This brings me to my subject of bullying. As a teacher/deputy head, I would never tolerate it. As a child I was bullied by my uncles, all policemen. I think it caused my panic attacks and stress in certain situations.
Just two short stories. On my first day teaching at a junior school in Southmead a boy in my class was caned by the Head teacher. His “crime”? He had taken a piece of chalk outside and had drawn on the playground.. Can you imagine, caned on your first morning in the Junior School?! I was really furious. I couldn’t leave my class, but the moment the dinner bell rang, I was in the Head’s office telling him how wrong I thought he had been. Many of the teachers used canes too. Thank goodness all that has changed! I have always found that children work harder and behave better if they are fond of you, not frightened! My daughter was in the school’s Nursery Class, which was the reason that I had accepted the post in that school. The Nursery closed an hour before we did. The two children who had tried hardest that day would be allowed to bring her to our class-room and play with her. Another reward for good behaviour was a concert to finish the afternoon. “Britain's Got Talent “ at the age of 7.
I taught English in France and I noticed that one lad was being very badly bullied. I sent him to deliver a note to another member of staff. In his absence I told the class that in England, one child had committed suicide because of bullying. It was a shock tactic, but it worked. How do I know? The boy’s single parent moved a month later to the next village. She told me that she would pay for a taxi to bring him to the same school as he was so happy there.
The word for bullying in French is “l’intimidation”. Our word intimidate means to frighten, to discourage or silence unscrupulously….all a form of bullying!
I wish you a stress-free September. Don’t let anyone bully you!