Resentful class

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by newbie12, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. newbie12

    newbie12 Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Hi,

    I'm teaching at a new school and I have a difficult class, who seem to now hate me and are quite vocal about it. The issue is listening to music on their headphone. The school says that students are to not be listening to music in class, however I know that probably half of teachers are allowing students to listen to music in class.
    I have been consistent with the policy from day one and have students remove the headphones whenever I see them. Unfortunately 3-4 students in year 9 have become quite angry towards me. They spent last lesson yelling rude things to me in class and making a lengthy petition as to why it is unfair which they have emailed to principle, AP. I held them back for lunch.
    Should I just let them listen to music in class as other teachers are doing as it would probably make my life easier? Or should I enforce an inconsistent school policy?
     
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  3. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Mar 8, 2018

    I'm definitely interesting to see how the P/AP responds to the students. And I imagine their response will be a useful guide for determining your future actions. Hopefully the P/AP will back you!
     
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  4. Been There

    Been There Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    This is an issue that needs to be put on the agenda for your next staff meeting. Teachers who don't uphold school policies need to know what effect their negligence has on their colleagues. Don't hesitate to share what you described above and push your principal to take a stand.
     
  5. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Mar 8, 2018

    I believe that ALL teachers know the impact. However, some % of them seek to take the path of least resistance. And if the admin allows teachers to remain teaching who won't enforce school policies, the you have a management issue...not a student or teacher one.
     
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  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Mar 8, 2018

    What is supposed to happen if they do use earphones? What's the school policy?

    Instead of giving reminders, reminders, and more reminders, can you just make one more announcement - absolutely no headphones - and assign a consequence when that's not followed? You might be assigning more detentions than normal for a few days (or whatever the consequence is), but once they know you really mean business it seems like they'd stop wearing them. That might also be one of those easier said than done situations though.

    Can you talk to your admin about it, and would they back you up if you were to assign consequences?
     
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  7. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    Remind the students that your classroom belongs to you. Therefore, if the students chose to disregard rules/directions, they can either correct the behavior or be written up. Disrespect should result in a 1 day class suspension.
    Relating it back to my classroom, if a student uses headphones, I am accepting of this....as long as work is being completed.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Mar 8, 2018

    your post is timely. I have had a class of very resentful students all year. They have complained about how I am the "only teacher" that does XYZ (in the handbook). Or that Mr. B curves every test so that no one ever fails. That the other teachers teaching my subject give guided notes and allow test corrections. They're 17 and they pout and whine like 3 year olds. But today they actually asked me if I would consider teaching a higher level class so they can take my class again since those easier teachers haven't actually made them learn anything this year.

    So, maybe??? you'll get lucky like I did and they'll start to show some appreciation by the end of the year???
     
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  9. newbie12

    newbie12 Rookie

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    One of the boys' mother (whose husband is a senior teacher at the school) rang me up today to tell me what a good student her boy is and what a bad teacher I am. Spent another day in the bathroom crying. I hate to complain over the internet, but I don't feel like there is anyone I can talk to in real life.

    If I enforce it, I end up being abused by students and staff. If I don't, then I am letting my own standards slip. Not sure what to do, but cry.
     
  10. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2018

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time! I teach 6 periods of English. Most of my classes like me, but one class in particular is very verbal about what a terrible teacher I am since I make them do work and give them rules. It's important to never take it personally--- and I know it's super hard. I am also a first year teacher, so I know how easy it is to take things personally. It's also important to not let things escalate to a power struggle. I wouldn't give them multiple warnings to put the headphones away. If they don't do it the first time, I say, "Johnny, I asked you to put those away." If they refuse, automatic write-up for electronics at school and defiance. Giving me an attitude gets them another point for disrespect.

    You could try setting aside a "headphone" day, in which they get some time to listen to music if they behave well for a certain time. I wouldn't overuse it, and I definitely wouldn't give them a whole period. You could check it with your P to make sure it woudn't get you in trouble. I did that when cell phones became an issue. Once every 9 weeks, we get 10 minutes of phones at the end of class if we had less than a certain number of write-ups (for example, less than 5 write-ups in a class of 25).
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 17, 2018

    Don't own their problems. If you're following school policy and enforcing it fairly for all students, then you're doing your part. Let students be mad about it. They can be as mad as they want, as long as they put their headphones away.

    If they don't put their headphones away, they've just escalated the situation to failure to comply with a teacher directive, violation of school rules, and insubordination. If they're going to be yelling and saying rude things, they've escalated again to classroom disruption and blatant disrespect. Write them up for those things per your school's discipline policy.
     
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  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 17, 2018

    Wow! I'm sorry you had to deal with this. In the future instead of allowing them to use up class time loudly venting their frustrations, tell them to speak to you after class. If they insist on disrupting the lesson kick them out and send them to the principals office.

    On one hand I would laud their efforts to petition the principal to see if they could get the rules changed (as long as their petition wasn't just about how much they dislike you for following the rules) but on the other hand the class room is your space and the space for students who are there to learn and you most protect it from disruptions like this. If they don't like the rule tell them to continue to petition the principal but on their own time.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2018

    A petition appropriate done is a very cool thing.

    But remind them, if they want the school rule changed, they need to talk to administration. Leave it at that.
     
  14. Obadiah

    Obadiah Devotee

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    Apr 18, 2018

    I feel like I just woke up in a time warp this morning. Listening to music on headphones in school? I'm assuming these are from smart phones, too. Since I'm experiencing a time warp, may I transfer back to 1972-1976? For one thing, no one had a mobile phone, and no one would have one in school if we did have them. No one listened to their transistor radio in class. 1974 was the first year calculators were even allowed in class, and that was the only electronic device we brought with us. Every boy did carry a knife at school (and I'm sure the teachers did too) and we openly showed our cool penknives to each other, so that's one item we did have that today's students (for good reasons) don't. But we did get our music fix.

    Every breakfast and lunch period the jukebox was playing. Those of us with stronger musical interests took a music class. 10th grade was the only grade in which I didn't have a music class. Every assembly, the pit band would play the latest top 40. But otherwise, class time was for class time. Yeah, we wanted to make a good grade, but the cool teachers were the teachers who allowed us to learn something. English class--wow! All that from one story! Interesting! Math class--you can do all that with algebra! You're kidding! You're not kidding? Wow! Chemistry--yipes! The teacher just started a fire! In between time my friends and I did talk music (or about Mash and Happy Days). Me, I always had songs running through my head (and still do).

    And when we left school, that's when the music began. I had an FM converter in my car. When I got home, it was a phonograph record, cassette tape, or one of the 3 stations on my Sharp stereo. It was Philadelphia Freedom, the Bill Gaither Trio, Bing Crosby, classical...whatever my mood. And then I'd hit the piano keys. Right now, I'm thinking about sitting with my friends under a tree at David's house, and we're all talking and listening to Brenda's radio. When a song came on we didn't like, Sandra would make a face and quickly change the station. Music enhanced my life and still does. I don't know where I'd be without music. But I don't know where I'd be without all that I learned in school, either. I agree with the OP, there's a time and a place for everything, including headphones on smartphones.
     
  15. Been There

    Been There Comrade

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    Apr 18, 2018

    Great post! Thanks for reminiscing - those are what I refer to as the "good 'ol days". Such a simple concept, a time and place for everything - this used to apply not only to concrete objects, but for actions and words. Unfortunately, when the whole village no longer values such conventions, mass chaos is inevitable. Teachers (especially newbies) must realize that they alone cannot reverse the rising tide.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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