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  #1  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:02 AM
Tek Tek is offline
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Female students who want to hug me

I have a few female students, particularly one, who is fascinated with wanting to hold me. She likes to "act cute" around me. She'll call me daddy, even though I tell her not to call me that.

Today she said "Can I hug you?"

I've been trying to keep my distance and be "strict" and not be seen as a "fun uncle" to my 1st graders, but where is the line? They are six, and they do love to hug/show affection. Being male though, it's just the way of the world that I must be careful not to be caught in a situation that could easily be misread or misinterpreted.

Is it OK for me to keep my distance? Or should I let my kids hug me? When they do hug me, I make sure it's the side hug variety.

I'm finding it tricky to "have fun" with them because if I laugh or act silly for one second, they'll laugh for minutes on end, it seems. So most of the time I try to act serious, but they still claim I'm "funny." I just don't want them to get too far off track on the task at hand. I'm still trying to find that balance between learning and fun at this grade level.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:06 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
I would hug the little ones. They need them and want them.

I would look for little ways to be silly that don't throw the class off. Maybe start with a silent cheer or party and slowly build up.
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:26 AM
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Sarge Sarge is offline
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Ah, the curse of the male first grade teacher.

For many, perhaps most, kids that age, mom is the force to be reckoned with at home and dad is the one-man entertainment committee. Thus, when they see a male, they think "There's a person I can get to do what I want if I act real cute."

On top of that, if you are a male, the same "strict" that appears warm and motherly from a female teacher can seem cruel and abusive coming from a male teacher.

Don't worry if the kids run up and hug you. Be very matter of fact about it, a quick pat on the back, say "OK, now go back to your seat ..." etc. Male teachers should never initiate hugs but I don't see you doing that any time soon.

I have a gruff manner with students while at the same time keeping a sense of humor. It's ok if they laugh. It keeps them engaged.

As far as keeping them on task, have a procedure for getting them to focus - i.e. a good, well enforced quiet signal. Also, if you make a joke and they display their common tendency to repeat it, say "That was funny the first time I said it, but when you say it over and over again, it's not funny anymore." You can also use that for the funny things they say as well.

And if they grab your hand, and their hand is wet, get to the hand sanitizer ASAP.
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2012, 08:10 AM
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lucybelle lucybelle is offline
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I don't hug the children. I don't like it. They have lots of other teachers in the school who can hug them.

Instead sometimes we "play fight". Or I'll make a silly face and back away. Sometimes they catch me by surprise so I pry them off.

If you don't want to hug the kids you don't have to.

For "fun" I always call them "dude" and they think it's hilarious. I have "secret handshakes" with a few of them. Sometimes I flip my hair in class or do a Z-snap and roll my neck. I also have a big rubber snake and I'll sometimes just throw it at them. I make jokes with them while we go over material. I laugh at them A LOT. I mean some of the stuff they say is so silly I can't help it.

They know we have fun, but I also bring down the hammer when needed. Find a balance. It's important.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2012, 07:18 PM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
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I knew a male teacher who worked with little ones and he would say from day one, "Mr. ______ is cool. He likes to give high fives." He also liked to bump elbows with the kids.

Sidebar: I know it's hard, but I commend you for being that rare breed of male teacher working in primary grades, especially first! I have only known two male teachers who worked with the under 3rd grade crowd in SIX YEARS (and I was apart of a countywide certification program...the primary section was almost all women. You only saw males in the 6 - 12 grade cert classes).

It's good for the kids to be exposed to male teachers at a young age, not just female. I say that because I only had females until about 7th grade and it was a serious shock to the system.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2012, 01:26 AM
Tek Tek is offline
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^Aw thanks! Though, I never saw myself as a 1st grade teacher. I wanted the 5th grade position, but I applied too late. They had K or 1 left... I knew I didn't want to do K... so it was either 1st full time or another year of subbing with no guarantees. I have taught and worked with 6 year olds before in my part time job, but it was for an hour at a time after school. I figured... let's just jump in and give it a shot! No regrets.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:14 AM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek View Post
^Aw thanks! Though, I never saw myself as a 1st grade teacher. I wanted the 5th grade position, but I applied too late. They had K or 1 left... I knew I didn't want to do K... so it was either 1st full time or another year of subbing with no guarantees. I have taught and worked with 6 year olds before in my part time job, but it was for an hour at a time after school. I figured... let's just jump in and give it a shot! No regrets.

If it's a choice between the two, I would go for 1st. I've never done K, but each year we have a "Switch -A- Roonie" day where the 1st and K teachers trade places and the K students, while sweet, are all over the place (Do you remember the cartoon "Recess" in which the K kids were like a wild tribe? It's not THAT bad, but not too far off. LoL).

They're still learning how to be students, so things like "sharing" "waiting to go to the bathroom" and even "holding a pencil" can be brand new for them.

I work in a low-income area with a lot of young parents, substance abuse and other issues, so a lot of times if they can't get into the free, limited enrollment Pre-K at school, the kids don't have any school experience until K.

That means they're pretty clueless about how school works and don't know many basic skills.

During one "Switch - A - Roonie" day, I had a little girl who burst into tears sobbing because she was hungry and was ready for lunch. I talked to the K teacher later and she said the girl did that everyday, not just because I was there.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:10 AM
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TamiJ TamiJ is offline
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I do hug my students, but I'm female and in Mexico, so I don't have the worries you do. All I can say is refer to what Sarge had to say. He knows best.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:04 PM
Tek Tek is offline
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Yeah I never initiate hugs. However, sometimes they sneak up to you and just wrap their arms around you. I make sure to angle myself as best as I can and try to make it a side hug, and then quickly peel them off.

The girl who was obsessed with wanting to hug me (everyday she would extend her arms out and go "HUGGIE!") I've spoken with her mom. Her mom appreciated it and said she'd speak with her daughter. Now her daughter puts her hand up for hi-5's. I say just one and she'd slap my hand with her left and then quickly with her right before I can put my hand down.

Then she'll giggle. Everything to her is a game. She has way too much energy. LOL
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:35 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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5th Grade Teacher
I worked primary grades (although not 1st grade), and for over a decade I was the only male teacher there. It was funny to hear them say, "Mommy, I have a boy teacher."

There is appropriate and inappropriate. It sounds like you basically know where the line is. Side hugs initiated by the student are appropriate. Bear hugs are never appropriate. Teacher initiated hugs, in general, are not appropriate. High fives are appropriate.

I don't think it is wrong to have some fun in the classroom with them if it is related to the instruction. I think humor can be a great thing that helps students relax and then get back to work. Don't feel like you have to be serious. If they take too long stopping laughing, then practice showing how to stop. Tell them that you know a secret. If they put their tongue to the top of their mouth, it will stop them from laughing. (I know this because I teach 5th grade, and some of my students can be funny at times, and sometimes I know it is better not to laugh.)
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