“It seems like you belong to a rich family and don’t want to study at all. But there are certain students in this class who want a bright future since they have loads of responsibilities on their shoulders. So I want you to shut the heck up and stop muttering to that friend of yours because you are disturbing the entire class,” my teacher yelled. “Just drop the subject. It is not your subject and let others study for God’s sake.” he continued. “But I am not the only one who is talking. Everyone is babbling and seems quite disinterested,” I said. My comeback evidently triggered his anger.
“Shut up! Just shut up! How about you come here and teach?” he roared.
“Why are you yelling at me in particular?” I inquired.
“So the class ends here. See you guys next week,” he ignored my question and left the class.
I know I shouldn’t have muttered in class as it is very distracting for the other students and diverts their attention. But I argued with my teacher not because I thought I was doing the right thing but because he yelled at me in front of the whole class. Instead of heavily reacting to my behavior, he could have taken me aside and explained me his point or could have just changed my seat. This would have enabled me to willfully avoid such a mistake from that day onwards and increased the level of his respect in my heart. However, what this incident did was to create a communication gap between me and my teacher. As a matter of fact, I felt insulted and respect deprived and I’m quite sure he must have felt the same way since I wasn’t on my best behavior either.
I believe that without mutual respect, a relationship can neither progress nor prosper. If there’s a conflict between a teacher and a student, there are mistakes at each end. Students fail to understand that the teachers have a huge responsibility to complete a set amount of syllabus in a certain period of time and that ‘one silly comment’, ‘small-talks among the students during the lectures’ etc. can ruin the lecture. Teachers, on the other hand, don’t try to understand the root cause behind the student’s misconduct and rather exclude, punish, or yell at them. Instead, both parties should try to resolve the conflict by bridging the communication gap and the negative feelings should not be piled within. Such feelings encourage the students to rebel and not receive and comprehend what teachers are trying to teach them.
However, there are a lot of teachers who not only try to avoid such conflicts but understand the students’ nature as well. For instance, there was a group of students in my General Paper’s class who used to argue with each other extensively on each and every essay topic. At first, the teacher tried to engage them in a healthy discussion but when it didn’t work, she asked them to stay back after the class and sort their problems out. This step of hers not only improved the class environment but helped the whole class in the long run. She could have easily kicked those kids out or simply punished them for disturbing the whole class because of their personal conflicts. But she didn’t do so which, I think, was a good decision. Besides, students should keep in mind that the teachers burn the midnight oil so that their students can score up to the mark and have a glittering career. With such approach, they would pay more respect to their teachers and this would help create a healthy and effective learning environment.
Furthermore, both teachers and students should practice the SOAR model in order to resolve a conflict: Stop and think, Open up and tell how you feel, Ask what you can do to help solve the conflict, and Resolve the situation. If the students and teachers, however, adopt an aggressive behavior then they may fail to achieve their respective goals and targets. Hence, both parties are accountable for the conflict with each other and should try to prevent as well as resolve such issues through effective communication, tolerance and mutual respect.