Are Harsh Teaching Styles Really Helpful?

Teachers are supposed to teach, support and mentor our children so that they will be prepared for the real-world. A lot them are amazing at doing this. They take care of our children as if they were their own. They truly care for them and want nothing but the best for them. However, when I saw the below video it made me question how far should a teacher go in making sure that their students learn and understand. Please take a look:


According to The New York Times, the teacher in the video Charlotte Dial worked for a charter school under the Success Academy network. She was considered to be a model teacher and helped to train her colleagues. This network is known for its students getting and maintaining high achievement on state tests. A previous teacher turned Assistant Principal of a Success Academy, Jessica Reid Sliwerski stated that starting in third grade, when children begin taking the state exams, embarrassing or belittling children for work seen as slipshod was a regular occurrence, and in some cases encouraged by network leaders.

I do not agree with this type of teaching AT ALL. I do not see how belittling and embarrassing students can help them. Is it supposed to scare them into learning? The children in the video were in the first grade and their teacher was already belittling and embarrassing them. Is this the best method for teaching their students that they could think of?

I had my own experience similar to this in the first grade. A substitute teacher came to the class and spoke to us about Braille. He even had a Braille book and asked for volunteers to read the book. None of us knew how to read Braille, so I thought he wanted the volunteers to make up a story. We were all standing in a circle and I raised my hand. He selected me first. I began to slide my fingers across the Braille and make up a story. I did not even complete the first page when the teacher snatched the book from me and stated that the story I was telling was not what was in the book. He then said that I ruined the activity for everyone and for all of us to go back to our seats. As a child, this really messed me up. The students in the class were upset. I felt so embarrassed and stupid. Before this happened I considered myself a good student. I got good grades. I did what the teacher said and my teachers always loved me. But this teacher’s attitude towards me affected me so much that I rarely ever volunteered to participate in school. I never asked a question. The only time I would answer a question is if I was 100% sure that the answer that I was going to give was correct, which did not happen much. I was always questioning myself on if what I was doing was correct. I did not want to experience that same embarrassment in class ever again.

I always wonder about what if this teacher would have never come into the classroom. How would I have been as a student? Would I have gotten better grades because I would have volunteered and had more chances of correction from the teacher? Or would I have had a better understanding of certain concepts because I asked questions? I will never know, but what I do know is that when my children enter school I will not tolerate a teacher that talks down to them. If they come home and tell me that a teacher did anything to them that they would not do if I was standing right there, then I would want the teacher removed from the school. Teachers are supposed to nurture children not make them feel useless. If a student is having difficulty in school, the teacher needs to talk to the student and their parents to figure out a way to help them to succeed.

What are your thoughts about the video? Do you agree or disagree with the way this teacher handled her student?


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