Tips to Avoid Student Humiliation

Discrimination and bullying are present in almost any school or establishment you will come across. Even the most prestigious and highly regarded establishments have their fair share of the issue. Although some cases may not be as intense as others, it is still a common sight to behold. However, what is not a common sight is the act of a teacher doing said acts to their students.

These acts are not referred to as bullying as the individuals involved do not belong to the same peer group, and instead are commonly referred to as student humiliation. There are a lot of causes for student humiliation, and one of the most common ones is the fact that the teacher themselves are not aware that they are guilty of the act. And if you do not wish to be one of the teachers who unknowingly does student humiliation, then continue reading the article to find out how to avoid such acts.

Effects of student humiliation

The effects of student humiliation can range anywhere from mild to severe. Most of the times the effects are only present in the victim, however, there will be times when other people will be involved in the aftermath of said acts. Here are a few examples of what student humiliation might bring to a student.

1. Diminishing self-esteem

Once a student has been humiliated in any form or manner, their self-esteem will suffer a somewhat miniscule blow. These minor nicks and scratches to a person’s self-esteem could build up into a serious wound once the act of humiliation is repeatedly done.

A diminished self-esteem could then lead to a lack of interest in anything academic related and will in turn affect the person’s grade. This will result to even more humiliation, and a negative cycle of humiliation, lowered self-esteem, and decreased academic performance starts to occur.

2. Lead to depression

The effects of student humiliation can not only damage a person psychologically, but can also damage a person emotionally. As constant student humiliation tends to diminish a person’s self-esteem, their self-worth and sense of purpose also goes down the drain which could lead to depression.

Anyone should be well aware by now the dangers caused by undetected depression, especially to young and vulnerable students. Depression can lead to destructive behavior, self-harm, inclination to vices, and even cause a person to end their life.

3. Destructive behavior

Destructive behavior is somewhat of a bonus stage when someone experiences depression. Since their sense of purpose is constantly being ridiculed, they often no longer think of the consequences that they might bring to themselves or to others due to their actions.

This could be very problematic as others might get involved in the effects of student humiliation. This will breed further chaos and disarray as more people will get involved in the process.

4. Passing of the act to others

There is a theory where a child may develop a passive response to an environment or an active one. The passive response refers to a scenario where the child deems the acts done by the people around him, especially the adults’ actions, as correct and will do the same once the child grows up. An active response refers to when a child deems some actions of the adults around him as inappropriate and do their best to actively change and do things differently.

If a child were to go through student humiliation, took a passive response to the situation, and became a professional themselves someday, then they too will pass down the act of student humiliation. This will again breed another negative cycle of never-ending humiliation.

How to avoid student humiliation

A teacher may not notice from time to time the simple acts that they do which for them, seem totally harmless, but is deemed as humiliating from the student’s point of view. And if you want to limit the chances of doing such a thing, then here are 10 tips on how to avoid student humiliation.

1. Refrain from sarcasm

Sarcasm is a figure of speech that is becoming more and more prevalent over the years due to globalization. For those well-versed in the English language, it will be easy to pick up on when a person is being sarcastic or not due to the tone and body language of the speaker. However, for young students, this is a totally different story.

Young students are not yet used to determining sarcasm from regular speech. If a teacher talks to their students in a sarcastic manner, then the students will have a difficult time trying to understand the true meaning behind their teacher’s words.

This will be totally harmless when the whole class doesn’t get the teacher’s sarcastic comment. However, if the whole class other than the person that was given a sarcastic comment understood the true meaning behind a teacher’s words, then this will most probably lead to that student being left out and humiliated.

2. Do not embarrass them

Embarrassing a student to show an example to the whole class what will happen if they were not to follow the rules may have worked well in previous times. But in today’s society that focuses on the humane treatment and equality of everyone, this is an absolute no.

Embarrassing one student by form of punishment will greatly increase the likelihood that the said student will develop serious effects of student humiliation. Embarrassing a student will do nothing to improve the discipline of the student, it will only lead them to ruin their self-esteem due to the experience.

3. Avoid praising too much

It is common human intuition to praise something once it is well done. Academic achievements are also something praiseworthy that teachers often tend to focus on. Praising a student for a job well-done is a common act for a teacher, however, praising too much can often do the opposite of inspire the student to do more.

Praising too much may lead the student to feel uneasy and isolated from their classmates who did not receive any praise. There are only a few instances of this happening, however, it is still better to be safe than sorry.

4. Avoid any form of racial or religious slur

There are a lot of races and religions present in Singapore. This is also true for its student’s population. And just as there are a lot of races and religions, there are even more racial and religious slurs present.

It should be a teacher’s duty to keep watch of the words they speak in front of their students in order to not make any racial or religious comments about their students. Branding someone based solely on their race or religion can greatly humiliate that individual and cause them to feel ashamed of their ethnicity or religious beliefs.

5. Discuss problems in private

There will be times when a student will perform badly on some aspects of the curriculum, and a teacher’s duty is to inform the student and the student’s parents about the problem. However, the information should be kept confidential and not be announced while the class is still ongoing to avoid any instances of student humiliation.

6. Pay attention to body language

Different individuals require different techniques in order for them to be comfortable with the surroundings they are in. Some students may be uncomfortable with the way a teacher approaches them. It is the teacher’s task to determine the body language of a student and try to spot if the student is uncomfortable with the way the teacher treats them.

7. Do not give overly negative comments

There will be times when a student will mess something up or will do something incorrectly. During these times, a teacher might give comments to improve the result of that student the next time they do the same task. However, the teacher must make sure to watch his/her words to not give any overly negative comments.

Giving overly negative comments can damage a student’s self-esteem and cause student humiliation as they will feel ashamed of the mistake they made. This can also cause reluctance to participate in any future activities.

8. Treat your students equally

To make sure no student feels isolated from the class and avoid any accidental student humiliation, then a teacher should treat their students with equality and without prejudice. By treating every student equally, they will feel a sense of unity amongst themselves and begin to start seeing themselves as a group.

This limits the chances of a single students feeling isolated from the rest of the class due to the fact that he/she was treated differently by the teacher. Once a student feels isolated from the class, they will feel ashamed to approach the rest of the class, which could also result to student humiliation.

9. Speak in a gentle manner

To ensure that the teacher does not cause any unexpected student humiliation, they should talk in a gentle and calm manner to ensure that their students do not misinterpret the words they are saying.

If the teacher were to talk to their students in a harsh manner, then the students might misinterpret the teacher’s lectures as scolding and lead to unexpected student humiliation. Speaking in a gentle tone will avoid any misunderstandings and will generally improve the relationship they have with their students.

If you like what you have read and want to learn more. Then you can always visit us at FamilyTutor. FamilyTutor is a home and online based tutoring agency with thousands of highly skilled and capable tutors. Singapore’s leading tutoring agency offers private tuition to anyone from preschool up to university level students.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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