Fear In Today's Schools Essay

968 words - 4 pages

The role of our schools is to give an education to children and get them ready for lives as adults. As with many other aspects of our society today, our school systems have issues that make this goal hard to accomplish. These issues range from the small, such as the cafeteria food being disgusting, to big problems, like no respect between teachers and students. One problem not completely looked at in depth is fear. Fear is in our lives everyday; from being scared of a little spider, to being scared of having no one to sit with at the lunch table. Everyone has fears as children and adults. The fear a teacher feels about his or her students can change how the school is run, just as much as the fear a student feels about a teacher. Fear has a hold on today's school system and changes the way teachers teach their students, as well as students' capabilities to learn the subject properly.
When I was in school, the students ran the school by spreading fear into the teachers' hearts. They would torture the teachers they didn't like by putting laxatives in their coffee or water in their gas tank. There was one student who didn't turn in an assignment all year but had good grades on tests, so he was passing. At the end of the year he turned in all of his assignments to the principal to show the teacher's failure to grade homework and, in this way, get her fired. Actions like these escalated to the point that we went through eight English teachers in a semester. Students can not properly learn the subjects when a class goes through that many teachers. But this sort of incident was typical. Teachers feared that they would be fired or that today a student would make them cry.
These types of events happen in more than just the school I attended. Another example is in Eulia Biss's essay “Land Mines,” where she describes a teacher who felt driven out of the classroom by students. These students recalled: “ 'He was gay and he got mad!' ”Biss goes on to describe, “The story came out slowly as I asked more questions. A kid had yelled 'faggot' at the teacher one day..... 'Can you believe that he cried?' one of my students asked with still fresh-amazement ” (Biss 47). This is what students do at schools. They push teachers to their breaking points to see if they can make it. I'm sure part of this is out of their own fears and insecurities. In pushing the teachers to their breaking points, it makes schools burn through teachers. Biss explores this concept as well by stating “Stories were always circulating through those schools about teachers who had not been able to 'take it'. There was the teacher who tried to throw a kid out a window, there was the teacher who beat...

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