Situation 1: An unhappy student because her teacher told her to wear her skirt to the knee.
As the Academic Principal, I recently encountered a situation where a student was unhappy, upset and crying because her teacher had instructed her to wear her skirt to the knee, not above the knee. The student felt insulted and humiliated by the teacher's words.
To address this situation, I discussed it with the student privately and empathetically, listened to her concerns and opinions, and assured her that it was okay to wear short skirts. I also explained the teacher's perspective on maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students.
Later, I discussed the issue with the teacher and reminded her of the importance of communication and empathy when enforcing certain opinions.
In a real-life situation, it was emphasized that educators must understand the significant impact their words and actions can have on students' emotional well-being and act with kindness and respect towards all students. The importance of respectful communication between teachers and students was highlighted.
My advice to educators who want to inculcate core values in their students is to lead by example. Teachers must model empathy, kindness, and respect towards all students, especially in situations that can be emotional and sensitive. They should also communicate clearly and effectively with students, explaining the reasons behind their opinions and providing opportunities for students to ask questions and express their concerns.
Situation 2: An intolerant student is upset by a negative comment on Snapchat by his classmate:
In a recent incident, I had to deal with an intolerant student who was outraged and sought revenge against a classmate for a negative comment made on Snapchat. The student felt sad, isolated, and angry due to the incident.
To address this situation, I had a one-on-one conversation with the students, acknowledging their feelings and emphasizing the importance of respect, empathy, and kindness towards all students, regardless of differences in opinions, backgrounds, or beliefs.
In addition, I organized a special session with the IT department of the school to educate the student's teachers on digital citizenship and social media etiquette. A counselling session on cyberbullying, online safety, and responsible social media use was also conducted.
Fortunately, we were able to help the student overcome their problem by talking to them privately, validating their feelings, and providing education on digital citizenship and social media etiquette. The student learned the importance of respect and empathy towards others, both online and offline.
My advice to educators who want to inculcate these values in their students is to promote digital citizenship and social-emotional learning. Students should be taught how to use technology responsibly, ethically, and safely, while also understanding the impact of their words and actions on others. Teachers can facilitate this learning by incorporating digital citizenship and social-emotional learning into their lessons and modelling respectful and kind behaviour towards all students.
Dr. Charu Chhabra
Principal (Academics) KNPS Phagwara, Punjab