Over the past couple of days, there has been much chatter from ed tech bloggers about the newest Norton report about cyber baiting. Cyber baiting is when students instigate or taunt their teachers, capture the teacher "losing it" with the class, (usually on a smartphone) and post the teacher's outburst to the Web.
Countries where this becoming more prevalent are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, according to the Norton Online Family Report, one in five teachers reported to have experienced or have known a colleague who has experienced cyber baiting.
Doing my own extensive research (aka asking my own students) I found many, many disturbing videos. In some cases, students are clearly setting the teacher up for a fall. Others, I believe, are teachers who I believe are totally overwhelmed or who have no business teaching.
The above teacher is clearly trying to teach and is obviously frustrated. In the comment section of the above video, students are actually speaking out against the trouble-makers. As a fellow teacher, I can sympathize with this teacher's frustrations. I feel bad for the teacher because he is unaware that he is being recorded and because he obviously has some chatter going on while he is trying to give directions.
One suggestion I have for any teacher in this situation is to read the book The First Days of School, by Harry Wong. There are amazing techniques offered for removing undesirable behavior that is a personal attack against the teacher. As a teacher, if I can keep the behavior separate from the child, and not allow it to affect me personally, then half the battle is won. Harry Wong is a great resource for any teacher looking to hone his/her management skills.
Now this video on the other hand, is over the top. The teacher is obviously upset that the student has destroyed a calculator. But there are several things wrong with this display of frustration. Acting this way does no good for either party. Was he cyber baited into acting this way? I am unsure, but nevertheless it was caught by camera phone and uploaded to YouTube. Now his bad day will always be available for any future students or parents to see. Yes, he could jump through a few hoops and have the content removed from YouTube and pulled from a Google search. I think this is a lesson for all teachers; we no longer have to worry only about what we publish online, but what may be published about us as well.
What to do?
1. Make sure your school and your colleagues are aware that cyber baiting is a growing trend among teens.
2. Instruct colleagues to create a "Google Alert" whenever new content tagged with their name is published to the Web.
3. Find out if your school has any rules against recording devices in the class.
4. Remember, a teacher who loses it is lost. Bad behavior is not a personal attack usually. Have procedures and
consequences in place and consistently follow them.
Let's just hope technology does not advance to allow students to read our minds! :)
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