Bumping into kids outside of class

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by gferrari, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. gferrari

    gferrari Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2005

    Well I am into the music scene here. I play music at a few venues and go to a few shows a week. I am starting my student teaching here next month. There are a few kids that know me from outside the school that go to the school I am teaching at. They also go to shows at the same venues. Do I need to cut off ties? I am also turning 21 next month. Do I need to refrain from drinking at shows that are not 21+. Is it inappropriate for students to see my drinking, even on stage?

    Weird question I know.

    I remember playing a show at a bar while in my last year of High School and seeing a couple of my teachers completely trashed, and I made fun of them for a week.... sooo is this just a question of me being mocked?
     
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  3. STin06

    STin06 New Member

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    I know some schools will not allow teachers to drink in public in the same county. It's all a matter of professionalism and reputation. I have been doing field experience this semester and I have also refrained from being in questionable situations that I might run into my students or their parents. For example, now my BF purchases and carries the beer out of stores and when we drink we do it at home.
     
  4. gferrari

    gferrari Rookie

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    I don't like that policy. I understand questioning teachers who break laws, but regulating someone's social life, especially at the salary they give us.. ;)
     
  5. AllLevelArt

    AllLevelArt Rookie

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    I'd cut off ties and give up the drinking. Student teachers have to be absolute perfection. It's not worth the trouble is it?
     
  6. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I know someone who was working as a long-term sub in a 6th grade for 5 months. He was the lead singer in a band and performed all around the area. Most of his shows were at venues that were 21+ so obviously, the students weren't there, but they did all have his CD's and loved his music. He'd bring his guitar to school periodically to play for them and they loved it. My friend's brothers were in the class and they thought he was the best! Her parents were very fond of him too. I don't think being in a band and playing locally is an issue, but I would be careful with the drinking. There may be parents in the audience and drinking in front of them may not make the best impression (depending on the parents, I guess). Like I said, I don't think the music is an issue, but the drinking could be.
     
  7. AllLevelArt

    AllLevelArt Rookie

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    Oh gosh, I didn't mean give up the music... but cut out the dicey parts.
     
  8. gferrari

    gferrari Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2005

    Ok I think I am giving the impression that I will be drunk. I am talking 1 to 2 beers. Anyways thanks for the help guys!
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Just keep whatever it is appropriate. You're still young yourself and I know how it is to just turn 21. Just keep a watchful eye and know that you are probably a role model to someone that could be there.
     
  10. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Even with one or two beers, I'd be careful... :)

    I know it can be tough sometimes, but teaching is not the type of profession that stays at your workplace. You are always a teacher. I've heard the suggestion from people that you shouldn't teach too close to where you live. I don't necessarily agree with that, but it would lessen the chance of running into students and parents while you're out to dinner or drinks or whatever.
     
  11. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2005

    There is nothing wrong with drinking. You are not condoning underaged drinking by doing so yourself. You may want to make it clear that you are 21.

    I live near my school and I shop at the same stores as the kids. I frequently run into students. I used to have a 'policy' that if they saw me, they should throw their hands in front of their faces and pretend they hadn't. Now I've accepted the fact that if I go to Walmart, I'll see a kid. Sometimes, I will go out of my way to be in their neighborhood. I take my daughter to a class in the area, I shop there, wash my car etc.

    I think having teachers in the community is a good thing for the kids, school shouldn't be full of aliens. At the same time, teachers should be allowed to be people too, doing normal grown-up things- like having a beer.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I wouldn't drink up on the stage. Are you allowed to do that in your state?
    Maybe have a beer or to during breaks. That wouldn't be a big deal.

    I wouldn't even drink at a under 21 show.
     
  13. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    No, you wouldn't be condoning underage drinking, but I personally would not want any of my students' parents to see me out drinking. Maybe that's just me.
     
  14. gferrari

    gferrari Rookie

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    mshutchinson, you are my new favorite member. I agree with this so much. #1 of course I am not saying that underage drinking is ok. #2 I am just being myself, and having fun, not hurting anyone.
     
  15. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    All I'm saying is that you have to be careful...especially as a student teacher. At the school I went to, we were warned before student teaching about watching what our away messages said on instant messager and little things like that. We were told stories about people giving their email addresses to their students' parents and then the students going on AOL or whatever and looking up that screenname and seeing the person's profile and away messages and what-not. Also, these kids are crafty and if you have AOL or yahoo or whatever, they can find your profile if they know your name and the city you live in and stuff. That's just an example of things that can happen, though. I guess you just have to be aware of the image you portray how you want others to see you.
     
  16. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    IIWY I would avoid anything, including drinking in public even though it may be entirely ethical and legal, that could have a negative impact on my career while student teaching, and pehaps until tenured. All you need to do is get on the wrong side of an evaluator and you are screwed. You may never know it was the drinking.

    As far as contact with students, just say hi and go on your way. Don't hang with them and you should be OK.
     
  17. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2005

    Personally, I don't want to remain in a district long term if it is one in which I can't live my own life. If a supervisor is going to hold the fact that I had a beer at a restaurant, or I went to a bar or night club against me, then that's not someone I want to be subjected to- tenured or not.

    I hate the current trend of teachers not doing anything the kids shouldn't do- as if we're all on the same level.
    We're not.

    I'm grown.
     
  18. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    It's funny this came up in a way. One of my "moms and dads" took me and my hubby out for dinner the other weekend, with our kids there, and we all had a drink. Drinking is ok, it's getting drunk that is not.
     
  19. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    My point is that especially as a student teacher, you need to be very careful of how others see you.
     
  20. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Interesting thread, and quite controversial. I guess it depends on how much you are willing to be 'run'. Personally, (and I don't drink at all) I have a huge problem with not doing something or going somewhere because of what someone 'may' think of me. IMHO, as long as what I do is legal and appropriate for being in public, it is also appropriate if I'm 'spotted' by a student and/or parents. Do you stop drinking altogether when you become a parent? Of course not! You don't stop living when you become a parent, so why should you stop because you become a teacher. Yes, I agree that as a teacher, you are a role model and should at least portray a 'clean' public profile, but no one is perfect and trying to appear perfect just because you are a teacher is ridiculous. I completely agree with mshutchinson's comment about teachers not doing anything the kids shouldn't do. That's taking it a little far. Those rules are there for the kids because of where they are developmentally and because they have yet to earn the privileges that are associated with being responsible for your behaviour. As far as running into students, I do all the time as I live in a small town. Sometimes they are participating in the same activities my own kids are, working at a restaurant I go to or at a store I shop at. I am not going to readjust my whole life to avoid bumping into students, that's just too much work. As mentioned earlier, keep it professional, don't get wild and wacky and don't 'be their friend' and you shoud be fine - even as a student teacher. Actually, I would welcome anyone who tried to pick me apart for something like having 1-2 beers because I would take it all the way to the top to defend my right to have a life of my own.
     
  21. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Perhaps instead of drinking "in public" I should have said "on stage" or something like that where you might be a role model for minors. I doubt you will have any problem if you have a few beers after work, some wine with dinner, or a cocktail or two. That is, unless you want to teach in Utah.

    The operative part of the statement stands, though. It would be good to abstain from anything that might affect decisions that could affect your career. If you think something might, think it is wrong that it does, and decide to do it anyway on principle, more power to you. Just be prepared to pay the price.

    Personally, I don't see an issue with anybody drinking unless it is to excess. All the adults drank around kids at parties when I was growing up. Cocktails, wine and beer were common around our house. And the kids, once they reached a certain age, were allowed to drink wine, in moderation, at dinner.
     
  22. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    Impressions - these are what's really being discussed here. Case in point - last week hubbie and I (we both teach at the same high school) attended a Local School Improvement Council meeting held in the evening and the Board of Education also happened to have their bi-weekly meeting at the same time/place so that more of the community could be involved. Unfortunately I had pulled my heel muscle earlier in the day (don't ask me how I did this, I don't know) and my heel was swelling up very nastily. So, during the meeting I placed my foot on hubbie's knee/leg to raise it up.

    The next day I was called into the principals office. He had received 2 separate phone calls about the person "who was laying on a fellow teacher" during the meeting.

    He said he defended me as far as he was able to - that we were married - but he was wanting to know why I had "laid" on him. I had to explain what was going on - he was fine and appreciated the explanation. Nothing further was said.

    But - impressions were what prompted the phone calls. I was highly embarrassed that there are community members who now think that I was being unprofessional. And there's nothing I can do about it at this point.

    It's that old "you never get a second chance to make a first impression".
     
  23. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I think it depends on the age of your students. In my opinion, as long as you don't drink heavily and don't get behind the wheel drunk, I don't see a problem with it.
     
  24. gferrari

    gferrari Rookie

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    Well from reading the thread I am guessing the right answer for me is to find a school that is accepting of my lifestyle. I guess that is something that EVERY teacher.. or every employee in general should strive for. I guess the advantage of being a teacher is an ability to work almost anywhere.

    I have known teachers in the past who lived a wild lifestyle which I would not appreciate myself, much less my kids(if I had any) being exposed to. This being my friends mother who came home drunk every night.. driving.. using other illegal substances.. This is NOT what I am saying I am going to do. I am talking about having a normal life outside school. I live a very tame life that includes playing at some venues and yes it would be nice once I am 21 to have a few drinks. I enjoy that a lot. When I am in Canada playing shows it is just more fun.

    I guess what I am saying is that as much as I want to help kids, I still want a fairly normal life......with summers free to roam around the country :D
     
  25. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    My point exactly. :)
     
  26. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Should you be able to do something that is totally legal? Of course. Will it affect your ability to do your job? Well, yes and no. Of course you will be level-headed and drink responsibly. Could a parent make an issue out of it? Sure. You'll have parents who will make an issue out of all kinds of things. It goes with the territory.

    Can it negatively affect your job? Yes. Whether it is right or wrong, teachers are expected by many in communities (including city managers, school board members, and superintendents) to give the "impression" of being "beyond reproach." (That phrase actually used to be in the teacher's contract here... and it still is in the principal's contracts.)

    If it comes down to two candidates for a position, and one gives that impression and the other doesn't, the first one has the advantage.

    I know of many cases where people were not hired as teachers because they had the reputation of being a bit too "wild." I know of many cases where teachers were not offered renewed contracts -- and although it was never specifically said, the impression given was that it was due to "extracurricular" goings-on.

    I guess it depends on the school district, and the specific principal. I've only worked for 3 different principals. One probably wouldn't have cared, so long as he didn't get too many parent complaints. But if anyone from the school board had complained, you'd be on your own. Two would have made my life miserable if I had been seen by a parent drinking in public (especially in a place with people under 21.)

    This kind of reminds me of the "I have a right to pierce my eyebrow/nose/whatever" discussion. I have yet to work at a school where any one has been hired with a facial piercing. Our two local universities won't allow students to student-teach with them. One of the two universities still requires that female student teachers wear dresses every day during student teaching (no pants..ever!) Both require men to wear a tie and jacket every day, and will not permit dreadlocks.

    I think until I got the job I wanted, and had a contract, I would err on the side of caution and not do anything that could hurt my chances of getting a contract or a job. Once you get a contract, you still have to be careful for the first couple of years until you are tenure-eligible. Once you have tenure, you can get away with "being yourself" to a much greater degree -- especially if you've proven yourself to be a successful teacher.

    Because this is a litigation-crazy world, no one is going to tell you to your face that it was because you were seen by parent's/school board members/the personal director/etc drinking a beer, or because you have a questionable tattoo, or a facial piercing, that you didn't get the job. They'll just say, "Sorry, we hired someone with more experience." or something to that affect. You can ruin your chances with a school district without you ever knowing it.

    Unless teaching jobs are very abundant in your area, your school district and school board are very progressive, and there are plenty of neighboring school districts where you can go to teach if you get a negative response, I'd refrain from drinking even a beer in front of young people.

    Just my opinion...take it for whatever its worth.
     
  27. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I had a tongue ring and was hired at a school (school 1). I have since gotten rid of it (three yrs ago). And I am not sure the people realized I had one. It was rather small so easily not noticed. When I quit my job at school 2, my replacement has an eyebrow ring and a nose ring.
    So I think it depends on the people doing the hiring.
     
  28. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    When I worked in summer camps programs, I remember when we wouldn't hire any one with a visible tattoo. I kind of laugh now, because today, you'd have a hard time finding a young person to work who doesn't have a tattoo!
     
  29. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    The tattoo thing - my principal recently told me that she'd never hire someone with a tattoo that was visible when the person was wearing professional attire...that the image that teacher reflected on the school was not the one she wanted. Right or wrong, that bias is still there.

    About drinking in front of your students in social situations...should you be able to? Yes. Will people judge you negatively for it? Without a doubt, some will. Will this affect how they perceive you as a teacher? Yes - some might find you "cooler" than others, some may judge you in negative ways. You're an unproven student teacher. You don't have much say about what you "should" and "shouldn't" be able to do. Sure, when you're looking for a first job, you can look for one that will support your lifestyle. But, during student teaching, you don't have a lot of choice about your school, your students or your principal, so you can't choose ones that you feel will accept your lifestyle. This is the only time you'll have to make the best impression you can - most of your future hirings will refer to your student teaching experience when they consider hiring you. If being able to drink is more important to you than presenting yourself in your best possible light....well, then that's your choice. But, if it were me, I'd refrain from drinking when my students were present (especially high schoolers, who are VERY impressionable), until your student teaching is over...it's only a few months.
    Kim
     
  30. mR.t-TiMe

    mR.t-TiMe Rookie

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    Hey I totally understand your situation; I've had similar problems. I would just suggest that you save the drinks for after the show and just enjoy the live music. I know, I know, drinks are nice at the show but I think it would be a better experience for you if you were sober when you bump into a student at a venue. If anything, I would encourage kids (not during class time , of course) to come out to the shows. Live music is a powerful thing! Good luck.
     
  31. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    One night I went out with a friend for a drink. We got to the bar and it was crowded and I noticed a parent across the way from me. Well I sat down and had a drink with my friend. The parent came over and asked me if how his son was doing. I very nicely said I can discuss it at school but I could not at the moment. I was about to leave but he did instead.
     
  32. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    AMK - How weird for a parent to ask you something like that at a bar!
     
  33. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Yes it was! I felt so uncomfortable but I think he had a few drinks in him.
     
  34. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    OH! So, that's why he thought it would be a good time for a conference!! :eek:
     
  35. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    That was the perfect answer. It drives me crazy when I bump into parents (I live in the school neighbourhood) and they want to know how "little Johnny" is doing. I just ask them to call the school and make an appointment so we can discuss it (nicely, of course!) - then I change the subject and ask them how they are and make small talk. :)
     
  36. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Thankfully I don't teach anymore in the town I live in. I am in a new district so I won't be bumping into parents anymore. Sometimes I just wanted to go to dinner or do food shopping and I would see a parent.
     
  37. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    LOL! I just ran to the grocery store - hubbie and I have been drywalling/painting for the last 2 days and I don't look my best. I was skulking around the store in my painting pants/shirt with a ballcap on and paint splatters up and down my arms and in my hair. I was certainly glad NOT to run into any parents this evening!
     
  38. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    I have the world's oldest jeans, they're worn out in the inner thigh, they have mysterious brown stains all over, paint, ground in soil etc.
    I was wearing them, and an old scarf halfway covering my bushy hair, as well as a stretched out Tshirt that says' I eat glue' when I ran into a parent, back in SEPTEMBER the weekend after open house.

    She, was nicely dressed in a conservative business suit, with hair that I dream about, jus tthe right amount of make-up etc...

    I didn't even notice her, but she approached me and said, "Uh..aren't you my son's English teacher??"

    all I could think of was, "umm.. who's your son?"
     
  39. HSinger

    HSinger Rookie

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    Ok. I understand the problem. I'm 23 about to be 24 in 2 weeks...and I look like I'm 17. I started teaching when I was 20, and I was teaching Junior High and High School...needless to say I was hit on quite a lot by my High School students. I had to be very careful about where I went and what I did. I now teach elementary school, but I still run into a lot of my old students. I do what I want to do whether it's going dancing, having a drink or 2 at dinner or at a bar, I just don't drink in excess. My students when I taught high school drank more than I ever thought about drinking. They also knew a lot more about drugs and things of that sort. Your students aren't stupid. They know everyone is human, and we all do things of that sort. Just don't end up being like that teacher you once saw!
     
  40. NathalieBug

    NathalieBug Rookie

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    Here are my two cents:

    Don't change your life. Your free time belongs to you and you are able to legally live it the way that you wish. I find it extremely difficult to believe that someone would get "offended" and contact the school over witnessing you drinking a beer at a live show. Odds are if they are at that live show then they too enjoy the same type of laid-back, music-loving lifestyle that you do. Being a teacher is NOT the same as entering the priesthood. You don't give up all the good stuff to maintain a reputation. That's ludicrous. We all have to accept the fact that kids these days are very savvy. By junior high a large number of children have already tried smoking, drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity. Seeing you having a beer is not going to cause them to plummet into a lifetime of destitution and degenerate behavior. I promise. :) If I've learned just one thing its this: There is nothing you can do to impress all of the parents all of the time. You'll just stress yourself trying. As long as you are teaching at a public school and not at a church run school then you are in the clear. Plus, I highly doubt that administrators and school board personnel are going to show up at any of these live shows. If you're out to dinner or at a live show and you'd like a beer then by all means have one. Being a teacher does not mean that you are no longer a human being. Besides, after teaching at the end of the day, sometimes you need a drink. :)
     
  41. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Jan 7, 2006

    Or two:D
     

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