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How to Avoid Student Humiliation?

"Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation." – Anonymous

A depressing quote, isn´t it? But it is the truth, a bitter reality of our modern society.

Our society is hit by one of the most brutal trends that has ended up in terrible outcomes. Humiliation!

Humiliation is one of the viruses that has covered the schools and educational institutes, all around the world. Students are becoming victims of humiliation in schools, neighbourhood and even at homes.

Our topic for today’s blog is student humiliation. Many of us has faced a time when we were gravely humiliated in school by our teachers and class fellows. Our teachers never thought how bad we felt at that time as it hurt our self-confidence and made us hate the teacher in that particular moment.

According to different surveys, teachers choose to humiliate students for several reasons, such as to gain control over them in order to frighten other students. Some teachers think it is right to humiliate the students as a negative reinforcement to stop them from things they are not allowed to do or say. Other teachers think that because students frequently humiliate themselves, especially online, students don’t mind being humiliated — some might even enjoy it.

It may seem fine humiliating a child in class or in front of your colleagues, but have you ever thought what impact does it leave on the child’s psychology. Their mental state is completely disturbed and they start hating themselves. If you don’t want a child to hurt him/ herself physically or emotionally, then you must follow the below instructions to avoid student humiliation:

1. The conversation between you and your students, may it be regarding the academic progress or the behavior, it must always be done in private.

2. Avoid using such words in the class, which may target your student’s image, appearance, way of talking, level of thinking or understanding, etc. Always remember, every word you speak has the power to hurt or heal.

3. A teacher must understand their students well. A teacher must judge the student by their body language. For instance, if they feel discomfort, miserable or try to lose eye contact, then there is definitely something wrong.

4. If your student starts avoiding you, doesn’t pay attention, especially indications of withdrawal, quickly take out time to get things settled between you. The change may be due to your behavior with the student.

5. Never under estimate your students’ capabilities. Always appreciate them for their work, simple to complex.

6. Scolding or screaming at your student in public may never work, private meetings can give your student more comfort to speak openly.

7. You can talk to students as a regular class session to know what humiliates them and have they been humiliated before and how. This may help you avoid words and actions during class that may hurt any student.

8. Treat all students equally. Give everyone a chance to speak and participate. This practice will help the shy ones overcome their weaknesses.

9. Always give first preference to the weaker or average students. Never make them feel they are different from other students. If required, give them extra time and attention.

10. Moral support may help your students stand on their own, whereas a negative reinforcement will always make them fall.

11. These are very basic instructions that a teacher needs to keep in mind, whether you are a kindergarten teacher, a primary or secondary school teacher, or a professor in a college or university. Love your students as your own children and they will respect you forever.

Mahatma Gandhi, a well-known humanitarian once said: "It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings."

Every student in school deserves the right to feel emotionally safe from embarrassment and humiliation by teachers, by other students and the people in his environment. Hence, think before you speak.

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