Sending kids off to school or dance class or camp when they're small can be scary because they're so vulnerable -- what if, God forbid, they should cross paths with an abusive teacher or coach? But I've found that sending tweens off to class can be just as nerve-wracking, and this video of a female dance instructor in China both verbally and physically assaulting her 13- and 14-year-old students explains why.
The worst part of the whole thing, in my opinion, is that even though the students are almost the same size as their horrible teacher and could conceivably fight back or at least leave the class, they don't -- they just take the abuse. Why? Because the teacher is an "authority figure." And while this is an extreme example of a very, very dysfunctional dynamic, a less hateful version of the same harassment could be happening to your kid right now.
I say this because I've seen my own daughter struggle with similar experiences over the past year. For the first couple of months of the school year, she made vague references to how she "didn't like" one of her teachers -- but whenever I asked her why, the most detailed response I could pull out of her was "Because, I just don't like her."
I tried to reason with her -- I can't help you fix the problem if I don't know what it is -- but, in typically tight-lipped tween/teen fashion, she wouldn't budge. Until one day, out of nowhere, she came home from school and spilled her guts -- and no wonder she didn't like her teacher! When my daughter told me about the way this "authority figure" insulted the kids in her class (my daughter wasn't the only target) and the over-the-top consequences she gave for minor infractions (like forgetting to sharpen a pencil), I was shocked. "Why hasn't anyone told their parents?" I asked. My daughter shrugged. "Then she'd just get mad and be even more mean."
I'm sorry to say that we're still in the process of dealing with this particular instructor and the red tape involved in making complaints about public school teachers, but at least my daughter now knows that her teacher's behavior is NOT okay and she doesn't have to accept it. And that's something every kid needs to know. We need to make our kids feel safe enough to stand up for themselves, that we're always right behind them.
Warning: This video will make you very upset.
Don't you just want to kick that awful woman?! Ugh. Poor kids.
Has your teen ever had to deal with a horrible teacher?
Image via Truthloader/YouTube