You should never want to embarrass a student in your classroom. If you’re going to “make an example” of someone, you’re making bad teaching choices. This is why I never read notes I take from students in front of the class. I’m not saying don’t ever read notes. You definitely should. Sometimes there will be information in a note that needs to be dealt with. Most of the time, it’s just embarrassing for the student and hilarious for the teacher. Sometimes, though, students drop truth-bombs you didn’t want to know about. Here are three examples to illustrate what I mean:
- Found on the floor of a class that had a lot of disciplinary issues and therefore I wasn’t a lot of fun:
“This class would be fun if Miss K*** wasn’t such a bitch.”
- After collecting money from students, and sealing it in an envelope:
“She is the most unsexy licker I have ever seen.”
- Confiscated on my very first day of substitute teaching:
“This teacher is really pretty. Too bad her forehead is so big.”
Don’t read students’ notes in front of the class. You’ll only embarrass yourself.
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