The importance of a solid education from a good teacher is critical for a young child. Many people have memories of a tough teacher who demanded the best and for some it was inspirational. For others, it was a nightmare that you just didn’t measure up to the subject. For one student at the elite charter school Success Academy Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, New York, the teacher may have stepped over the line.
A video was secretly recorded by an unidentified assistant teacher of a class engaged in a math problem. Veteran teacher Charlotte Dial calls on a child to explain her answer and the young Black student is subjected to an angry tirade. Dial then sends the student to the “calm down chair and sit.” During her rant against the small child, the teacher rips up the student’s paper and shouts, “There’s nothing that infuriates me more than when you don’t do what’s on your paper!”
Dial has been considered a highly effective teacher and serves a model teacher, instructing her colleagues. The video was recorded in 2014 and was recently shown to the administration of Success Academy. A spokesperson for the school identified as Ann Powell stated to media that she found the video shocking and that Dial would be suspended pending an investigation. The results of the investigation have not been made public but it is reported that the teacher was back on the job a week and a half later. Parents at the school have been supportive of Dial and her methods of teaching children. A statement by the teacher was issued through the school read, “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. As I tell my scholars to do, I will learn from this mistake and be a better teacher for it.”
It is unknown how this “calm down chair” is used or what the effects on a student’s record might entail. However, being humiliated in front of fellow students for a math problem seems unreasonable. But, according to unidentified former and current staff at the Success Academy network of schools, this might be common practice. The success Academy network has been noted for its high scores on state achievement tests with 64 percent passing in reading and 94 percent in math. These test scores outrank public schools and even some wealthy private schools, especially at their Success Academies in Harlem.