The New York Times published a video of Charlotte Dial, a Success Academy teacher, rip up a six year old’s work, while yelling at the girl in front of her whole class. The video shows a softspoken girl answering a question incorrectly, which caused Dial to explode. Dial sends the girl to a time-out chair, isolating the student from everyone else. The student calmly and respectfully listens to her teacher.
You’d think from Dial’s disgusting tone of voice that the girl used profane language or coughed in her face. What’s more is that the girl wrote the right answer on her sheet but did not express that to her classmates when Dial requested. Dial could have easily said to the girl, “Sweetie, I know you know the right answer. I saw your work and I am proud of it. Can you please explain to the class how you did it? We’d all love to hear your explaination.” Even if the student contitnued to not give Dial the right answer, Dial could have said, “That’s okay. We’ll come back to you next time.” Dial could have proceeded to have a side conversation with the student and her parent about her public speaking abilities.
In repsonse to the video, Eva Maskowitz, President of the 30+ Success Academy Charter network, held a press conference and went as far as saying that she was not going to throw Dial under the bus. Some may not find that disturbing, but the Times‘ video was secretly recorded by Dial’s former teacher assistant, who said that Dial behaved in a belittling and condescedning manner quite often. Maskowitz, at the conference, in her typical manner, disregarded the assitant’s direct experience with working with Dial, and insisted that this was a one time mistake for Dial. Maskowitz even went as far as calling out the NYT, using a sign on the speaker’s podium that read: The New York Times: #StopBashingTeachers
I think that it is shocking that when a newspaper distributes clear proof of what is said to be happening in some successful charter schools, one should not blame the publisher or its source for doing their job. Regardless of whether it was a one time incidient or not, she should pay the consequences for her ill-behavior and take responsibility for her wrongdoing. Besides, is it teacher bashing when the teacher clearly degraded a smart child in front of her entire class? Sounds to me like it is the other way around.
While Maskowitz talked about all of the pain Dial is going through as a result of her getting caught treating a child with such low regard, no one talked about the trauma the smart girl must have felt when her teacher publicly bashed her for her shy ways…it pains me how Maskowitz completely misses the point of the NYT article.