In the early days of my teacher training I had a placement in a school with a primary 7 class. The teacher shouted at the children a lot and if a child did not get a concept then they were given the same page to do day after day until they got it. I witnessed sarcasm being used which made me feel extremely uncomfortable and if I felt like that goodness knows how the poor child felt. This was the complete opposite from how I felt a classroom environment should be.
Anyway I was given this maths group to help but instead of doing the text book page for the fourth day in a row I approached it differently and that is when I experienced my very first light bulb moment in a child. Teachers will tell you that these light bulb moments are very special and I have never forgotten my first one (or many others after) The pride and delight in this boy’s face as it finally clicked was powerful and I felt good about facilitating that for him. The mistake I made came next! We returned to the class and I encouraged the child to tell the teacher how well he had done only for the teacher to sarcastically tell him in front of the whole class that it was nothing to be proud of as it had taken him four days longer than the other children to get there! How dare she I thought but being a student could only voice my opinion to my tutor which believe me I did! I felt I had let that child down and at that point I vowed that I would never make a child I taught feel like that.