The best teachers are sensitive to the needs of a child, as they know that one cruel remark can have a profound effect on a child.
The personal relationship a student has with a teacher plays a major role in making or marring a child. A positive remark, a callous one, a vindictive one - all have an impact on a child. There have been children that have risen to great heights because of positive encouragement from a teacher, and there have been those that have gone into acute depression because of victimization.
Pressure to perform
When we surrender our children to a school, we are taking a risk with their psyche. Parents are often blamed for pushing their kids to the edge. Such blame is justified at times, but not always. A parent once said to me, "I would never force my child to achieve more than he could if his teacher did not humiliate him in the class every time he scored low grades or did not complete his homework." There are some teachers that want perfection from students, and this in itself puts pressure on the child and on the parents. The fear of failure looms large in a school situation. If you are concerned that your child is being put under undue academic stress, speak to his teacher about it, and let her know your own expectations from your children, so you can work together towards your child's all-around development.
Some teachers also tend to favour certain students. This is why a few students are classified either as "teacher's pets', teacher's victims" or "just a roll number".
A school is meant to be a place where learning has to be holistic. Where fairness, justice and values are to be emphasized in action not in projects and syllabus teaching. History textbooks are filled with struggles against injustice and discrimination. So if a teacher is known to discriminate unfairly between students, the school management should intervene.
However, positive discrimination is not always a bad thing, as the child who is being 'favoured' may actually benefit greatly from this, while other students will not be harmed. In addition, there may be genuine reason for this extra attention. Perhaps the child has a keen interest in the subject, or perhaps he is very poor in his studies and the teacher wants to encourage him. What needs to be checked immediately is negative discrimination. We have heard of instances where a student has been constantly victimized by a teacher. Such victimization can cause great psychological harm. This should not be tolerated. If a parent gets to know that his child is being victimized by a teacher, he should take up the matter at once with school authorities. If the authorities do not do anything, the parent should seriously consider removing the child from the school. If a parent ignores a child's pleas that he is being victimized, then the parent is as much to blame for any consequences that may arise from such victimization.
Parents should make it a point to be more involved in their child's schoolwork. They should take interest in the school activities, and should interact with the child's teachers often. Where a teacher knows a child's parent, she will automatically tend to be more sensitive to the child.