Do your students ever hurt your feelings?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by LittleShakespeare, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I've always been told to take this job with a grain of salt, and that I shouldn't be too sensitive. Of course, teaching has helped me develop thicker skin. Maybe it's just because I'm at the wrong school. But I wonder, do your kids ever hurt your feelings?

    I like to bring treats for my students on special occasions, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I have so many nasty students at this inner city school that say, "Why didn't you bring us full donuts instead of munchkins?" I actually have one student who asks me for food on a daily basis with such an attitude. "Can you actually bring candy tomorrow? I'm a vegan and don't eat donuts." Mind you, she still takes a lot of donuts home "for mom."

    Many of them don't even say thank you.

    I'm on vacation in Greece now, and I got really sad. There was a tour guide who said to me how one teacher bought Greek bookmarks for all her students. If I were to do that, my kids will be so mean to me, asking me why I brought them that instead of something else.

    I plan on finding a new job aside from this nightmare of a high school, but hearing those things makes me feel really small and hurt inside. Has anyone ever dealt with this before?
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  4. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Agreed! Enjoy your time in Greece, don't let it get you down! :) Maybe instead of bookmarks, buy an artifact that goes along with your content that you can show for years to come? Perhaps something to do with Greek mythology? I teach ancient history, so I can think of a billion things I could buy ;)
     
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  5. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    What you wrote is not that bad. If that is the jist of it, consider yourself lucky.
    My HS kids walk out when they want, go to admin by telling lies about me to try to get me in trouble, and post pictures of me on snap chat and write how they hate me.
    I have never had a snap chat account. The trustworthy kids come up to me and tell me about the posts when it just happened. They said that I am not the only teacher they post about though.


     
  6. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    We actually do assess social skills at my school on report cards. Teaching them comes through modeling and processing kids through BIST (our discipline system), but we actually do grade effort, attitude, how well they get along with others, etc.

    @LittleShakespeare After the first complaint, my standard response is, "The polite thing to say when someone gives you something is 'Thank you.'"
    If they keep complaining, "Ok, I just won't bring you treats if you're going to be rude about it." Stop bringing them snacks and treats. When they complain or ask about why you stopped (which they will), say, "Whenever I brought you treats you were rude and ungrateful. I don't have to bring them, and I don't WANT to bring them when you are rude about it."
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  8. TrademarkTer

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    It's funny....I teach in a very wealthy area, so you would think many of my students would be spoiled and ungrateful, but it's in fact the opposite! The vast majority thank me even for a little Jolly Rancher or Dum Dum. I did have one kid who told me "you should fill your candy jar with Blow Pops instead." I told him I'd be happy to fill it with the Blow Pops he brings in ;). That shut him right up.
     
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  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I've been thinking about this for a while and it dawned on me that over the past 10+ years all of the parenting books told parents to give kids choices so they could learn to be independent and make decisions. They are being taught to tell you when they don't want or like something. Sadly, they aren't taught tact to go along with it or what we would call social graces. Gone are the days where the opinion of the child didn't matter and they were expected to graciously accept any gift with a smile and a thank you.

    I do see what kids are doing as rude, but it doesn't surprise me how a great parenting idea from a psychologist went so far off track.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Funny thing, in our schools, many kids do bring in replacements for the candy jars in the classrooms. They appreciate the gesture of the teachers and if they partake often they tend to help replenish the stock. However, I will say that it is often done for teachers who really treat the students with respect and are fair to all opposed to those who pick favorites or are terribly sarcastic or unkind. There are both types in the school.
     
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  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I would tell them the polite thing to say is "thank you" or "no, thank you". Both are polite responses. You shouldn't have to take something that you don't want. Kids need to be taught how to politely decline.
     
  12. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    True. It's usually in the context of birthday treats and they've already touched it so I tend to skip declining, but you're right - it is important to know how to politely decline.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    They are being raised by parents who know that in the business world you need basic manners. So, they insist on manners in many cases.
     
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  14. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    When someone is rude/ungrateful/selfish I take it to mean that my job as a teacher is larger than the curriculum. I don't take it personally--ever. It is a result from all of the points aforementioned. The kids I teach will always come down on the offending student, "You don't have to be rude." They know what is proper. Most kids do, but don't always practice what they know. I will state, "Of course, the polite thing to say is 'Thank you" or 'No, thank you'. Let's see you be polite. One day you will be glad you got to practice your manners now. Sometimes manners are the very thing that can help you edge out someone else for a job. I do teach in the private sector, but it is my experience that kids are the same everywhere. We just have to tell them that we don't accept rude behavior. You can't allow it to hurt your feelings. We give because we love and want to bless, not because we expect gratitude. It is a great chance for you to give them some life skills. :)

    I wish you the best in your efforts to balance a desire to give and bless your class and the need to step back from unappreciated kindnesses. Hey, I'd be thrilled to get a bookmark from Greece. Have fun!
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    The meanest thing I've ever heard happened this year. I have a Head Start, and my kids are 4 turning 5 years of age. One of the spoiled boys (yes, he is spoiled) was giving me a hard time one day. All I asked the kid to do was tie his shoes. He whined, cried, performed for 10 minutes. I said, "Nobody is going to come in here and rescue you. I need you to tie your shoes." He stood his ground, then push me. Okay, that was it. I said, "You are not allowed to hurt my body. Now get over there and tie your shoes. And, I am definitely sticking around after 5 today to see your mother."

    And you know what he said to me??

    "You're mean!"

    What the??

    The room got silent, and everyone looked at me. At that point, he had the power, because he knew that was the worse thing you could say to any adult. It was borderline name-calling, as if I was a serial killer.

    I stood my ground. I said, "You will tie your shoes ______. YOU know how, and I am not doing it for you. And nobody else is coming in here to do it."

    And I walked away.

    And yes, he tied his shoes.

    Sigh....It was quite frustrating. But I was able to recover, and not show how much it upset me.
     
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  16. Minnesota

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    Yes, my little EL kids did hurt my feelings recently. I pick them up for the pull-out instruction after lunch, and often they are still hungry and forget their snack at home. So, I bought some simple snacks, such as pretzels or mixed nuts (not peanuts), just in case. I buy big packages that last a while.

    Lately, they started telling me that they don't want pretzels anymore and what else do I have? So, we had a conversation that I am not a supermarket and they should be grateful to me that I care for them to buy them snacks with my own money :( Well, I hope that I would play a small role in helping them grow up respectful, grateful and polite. There is still time and hope.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sometimes teachers bring treats so that the students will gush appreciation, giving the teacher a feeling of, well, almost power. That shouldn't be the reason anything is given. If you struggle with disappointment because students would state that they would prefer this or that, get over it. If you are looking for "appropriate" responses to your generosity, offer the same treats to teacher friends. For the most part, they are aware that nothing had to be brought, and they will respond positively.

    I bring Jolly Ranchers once in a blue moon, but that's it. Some students would rather have _____. I simply shrug my shoulders and state that they are not obligated to take a JR, it is their choice. Most important part of the verbal exchange is that it is honest. They would prefer a Snickers, as would I, but the JR is all I have, so take it or leave it - it's not a popularity contest, nor do I care if they take my treat, properly "thank" me, or appreciate my effort. I saw JR's, bought them, and will share what I have if they want it - it isn't a personal affront if they decline, even with a comment, because I wasn't trying to "buy" popularity. I simply didn't think it was fair for me to eat the JR's in front of them without having enough to share. I can't control their manners, but I still remember my mom telling me not to eat in front of others if I didn't bring enough to share. The truth is that the only person's actions we can control is our own. Just what I was taught. . .
     
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  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    So you would have bought the Jolly Ranchers to sit at home and eat on the couch if you weren't a teacher?
     
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  19. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Vickilyn, I feel like you always misinterpret my posts. I'm not trying to bribe my students or buy popularity. I do it because they're my kids too and I do love them. Please give me the benefit of the doubt instead of classifying me as egotistical.
     
  20. rpan

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    My kids are generally appreciative when I bring them lollies and goodies.
    If a student is being ungrateful it doesn’t bother me as long as they aren’t being rude. I just tell them they don’t have to eat it if they don’t want to and what I have to offer is what I have to offer. If they are being rude I call them out on it. I’ll say something like “you may not appreciate the gesture but you don’t have to be rude about it” and that’s the end of that.
     
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  21. Minnesota

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    I don't think the teachers really need advice on how to handle these situations. Thank you. We are simply sharing our answer to the question "Have your students ever hurt your feelings". That's all.
     
  22. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Thanks so much, everybody. I appreciate all your insight. :heart:
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Yes, if I was going to be busy all day with no chance to go to the fridge for a little sugar, no way to drive to the store, engaged in something like teaching, where I can "pamper" myself for a couple of minutes by sucking on hard candy. Let's be perfectly clear - I don't sit on my couch eating candy, but I will use JR while I am busy and not able to have something better to eat. That kind of defines teaching, and therefore the presence of the students, don't you think? :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    And you have misinterpreted me. I simply stated that you really can't get your feelings hurt unless you are expecting a different outcome than what you received. Understanding how our students will respond is something that we should be aware of, as their teachers. I don't love, but do really like my students. In NJ, the laws about treats have shut down parties with treats, student snacks, etc. What students want, and what we can offer without crossing boundaries will never be in sync. Having seen a student react to another student's snack, that contained something that he was allergic to, I always feel that I should keep it as simple as possible, in case I am going to share. I don't have the same concern when sharing with staff - they will ask if there are nuts, chocolate, etc. before starting the feeding frenzy.

    My JR's are not going to be anything to write home about, but they are not so tempting that someone is likely to take one if they are allergic to the food dye, for instance. I understand that. Hurt my feelings? Sure, when they stole money from me or wrecked my room - I am the one that has to put everything right again. Treats, however, are not something that they could hurt my feelings over - guess that is just me. I have not insinuated you are egotistical - I did state that some teacher lavish treats on students with the express intention of feeding their own need for praise. If that's not you, no worry. I worked with someone who was that insecure, and witnessed the "need" for gratitude for the "treats that were given." They came with the expectation of lavish thanks and appreciation. When that didn't materialize, this teacher had "hurt feelings." I am a teacher to my students, not a mother replacement. My JR's are about me honoring what I was taught as a child - have enough to share, or don't eat in front of others.
     
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  25. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    You're quite...compassionate? I guess? Some people aren't like you: strong willed 24/7 and emotionless. And to be honest, I really didn't need to hear your spiel on "getting over it." I simply asked if anyone experienced this before. Perhaps you should read the question more thoroughly and understand what's being asked instead of offering unsolicited advice.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Yes.
     
  27. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Fantastic.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I work with needy students. You have made a harsh judgement by calling me emotionless and without compassion. However, I will assure you that you have not hurt my feelings.

    It's an open thread, and any of us can respond based on our own experiences. That is what I have done.
     
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  29. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    THANK YOU! Seriously! It's kind of aggravating how some people want to play Dr. Phil.
     
  30. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sure, you may offer your experiences, but you also unnecessarily give me psychological advice about your needy coworker and how I have to "get over it" and stop seeking affirmation. You don't even know me, so it's a bit offensive how you come off.
     
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  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    As you just stated, I don't know you. I am allowed opinions.
     
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  32. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Perhaps we should end the thread here. Thanks for all your feedback, everybody.
     
  33. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  34. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Kudos to you for working with the little ones. :heart:
     
  35. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  36. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I mean... at least he asked if he could body slam you instead of just doing it?
     
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  37. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
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  38. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    If a 3rd grader could body slam me, I'd offer the lad extra credit, or at least a free cake.
     
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  39. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
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  40. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Here are my suggestions and rules:
    1. you cannot let a teenager get you upset or sad. You can't let them alter your emotional state, you don't wanna go home and think about the horrible things they sad and did and be sad. Trust me, they don't go home and think about what they sad to you.
    2. I don't bring in snacks. Ever. Exactly for this reason for every 2 appreciative kid there will be one who won't appreciate or won't know how to express gratitude and will say something real mean.
    3. we have a teacher who goes above and beyond by doing nice things for the kids. I was thinking "I should do things like her" but I won't. You know why? Because the kids will still be mean to her, or say disrespectful things, etc. They might feel appreciative in the moment, but it won't alter their attitude towards her.
    4. My ids don't like me any less because I don't bring in snacks for them. Sometime they mention what other teachers do and why don't I do it, and I smile and say "sorry" and then we move in with the curriculum.

    Don't take it so personally. Stop bringing them anything and just teach. That's all you need to do and I'm not being selfish about this.
    But if you do decide to bring them snacks and they say something mean, you can take that chance and educate them about manners, and gratitude. Just say " you know you should maybe just appreciate what I have brought you. I don't have to do this, but I spent my own money to try to do something nice for you. Maybe you could say thank you. Or just don't say anything, including anything ungrateful"
     
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  41. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Where I taught, teachers would probably wonder if that candy from students was ever tainted with poison!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018

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