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How should a person be told to apologise when he thinks he isn't wrong?

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( 4 months ago )


A few days ago, in a Zoology class, one of my classmates was caught reading the Zoology textbook when the teacher was explaining. Although he wasn't reading anything that he wasn't supposed to, the teacher got mad at him for not paying attention and asked him to leave the class. He openly declined to leave the class, saying he wasn't wrong to have read the relevant textbook. The teacher then picked up his books and calmly walked out of the class.

Some students (not including the boy in concern) went and apologised on behalf of our friend, but the teacher was unhappy and sent our principal to ask the boy to leave the class, saying that either he stays, or our teacher stays. The boy in concern (let's just call him Jon) still declined, saying that he was not in the wrong for just having read the textbook.

As a result of the stubbornness of Jon, we all missed our Zoology class, for which we all messed up on our exam, held one day after the incident.

Was it right for Jon to have done this? What should we have told him, to perhaps convince him to apologise to the teacher? Please let me know so that a repeat of this situation can be prevented further.

I am from India, and this incident did take place in India. The class in concern was an 11th-grade class, with ages ranging from 15 to 17, and the class strength was around 20-25 students.

According to traditional Hindu culture, the teacher is to be given utmost importance and is to be respected even more than God, as it is he/she who helps us realise God in the first place. However, this was an old tradition, at a time when teachers were among the most skilful people in the country. Now, the situation is different. The highly skilled personnel now work at places like Google, or Apple, and people from among the remaining become teachers. I want to clarify that I'm not commenting on my teacher's ability here, but just speaking about teachers in general.



( 4 months ago )

Here's the thing about Indian classrooms

Teachers usually expect "pindrop silence" and undivided attention when they're teaching, and complete "obedience" in general.

That is, while they're teaching, do not turn towards your classmates, chew gum, fidget with pens, look at the walls or windows, or anything whatsoever. And more importantly, don't do anything that looks as though you've got better things to do than listen to them.

So, while Jon's reading the text silently in class isn't bad behaviour in general, it is a sort of disrespect to the teacher. It is disruptive behaviour in this context.

In such cases, it's pretty normal for Indian teachers to get upset, "overreact", and send the "disobedient" student out of the class regardless of how calm and composed they are outside of class hours.

In most cases, a simple "I'm sorry teacher; won't happen again" would solve it like magic.

And if that apology isn't given, things escalate pretty quickly. Trust me.

Kindly explain to your friend that it's much better for the student to just say sorry (regardless of who is in the right) and get on with the class instead of countering the teacher.

I'm a fellow Indian. I've attended 8 Indian schools and 2 Indian colleges. There are many teachers within my huge Indian family.

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