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!