I need some advice on an issue that I’m afraid is only going to continue escalating. I’m a teacher at a small school where it’s only me and my manager and I’m figuring the best way to address it.
I already have some tension with my manager but it’s usually because he thinks I should be doing better, or that I need to do more to please the community and families that attend our school and I’m new, so of course there is a learning curve. But at this point, I’m only getting better for myself as his actions are making me lose respect for him.
I started in the beginning of the year at this school and recently I’m noticing somethings that seem very, very off. I’ve read about the idea of corporal punishment, but what I’m witnessing seems to be far out of this realm and completely inappropriate.
At first it started with a kid that is often at the school that does not attend classes, but is a family member. At first, nothing was off and then he began lashing out at the kid as time passed and he’d shriek in pain and begin crying. My classroom is detached from the main office so I can’t see it, but hearing a child cry multiple times a week while teaching class is teaching can become a bit disturbing. The past week he took the child upstairs and whatever happened he was wailing for like 10 minutes. I don’t think bad behavior ever justifies this but the kids never acts in a way that I would consider bad. The reason I’m concerned is that whatever my manager is doing, he is seemingly getting more comfortable and this should not be normal to teach a class while I and all the other students here a child crying out of pain.
Then this past week it spilled over onto other students in my classroom. He made two cry, one he smacked one of their books and I’m guessing called him something mean as I don’t understand Mandarin and he silently cried for like 10 minutes. The other, I’m not even sure what the issue was, but he aggressively grabbed his cheeks and he took him out of the classroom. He returned a few minutes later and was crying, not sobbing, but clearly emotionally hurt. I’m at this point where I want to tell my manager that unless I have a problem, he should not take the kids out of the room.
Then this past weekend one of my more crazy students was pulled out. The strange part is that he was having a good day, acting very well, and then decided to pretend to not have his class book. This angered my manager and he pulled him out of the room. He was gone the rest of the class (like 30 minutes) and my manager and him were out of view. Eventually, he was wailing horribly for like 5-10 minutes in the stairwell/upstairs. I look out the door and although I can’t see the kid but there’s my manager looking at me and shrugging his shoulders. This is not the type of kid that would cry easily. He returned him at the end of class and he looked just looked so emotionally messed up.
I’m planning to catch him in whatever act he’s doing because I don’t want to outright accuse him, but I need to figure out what’s happening. Firstly, it’s disturbing to teach a class while hearing a child wail like there are in extreme pain just in the other room and I’m concerned as this has built-up over time from smaller actions, to bigger ones, and from one kid, to more.
Before I was a substitute teacher in the inner city and I’ve lived in some rough places, so honestly, I’m pretty sure my attitude and assertiveness intimidates him, but I want to approach this without popping off and snapping unless he absolutely deserves it. I’d prefer to make him aware that I completely think whatever he is doing is inappropriate and that he needs to watch his step. I’m not easily shook as I’ve witness some really messed up treatment of children in the US but this is something else, and this is my school and my students. I cannot stand aside and let this progress.
I have a further up manager who is not at the school I can email my concerns too but I feel I need further proof. Any advice would be awesome.