Thursday, April 18, 2024

Too Far

by the Weekly Sillimanian | February 21, 2023

A video uploaded online by a teacher went viral recently wherein she recorded herself in front of her class calling out and reprimanding two students who cheated during an exam and going as far as to reveal the students’ names without censorship in the uploaded video.

The video starts with the teacher asking the class if it is a coincidence that two students have not just the same score, but also the same correct answers and mistakes–especially with one of them being a frequent absentee. While still recording, the teacher went on to berate the students, saying that it is awful to be happy when you have high scores and grades that came as a result of cheating.

She announced that if they were honest about their actions, she would give them a chance to retake the exam. Both students admitted to the act, and the teacher continued to call out the students while speculating how they were able to accomplish their misconduct, further pushing them to demonstrate how they did it.

Some netizens commended the teacher, one commenting, “You have to teach the new millennials nowadays good moral and right conduct.” The commenter further said that the teacher made no mistakes and that despite mentioning the names, she didn’t show their faces. She also lauded the teacher for giving the students a second chance and for doing her job.

“They needed guidance, not insults,” said another commenter who claimed to be a teacher herself. She further said that no matter how big a student’s mistakes are, you should not humiliate them. She also mentioned that if the video was taken as evidence or proof of cheating it must be kept private, and that the teacher should not post a video publicly that mentions their names.

We from the Weekly Sillimanian believe that it was wrong to publicize a matter that should have been discussed in private. What was the intent behind posting the video online, made available for anyone on the internet to see? This did not teach students a lesson, but rather it showed students that teachers would rather criticize and humiliate them than try to understand the situation and help them do better. 

Students go through the ups and downs of life too, and a more humane approach would have been preferable. Villainizing cheating will not help the students. It is by coming from a place of empathy and concern for the students that teachers can truly focus on the total welfare and growth of their students. Trying to understand their reason to cheat and helping them recognize the negative impacts would have made the situation an effective learning experience, rather than a traumatic memory of being subjected to public humiliation.

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