Teaching is not a route to power; teachers should stop pretending it is one. The power trip that so many teachers seem to be on amounts to no less than the systematic bullying of children and young adults.
Teaching is rarely seen as a desirable route for young people to go into; some see teaching as a last resort – a sort of refuge for those who have otherwise failed to realise their ambitions. This isn’t necessarily true in all cases. Few people, including myself, would deny the importance of a teacher’s role in helping young people – from all backgrounds and abilities – find their place in the world, but not all teachers seem to be in the profession for the right reasons. Whilst there is a minority of self-sacrificing educators out there with a genuine passion for passing on knowledge, there are also those who see teaching as a way of feeling better about themselves; becoming a part of the ‘strong’ rather than the ‘weak’.
I’m not naive though; there needs to be strong discipline in schools and punishments should be served for poor behaviour. However, this discipline needs to justified for the overall benefit of the student’s education and not simply a means of inflating teacher’s egos.
Especially with students on the verge of adulthood, teachers need to learn to treat their students with respect and dignity; they wouldn’t talk down to adults outside of school so they shouldn’t within school either. Not all of us have been conditioned to sit back and accept their condescending demeanour either; we wouldn’t be afraid to challenge this sort of behaviour if it weren’t for the inevitability that nothing will ever get done. Other teachers simply don’t seem willing to call out a bad teacher. Nothing ever gets done.