I know that this is something that cannot be prevented in any high school that I know in the Philippines. Also, I understand that this is vital for their social and psychological growth. Teenagers will be teenagers and they have their own way of addressing the angst and hormones that come with the sudden growth spurt.
But still, verbal bullying sucks.
I’ve seen it in my two classes earlier- Hertz and Linnaeus. I know that it’s not really intentional and everything was said for the sake of class entertainment and jocundity. But still, making fun at the expense of another person’s image ants me.
Okay. Being antsy doesn’t mean that I’m not guilty of doing it. I also chide at myself after realizing that I’ve just cracked a joke about a person’s physical appearance or manner. No matter how much political correct I can get, there are really things that are ingrained into my system. Things that I try to avoid. Things that I need to address.
Classroom trashtalk is one of those things. Maybe because it’s very personal to me- I’ve been there. And having experienced it, I know how it feels like to be called names without being able to retaliate. I know how frustrating it is to act tough when inside I just want to wallow in shame. I know how it can wreck havoc on one’s personality.
I also know how it creates a cycle: Soon, the ones being bullied will be the ones who will bully.
It just saddens me to see that my students are not spared from this. Developing girls get frowned upon and insulted by the boys. Kids who are different from the others get knowing glances from their fellow classmates. The ones who are blessed with either puberty beauty or charisma (or both) lord over those who are average. I know, it’s how the world goes. But still, it pains me to think that there will be kids who will have an extended and a tougher period of Identity vs. Confusion. I just hope that they will make it out of the den alive. Stronger.
As a student teacher, I really don’t know how to deal with this. The stuff that they teach in ProfEd classes seems so outdated. I mean, confronting the behavior nowadays will not make the kids realize its implications. They will just drift away and find an avenue that the teacher is unaware of. I thought I can at least start with literature- it’s subtler. But with my recent litt bashiatus, I don’t think I can do it.
BTW, I somehow made a “successful” execution of “The Blanket” after following my CT’s suggestions. Needless to say, I only fed them the scraps. If this is going to continue, I don’t want to teach any litt text in MaSci. My heart only breaks whenever I trashtalk a literary lesson. I’d rather teach grammar.