Does Anybody Have a Big Mouth like Mine?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cutNglue, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I once had a job where the executive was so busy that it was hard to catch her attention to ask permission to do things or to present new ideas. When she walked through I felt like I had a 15 sec time frame to grab her attention. As a result I would throw out a statement that gave the most impact first then back track. Unfortunately her personality was too strong and she considered this too strong of an approach for me to take. If I soft peddled then I lost my opportunity. Fast forward to my current job....

    Educators are just plain busy. Sometimes I find myself heading back to that same style of just being flat out blunt to save time. Unfortunately I have new teachers and they don't know me well enough for that. Yikes, I can't seem to shut my big mouth. I say what I think. I have told the new teacher a few times that I go home and go "duh, I should be less opinionated." I tell her that I don't mean harm by it, I'm just presenting another opinion, additional feedback, etc but want to check and see if she is okay with it. So far she says she is fine and she laughs when I say it. I'm hoping that is a good sign.

    Let me see, what did I say today?

    "One kid in your class is bored (her earlier observation), she needs to be switched to the high class." "But I don't want all low kids. It's not fair to me." "It's not fair to HER." "Yes, I understand.....but it isn't fair to me." "It's not fair to HER." "I want a mixed class." "That's ideal but you don't have a mixed class. You only have her and it is not fair to HER. It's up to you though." I thought (duh, shut my mouth.) Apparently she listened though because she brought it up to the team teacher.

    Yesterday they went to a meeting where I was praised for my work with a student last year. She has new demands this year. The teachers were lamenting about how they were doing and that the new standards were impossible. CUTNGLUE. SHUT UP. I said, "actually, you aren't doing xyz enough. Here are some ways you can add more...." :eek:

    Today, the new teacher starts a sentence on the board with the word "Because...." I'm trying to teach the kids that because goes inside the sentence. I said, "sentences never start with because." Then I immediately said, "Oops, that was mean of me. Sorry."

    Please tell me someone else has a big mouth. I want to hear someone else's big mouth stories. If you have a cure, send it my way.:rolleyes:
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Sep 12, 2008

    I can't think of any specific stories, but I frequently come down with a severe case of foot in mouth disease. I have found what helps me put the problem in remission (with occasional relapses) is to force myself to take 3 slow breaths before I speak. Maybe that's why I can't think of any stories...it's been a while since I've said anything I really regreted later.
     
  4. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    Hi cutNglue! I know what you mean about being blunt to save time and be on your way! I do it all the time when I go into the office. This year though, I'm making it a point to say hello and THEN ask for whatever it is I need. I don't do it to be mean but usually I have 5 minutes to do a million things.

    I can pretty much understand where you're coming from but the one time I think you might have gone too far was correcting the new teacher while she was in the middle of a lesson. I think you really should have waited to tell her this outside of class as a mentor trying to help her out. I think that saying "Hey! You're wrong!" infront of the kids can ruin her credibility as their teacher for them. During an observation I think you should just observe and later provide feedback to the new teacher privately without the kids in the room. This way she can go back and teach the kids herself that because shouldn't be used to start a sentence (most of them probably won't even remember that she did it anyway). New teachers WILL make mistakes, we were all there at one point in our careers. I think as mentor teachers, we should be there to help them and make them feel as comfortable as we can.

    Good luck this school year! And I hope my feedback didn't upset you but I just really had to comment hehe (there goes my big mouth I guess?)
     
  5. Lakenjade

    Lakenjade Rookie

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    I have a big mouth too! I always tell everyone "don't ask my opinion if you don't really want it!"

    I haven't started teaching yet but expect that this will be a problem for me too! Don't worry too much! I hope that I have a mentor like you because I personally appreciate the direct approach!
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I have gotten better over the years, but I still eat shoe leather on occassion. My coping technique (if you can call it that) is to keep my big yap shut unless I really know what I'm talking about. I try not to offer suggestions unless someone asks, and even then I try to start out saying "If I was in that situation I would probably..." A friend once told me it sounds a lot less bossy and superior. I don't know if that's true or not, but I think vocal inflection has a lot to do with it as well. I still eat shoe leather from time to time though. I guess I just like the taste! :D
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jteach, I wasn't in directly in front of the kids and yes I did immediately say oops. I saw it and blurted it before I thought about it. I was at the back of the room and the kids were working. In my previous room my role was editor. In fact, I'm no longer working for that teacher and I'm still editing some emails and the newsletter. I apologized at the time and again later to make sure there were no hard feelings.

    My foot in mouth is a result of feeling awkward in my change of positions, people I work with and roles. I'm struggling with it a little. I've gotten used to just saying what I think and knowing that the teacher takes what she can or wants and discards the rest. It's sheer habit and believe me when I say I'm trying to reign it in some.
     
  8. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Sep 12, 2008

    My cure for my own BIG MOUTH!....
    THINK B4 U BLINK!
    I have been doing a lot of EMPATHIZING with people before I open my BIG MOUTH. I use to be soooooooo bad. Like I mentioned before that I told a teacher that she needed to use a deodorant because she stunk. Of course she told the other teachers that I was very rude BUT it had to be said. I told my MIL that she is no longer #1 in my husband's life SO stop calling and bugging him because I AM now #1. She was furious BUT I told her that's just how it is when a man gets married.
    .................NOW I THINK B4 I BLINK!.................................
    It's just simply taking time to THINK before I BLINK and open my mouth to speak. I have gotten better at doing this before I speak BUT old habits die hard. I try to put myself in the other person's shoes; (Won't fit!); and think about how I would feel IF someone else said the SAME THING TO ME. It takes time BUT there is hope of a smaller MOUTH at the end.
    Good luck,
    Rebel1
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Rebel, THAT made me laugh. Thanks!

    I'm pretty good when people ask my feedback and advice and in the past that was most of the situations. It's when it is spur of the moment, overheard, last minute conversations, things come up, etc types of situations I have trouble with. Also, I've been the "idea" person for the past 3 years. People from other rooms (teachers) come to my room and ask me if I have ideas on things. I'm going from that to a more, play by the books do as I ask type of aide position. It's gonna take time. I think it will be a negotiation of roles. The teachers are starting to include me/ask feedback and I'm REALLY trying to "think before I blink" but obviously I'm not too great at it yet.

    If I didn't get that I need to try to keep in check, I wouldn't be posting it and apologizing. These are my DUH moments for the past few days. DUH DUH DUH.

    One note on the credibility, did anyone think about MY credibility when I went from having these students in a full team approach last year with decision making capabilities to sitting in the background not even able to let them get up and go to the bathroom without asking the teacher. A few of them blew up at me over it. I know my role is not to correct the teacher, especially in front of the teacher and I apologized. Nobody considers that these students know me in a very different role and all that is stripped from me. One student got very pissed off at me over it. "Why do you not know what to do. Why can you not do that?" are common things they keep asking me. Nobody was sensitive there. Okay, that side vent is gone. It's off the point.
     
  10. EZLN1

    EZLN1 Companion

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    You have got to pick your battles.
    In the case of going from teacher to aid, I would just let the students speak for you. if they are asking you those type of questions to you, and are clearly mad at the lack of control in the classroom due to the new teacher, it will only be a matter of time before the teacher takes notice and begins to defer to you. It sucks to have to sit there and see the boat sink in front of you, but I would just sit there and play dumb if the teacher wants to act like they are too good to ask for your help.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 13, 2008

    I don't blurt things,
    but I ALWAYS get caught talking about people on the rare occassions I do that. They always come up behind me and I don't notice :blush:


    If I were you, I'd try to make an effort not to blurt things, especially in front of the students. I would be very upset if someone corrected me while I was teaching. I'd prefer being talked to after school about it. I have made a mistake before and I will admit it to them, but I'd rather not have someone point out my error while they can see/hear it.
     
  12. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2008

    I would be upset if someone corrected me as well. I would also be upset with someone dismissing students to use the restroom. The beginning of the year is so stressful......having two cooks in the kitchen would be very difficult for me. Now, later in the year, when my kids knew my rules and procedures, I would welcome the extra help that would come with having two teachers in the room.

    Maybe that is part of the struggle here......the new teachers are trying to establish themselves with their students and maybe that is why they originally wanted you to copy things, etc. Just to give them a little bit of time to establish their routines, class atmosphere, etc.

    You have some valid points and concerns. Obviously, it is difficult for you to take a back seat and not be able to jump in head on as in the past. Just remember that everytime you have a "duh" moment and say something that might be taken as rude, you put yourself further away from having what you want in those classrooms. It will be imperative for you to somehow bond with these teachers so that you can all work together with these children and make a difference. It is not a matter of who's right and who's wrong at this point.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I didn't correct the teacher in front of the students. I haven't yet done that. I did step in and over help the first day but otherwise I've been fine with this area.

    The things I TEND To blurt out the most often relates to setting up the classroom or making accommodations. Again, I'm used to being the "idea" person. It's just second nature to say "what if, what about, that could happen." If another teacher does it, however, it's perfectly okay. It's sort of a status thing.

    EZLN1, I tried to keep the respect on the teacher when the students said something to me. They weren't saying it in front of the teacher. One blew up while the teacher was right next to her but the teacher missed it. I really didn't want them to let it be known because the teachers were having trouble having me to begin with since the students already knew me and they were trying to establish their roles and were a little uneasy with it.

    I have shown some restraint. I'm just being really critical and trying to catch and learn from my mistakes because I want to make sure I don't blow this new relationship out of the water right off the bat. I want to slowly develop it. I'm just having trouble going from an outspoken collaborative relationship to a new relationship that isn't ready for that. That's really the bottom line. There is a lot tied into the role changes and emotional side of it. I struggled with my new team that first week and we are making progress and if I wasn't trying to do my part in fitting in, I wouldn't be concerned about the things I'm listing in this post.

    Thanks to those that provided a few comical foot in the mouth disease stories. I needed to hear that.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    TiffanyL, I like your post. You are right. I still think some of the things they did that first week were rude but in general they were struggling with roles just as I was. I DO want a good relationship with them and I AM trying to be more positive with them and give less "ideas." I totally agree with all of it. I even sympathize with it. I even said so to my boss when she became critical. It's just not as simple to turn things off as I had expected or hoped. I'm fully working on it. So are they. I can see them trying too.

    Other than the part where I corrected them in front of the students (I did not), you hit EVERYTHING right on the head. You have a full grasp of where my concerns are and what issues are affecting the situation. Beautifully written.
     
  15. flesteach

    flesteach Rookie

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    This happened to me yesterday! Right after I said it I was like, "Oh, you idiot!"

    I was using a yardstick to point to the board. (So I can be FAR away from the overhead light glaring in my eye!) A student (4th grade) kept talking and after I lost my patience I said, "XYZ, if you don't stop talking I am gonna come over there and beat you with this stick!"

    WHAT WAS I THINKING?
    Sometimes I love these kids so much I think they are my own!

    Of course, I would never do such, but when I had a conference with him after class he said I threatened him. Oh my. Can you say pink slip? I am still waiting on that phone call from mom.....
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    OUCH!

    I said to someone the other day I'm changing. I started my job 3 years ago with a parent mode. I'm trying to evolve into professional mode. I know the feeling!
     
  17. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I think, as someone above said, it's all about empathy. We are often so caught up in our own way of seeing things, that we are quick to express ourselves without thinking. I do it too--I try to be tactful, but sometimes I just don't feel like being that patient. It's something I work on. Funny story about empathy that I think fits here:

    We were focusing on empathy for our student of the week and my grade 7 students asked what that meant. I told them that it's being able to understand how another person feels or being able to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, so to speak. One boy asked me how far a mile is and I told him it's about 4 times around the track. So at recess, he traded shoes with someone else in class and walked four times around the track. When they came in, he said to me: "I think I should get student of the week because I just walked a mile in someone else's shoes. I laughed so hard, he made my day! He didn't get it but I told the story to the school at our assembly and everyone had a good laugh!
     
  18. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Just a grammar question here . . .

    Was the sentence a fragment like the following: "Because I said so." ? Or was it a complex sentence in which the subordinate clause came first, as in "Because I said so, no one gets recess today." The latter example is ok. It's just like saying, "No one gets recess today because I said so," just in reverse.

    This is one of those things where I have to say to my kids, "I know you were taught this at an earlier age to help you stop making mistakes, but actually . . ."
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Let's say you start with a sentence like "I was late for school because the car wouldn't start." It is perfectly legit and grammatically correct to fold it like this: Because the car wouldn't start, I was late for school." Doing this puts the emphasis on the "Because" information instead of the "I was..." information.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Those are good points on the grammar. I don't remember the question but it was an incomplete question. She was answering a story problem. I did not mean to correct it. I literally was asked to correct my teacher's English for the past two years that it really did slip out. Otherwise I really don't have a need to correct it just be right. My own English contains mistakes. This is a deaf school. Some teachers have English as their second language. They do pretty well but like I am with my sign language, they can be a little insecure and unsure so they ask me to let them know especially on parent communications. That's how I started doing a little college tutoring with a few of my coworkers. It isn't because I'm the best but because English is my first language.

    Some things I am passionate about and other things I say out of habit. Believe me, I just said it out of habit.

    Interestingly this is the first year I'm being asked to do more storytelling because sign language is not my first language. I can sign all day but story telling requires the artistic side of signing.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Actually a sentence could start with 'because'...

    Because of the impending hurricane, Galveston and nearby areas were evacuated.
     
  22. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    True, a sentence may begin with the word "because" if the sentence is constructed correctly. That is so hard to do though. I have completely disallowed my students from beginning ANY written sentence with the following words: and, or, because, but, so, yes, no. They just don't know the proper mechanics and grammatical rules to write sentences beginning with these words. What they write are fragments like "Because the story wasn't real." and think it is a sentence because they know the question they are answering. Please forgive any run-ons in this post. ;)
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I know. Others have pointed it out. That kind of complex sentence structure hasn't been introduced yet so I didn't think of it. The word "because" doesn't exist in ASL. The word in ASL is "why."

    I knew not to say it. I wanted to immediately retract my statement. It doesn't matter if I was right or wrong. The biggest point was it didn't need to be said. If it was parent communication or something, then yes I understand a need to point it out. If she was teaching something directly then I might have a point as well. It was just the answer to a story problem. That was not a big deal and it should not have been said. I knew that.
     
  24. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I agree that you shouldn't have said anything. However, if you are trying to teach the kids not to begin sentences that way, the teachers should model what should be done. What I'm saying is that I feel your frustration.
     
  25. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    cNg, all of my foot-in-the-mouth moments seem to happen at home with my husband! I can hear the little voice in my head saying "Uh-oh, not a good idea to say that" but somehow it comes out anyway! I feel that being able to hear that little voice is a step in the right direction at least, so I should get some credit, right?!
     
  26. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    I have a big mouth -- not so much in sharing my opinion, but I have been known to say things that should not have been said in the first place. I have no clue how to cure it, but to be aware of the problem is at least the first step..... now that I have noticed it, I am really trying hard to think before I speak.
     
  27. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    I am forever getting approached by other teachers to go to the administration or to another teacher about issues they don't want to bring up. I'm so blunt, at the end of last year, my principal actually sat me down and told me I had to develop an internal filter because if I didn't I would end up burning a lot of bridges. My response (in typical "me" fashion)? "That's not a problem - I know how to swim." I then got up and walked out of his office.
     
  28. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    But it is sooooo much easier to cross a bridge that try to swim in rough currents (and they are always rough around me.)
     
  29. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have the same problem ahsila. Others are constantly complaining and they won't go to the right source with their complaints. I often tell them that they are telling the wrong person(me) and that they need to go to the people who can help them. I don't want to be the one to take care of them.
     
  30. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    I have the opposite problem, I don't speak up enough!
     
  31. Sagette

    Sagette Companion

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    I do struggle with "Big Mouth Syndrome" but have learned to curb it quite a bit in the past few years. I realized that although I may not like or disagree with colleagues, it's unprofessional and rude to just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind, even if it's spot on. I have also found that people who wear the "tell it like it is" banner are usually very reluctant to hear the truth about themselves.
     
  32. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    :eek:Good Point.:cool:
     

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