Brooklyn Success Academy Teacher Charlotte Dial was removed from her duties after a teacher’s aid secretly recorded her berating and humiliating a first grade student for getting a wrong answer on a math problem. The demeaning outburst was directed specifically at one student, but spread to others when Dial asked other children to finish the problem correctly, insinuating that the original child was stupid for getting the answer wrong.
Dial was recorded berating the child and demeaning the first grader, using words the child might not fully understand, in an attempt to get her point across.
“There’s nothing that infuriates me more than when you don’t do what’s on your paper.”
According to PIX 11 News, Dial’s actions seem to be commonplace in the Success Academy’s teaching structure, dealing out an aggressive level of teaching that forces the kids into doing well. An interview with a former Success Academy teacher, going by the name Alex, stated that he quit simply because he did not agree with the methods of teaching at the Success Academy.
“It was supposed to be more an aggressive atmosphere with the kids. Just because the regiment was like to be more a militaristic type of teaching. You’re hard on them, because you expect more.”
In the video, as seen above, the teacher asks the young girl to work out the problem that she got wrong on her paper. When the young girl cannot finish the problem, rather than assist and walk her through the solution, Dial gets upset and sends her to the calm-down chair for a time out. She then begins to yell at the child, berating her in front of classmates, and forcing others to correct her and blaming her for others not understanding the solution.
“You’re confusing everybody. very upset and very disappointed.”
The video was originally recorded in 2014, according to the New York Times. At the time it was released, Dial was suspended from duty for her misdeeds and an investigation into her teaching methods was conducted. However, merely a week later, she was back in the classroom, classified as an exemplar within the school network.
Although tough teaching methods appear to be reinforced at the Success Academies, there are guidelines in the handbook that prevent teachers from shaming children or speaking to them in a manner that would not be acceptable in front of their parents.
Eva S. Moskowitz, the Success Academy’s network leader, claims that the video shows a teaching style that is not the norm in the network and is not representative of how the school teaches students on a regular basis. However, nearly 20 other former teachers, alongside Alex, claim that the teaching style is actually the norm in the Academy.
Former teacher, Jessica Reid Sliwerski, states that the demeaning tone is quite normal.
“It’s this culture of, ‘If you’ve made them cry, you’ve succeeded in getting your point across.’ “
Sliwerski claims that the culture actually caused her to do things she wouldn’t normally do. In one instance, she took a toy away from a child and smashed it underfoot. Soon after, she realized that the Success Academy was impacting her negatively, and she had to get out of the environment.
“I felt sick about the teacher I had become, and I no longer wanted to be part of an organization where adults could so easily demean children under the guise of ‘achievement.’ “
As shown above, not all teachers are as berating or militant as Dial was. However, success is the key for all students. Many do engage the students in ways that learning is fostered positively, yet others seem to take a more militant approach. What are your thoughts?
[Image via Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock]