Note : All Viralelt posts share the same structure. Full Teacher’s notes appear only on How to use Viralelt. This is done to keep “teacher text” to a minimum and avoid repetition.
Both of the videos below feature school children committing acts of violence against their teachers. The first video was filmed in a Russian school during an English lesson on personal pronouns. The second, shot in the U.S., shows what happened to a 62-year-old teacher after he confiscated a student’s cellphone.
- How do you react to the two videos you’ve just seen? Which of the four people do you sympathise with? How would you have reacted if you had been each of the people who appear?
- Were there many discipline problems when you were at school? How did teachers punish bad behaviour? Were you well-behaved?
- What advice would you give teachers on how maintain authority and control in the classroom? What can teachers do to create a respectful classroom environment?
- Who is to blame for school failure: teachers, parents, pupils themselves, or is it caused by wider socio-economic problems?
- When you were at school was the relationship between teachers and students distant and formal, or open and friendly?
- What do you think it’s like to be a teacher in a modern-day secondary school? Do you think teaching is an easy job?
- Is there any difference between having a young, inexperienced teacher and having an older teacher with years of experience? Which do/did you prefer?
- When you were at school were there any rules that you thought were unnecessary, unfair or simply absurd? Did you obey these rules or did you break them?
- Do you think school students should be allowed to use their cellphones in class?
- Can you remember a teacher from your schooldays who made a big impact on you, either positive or negative?
Which two of the above questions are being discussed?
Download “Question time” and the “Sitting comfortably?” script in an editable Word document here.
- Choose one of situations shown in the videos.
- Put your students into groups of three and assign each student a role: “teacher”, “student”, “Head teacher”.
- Explain that after the video went viral on Youtube both “teacher” and “student” have been called to a meeting with the “Head teacher”.
- During the meeting the “teacher” and “student” should explain their version of what happened and defend their actions. The “Head teacher” should decide who was in the wrong and what, if any, disciplinary measures to take.
- Before starting the roleplay give your students time to prepare and feed in any vocabulary you think might be useful.
Give your students one of the following tasks for homework.
1. You are either the teacher or the pupil from the first video. After seeing the video on Youtube the school’s governing board has decided to hold a meeting to discuss what action to take. Write a letter to the board members giving your side of the story and explaining the events that led up to it.
2. You are the teacher from the second video. Write a letter of resignation to the governing board of your school. Explain how the incident shown in the video has prompted your decision to resign and take early retirement.
3. You are the pupil from the second video. You have been expelled from your school and have begun to reflect on your actions. Write a letter of apology to your teacher in which you both ask for his forgiveness and explain how much you have changed since being expelled.
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