A LYS Teacher submits:
“I want to address how we talk to our students. It is critical that we use proper and appropriate language when we are redirecting an off-task student, no matter what behavior the student is displaying. There is no place for a teacher to use slang or off color remarks of any type when addressing a student. After all, students repeat what they hear adults say, as we are the role-models. They observe our interactions with one another and when a teacher belittles a student or a staff member, they in turn repeat the behavior. We only have ourselves to blame.
To be a true LYS teacher, this is a hard, hard, hard, habit to break. But speaking the language of poverty (yelling at students, using almost profane language and slang to get them to respond) is not the way of the LYS Nation. It makes me very uncomfortable to be around teachers like that.”
Great post, great reminder. Modeling is always the most powerful way to teach a skill. So the question we have to ask ourselves is, “What am I really teaching?”
Just today I heard a teacher berate her class for not “respecting her,” all while she was being rude and demeaning. I particularly find it interesting when an educator tries to be “street” with a student because that is “what they understand.” I don’t know if it is bigoted, racist, or ignorant but it does become self-fulfilling.
You are right it can be a hard habit to break, especially without awareness and support. But I have seen whole staff change their demeanor, once they have seen the error of their ways. All that is required is the conviction and leadership of just a few. You would be surprised what a few quiet conversations can accomplish.
Think. Work. Achieve.