Cursing in the classroom

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lucybelle, Aug 16, 2012.

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  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 16, 2012

    Out of curiosity, I looked up my school's policy, and surely enough a statement forbidding the use of foul language on school grounds appears.
     
  2. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Oh yah, this is the other thread I was reading at work today that I wanted to come home and comment on. I have never outwardly said a swear word during class that wasn't a word slip. By word slip I mean, you try and say one word while reading (ex. ship) and something else comes out. I think only once or twice has that happened where a few students noticed and I just shot them a look like "it was accident lets keep our mouths closed and move." I have, quite often, used swear words under my breath to myself in the classroom, but that is when students don't notice or can't hear me.
    While I have one of the worst (not the worst though) potty mouths of all my friends, I am pretty good and curbing that when in the presence of children.
    The moment they are out of the room or building (after they go home) you can hear those words floating down the hallway.
    As for words like, crap and freakin, some of the read aloud books I do use those words ( I skip/replace some of them, but some I leave because the character is really trying to make a point and it's hard to do without that word. The book I am reading now uses words, beyond that as well, I don't say any of those. They can check those books out from the library and read them themselves though. So, not sure what I'm accomplishing by skipping them.
    I had music playing before school the other day and a couple kids who are from a higher grade were down in my room talking to me and the song had the S word. The girl commented that she heard it and I said "nothing you haven't heard your mom say at home." She laughed and said, "oh yah."
    I love that kid.
     
  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Toot - you are in a totally different environment from most of the teachers here - I know, because my husband is in a prison ministry (not bible thumpers), and many of my students are the children of some of the residents he visits regularly (although no communication goes through us - its totally against policies from everywhere). Anyway, my students are so very used to inappropriate, vulgar language, that when I have seen other adults (or even children) use the same, they rarely even blink. (Although I will say that some of my little ones love to tattle about it, lol.)

    That being said, I have always considered teachers to be professionals. Even the coolest band directors I had in high school did not curse, smoke, or drink alcoholic beverages in front of us. Of course, that was a hundred years ago.... I think that teachers are already so maligned that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard than that of the general public. The worst thing I will say in front of my kiddos is "shoot a monkey!" when I stub my toe. That has taken lots of practice, because I used to curse in 5 languages. My point, I guess, is that we are supposed to be educated professionals, and as such, should present ourselves as such. Or, as my mom used to say, "[we] have better vocabularies than that."
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

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    When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to say "stupid" or "shut up."

    You'd better believe that I would've told my mom when I got home from school if my teacher cursed! I think it's totally inappropriate!
     
  5. Ms.SLS

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    I curse like a sailor at home. I do not curse in front of my mother or my students.

    When they ask if I cuss, I tell them it's not professional at work or school and they need to learn how to filter themselves as well.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Same here! I also do not allow my students to call each other stupid or to say shut up - it's rude, and there are nicer ways to tell someone they are talking too much!
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't cuss in class. I would only cuss in front of my husband and one of my sisters.

    I didn't like it when teachers cussed in class. It made me uncomfortable.

    "Funny" enough, I just cussed in front of my mother for the first time ever this week. It was on the phone. I was discussing a student and said "He's cute but annoying as Hell!" Oops! I have only heard my mom say one cuss word in my entire life, so I guess we're even.
     
  8. MissScrimmage

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    And yet, when I taught 6th grade, we read a novel with a swear in it. I would NEVER swear at school. I don't swear at all, but certainly not at school and I don't tolerate it from my students. You would be surprised at how well a 1st grader can curse and it earns them a trip straight to the office.

    Last year I had a kindergarten student come up to me on the play ground and tell me that another girl swore at her. I asked this little girl if she felt comfortable telling me what the swear was. She got super serious, leaned in and whispered, "butt crack". :lol:
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I don't like my students saying stupid or shut up, but this year I am working with slightly older students, so maybe stupid is okay. If the shoe fits...
     
  10. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I teach high school, so perhaps it's different in the lower grades, but it's just not a big deal in my building. I don't ever use the "F" word, but I've used pretty much every other word in class. Not regularly, but they slip into the occasional comment about a topic (never directed toward a kid), and it ends up working as an attention grabber too. Plenty of other teachers do it too... never often or to extremes, but the occasional "A" word, or "S" word is heard. Nobody makes an issue out of it, teachers nor kids.

    Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is, as long as the words aren't directed towards students. Judging by this thread, I know MANY of you are going to strongly disagree with me, and that's fair enough. Perhaps it's just the culture is a tad different here. Just understand that it's not some swear-o-palooza in my building or classroom... but it happens occasionally, and nobody seems to care. Most seem to do it themselves.
     
  11. stampin'teacher

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  12. Linguist92021

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    At 'my' jail profanity is 'technically' not allowed.
    What that means is that of course students will use it here and there, either because it slips out or because they get into arguments and use it towards each other, but they can get into big trouble if we press the issue. I don't make a big deal out of it - meaning I don't write them up -but I do let them know that they must stop. Now if they used it towards me, that would be another issue. That never happened, but I have heard it happened to a couple of teachers, and to one on the regular basis.

    I have slipped here and there, but I'm usually pretty good. The students sort of laughed and looked at me like 'wow, she's a real person'. I think a lot of them think in real life I go to the opera, sit at home, listen to classical music, and I live in a whole other world. Slipping and using 'real' language (real in their world) made me look more like a person who can relate to them.

    In my opinion as an educator we should not get to the level of our students, if it is low. We should strive to bring them up. If they talk in slang, and use profanity, we can bond with them by showing them we're up to date on today's slang/idioms etc., but it doesn't mean we should sink to the level of F bombs, no matter what the environment is.

    The funny thing is, that if I cursed out of habit all the time, I don't think my students would respect me and some of them would probably complain. They use profanity amongst themselves all the time, but they also know that teachers shouldn't. It just feels wrong, even to them.
     
  13. FarFromHome

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    The worst that's ever happened to me is when I was talking about pronouns...she and it kind of merged together. I just kept going and ignored it. I could never imagine saying anything else in front of students-I was so embarrassed just by that accident! I hardly ever cuss in my personal life anyway, so I definitely wouldn't in front of students.
     
  14. Ross

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    Profanity in the school - never. We are there to set an example for the students, to be role models. There is never a time when using profanity is acceptable. I am trying to bring the students up to a better level. Some of them just do not believe "normal" people do not curse. They are wrong and I go at lengths to tell them so.

    Unfortunately, a few years ago we had a principal that freely used profanity in front of the staff. That principal lost all credibility with us.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Aug 17, 2012

    Our Principal throws out the swear words on occasion during staff meetings. It's funny when she tries to mask it and use a better word instead. Some in the staff will end up saying it outloud for her.

    I personally think there is nothing wrong with swear words when used in context. To me, they have a place if used properly.
     
  16. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    Aug 17, 2012

    I was teaching Big Stick Diplomacy two years ago and accidentally said "Big Dick Stimplomacy"

    Oh man. The kids still talk about it but I didn't get a single call from a parent.

    I don't swear in front of my kids, but they do swear in front of and AT me at times (inner city). I've heard teachers in my school cuss at kids. Yes, AT kids. They have been reprimanded when caught.

    I've almost slipped a couple times but always caught myself. Now I say things like "What in the ham sandwich do you think you are doing?"
     
  17. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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  18. teachin4ever

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    Interesting thread.

    I'm known amongst my family and friends for having a bit of a "sailor's mouth". I don't think there's anything wrong with swearing. I do it in front of my husband, my best friend, and my brother.

    However, I never swear in front of my son, my co-workers, my mother-in-law, or my students. Why? Because while I personally don't see a problem with swearing, I respect the fact that some people do. In a classroom, there may be students who aren't offended by swearing, but chances are, there are some who are. As a professional, I choose to be respectful of that and keep my potty mouth out of the classroom.

    If you want to swear, swear. But know your audience.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    How are you refuting a generalization here? I understand you're repeating something you heard, but that's one person's (or a few people's) take on a pretty large section of the state.
     
  20. queenie

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    I had teachers who cursed either in class or in front of students (or both)- in jr. high and high school. It made me uncomfortable and I couldn't really stay focused on the lesson- just on the fact they had just cussed. I viewed it (and still do) as an attempt to make them seem cool to a bunch of kids (pathetic, imho). However, I never told my parents because I didn't want them to go to the school and complain. I knew the teachers would find out who complained and treat me differently...
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    the fear of retaliation is a powerful tool, isn't it?

    It keeps many kids from not telling parents what really happens in school.
     
  22. Linguist92021

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    I guess he only way you can do it is if staff (officers) back you up, and the students do get in trouble for using profanity. In the juvenile lock up they make it a big deal, it is on the write-up form. but if at your jail the officers wouldn't give them any consequences, then it's hard to enforce.

    Usually profanity is the least bit of my concern, it's really not a big problem (because it is enforced)
     
  23. time out

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    Only read the first 3-4 pages, but here's my :2cents:. Ever since I started teaching, I curse a lot less in general. I also don't say things like, "hell" in front of my colleagues unless I'm super comfortable with them.
     
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