Mrs. Harsh is a third grade teacher that runs a tight ship. She takes pride that none of her students speak out of turn, they almost always stay in the line in the hall, and the never bother her with silly questions during desk work. Most of her teacher friends secretly feel jealous because of how well behaved her students seem. However, most of her teacher friends are not aware of what occurs behind the scenes to produce this well perfected show. If you stepped in her class, you would hear Mrs. Harsh yelling at students, making fun of them when they asked questions, and threatening to take away recess forever if caught breaking any class rules. Many of these parents are surprised with Mrs. Harsh gives high marks for behavior in the classroom. These children often morph into very angry and very tearful child once they are home. As the parents converse with one another they realize that they are not alone and that the overly harsh classroom management style might play a role in their child’s emotional turmoil at home. They decided to call a meeting with the teacher to discuss these matters. Mrs. Harsh is very indifferent about their concerns and states that these behavior and emotional issues do not happen at school so she suggests that something about the home environment is amiss.
As a parent, it is imperative that we observe and gauge the emotional climate in the classroom. This information can shed so much light on how to best help and advocate for our children. Schools may be quick to shift the blame because the temper tantrums or meltdowns only occur outside of school. It may be difficult to detect the tendency to stuff at school and explode at home. Children often fear the repercussions from teachers and stuff all negative emotion inside until they are in an emotionally safe environment.