Disappointed in my students :(

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Dec 21, 2013

    Actually, I teach in a high poverty school. I have no idea what they were thinking. My only explanation (and I'm probably reaching here) is that my students are very close to me. Maybe they thought they were getting the same kind of gifts their parents would give them?? Or, this could just be me looking for a positive in all this.

    BTW, it wasn't just these two kids that upset me. It was also that only one child said "thank you." The rest just took the gifts like they were expecting them.
     
  2. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 21, 2013

    Yeah well, I doubt parents like these live ethically in their own lives when they can't even raise their brat kid to say thank you & behaved that way w/ the teacher & principal. What a warped mindset they have! Like these parents are going to be good, genuine, kind-hearted people...I think not.
     
  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 22, 2013

    I know some of these parents. They are good people, but when their kid reports getting his feelings hurt, it's like they lose all rational thought.
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Dec 23, 2013

    Lesson learned! Don't get them anything for Easter.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 24, 2013

    At the risk of appearing to defend the indefensible:

    You teach young kids, most of whom are probably quivering with excitement over the arrival of Santa. They're bombarded with commercials telling them exactly which big budget items they "need" and with image after image of children receiving those big budget items.

    It's possible that they simply got caught up in the "gimmies" and forgot anything and everything they've been taught over the years about good manners and proper behavior.

    Again, it doesn't excuse their bad behavior-- or that of any of the adults mentioned in this thread. But even good kids tend to be at their worst at this time of year. And the fact that your kids are high poverty might explain it as well-- perhaps this is the one time of year that they expect there to be no difference between the "haves" and the "have nots", thanks to Santa. Maybe thsy simply forgot that you're not Santa.

    Of course their behavior was rude and offensive. But if it's an isolated incident--if they're normally well mannered and polite-- then I would think of it as an abberation.

    If this was an isolated incident, I would put it behind me. If it becomes part of a larger pattern of poor manners, I would somehow address it.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Dec 24, 2013

    I am, once again, floored by your characterization of children (brat kids).
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 24, 2013

    I took a gift away from a student a few years ago--it was the end of the year, and I had gotten each child a nice bookmark and a Scholastic book (a sequel to a read-aloud we had done). I had written a personalized note inside each one. I had one student who had had a really bad attitude all year long. I really struggled with that note; I spent a LOT of time on his finding the right words and writing something positive and encouraging. When I started handing out their gifts, he started complaining about them being stupid and not even wanting one. I immediately (and without a comment or a look) took his back. However, his father was at the school for awards day that afternoon, and I knew that he would be back me up on the issue. I talked to him and then gave him the book to give to his son after they had a conversation about gratitude. I got an apology letter in the mail the following week...
     
  8. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Dec 24, 2013

    That was a neat way to handle it! Especially since you knew he would actually get the discussion.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 24, 2013

    So sorry, jerseygirl! I only had one bad reaction to my book and candy present. I had one girl snort and say "I already read this book." You better believe I snatched it right back and said "Well, I'll be sure to give this to someone who hasn't." She apologized later.

    Kids ARE just brats sometimes. I never would have dreamed of acting the way they act sometimes.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 24, 2013

    I had a student win something last week. He was CRUSHED when it wasn't the/a new Grand Theft Auto for whatever game system.

    :dizzy:
     
  11. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Dec 25, 2013

    Lesson learned!
     
  12. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Dec 26, 2013

    I'm not defending the OPs students at all, but can their behavior at all be linked to them being special education students?
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 26, 2013

    No excuses for students in special education! They know right and wrong too. ;)
     
  14. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Dec 29, 2013


    Yes, this is so true.

    Another thing to consider is that children living in high poverty are under a great deal of stress, even more so when the holidays approach. Their families are more under stress at that time - worried that they can't provide the kind of holiday they feel their family deserves. The children feel this extra stress and internalize it.

    Their reaction to the gifts shows that they are hurting inside. They have most likely been greatly disappointed many times in their young lives. Rather than approaching them as if they are unmannerly or ungrateful and behaving in a punitive way towards them, it will be more helpful to them to show compassion.

    Sometimes it helps to precede gift giving with some thought provoking questions: Have you ever received a gift that you didn't like? What did you say? How would the gift giver feel if you told them you didn't like their gift? What is a good way to handle getting a gift you don't really like?

    A discussion like this enables everyone to become more aware of other people's feelings. It helps children to understand how to behave in this situation.
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Dec 29, 2013

    I appreciate the feedback, however...

    While I might be on board with the "they got caught up in the moment", I cannot agree with excusing their behavior because they have learning disabilities or because they are from disadvantaged households. (I know that this wasn't said outright, but I'm sensing the implication from a couple of the posts). These may be factors to some degree, but I feel that they need to be accountable for their actions.

    I mean no disrespect Schoolteacher, but I think the best way I could have shown compassion would have been to show them that their actions have consequences.

    That being said, I'm over it. I forgive them and will be happy to see them when school starts again. :)
     

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