Disrespect

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by MissaG, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I am so frustrated and beyond ideas of what to do with my students, I need any advice I can get.

    Somewhere along the lines, my students have been taught that they are on the same level as their teacher. They think that they can say what they want, when they want to figures of authority. And quite honestly, I have gotten so frustrated with it, that the kids have seen my anger, which I think might be making things worse.

    They switch classes, I have one class of fifth graders and one class of sixth graders. The other teacher that they see doesn't always make that distinction between friend and teacher. It is a small school with only one class per grade level and I think that it has been this way with several teachers on the way up.

    Besides them yelling at me, slamming their desks/chairs, smacking their lips at me when I tell them something that they don't like, they also go as far as making comments to me that they think I would laugh at. For example, I wear my hair flipped out and one day when I walked into breakfast, two boys said "We have a comb in our bag if you need it." Or last Monday when a couple of boys told me that if I cut my hair any shorter I will look like a man.

    We went on a field trip last week and simply telling a student to stop kicking another student caused him to start huffing and puffing and called me stupid.

    The parents are unsupportive, I can tell by the tone I get daily that it is the norm for them at school, home, etc...

    I seriously don't know what to do and feel like I will end up blowing very soon. I never thought it would happen, but I have turned into a yeller during these disrespectful situations, but all I really want to do is cry!

    I know that I do need to move down to a lower grade level, but I need help getting through the year!
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jan 13, 2007

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it?

    Unfortunately, this problem is all over in schools. It's all about parenting or lack of. You can only do so much..... continue to show them what you expect in your room, and then enforce the rules. It's difficult, but I think you can get through it. Good Luck.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Oh my goodness. And I was going to tell you to move to a small, private school. Our students wouldn't dream of doing anything like you describe. Not in a million years.
     
  5. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Don't give up on yourself or these kids. Grade level is no excuse for students to be treating their teacher (or anyone else) disrespectfully.

    I know it is hard, but I would try really hard not to show your anger. If possible, ignore their comments or respond with "That was disprespectful" and move on. You are correct in saying that your response might actually be making the situation worse. Of course, if it gets too vulgar, you will have to discipline the students however your school works. (Do you have any support from admin on this?)

    I would also recommend coming in next week with very high expectations and let them know what your standards are right away. For example: From now on, you are to speak only when called on, stay in your seat unless you have permission, and work silently unless given specific directions to work with others. You may raise your hand to ask questions during class. You will show respect to your classmates and to me. Any violations of these rules will result in (whatever your school has set up, or you may have to make this up yourself - detention, etc.). Be extremely strict for a couple weeks and see if the kids respond at all. I am curious about admin and the discipline policy in your school - it seems like there is a bigger issue here! Good luck.
     
  6. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I think there are bigger issues... The kids are allowed to make WAY too many decisions around there. When a conflict arises, it feels like the students' word is taken over anyone else's. For example, if admin hears that a student was disciplined in my class, the student is asked what happened and often times other students are called in to explain their side of the story before I am ever even asked.

    Basically, the discipline I am able to enforce is a detention after the name on board and checkmark. The detention is served during their special time (music, art, spanish, etc...) Which, half the time they don't care because they want to miss that class. This leaves me with less plan time and babysitting time where they think it is all a joke.

    I have tried coming back tough with high expectations and seriously, it doesn't matter how many times I lay out my expectations, the same crap happens over and over again.

    The principal made a comment after a situation where another teacher sent a student to the office along the lines of "If you send your problems to me, you are basically saying that you can't handle them."

    I don't feel very supported by anyone and I really don't know how else to handle it. Some days, I get so frustrated that if I didn't have financial obligations, I would walk right out the door!
     
  7. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Wow. It is a shame that all the adults - parents AND admin - seem to be taking the students' side. The only thing I can say is that if you continue to be the bigger person, you CAN get through the year and maybe one or two students will be changed by your persistence. I am sorry that you are going through this with no support.
     
  8. darkangel

    darkangel Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    oooh I lose my temper sometimes too and the moment I do I actually see 2 kids in particular smile!!!! like they won that helps remind me to be calm!
     
  9. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I subbed this past week for a rude, disrespectful bunch of fifth graders who just about drove me crazy! Every time I told them to do something, they felt that they could question or ridicule what I had said.

    It went on all day! And, it was about everything from minor procedures ("Put your completed papers on this table.") to more important things. When I tried to talk to them about it and tell them what they were doing was inappropriate, they just didn't "get it."

    Finally, in the afternoon, I told the class what order I wanted them to go to the restroom. Yet again, a student was trying to tell me a better way to do it. He said, "Why don't we...." I lost it and yelled, "Because we are going to do it the way that I just told you!!!" Aaaah!

    I'm lucky - I can just choose not to go back there again!!
     
  10. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Jan 14, 2007

    We've had a similar situation in our school. All the parents were called in and explained a no-tolerance for rude comments and/or disrupting the class.
    We started putting the kids on a chair facing a dull wall every time they were disrupting the class. We explained it to the parents and made sure they all understood that the kids themselves chose whether to face the wall by themselves or to be with the others. ("Are you with us - or without us?") Not all parents liked the idea but even the principal supported it and helped explain it to them.
    We still use it -when needed (Which is not often nowadays :) )
    We had spent a long time trying to explain it to them that they had to be nice, considerate, respecting others etc. but they just didn't get it. That's why we decided to just say "No more!" and go drastically at it. Enough was enough.
    It has truly helped, and the kids know we mean business. Now that they know that, we're discussing -again- Why we need to respect eachother, that rules are made for their protection etc.

    Good luck with your class. I know it's tough, but worst case scenrio is that at least you might not have to see them again next year ? (If you don't get backup from the admin then it's a very difficult situation. :( )
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jan 14, 2007

    No advice - I'm glad I teach 2nd. :D

    We have 2 recesses a day - I can keep them in at this time for either behavior or work related issues. For most of my kids, this is a very effective motivator.
     

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