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  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:19 PM
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microbe microbe is offline
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How can I deal with students mocking me?

Unfortunately it has gotten extremely common for students to mock me behind my back or to my face. I'm really not sure how to deal with it. Up to this point I have been ignoring it all, but it has really started to get to me and affecting me at work.

I get mocked because I'm a very small woman with a "nerdy" voice. Apparently I have a very strong resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. When children mock me, they'll either call me Velma or impersonate my voice. I'm not sure how to exactly handle this situation, especially when they mock my voice, because they can easily say they didn't do anything wrong.

So how can I manage getting personally insulted?
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:31 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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The students will say what they will on their own time, but it is NOT acceptable for them to be this rude to anyone on your watch. You may be hestitant to give consequences because you don't want to seem weak and hurt, but I think it's possible to be so cut and dry about it that it doesn't seem like you're hurt, only that you're not one to allow such disrespect in your classroom.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:32 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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I think you have a few options, depending on what you're most comfortable with. You can ignore, give them "the look", or just laugh and say that you've heard that one before.

I have a strong (very strong) North Dakota accent. Think "noooooootes" and "booooooooats" and "wei-gins" (instead of wagons, which is a common vocabulary word in the subject I teach). Students always make fun of me. I just laugh it off and make a big show of thinking of synonyms so that I don't have to say the words that they'll make fun of me for. At the same time, I don't think that they're being mean-spirited, so it's easy to laugh. If they were being mean-spirited, like calling me fat or something, it would be harder to laugh it off, but I'd probably try to go in that direction because it suits my personality and seems believable. I also think that it catches the students off guard enough that they are shocked into behaving, at least for a while.
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
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Agree with Caesar, you do have a few options.
1. Ignore. Especially if they ignore you behind your back, what can you do about it? As far as mocking you to your face, give them a lot of work, keep them busy, and any mocking should be dealt with as if they were being disruptive, for example tell them to get back to work, etc. a lot of things stop when being ignored, because these things are done to annoy the teacher. If it's not annoying, it's not fun.

2. don't ignore it, but don't make a big deal out of it. Try to laugh with them, just like ignoring it, it will lose the fun, so they will probably stop after a while. I have a European accent, it's not thick, but it's definitely there. Sometimes, once in a while someone will say something with an accent, in a girl's voice, obviously mocking me. Honestly, it doesn't even sound like mocking, it doesn't hurt my feelings, it just sounds silly. All I say is: "really? you're gonna make fun of my accent?". (as in: that's all you can do? or after all the respect I've shown you, you'll mock me? it can have different meanings, based on how they perceive it). They stop, and never do it again. This has only happened a handful of time in a year and a half. I think if I would have gotten upset, they would have kept it up, because they would've found something that got to me.

3. If you do want to assign a consequence, you should do it in a matter-of-fact way, without being emotional. I would say something that mocking is mean spirited, can be hurtful, and you would never allow them to do this to another student. So you have to assign a consequence, because other wise they won't learn. You can give them a final warning, or assign the consequence. It is disruptive, because they are making noises, and are being disrespectful. But however you deal with it, you can't let them think that they hurt your feelings, because they might make it worse (everyone does it, and then you have to punish the whole class) or they found something else to get to you, because they see you as weak.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:59 PM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
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I think you should embrace it, or don't ignore it. I don't know what a "nerdy" voice sounds like, but if it's something you can't change, use it to your advantage. Clearly it bothers you, so if you ignore it, you will continue to get your feelings hurt.
Once they know they can't get to you that way, they'll drop it.
Only you can control how you feel, you can choose not to be insulted. Especially by obnoxious kids.

OMG!! As I typed that last sentence I heard something related to this. I'm watching the DVR which is showing Oprah's Lifeclass. Rick Warren is talking about living with the hand you're dealt and being okay with things about yourself that you can't help.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:02 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartDrama View Post
OMG!! As I typed that last sentence I heard something related to this. I'm watching the DVR which is showing Oprah's Lifeclass. Rick Warren is talking about living with the hand you're dealt and being okay with things about yourself that you can't help.
I don't see this as being about HER, but the students. The students are behaving in an unacceptable manner.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:04 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Label the behavior and move on...."That's rude. Finish your work." and then focus your attention elsewhere.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:10 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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I just realized you're a sub. That does change things. I like the idea of expressing that it's rude in a non-emotional manner and having them get busy.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:57 PM
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HeartDrama HeartDrama is offline
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Eh.. I could be reading too much into it.

Cza's suggestion is good.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:23 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czacza View Post
Label the behavior and move on...."That's rude. Finish your work." and then focus your attention elsewhere.
I think that this is also a good suggestion.

I have done this before. I've also given an eyebrow raise, sort of like, "Hmm, interesting", and told them to get back to work. It has been effective for me.

Students do this sort of thing because they are looking for a negative reaction. They expect teachers to either get their feelings hurt or to blow up, both of which are evidently amusing to watch. Don't be their entertainment for the day.
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