Do teachers bring bad behavior on themselves?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Nov 14, 2017 at 11:21 AM.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Something that we've been discussing the last few days.

    We had a science teacher quit last week. She walked out of class in the middle of the day, went downtown, resigned, and never came back. She didn't even finish her grades (that is a whole other problem)Her reasonings were that she was being disrespected (kids cursing her out, her room being trashed when she was out for a day) and a few other things. Our school is a Title 1 school, and we have bad kids, like every school, but in general, I don't feel that our kids are any worse than any others. We have supportive deans who do their best to discpline students and do support us when we really have difficulty with students. I think the biggest issue I have is that we give our kids too many chances - late work, makeup, online credit recovery, etc. She came from a school in another town nearby, which has the exact same demographics as we do.

    In my 19 years teaching, I have only ever had a student curse me out once - I took his phone, and he went into my personal belongings and took it. I told him not to, and he told me to **** myself and my rules.

    Now to the point of my post--do teacher's sometimes bring bad behavior upon themselves? Are there teacher's out there whose demeanor and approach to the students make them (the students) treat them poorly? Its been discussed over the past few days here and was just wondering how other feel. I believe they do. In my experience, most kids are not going to be jerks to you--and those that are, they are usually jerks to everybody, and you have to just move past them.
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    I think tied to that is the idea of respect. Teachers just assume and expect respect from the students (that students will comply obediently with all teacher's orders) and get crazy when they don't. The alternative being "You have to give respect to get it.'' I truthfully feel that gone are the days where as teachers we can just expect that our students will do what we ask because we're teachers. We have to work with and for the students, to create bonds, and to show them that we're people that they would want to respect and listen to and vice- versa. We have to show them that we respect them as well. Yes, I do think that some teachers still hold some old beliefs true and do (or say) things that aren't necessarily the "best.'' It's funny when I sub I usually get warned about "that class'' and then go in an have a pretty awesome day because I bring in some refreshing changes that the kids need. Students CRAVE structure and expectations, but I also explain to them WHY I'm expecting the behavior from them instead of simply saying "Here are my rules... follow them!'' And I have to say I know it's disrespectful but I have hear students make some GREAT arguments for why systems or rules don't work and should change, but of course we don't listen because they're children. I love when kids try to advocate for themselves. I allow students to voice their opinions and be heard, because we all want to. There's also a lot of classroom management and systems I've seen that just don't make any sense either which ALSO leads to students behavior... and then teachers get pissy when you try to talk with them about it. Now that's not to say ''let students do whatever and have a free for all'' but there needs to be some negotiation and give or take (within reason.)
    If what you're doing isn't working, then you need to change.
    :)
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    What Leoborb said. Slow clap and all.

    Yes, I do believe some teachers bring bad behavior on themselves. This could be a cultural thing. Perhaps some demographics you can be the more traditional, gruff respect-demanding teacher (and I think there are ways of doing this right) and have the majority of your students happily respect you. Take that exact same way of doing things to another demographic that needs perhaps a little bit more give... and it will blow up in your face.

    I think no matter your style, the best teachers do, consciously or unconsciously, respect their student. It may come in different ways. I've seen teachers who are very Type A traditional "this is my classroom!"... but that "my classroom!" holds a lot of responsibility where that teacher is serving and ensuring each student's needs are met (because it's his classroom, dammit!). It works. Others might be more democratic, still meeting that need for respect.

    Now, I suppose I lean a little more old-fashioned where, sure, I kind of do expect in general kids to respect teachers because they're teachers... but I guess I'm also assuming those teachers are doing things right.
     
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Now, do I think a teacher who "brings in on himself" excuses the bad behavior of students? No.

    But... there is a bit of understanding regardless.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    It goes back to WE need to MODEL the behavior we want to see and expect from students. I've seen teachers/ TA's yell in student's faces and physically grab them to get them to comply with expectations... no matter how you slice it, that's not good teaching. And we wouldn't tolerate it from students (like when they yell or hit their classmates...) so double standard?
    :rofl:
     
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  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 1:20 PM

    I think it's probably much the same everywhere whenever you interact with anyone. If you're polite to people in the grocery store, at the bank, or on the road, they're usually (but not always) polite to you. The odds of having a pleasant interaction with someone increase when you demonstrate pleasant behavior, but this can't guarantee a pleasant interaction. Some people are just angry people, either in general or in the moment, and sometimes they're going to be angry no matter what. You can't control their behavior, so control your own and hope that they take your lead.
     
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  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 1:52 PM

    Yes! I remember when I was a teenager, I was helping in our church's kids' club. The adult leaders of the clubs in our area met at a regional conference and the teenage helpers were also allowed to attend. (I think I wrote about this before, but it aptly applies to this thread). The "coolest" teacher in high school was leading one of the sessions so of course I chose to be in that one. But I was shocked. He demanded that we all sit up and pay attention. One man was looking out the window and oh, did he get corrected for it. Then this teacher politely explained, that's how our students feel when we are disrespectful to them. It was quite a lesson which I remembered when I became a teacher.

    If I might add to my thoughts, I've finished reading Avi's new book, The Player King, and was so intrigued with his writing that now I'm reading Crispin: The Lead Cross. In both books, the main character, a young boy, is treated with unbelievable disrespect. But Avi goes deeper. In reading, we see how the child experiences and reacts to this disrespect. Avi is bringing out historical philosophy, I'm sure, in how children are viewed, but in the modern 21st century, have we really changed that much? In many cases, children are viewed as less than human, just kids. But kids are people, younger people than adults, true, but they are people. They deserve the same respect as any adult deserves.

    A classroom is a society. All members of that society are important and deserve respect and consideration. Rules must be followed for that society to exist peacefully and purposefully, the teacher is the manager of the classroom, but the students are not only expected to obey and show respect, they are to be taught how to obey and be respectful, and the teacher, especially, is the model of appropriate respect and decorum.
     
  9. rpan

    rpan Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2017 at 10:41 PM

    I'm a firm believer of mutual respect. When there is mutual respect, students don't usually go out of their way to make your life hell. They could, but they won't, because they care about you enough.
    I know teachers who have come from other countries and just have not adapted. They have the
    "my way or the highway" mentality, which students just do not get on board with and this causes conflict. They perceive this mentality as a lack of respect. It's a shame because these teachers do the best they know how, but it doesnt pay dividends.
    And to add another two cents worth, I think sometimes our (lack of) classroom and behaviour management also "allows" students to exhibit poor behaviour, because they know they can get away with it.
     
  10. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 5:48 AM

    The short answer is yes. Some people are not emotionally equipped to deal with all the stuff some of these poor kids bring to school. I learned a long long time ago that when you learn about their lives you have a longer fuse and can reach them (if that is possible). The long answer is you cannot take most of it personally. The hardest are the very angry kids that are real smart. They know HOW to get to you.............
    The main thing to remember is the "the hardest kids to love are the ones that NEED it the most!
     
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  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 6:37 AM

    I think this is true with some teachers but not all. Some students just will act a certain way no matter what kind of teacher they have. If you are doing all the right things you might still get cursed at here and there if it's common in your school and teachers should just keep doing the best they can in that situation. Sometimes you can't avoid it and have to QTIP!!! (quit taking it personally).
     
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  12. CherryOak

    CherryOak Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 6:48 AM

    With the window left open for exceptions, I agree. Even as a sub, I've found respect and deescalation go a long way and are likely to be returned. As a teen student, I remember intentionally annoying the meanest teachers just to watch them get riled up. It was a lot more interesting than whatever task was at hand. I'm glad I didn't teach me. Haha.
     
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  13. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 8:15 AM

    I wonder if a lot of what we're seeing today is due to a cultural shift. I began with a detailed listing of differences between the 60's and 70's when I grew up and now, but the list became way too long to post. To summarize what I just now erased, kids today are influenced much differently than kids were in my day. But I also agree with the above, teachers are also a strong influence in classroom decorum.
     
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    :heart:
    And it's exhausting... to deal with their needs all day, but that's the work of teaching and it's why teachers burn out FAST! I think there's two kinds: teachers who last a long time and just get worn down; they just can't deal with it anymore and the second, which is the newbies who never really fully understood the expectations of teachers to begin with. I think some still hold stereotypical views of teachers and students in their head and it's not until they get in and do the dirty work that they realize it's not all sunshine, rainbows, laughter & apples.
    If only the kids all looked and acted like they do in this clipart, right?
    [​IMG]
    :toofunny:
     
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  15. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    I haven't been teaching near as long as others (this is only my 8th year), but I would say in my limited experience - yes. I haven't had a discipline problem in 7 years; the math will show that was my first year! I credit that to the general advice my father (a math teacher for 35 years) gave me: problems only happen when students aren't busy. Our teachers that have so many discipline problems are ones that phone it in every day by not preparing lessons, not assigning work, and generally having zero expectations. I keep my students busy the entire class period - and I make it clear it isn't just busy work, the see the fruits of their labor on rigorous exams and lab practicals. I make it my daily mission to have no time left over at the end of class. If a new lesson is shorter than I hoped for, I will improvise that day and make a note in my lesson plans that I need to add more next year to prevent it from happening again.

    I also feel there's a great deal of mutual respect between my students and I. I have developed a reputation for being a sincere, knowledgable teacher who will help in any way possible. Students come into my class knowing this, which gives me a fair bit of credit. I reciprocate by treating them like adults (these are sophomores through seniors). I also treat every student fairly - I hate correcting my best students, but I don't want others to get the feeling I'm playing favorites; everybody is held to the same standard.

    The bottom line (in my opinion) is that teachers bring on behavior problems by not keeping students busy and by relaxing standards so much that students don't have to put forth any effort - academically or socially - to get through the class. When students know they are getting a passing grade no matter what, they will act as they please.

    Addendum: For some anecdotal evidence: the teacher at our school with the most discipline problems. Every Monday, he prints out a "study guide" for a "test" they are going to have every Friday. The "test" is the study guide questions in a different order. The students know this; it's the same every year. This teacher gets zero respect and zero effort from his students; he only gets trouble.
     
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  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    As a school administrator, I couldn't agree with this statement more!!!
     
  17. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    Absolutely, students will test and push until they realize that there ARE boundaries and consequences. When they learn that they exist-- problems cease -- and you can move on to learning. It's fairly simple. I love subbing and being told before I go in how "bad'' a classroom is and that it'll be a "long day,'' I go in -- and while the students may not be angels-- I can get them to follow expectations to the point where I can have a good day and so can the students. Let's be honest, even with a sh** head group of kids, it's not always ALL of them (so there are some who suffer at the hands of their classmates,) so I provide a nice calm environment, at least for the day, where they all learn. I tell them "If today is a day that we just practice expectations, then that's what we'll do,'' and show I'm serious. I once had fifth graders practicing, one by one, how to walk into the classroom, pull out and push in their chairs, get supplies, etc., because they were WILD! But shocker, of all shockers, the teacher basically sat on his a** all day and did nothing so the students kind of got used to the "free for all.'' Yeah... that doesn't work for me! Now I have a reputation as a sub and WILL be put in the hard a** classes because they know I can handle the kids and yet I can't get a teaching job back home, because it's so small town and cliquey and the teachers are seriously threatened by me. I can sense it!

    :toofunny:
    Basically: without management, there's no learning. And management is built on respect and expectations.
     
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  18. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 6:13 PM

    It's popular to blame teachers for all of society's ills. Lot of money to be made by doing so.

    My experience has been that poor discipline is a general reflection of poor administrative policies. A district may be cash-strapped and afraid to lose even the most incorrigible students. A district may be unable to afford adequate staffing or appropriate student placements. A district may be actively working to push staff out the door and willing to use children as weapons against teachers. A district may be full of inept administrators with strong backgrounds in finger pointing.

    It is rare to see an administrator possess even an inkling that her actions can undermine all discipline throughout a school or district. It is more likely an administrator will blame those with the least power to effect change.

    Myself, I'd never reward misbehavior with candy and video games, but some administrators are comfortable with it.
     
  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 6:24 PM

    We can't really control ANYTHING outside of the classroom walls, but we can control how we are as teachers. I think that's kind of the basic point of the thread anyway.
     
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  20. nstructor

    nstructor Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    Great response. It's impossible to say that being respectful to students and keeping them busy will cause no discipline problems. That depends on the culture of the school.
     
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  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Nov 15, 2017 at 8:05 PM

    A good teacher can set up a classroom environment that can reduce behavior problems, but of course not eliminate them. Just like you could reflect on the one time a student cursed you out--was it your fault? No. Some students are angry and will do disrespectful things. I don't think it is fair to always blame the teacher. No teacher can control all the actions of junior high students.
     
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