I never had a tough teacher until I got to fifth grade and had a nun for an educator. She yelled at us, she insulted us, she smacked our desks with ridiculously long rulers. She never physically abused us, but she was frightening as hell. Think Miss Trunchbull with a habit instead of an army uniform. Did her harsh methods of teaching work? Well, I did make it to the next grade. However, I also made it to the next grades after that without Sister Pitbull barking at me all day long like I was an incompetent mail carrier.
Thankfully, I got my first tough teacher when I was 10 and not when I was 6 years old, like this first grader who was humiliated by her teacher for failing to answer a math problem correctly.
Success Academy teacher Charlotte Dial was recorded in 2014 by an assistant teacher who had had enough of Dial’s abrasiveness. In the short clip, Dial is seen and heard berating the unidentified first grader, ripping up her assignment paper and throwing it in her direction before ordering her to go sit in a “calm-down” chair.
“There’s nothing that infuriates me more than when you don’t do what’s on your paper!” an irritated Dial yells. “Somebody come up and show me how she should’ve counted to get her answer that was one and a split! Show my friends and teach them. Do not go back to your seat and show me one thing and don’t do it here!” According to The New York Times, Dial also yells the student is “confusing everybody” and states she’s “very upset and very disappointed” in her.
The video was shared with the publication after the assistant teacher was no longer working at the Brooklyn, N.Y. charter school:
The video was recorded surreptitiously in the fall of 2014 by an assistant teacher who was concerned by what she described as Ms. Dial’s daily harsh treatment of the children. The assistant teacher, who insisted on anonymity because she feared endangering future job prospects, shared the video with The New York Times after she left Success in November.
After being shown the video last month, Ann Powell, a Success spokeswoman, described its contents as shocking and said Ms. Dial had been suspended pending an investigation. But a week and a half later, Ms. Dial returned to her classroom and her role as an exemplar within the network.
Dial blames a “lapse in emotions” for the video and vows to do better. “I’m deeply committed to the children and families of our school, and I’m sorry for my lapse in emotional control 15 months ago,” she wrote in a statement. “As I tell my scholars to do, I will learn from this mistake and be a better teacher for it.”