Off topic discussion at meetings

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 1cubsfan, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I am student teaching in a middle school.

    Each day, we have a group plan time. Sometimes we meet with the grade level team, other times it's with content area, sometimes special Ed, sometimes administration. It's different depending on what we need.

    There is one group (also happens to be the only one without any men) that I meet with that never talks about the agenda, never stays on topic, and discusses things that are not only irrelevant, but also inappropriate. I know way too many personal things about these women. They will sometimes discuss the other male teachers and what they think of them, will make inappropriate jokes, etc.

    I know that these women are good teachers- the ones I have observed anyways. They are dedicated to teaching and to their student's needs. During other meetings, these women stay on task and contribute useful information. But I think it's just this combination of people that leads to this type of conversation.

    I'm not sure if I should do anything. I may tell my university supervisor (she and I are pretty close- I've known her for 4 years and have had her for several classes). I don't want to be a tattle tale, but I don't like wasting time. Being a student teacher, I don't really feel like I have the authority to call them out on their behavior.

    Has anyone else experienced something like this?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Let's leave the gender issues out of the discussion. I don't think it's smart to imply that the reason this group is off-task is due to the fact that there aren't any men around. Please.

    Some groups of people get off task. That's just sort of how it works sometimes. I think you just need to find a way to be flexible and roll with it. I do not believe that you, as a student teacher, are in a position to dictate the flow of the meetings. My meetings within my department are a combination of on- and off-task talk. We are colleagues and also friends. We occasionally dive into things that aren't related to school. It is what it is.

    The "inappropriate" talk is another matter. What specifically are they saying? If you're uncomfortable with it, like if it's moving into sexual harassment stuff, then you need to report it to your supervisor.
     
  4. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I agree to a degree with Caesar. I don't think you (the OP) were saying you thought they were off task because they are female, just that the group that gets off topic is exclusively female. You are right in that it's not your place to steer them away from off-topic talk. I personally think it's okay to discuss it with your university supervisor. She may not feel it necessary for you or her to do anything about it. You are there to learn and part of that learning includes what happens outside your classroom. Definitely talk to her about the inappropriate talk if it crosses boundaries like Caesar said. You can also look at it as an opportunity to network. You'll want a job when it's all said and done, right? These are the people you want to forge professional relationships with. They can be references, job leads and idea givers.

    Most importantly, are you missing out when things don't stay on topic? Are you lacking in information or guidance? These are the things you should probably consider before speaking to your supervisor because those teachers like to chat.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 19, 2012

    No, you don't, for the most part.

    Unless....

    If this makes you uncomfortable or offends you, then you do have cause to complain.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Sep 19, 2012

    What's funny is if they are anything like me, if they all went out for happy hour to relax after school, they would all end up talking about work. lol.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2012

    A student teacher does not have the right to call these women out on their behavior. Because 1) they have been teaching longer and 2) you don't want to do anything to jeopardize your chances of getting a job.
     

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