Anyone have a good one-liner?

Discussion in 'High School' started by a teacher, Apr 22, 2016.

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  1. a teacher

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    There are certain kids who cut class regularly at my school. Once in a blue moon they show up. I'd like to have a good line to throw out when they show up, like "what are you doing here?". Anyone have any ideas?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would leave sarcasm out of it. You will gain nothing from it. You have no idea why they're skipping, they might be absent the whole day and sometimes kids have problems at home, they recently became homeless, someone died, having a hard time in general, and they might not share it with you if they don't have a good relationship with you.
    Even if they're just kids who ditch school to get high, or ditch your class for whatever reason, you will look bad in front of the other kids.
    I would and often say things like ; "looks who's back" with a smile on my face, or "where have you been?" or "welcome back" but always with a welcoming tone and face.
    If you want those kids in there, you won't get it if you mock them when they do return.

    I have one kid who does nothing in my class and always tries to ditch. Honestly he's a pain in the butt and not just for me. if i have seen him on campus, i do call on the radio for other teachers if they see him, send him to me, where he's supposed to be. When he comes in, I just say : "There you are"
    Being sarcastic would just open the channel for backtalk, resentment, arguing, etc. The kid already doesn't want to be there, why make it even worse?

    the other kids are always watching. These kids have friends in your classroom, and you being sarcastic and mocking them will make you lose those kids' respect as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    The only time I use sarcasm is when I'm kidding around with a student who I know understands the humor behind the sarcasm, is already on a respectful / positive level with me, and it's always something that turns around into a positive statement. I always avoid using it in a negative light.

    (To respond to what I'd say: I'd probably say "Glad to have you back!" or something similar...the absent folder I made has something similar to that on the front of it. Positivity and making the classroom a place they want to be in.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Welcome back

    And then give them a list if missed work.
    And then carry on.
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I'd find something better to do with my time than sit around thinking up ways to call out and embarrass teenagers for my own amusement.
     
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  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree with the others. Based on many of your previous posts, I would assume that this student falls in your category of "deadbeat "students"". This might be your opportunity to forge a new relationship with this student just by welcoming them when they return to the class.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

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    wow. I'm kinda surprised about these answers. If the students at my school had it so easy when they strolled in late every day (usually because they were involved in a drug deal or walked off campus to have breakfast instead of eating at home/in the cafeteria), they would be later and later each day.

    I refuse to do more work or inconvenience myself because habitually tardy students do not value their education or respect school rules. I'll extend some grace, but after the third unexcused tardy, you don't get to make up what you missed. But you can make up the time either with a detention or in-school-suspension.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I don't see a single response that talks about putting forth any kind of effort or inconvenience for these students. One poster mentioned an "absent" folder, which I assume she maintains all the time. Literally all people said is that there's no benefit to being a sarcastic donkey to those students just to amuse yourself.

    I don't do anything for my chronically absent students. I have kids on my roster that I've seen five times this year. When they come in, I hand them whatever we're doing. I don't even bother trying to bring up what they've missed because we both know he's there because he's been threatened by his parole officer. But there's no reason to be a jerk about it. It's his life.
     
  11. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Be the adult in the room. If a chronically absent student comes to class for a change, welcome them and make sure they have whatever materials you're using that day. Save the one-liners for your friends and family outside of work.
     
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  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    No one was talking about doing more work. All most of us are saying is to just be the same with these students as with others and don't get on their case or be sarcastic when they do come in.

    Students know that if they're absent, they must come to me. As I always tell them "I don't chase after you, you chase after me" they always get a kick out of it, but they do understand that they have 6 teachers to ask if they're absent, but one teacher will not keep all their students in mind and what they've missed.
    When they do come in during class, they always automatically take start doing the activity we're doing, and they take a paper, or I open the book on the page we're reading and give it to them. None of this is extra work.

    And as far as them doing drug-deals and that's why they're late: i don't care. I'm not there to judge them, I'm there to educate them.
     
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  13. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Many years ago, I was a new teacher at a school with mostly troubled students. Like you said, when a chronic truant would show up to class after ditching many months of school we all knew that it was only because the parole officer pressured him/her to attend school. It was rare for chronic truants to ask for the work they missed. A veteran teacher advised me that if they do ask, I should say, "You chose not to be in class, and I'm choosing not to give you the missed work." That's what she would say in that situation. I can understand where this veteran teacher was coming from. If you provide all of the missing work for those who intentionally missed many days or months of class, then the students who have good attendance and always try their best will probably feel like the chronic truants or procrastinators are getting undeserved chances and extra attention. (Even in the most troubled schools, there are always at least a very few students who do want to learn.)
     
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  14. a teacher

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    You all are no fun.

    Let's not write what we think we should do but what we would like to do.
    Any kid who regularly cuts class who you invite back with a smile is going to label you as a schmuck. I know that's what me and my friends would have done in high school.

    No, the minimum you have to do is ignore them. Let them figure out the work on their own. Don't waste your time. They probably won't be there the next day anyway, right? But a sarcastic joke will get laughs and let the good kids know the losers aren't getting away with anything. Plus they do look ridiculous when they suddenly decide to show up to class (probably because their friend who meets them when they cut class wasn't available that day).
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  15. a teacher

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    Apr 25, 2016

    Now you're talking!
     
  16. a teacher

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    It's called "enabling".
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    That is what I would like to do. I'd be 100% lying if I said that I want to be sarcastic with them. My other students see me hold students accountable, while still being respectful towards others, learning from that and respecting that. Sorry that you refuse to step out of your own thoughts.
     
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  18. a teacher

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    When you cut a class you give up your right to be respected as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I've always thought a good way to earn someone's respect is to make them a butt of a good sarcastic, demeaning remark. Make someone feel really good about themselves by holding them up to ridicule by their peers.

    OP, what I would really like to say would not be respectful, so I'll hold my thoughts.
     
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  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If I am disrespectful, sarcastic and mean to a student, I give everyone else permission to do the same. I won't tolerate bullying behaviour from my students; I can't model it
     
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  21. jadorelafrance

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    I hold my students accountable by taking proper attendance and following protocol when dealing with cuts. The vice principals deal with it and the student will/can eventually lose credit for the course.
     
  22. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    o_O
    I'm sure the next time you make a mistake in your classroom, that your principal will then have the right to completely disrespect you in front of class. :rolleyes:
     
  23. a teacher

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    Who cares about earning respect from a truant kid? Are you joking?
     
  24. a teacher

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    We're not talking about making mistakes. We are talking about disrespect to the learning environment.
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess we will agree to disagree on this matter. I treat all my students respectfully, no matter what their background, school status, etc. I'm still a positive enough teacher that I hope to make some sort of impact, however small, on all the students I interact with.
     
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  26. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This. I follow attendance procedures and mark them absent or tardy in the system. Administration then deals with it appropriately. If the absences become chronic, I email or visit their counselor to talk about it, or call or email the parent to see what's going on.
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If we expect respect, we give it, regardless of the circumstances.
     
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  28. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I really hope your students aren't able to sense the clear disdain you have for most of them. I'd probably skip your class too.
     
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  29. a teacher

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    You would skip my class if you too were a loser and eventual high school dropout. In which case I'd be glad you did! And I don't have disdain for most of them. Wrong again.
     
  30. a teacher

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    Do you also respect criminals? Because that's what these kids are in the context of the school society.
     
  31. a teacher

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    I only care about respect from those who matter.
     
  32. a teacher

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    Yeah, I guess embarrassing them openly, while perfectly okay and they deserve it, doesn't accomplish much. But if every teacher called parents and sent these kids to the Dean and assigned detention, rather than saying "Hi, nice to see you!" like a dork, there would be far less of their nonsense.
     
  33. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    You can embarrass these kids or make fun of them or send them to the dean, most likely it will not make them come to your class. Whatever it is they were dealing with, legit or not, they will not change it because of your mockery. Welcoming them back to class might not change that either, but you are an educator, you should be above all that pettiness.

    Here's an example: we have a kid who went home early one day. then missed 2 days. He is coming back tomorrow I believe. Now I could mock him and say all kinds of 'one-liners' but the fact is that his grandma died, and he went home early one day so they can travel a few hours for the funeral and he stayed up there a couple of days (all excused absences, by the way). Now I know this, because he shared this with me, along with how his grandma had stage 4 cancer and they only found out so late because she never went to the doctors and he also told me about all the family drama surrounding the death (family bickering about money and will, etc). Can you imagine how this kid would feel if you made one of your jokes when he came back??
    I also want to add that this kid has been expelled from his high school, he attacked someone with a screwdriver (pretty seriously) and he almost ended up in Youth Authority (again, he shared all this with me). he can be a class clown at times, very hyper, but also very smart and very sweet.
    I never have a problem with him although at times I have to get on him for talking too much, and then he complies. He may end up in prison one day for the rest of life, based on the stories I hear from him. he may also change his life.
    Either way i don't judge him, I'm not there to look down on him and make fun of him or decide that he's a loser. My job is to educate him, without judgment, and hopefully try to change something in him, even if I fail.

    If you can't care about the students in your care, at least not a little, you need to find another profession. And you can say all you want that I'm a fake, or a dork or whatever, a lot of educators feel the same way I do.
     
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  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I wouldn't waste my time with saying anything. Put the energy into the kids who show up on a regular basis.
     
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  35. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm a pretty dorky person, so it's probably fair to say that I do most things "like a dork," but I've never considered basic human decency and kindness to be dorky. I don't think it's ever ok to openly embarrass anyone, much less anyone that I have any kind of power over. That is the textbook definition of bullying, and no one deserves to bullied, especially not at school by a teacher.

    I have very positive relationships with my students for the most part. Do I have some that irritate me and who I just don't like very much? Sure. But they don't know that. I teach them all the same, I give them all the same consideration. My students don't have to earn my respect, they just get it because they are people.

    I try to find out why they are missing school so much. I talk to them about it. I talk to their counselor. I talk to their parents. Usually they are sick, or have a death in the family, but sometimes it's something else and I can help get their counselor or the nurse or some other social service involved and help them. Does it always work? No. I still have a handful of kids who only come to school enough to keep the truancy officers off of their backs and who plan to drop out as soon as they are old enough. But I can rest easy knowing that I did what I could to help those kids instead of adding to their struggle.
     
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  36. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Yes. They are kids; we are the adults and we are responsible for modeling appropriate social behaviour at all times. I don't like, or necessarily respect, all of the things some of my colleagues do, but I treat them with respect--always. My students deserve nothing less.
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This thread gives me the sads.
     
  38. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    If you feel nicely welcoming them back is "dorky" (I guess we can't all be as cool as yourself) then how about saying nothing at all?
     
  39. mckbearcat48

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    I was thinking "Silence is Golden" the whole time.
     
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  40. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think this thread has outlasted it's usefulness...
     
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  41. a teacher

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    I want to clarify that I am not talking about just speaking out against any kid who has had a lot of absences. I know who the class cutters are. In fact, I always make sure I know who is who in these things. For example there was a kid recently who has horrible attendance. I looked into it and found that the kid had erratic absences, suggesting class cutting. I called the kids mom and inquired and found out the kid is out due to family issues. So, fine. I don't need to call that kid out now.

    I understand what you are saying about respect. I give it and I get it. But there's also such a thing as losing respect when you act foolishly. The only question to me is whether it's worth expressing your disdain. And that is most certainly not bullying. It's called consequences, like any punishment for misbehavior. Will it change their behavior? No. But it is an opportunity to vent and most importantly it lets all the students know that if you go against society's rules, there will be consequences. If you just deal with it through a referral to a counselor, the other kids won't necessarily know.
     
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