the bully's target

By Stephanie Goldberg, CNN
March 11, 2013 (CNN)  Several years ago, Brendesha Tynes was taken aback when she received an e-mail from one of her former students.


Reports from teachers say her case isn’t an anomaly. A 2011 study, "Understanding and Preventing Violence Directed Against Teachers,"reported 80% of about 3,000 K-12 teachers surveyed felt victimized by students, students’ parents or colleagues in the past year.
Teachers reported that students were most often behind the verbal intimidation, obscene gestures, cyberbulling, physical offenses, theft or damage to personal property.

Considerations for personnel preparation

Novice teachers should be informed about the potential of experiencing violence in their classrooms, and then equipped with preventative methods to minimize the probability. Teacher preparation programs need to include child and adolescent development courses where behavioral, neural and development principles are discussed. Classroom management/engagement should be included throughout the program and revisited when students are doing their student-teaching and practicum.  Teacher candidates should learn the integrated three-tiered models of prevention and understand the importance of intervening at the primary, secondary and tertiary level. They should be encouraged to view each student individually and tailor instruction appropriately. Preservice teachers and teachers who are currently practicing need to understand how some of their own responses to students could promote the conditions for violence in the classroom. Through professional development and in-service programming, current teachers could learn strategies to diffuse conflicts in order to prevent escalation such as techniques for interrupting the acting out cycle (Colvin, 2004).

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