Do your students ever hurt your feelings?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by LittleShakespeare, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Companion

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    I've always been told to take this job with a grain of salt, and that I shouldn't be too sensitive. Of course, teaching has helped me develop thicker skin. Maybe it's just because I'm at the wrong school. But I wonder, do your kids ever hurt your feelings?

    I like to bring treats for my students on special occasions, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I have so many nasty students at this inner city school that say, "Why didn't you bring us full donuts instead of munchkins?" I actually have one student who asks me for food on a daily basis with such an attitude. "Can you actually bring candy tomorrow? I'm a vegan and don't eat donuts." Mind you, she still takes a lot of donuts home "for mom."

    Many of them don't even say thank you.

    I'm on vacation in Greece now, and I got really sad. There was a tour guide who said to me how one teacher bought Greek bookmarks for all her students. If I were to do that, my kids will be so mean to me, asking me why I brought them that instead of something else.

    I plan on finding a new job aside from this nightmare of a high school, but hearing those things makes me feel really small and hurt inside. Has anyone ever dealt with this before?
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Yep welcoming to teaching in public school in 2018. The kids have no social skills anymore and it's not just HS or a certain location or demographic of students. I work in a very rural area and the kids constantly complain about the snacks, prizes, etc. You simply say "You don't like it, don't take it'' and tell them that you don't HAVE to bring them anything... which you don't. If the kids can't be respectful of the small gesture you have presented them, then don't bother. Students are so ungrateful and rude it's crazy, but it's because they are raised with their iphones/ ipads so many don't really know how to show gratitude. I'm sorry but we really should be allowed to teach and assess students on SOCIAL SKILLS!
    :)
     
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  4. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Agreed! Enjoy your time in Greece, don't let it get you down! :) Maybe instead of bookmarks, buy an artifact that goes along with your content that you can show for years to come? Perhaps something to do with Greek mythology? I teach ancient history, so I can think of a billion things I could buy ;)
     
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  5. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    What you wrote is not that bad. If that is the jist of it, consider yourself lucky.
    My HS kids walk out when they want, go to admin by telling lies about me to try to get me in trouble, and post pictures of me on snap chat and write how they hate me.
    I have never had a snap chat account. The trustworthy kids come up to me and tell me about the posts when it just happened. They said that I am not the only teacher they post about though.


     
  6. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    We actually do assess social skills at my school on report cards. Teaching them comes through modeling and processing kids through BIST (our discipline system), but we actually do grade effort, attitude, how well they get along with others, etc.

    @LittleShakespeare After the first complaint, my standard response is, "The polite thing to say when someone gives you something is 'Thank you.'"
    If they keep complaining, "Ok, I just won't bring you treats if you're going to be rude about it." Stop bringing them snacks and treats. When they complain or ask about why you stopped (which they will), say, "Whenever I brought you treats you were rude and ungrateful. I don't have to bring them, and I don't WANT to bring them when you are rude about it."
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Oh wow! That should definitely be a universal practice then.
     
  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    It's funny....I teach in a very wealthy area, so you would think many of my students would be spoiled and ungrateful, but it's in fact the opposite! The vast majority thank me even for a little Jolly Rancher or Dum Dum. I did have one kid who told me "you should fill your candy jar with Blow Pops instead." I told him I'd be happy to fill it with the Blow Pops he brings in ;). That shut him right up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
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  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I've been thinking about this for a while and it dawned on me that over the past 10+ years all of the parenting books told parents to give kids choices so they could learn to be independent and make decisions. They are being taught to tell you when they don't want or like something. Sadly, they aren't taught tact to go along with it or what we would call social graces. Gone are the days where the opinion of the child didn't matter and they were expected to graciously accept any gift with a smile and a thank you.

    I do see what kids are doing as rude, but it doesn't surprise me how a great parenting idea from a psychologist went so far off track.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Funny thing, in our schools, many kids do bring in replacements for the candy jars in the classrooms. They appreciate the gesture of the teachers and if they partake often they tend to help replenish the stock. However, I will say that it is often done for teachers who really treat the students with respect and are fair to all opposed to those who pick favorites or are terribly sarcastic or unkind. There are both types in the school.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I would tell them the polite thing to say is "thank you" or "no, thank you". Both are polite responses. You shouldn't have to take something that you don't want. Kids need to be taught how to politely decline.
     
  12. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    True. It's usually in the context of birthday treats and they've already touched it so I tend to skip declining, but you're right - it is important to know how to politely decline.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    They are being raised by parents who know that in the business world you need basic manners. So, they insist on manners in many cases.
     
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  14. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    When someone is rude/ungrateful/selfish I take it to mean that my job as a teacher is larger than the curriculum. I don't take it personally--ever. It is a result from all of the points aforementioned. The kids I teach will always come down on the offending student, "You don't have to be rude." They know what is proper. Most kids do, but don't always practice what they know. I will state, "Of course, the polite thing to say is 'Thank you" or 'No, thank you'. Let's see you be polite. One day you will be glad you got to practice your manners now. Sometimes manners are the very thing that can help you edge out someone else for a job. I do teach in the private sector, but it is my experience that kids are the same everywhere. We just have to tell them that we don't accept rude behavior. You can't allow it to hurt your feelings. We give because we love and want to bless, not because we expect gratitude. It is a great chance for you to give them some life skills. :)

    I wish you the best in your efforts to balance a desire to give and bless your class and the need to step back from unappreciated kindnesses. Hey, I'd be thrilled to get a bookmark from Greece. Have fun!
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    The meanest thing I've ever heard happened this year. I have a Head Start, and my kids are 4 turning 5 years of age. One of the spoiled boys (yes, he is spoiled) was giving me a hard time one day. All I asked the kid to do was tie his shoes. He whined, cried, performed for 10 minutes. I said, "Nobody is going to come in here and rescue you. I need you to tie your shoes." He stood his ground, then push me. Okay, that was it. I said, "You are not allowed to hurt my body. Now get over there and tie your shoes. And, I am definitely sticking around after 5 today to see your mother."

    And you know what he said to me??

    "You're mean!"

    What the??

    The room got silent, and everyone looked at me. At that point, he had the power, because he knew that was the worse thing you could say to any adult. It was borderline name-calling, as if I was a serial killer.

    I stood my ground. I said, "You will tie your shoes ______. YOU know how, and I am not doing it for you. And nobody else is coming in here to do it."

    And I walked away.

    And yes, he tied his shoes.

    Sigh....It was quite frustrating. But I was able to recover, and not show how much it upset me.
     
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  16. Minnesota

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    Yes, my little EL kids did hurt my feelings recently. I pick them up for the pull-out instruction after lunch, and often they are still hungry and forget their snack at home. So, I bought some simple snacks, such as pretzels or mixed nuts (not peanuts), just in case. I buy big packages that last a while.

    Lately, they started telling me that they don't want pretzels anymore and what else do I have? So, we had a conversation that I am not a supermarket and they should be grateful to me that I care for them to buy them snacks with my own money :( Well, I hope that I would play a small role in helping them grow up respectful, grateful and polite. There is still time and hope.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Sometimes teachers bring treats so that the students will gush appreciation, giving the teacher a feeling of, well, almost power. That shouldn't be the reason anything is given. If you struggle with disappointment because students would state that they would prefer this or that, get over it. If you are looking for "appropriate" responses to your generosity, offer the same treats to teacher friends. For the most part, they are aware that nothing had to be brought, and they will respond positively.

    I bring Jolly Ranchers once in a blue moon, but that's it. Some students would rather have _____. I simply shrug my shoulders and state that they are not obligated to take a JR, it is their choice. Most important part of the verbal exchange is that it is honest. They would prefer a Snickers, as would I, but the JR is all I have, so take it or leave it - it's not a popularity contest, nor do I care if they take my treat, properly "thank" me, or appreciate my effort. I saw JR's, bought them, and will share what I have if they want it - it isn't a personal affront if they decline, even with a comment, because I wasn't trying to "buy" popularity. I simply didn't think it was fair for me to eat the JR's in front of them without having enough to share. I can't control their manners, but I still remember my mom telling me not to eat in front of others if I didn't bring enough to share. The truth is that the only person's actions we can control is our own. Just what I was taught. . .
     
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  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    So you would have bought the Jolly Ranchers to sit at home and eat on the couch if you weren't a teacher?
     
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  19. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Companion

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    Vickilyn, I feel like you always misinterpret my posts. I'm not trying to bribe my students or buy popularity. I do it because they're my kids too and I do love them. Please give me the benefit of the doubt instead of classifying me as egotistical.
     
  20. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    My kids are generally appreciative when I bring them lollies and goodies.
    If a student is being ungrateful it doesn’t bother me as long as they aren’t being rude. I just tell them they don’t have to eat it if they don’t want to and what I have to offer is what I have to offer. If they are being rude I call them out on it. I’ll say something like “you may not appreciate the gesture but you don’t have to be rude about it” and that’s the end of that.
     
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  21. Minnesota

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    I don't think the teachers really need advice on how to handle these situations. Thank you. We are simply sharing our answer to the question "Have your students ever hurt your feelings". That's all.
     

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