Did I handle this the way I should have?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by riverdance85, May 8, 2013.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    May 8, 2013

    Today, one student argued with me (not the first time) and so I took her assignment, crumbed it up, and told her to leave the classroom. I wrote her a referral and after she left I proceeded to give the class a lecture about respect. I wasn't yelling, but I was very firm. Here is the part where I wanted to make sure I did this correctly:

    I told them that they had no right to talk to me in that manner. I asked them if they talked like that to their parents, and most of them said no. I told them that I was tired of being disrespected and that I do not deserve to be talked to like that, since I strive to be as respectful as possible to all students.

    After that, many students asked me if they were guilty of doing the same thing and apologized. I assured the good ones that there was no need to apologize.

    We are on a semester schedule, so I've had these kids since January. Things were going smooth until the last couple weeks.

    So, did I handle this ok? Is this how one 'tackles' respect issues? Please help me as I am inexperienced in this.

    Also- I am a first year (young) Spanish teacher, so going through an entire school year/seeing student behavior change is new to me.
     
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  3. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    May 8, 2013

    I don't think there is anything wrong with being firm and asking for respect as a teacher, but think about the message you are sending when you crumple up a student's assignment. You are telling them that you don't respect their work. It's just my opinion, but I would avoid that type of action in the future. Show your students that you respect them just as much as you are requesting to be respected.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 8, 2013

    Why did you crumble the paper?
     
  5. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    May 8, 2013

    I realized that I shouldn't have crumbled up the paper. Tomorrow, I will apologize to the student. I was irate with her, as this is not the first time she has disrespected me. I wanted to show her that I am fed up with her attitude, but I realize that this action was not the best way to handle it.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 8, 2013

    I was a good student. From time to time I had to listen to my teachers lecture the class about the bad behaviors of one or two students. It wasn't fair that I had to listen to that. It felt like I was getting yelled at for something that I didn't do. I usually resented the teachers who did that.

    I suggest private, one-on-one conversations with the offenders. Definitely avoid taking student work and destroying it. To me, that's horrible. You might have to defend your actions to admin over that one.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 8, 2013

    If you were irate enough to crumple the paper, I wonder what your tone conveyed to the students even if your voice wasn't loud. I wonder what you word choice was at the time.

    I'm thinking that it must have been harsh if the good kids thought they needed to apologize for something they didn't even do.

    I think the concept about discussing respect was fine. However, it needs to be done when calm.
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    May 8, 2013

    a uniquely worded question - you handled it in the manner you saw fit at the time. Did things improve or get better? then the answer is yes. Did they stay the same or get worse? then no. The fact that you are asking the question means that you are self aware and reflect on your methods which is a good thing.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 8, 2013

    I think you made some mistakes, but it's not worth losing sleep over.
    - I wouldn't have crumbled up the assignment. that shows that you're frustrated, and some kids (sometimes a lot or all) can and will use it againts you, as it can be viewed as a sign of weakness.
    - the lecture with the class after the student left was not necessary and may be counter productive. I have actually done this a couple of times, but I finally remembered that I shouldn't do it. For one, those students were not part of the problem. For two, they could see it that you're talking behind this student's back, and you shouldn't do it. They could see it as disrespectful, or cowardly, as in you wouldn't do it in front of her.
    I totally understand why you gave them the lecture, it seems like it's the perfect time, but it isn't.
    A private conversation would be better.
     
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 8, 2013

    I'd probably be okay with everything but the crumpled paper. I think sometimes establishing authority and being firm is okay, provided that doesn't mean losing your cool.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 8, 2013

    No, it is not appropriate that you crumpled up her assignment. I am glad you asked. This way hopefully you can look back on this 20 years from now and smile knowing that you chose to never do something like that again.

    What now? I think at the very least you need to apologize to this girl.
     
  12. cozzmokramer

    cozzmokramer Rookie

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    May 9, 2013

    I'm gonna ask for some pertinent information. Was the 'assignment' a test or something that the rest of the class was supposed to be working on independently? If it was a test and the student was talking, or being rude, or creating a distraction to the rest of the students, then I think it's okay to destroy their work and make them do it again. It the work was destroyed just for spite, then it's not okay. Just my 2 cents.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 9, 2013

    Well apart from crumpling the paper, I think it was probably something you should have dealt with calmly in private with the student. If a student is disrespectful to me, I simply don't respond. I am willing to lose the argument so to speak. I simply give them a look to let them know I heard their comment and it has registered with me. Normally just the silence and look (not a glare) is enough to unsettle them. Once I get everybody back to work, I quietly come to the student and inform them of the consequence ("Bring this letter home for your parents to sign." or "Please pack up your things and go to the office for being disrespectful in my class.") and then I walk away, allowing themselves to make them responsible for carrying out their consequence. If they make a fuss, the only one that looks ridiculous is them.

    Anyway, what's the point of lecturing the rest of the class once the student had left anyway? They weren't the ones who were disrespectful (but maybe they were).

    Also you can always give a student a zero on an assignment or a test without being dramatic by crumpling up their paper.
     
  14. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    May 9, 2013

    I have to preface my comment by saying that the way you reacted is a way that I could see myself doing in the past. But I've learned a lot =)

    Nowadays, I would have probably just written her up and let it go. Crumpling up her paper wasn't the best move (as I can tell you already realize) PLUS the rest of the class got the lecture for HER behavior. Lectures RARELY accomplish anything, anyway. When a kid does something wrong, they already know it's wrong- especially if you just give them the expected consequence. Also, I've found the best way to earn respect is to honor students' choices by giving consequences on time every time. That speaks volumes by itself...
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 9, 2013

    Early on, I did something similar to this, evaluated my reactions, learned a lot from it, and moved on.

    I asked others about this incident of mine and one teacher gave me insight and made a comment that forever changed how I approached the classroom and forever created a need to continue to reflect, think and learn new tools. At the time I was an aide. She told me I sometimes approached things like a momma bear instead of a professional. I am not telling you that's how you reacted here, but I am telling you that sometimes these incidents, if we reflect on them a bit, have a way of impacting our outlook in a way that has a potential to shape us as a teacher.

    I wouldn't lose sleep over it or worry needlessly. Rather a more productive approach is what you are doing now--asking about it and reflecting on it. Any time we make a mistake, it is a good time to evaluate what we did, why we did it, how we would do it differently, and more importantly reflect more on your core beliefs, management plan, and tools.

    I don't think it is the worst thing ever here. What I do think, though, is it is a good opportunity to learn a bit. I think you are here because you believe that too. That's a positive step.

    I also suggest apologizing to the student for the crumbled paper, discussing the matter calmly, and do a little reflecting.

    Think about it, learn from it, and move on.
     

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