Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Disappointing Teacher Behavior

I'm saddened by what happened in school today. Yohan told me that his teacher (assistant teacher) smacked his arm during class. He cried when he was telling me about it and he even reenacted the incident. I asked him what happened for his teacher to react that way. He admitted that his teacher told him that it was time to do the seat work but he wanted to play longer with one of his classmates. Yohan kept asking me why his teacher hurt him. I hugged him tight and told him that I was going to talk to his teacher about it right away.

I saw the assistant teacher an hour after that. I confronted her in a very mild manner. I simply told her that Yohan cried because of what happened in class. I told her the incident from Yohan's point of view and I asked if it was true. She looked at me blankly and didn't utter a word. After what appeared to be shock, she apologized. She said she may have "patted" Yohan strongly than intended to call his attention. Before I could even discuss the incident further, she burst into tears. It was my turn to be shocked. I wasn't angry and I approached her very casually so I was really surprised when she started crying. I didn't want to cause a scene so I patted her shoulder lightly and said I hope it doesn't happen again. She hugged Yohan and apologized for what happened. Yohan hugged her back.

Our talk was very brief and I wasn't able to express my point so I decided to give the assistant teacher a letter (cc directed to Yohan's adviser). I expressed how disappointed I am. I wrote that as a teacher I really hope that she can exercise more patience and understanding next time.

Yohan is just in Kindergarten and I think it's only natural for kids his age to sometimes prefer playing more than doing seat work. I understand that there is a time for play and a time for school work but I don't think there's a need for smacking/spanking.

I will let go of it for now but if it ever happens again, I will not hesitate to bring the matter to the school office.

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