Apparently I’m “mean”...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by CDOR79, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2018

    So I was a co-teacher in 4th and 5th grade about 10 years ago and then after that I was a third grade teacher for the 8 years that followed. I was well liked by all students and never had any major issues at all. I developed a reputation at my school for being a fun but firm teacher and one that students were excited to have for the year!

    I just switched schools this year and now teach 5th grade. Apparently the “buzz” going around with these students is that I’m “mean”. It seems to be more with the girls than the boys. For the life of me, I’m not sure where or why they’re getting this opinion, as I’m using the same approach and have the same balance/attitude. I’m firm with my discipline but do my best to incorporate the balance of “fun” things...being silly, being funny, having conversations with them during lessons to connect with them on a different level. There are lots of times I cut out the silly stuff though Bc the MINUTE you go there, they lose it and it takes 5 times the work and effort to bring them “back” and get them focused on the lesson again.

    The only thing I can think of that they’re referring to is my frustration they see when of I constantly having to REPEAT myself Bc these kids today do not listen! I’m sure many teachers on here will agree. When I say “listen”, I don’t necessarily mean in terms of discipline, I mean following directions, following “orders” (take out your books, etc). There is nothing more draining and exhausting to me to have to repeat myself a thousand times. Or you give directions more than once so ALL students hear, and you say it in various ways to reach all students, and then there’s always that one that asks again. So of course, after this occurs on a daily basis, you lose your patience. It’s their “I don’t have to listen, I can do whatever I want to, I have no regard for authority” attitude that discourages me and shuts me down, then changes my attitude.

    Anyway- I won’t go on anymore. In a nutshell, I’m not sure if it’s ME, it’s it them being too sensitive to my ways, or maybe even ME being too sensitive about being thought of as “mean”. The thought of being unjustly painted as this teacher to the class, and even to their parents, hurts me. I’m SURE they go home and give a full report every day. I already had one parent email me saying her daughter is “afraid” of me and I “yell at her every day”. Meanwhile- the truth is I’m not YELLING, but correcting her and telling her to stop talking when she’s not suppose to be. Do I scream as I do this? Honestly- NO. I guess to her, I’m yelling and instilling fear lol. Perhaps their discipline in the home is very different and she’s not used to me. The funny thing is she’s so afraid but yet- she’s still talking all the time!!! LOL

    All of this is honestly making me question if I want to continue to teach. I am not cut out for this new generation. I was raised VERY differently. I have different standards and different expectations. It’s either I conform to them (not sure if I can or want to) or I find a new career.

    Just looking for input. Thanks!
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2018

    I teach 6th grade and I feel like I have a lot of students who don't like me either. I got called mean because I told a student there would be consequences if he refused to give me a paper airplane! I figure that it is just the age and I try not to let it bother me.
     
  4. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Nov 17, 2018

    Yes, times have changed. Students give their opinions whether sought or not, and they feel they have the right to comment on everything.
    Don't worry about it. You are fine.
    Sounds like your kids are accustomed to running the show. How good for them and their future selves that you are their teacher this year. Now they can learn how to follow directions. Don't despair!
     
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  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  8. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2018

    Thanks so much for the replies! I’m glad it’s not just me that part of this the attitude of this generation. It seems like you can’t say anything to these kids without a parent confronting you about it. I’m at the point where I dread reading my email, wondering what I’m going to be questioned about. It’s not all parents- but just those few but they are ENOUGH! Lol

    What’s so frustrating is that I honestly feel like I TRY to have that balance and not lose my cool/patience when the situation calls for it. And here I am trying- and this is the opinion. So disheartening. I know I need to keep the audience in mind though...just not so easy to do.
     
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  9. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I guess, you could that I am mean because I actually care about my student's success and will work with them during lunch to retake assessments or finish assignments. Oh...I also...deduct minutes from free time. Behavior improvement.........that makes me intensely mean. (this is mostly sarcasm.)

    I am definitely not mean when there is a pizza party or no homework.
     
  10. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I've been called "intimidating" before, but never mean. One said I was intimidating because they've never seen me make a mistake before, which I thought was funny. I am not super smart, I just make sure I work out all the problems carefully before I present them to the class. I know some in my department are more prone to "wing it".Now the very fact that they had no problem telling me they thought I was intimidating though may mean I'm not all that intimidating....
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  12. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2018

    Thank you again! I appreciate the reassurance.

    Yes- there is NO such thing as consequences anymore and teachers are up against the students and their parents. We are outnumbered! Lol

    I can’t seem to shake the feeling I have though and I HATE feeling this way. I keep trying to tell myself that it’s a combination of everything and that I will do my part and try to just be more patient and maybe not react as strongly when I reach THAT point. It just feels kind of tainted now and the thought of having to face and deal with those few students tomorrow is annoying me lol. To be honest- I almost feel like I’m back in high school where you had people making fun of you. The way these students were snickering as we were discussing this the other day...it made me think to myself, “my gosh- what the heck do they think of me and what are they saying about me?!” It made me feel like sh**.

    I’ll just have to grin and bare it and make the best of it. Hopefully this will just pass and things will just move up from here.
     
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  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I also feel like part of the problem is that other teachers sometimes allow students to talk about other teachers around them. Personally, I shut it down as soon as I hear it or ask the student to talk to that teacher. I have one student who regularly complains about me to another teacher for no good reason. I think that this teacher needs to put a stop to it. I went out with another teacher who told me that kids in her homeroom complain about the English teacher. I think it is her job to tell the kids to stop, which I don't think she does!
     
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  14. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    I agree. No teacher should ever allow that. It sends the wrong message to the students.
     
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  15. miss_roxy

    miss_roxy Rookie

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    I agree that student's should not be allowed to talk about their teachers like this, in the hallways or classrooms or otherwise. What they say at home and off school grounds is one thing, but if their is a "buzz" going around - that's a total bummer for morale. The other adults in the building who overhear this stuff should be squashing it, ASAP.

    I know I am a well loved teacher. I also know some kids really don't like me at all. It does bug me a little when a student doesn't like me, but I can't let it get to me, and I certainly won't compromise my professionalism to try to win them over. It would be awful to feel like I was vying against my colleagues for the popular vote of the kids.

    I remember teaching in the next class over from this one new guy. The kids loved him - they thought he was fun, funny, and wacky. BUT, his classroom was always SO LOUD, frenetic, disorganised, and he very weak classroom management skills. He was always talking over the students and repeating himself. Academically they were not learning much of anything, because kids were hyper-stimulated and in FUN MODE ALL THE TIMEEEEE

    Being "the fun one" isn't everything. Creating a safe, welcoming space for kids to explore, grow and learn will get you much more respect and adoration in the long run.
     
  16. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  17. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  18. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2018

    Yes- you’re all so right! I have to learn to change the way I think abut some things...not all students will like me and that’s OK! I think that’s my biggest lesson here.

    These kids today are so very different today. God only knows how things will be in years to come...

    Thanks again!
     
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  19. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    When kids start to complain about other teachers I remind them that they don’t have to like them but they do have to respect them and be respectful of them.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Not letting students do what they want when they want = mean
    They need to deal with it.
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I think this goes back to the age-old adage, “You can’t make everyone happy.”
     
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  22. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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