Teachers authority/intimidation

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Teachers authority/intimidation

Post by skeazel » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:16 pm

Hi, I am a student in Australia. I am in year 10 at school and I have a Science teacher, Mr Bray, who makes me feel intimidated. He says things like, "You are in year ten and I am a teacher so you have no say" and "I have the right to yell at you". Once, when he was rude, I approached him after class and I told him in a calm and polite manner that I felt he was rude. He said that he was offended, not just as a teacher but as a person that I would make such an accusation. I tried to explain saying that sometimes he could be a bit abrasive and tended to cut people off, and it made me uncomfortable. I found myself suspended the next day. When I asked him why I was suspended he said, "Because you called me rude, said that I cut people off and can be abrasive, and that is inappropriate."
Today in Science he was aggravated because he thought we were taking too long doing our prac, so he raised his voice and I said, in a calm way, can you please not raise your voice. Then he yelled, with his finger in my face, "I am the teacher, and you cannot and will not tell me to raise my voice or not. You are the student and that is not your place." and that made me feel scared and hurt, and I cried.
He is a nice guy most of the time, and he is funny and tells jokes to all my friends like him, but I think he must have something against me. A personality clash. He seems to think that because I am in year ten I have no right to an opinion. And if I do say my opinion, I am being rude, even if I say it in an appropriate way, or the BEST way I know how.
This is a private school, and I think that a teacher can excercise authority without intimidating students or yelling at them to get their point across. A teacher must feel really out of control if they have to resort to standover tactics to get the classroom back into his control. But the classroom was never out of control in the first place. I don't get it.
But either way, I am a human being and I don't think it is fair, no matter what the situation, that another human should make me scared and make me cry because of the way they talk to me.
What do you think? Does being in authority give you the right to yell at people? :( :cry:

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:17 pm

This is an excellent chance for you to learn to deal with difficult people. There will be many in your life - bosses, people in all sorts of position of authority over you in the future. You may think that you are being reasonable and calm and presenting yourself in a mature manner but since your attempts didn't work it would be good if you found ways to practice this before you use it again on "Mr. Bray". There are some excellent articles on the web under dealing with a difficult boss. I think that some of those things would work well for your situation as well because he does have power over you in giving you a mark at the end of the year. School is a game and you have to know how to play by the rules. Mr. Bray will have different rules than another teacher but you still have to play by Mr. Bray's rules when you are in his class. Of course, you can transfer to another class but eventually you will just meet another person like Mr. Bray, so this is as good as time as any to try out different ways of dealing with him until you are successful in establishing a harmonious relationship. He may have it in for you and this might be a personality clash but you can be the one who undoes the clash. I know it is his job but things don't always go the way they should in life and you can use the opportunity to take the higher road. It sounds like you can express yourself well and are sensitive to the situation so I have no doubt that you can take it one step further and solve the problem as well. Good luck!

Senorita Daniels
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Post by Senorita Daniels » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:11 pm

It sounds to me like you should talk to your parents and anyone in the school who is "Mr. Bray"'s superiors- principal/ headmaster, a school board member. Yes, each teacher has different rules and you shouldn't critisize their personalities in class, but if you present yourself to all the teachers in the same way, and have no problems with the others, the teacher could be the one with the problem. You may not even the only one with the same problem with the teacher.

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