Photo: Samantha Moya

New study finds that teachers are actually more scared of students

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By Lyba Mansoor

For students, it has always seemed as though teachers are entirely fearless and completely within their element while teaching. But a study published by Ryerson University found teachers are often struck with fear while in front of the classroom.

“The study concluded that regardless of the age group of students, teachers were 100 per cent more afraid of them than vice versa,” said Ryan Bishop, who led the study and is in charge of Ryerson’s Didaskaleinophobia department.

One key finding of the study was that teachers are more likely than students to wear adult diapers in class.

The researchers calculated the fear levels of teachers and students through complex scientific testing. Students were exposed to all types of teachers—the friendly, the hard-markers and the ones with bad breath. The students then reacted unexpectedly, stating, “I’ve spent $100,000 for three years of university. No suburban parent with a PhD and a Neopolitan complex is going to rock me.” Another simply said, “My part-time jobs were both retail. Downtown. At the GAP.”

After executing the test multiple times with multiple test subjects, the results were unanimous. David Chen, a part of the study’s team said, “We found teachers experienced shortness of breath, an increased heart rate and an overwhelming sense of despair when they came in contact with students. On the other hand, students showed no fear, but instead exhibited a quite blasé reaction to being exposed to teachers.”

Jean Harden, a university professor and participant in the study, said the results did not shock her. “I’ve been teaching for 15 years. Every time I get an email I shit a brick and my office hours end with me covered in sweat. Students drink coffee at 7 p.m. and beer at 8 a.m., I’d rather teach a room of eucalyptus-deprived koalas.”

In response to the study, Bishop along with many schools and university officials have begun working on developing a shielding system for their teachers.

“We want to keep teachers securely wrapped in seven layers of industrial bubble wrap,” said Bishop. “This way, teaching won’t at all be compromised, while ensuring our professors feel a greater sense of security.”

The study recommends all teachers grab a prescription of Xanax and a kilometre of bubble wrap to ensure the scholastic year will be a success. This tip especially applies to those who barf right before class.

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