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Critical Incident Report - Bipolar Teachers

she were a whole different person. Although I do not blame her for her awkward behaviour, especially since she had very little control over it, it would have been best for her to take the semester off rather than come to work feeling miserable. This incident was significant to me because I did not know what to expect every time I showed up to her class. I constantly shied away from asking simple questions to clarify challenging subjects because I feared the response I would receive. Although I did fairly well that semester, I did not reach my full potential nor did I succeed to the level I had planned, especially when she was not performing to her fullest potential either. Furthermore, she showed very little etiquette in the classroom, something I had never been exposed to prior to that course.

According to the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, the teacher showed a lack of Commitment to Students and Student Learning, Leadership in Learning Communities, and Professional Practice. By showing a lack of Commitment to Students and Student Learning, none of the students could reach their full learning potential. Students were constantly confused regarding the teacherís overall expectations when handing in an assignment or the length an answer had to be in an essay-style test question. One student even failed the course because there was no moral or academic support to aide their personal issue. Usually when a teacher lacks to fulfill this particular Standard of Practice, they are lacking heart. If I were in this teacherís position, I would not allow my personal life to dictate how I treat my students. To help aid the student who had undergone surgery, I would have first called home to get a notion of their overall health or condition. If they were too ill to continue with the course, I would recommend that they safely drop the course before any deadline and receive no credit rather than a failing credit, which is typically recorded onto oneís transcript for future prospect. However, if the student chose to continue, I would make a set of class notes which the student could take home, read through, remain on task, and not fall behind. Thirdly, I would accommodate the student by allotting extra time to hand in assignments and tests. In fact, to make matters easier on the parents, I would email the studentís assignments; that way they would not have to take time off their busy schedules.

Furthermore, since those inflicted with bipolar disorder have a hard time maintaining a constant mood, I would suggest having students work in small groups rather than individually when performing a science experiment. Conducting classes in this fashion would allow the students to discuss matters amongst themselves and solve problems collectively without constantly disturbing the teacher, especially when the teacher has a low tolerance to disturbances. Allowing students to work in groups promotes Leadership in Learning Communities because it creates a collaborative, safe, and supportive learning environment within the classroom. In fact, it further elevates the teacherís status within the classroom as it distinguishes them as a moderator. This mode of handling the class is important to me because it allows students to be more independent, self-reliant, and self-motivated Ė three skills that are central to learning. Finally, to deal with the inconsistency issue regarding the way students were assessed and evaluated would be to create a rubric for each assignment; rubrics often help clarify the expectations for an assignment. In fact, it serves as a useful guide that describes what excellent work entails and allows the student to set concrete targets for achievement. Therefore, when a mark is returned, students will be less confused regarding the mark received, and in turn, fewer questions will be asked based on the marking scheme.
As an aspiring teacher and a current student, I know how vital it is to have a teacher who is consistent in their attitude towards each student and the way they assess and evaluate academic achievement. If I knew of a student who was being treated unfairly due to their teacherís medical condition, the first thing I would suggest to the afflicted student would be to remain warm and friendly rather than overreact and provoke the teacher all the more. If I were the teacher, I would not tell my students of my medical condition, but rather take a leave of absence until I properly tweaked the amount of medication needed to control the condition. This way, any side effects experienced would be manageable, rather than come as a surprise while teaching or on duty.





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