Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bullying of Teachers

I don't plan to return to the high school, where the kids were so difficult last week.  It is a very long drive for me and I only took the job, because they desperately needed a sub who could speak German.  But I am still thinking about some of the behaviors of the students in two of the classes there.  At what point does bad behavior turn into bullying of the sub?  When kids talk loudly and interrupt the sub constantly, does that constitute bullying?  (probably)  Does passive refusal to do anything constitute bullying?  (probably not, but it still makes life difficult for the sub)  What recourse do subs have? 

If students are bullied, we tell them to tell an adult.  If subs are bullied, what can they do?  I called the administration to come remove a student from one of the classes I taught.  No one came.  So the students all learned that subs have no power and no way to stop them from doing whatever they want, short of violence.  I didn't feel physically threatened in this case, although it would have been possible - there were a lot more of them, and the odds would have been bad.  But, I was hired to teach them, not babysit them, and their behaviors certainly did interfere with my job. 

What else could I have done?

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