A second grade teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Houston, Texas, is accused of writing grades on his students' foreheads with a marker. Students say he also writes grades on their arms as well. A district spokesperson confirmed this, as did the teacher who has been told to stop this shaming practice. Awful.
Victor Jimenez, the father of this 8-year-old boy, was outraged when his son came home with a "B" written on his forehead for not finishing his homework. I don't blame him. Now Jimenez must find the lesson in this for his child -- teach him how sometimes even teachers do things wrong. It's something we all need to talk to our kids about.
If my child came home with a grade written in marker on her forehead, I would be very upset and would have to have a chat with the principal about it. As Jimenez said, it shows no professionalism or ethics. It's shaming. Demeaning. I would imagine it made the kids all feel very small. The teacher, the authority figure who is supposed to be educating children in a positive way, put a negative and upsetting slant on a lesson. He used his power in a way that I feel is not at all conducive for kids to truly learn. And this is second grade -- so very hurtful for the younger kids who are just starting to learn about authority. We need to teach our kids to tell us when they feel something isn't right, even if it comes from someone in charge like a teacher.
But how do we teach this the right way without creating little rebels who are anti-authority? It seems to be all about balance and allowing our kids to be in touch with their feelings. We need to give them the confidence to speak up when something doesn't feel right, and when to go to another authority figure to report on what doesn't feel right. Our children need to know that they can say no to adults when something feels wrong or hurtful or icky. And of course we want them to have the openness in communication with us so they come to us with something like this. We have to talk to them about everything. We have to make that time to have family talks, and let our kids know that we are there to listen any time they need us.
Jimenez said that he just wants to see his son do well in school and he's encouraging him to move on from this incident so he can focus on learning. Another great lesson to teach -- learning from something and moving forward in a better way -- and one I hope the teacher learned as well.
How would you feel if your child's grade was written on his forehead by the teacher? How would you teach your child about authority using this case as an example?
Image via WRCBtv