Fellow Male Teachers: Does anyone else hate this?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TrademarkTer, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Jul 19, 2019

    We just got our rosters for September. I tend to get the lion's share of the behavior issues (not to mention, also the lion's share of the crazy parents because of the fact that I usually win them over). Anyway, when one of my female colleagues saw I had Mark [changed the name for anonymity] this year, her response was "Oh, he'll be fine since you're a man." Mark was a student that this colleague spent all of last year complaining about how hard he made her life, and how poorly behaved he was. This kind of comment gets under my skin. Yes, I will concede there may be a couple of students who, for whatever reason, respond better to men, but the vast majority of my students don't automatically respect me just because I have a penis...... It''s because I create engaging lessons, give them immediate feedback, know my content inside and out, and try to form meanginful connections. This is not easy work. This is not to mention the fact that I'm not some loud, bellowing man. I'm relatively soft-spoken. I hate to throw this word around, but these types of comments that I routinely hear come off as sexist.
     
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  3. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Honestly I think it goes back to when we were kids our moms would tell us "You wait until your father gets here!" And it is true, some students do respond better to a male authority figure, as do some respond to a female authority figure. But to say "oh sure it'll be better because you're a man" is honestly a terrible statement. It discredits everything you do accomplish because oh you're a man that's what's supposed to happen.

    I'm loud in general. Not loud because I'm yelling, or angry, but because I project my voice. Doing theater and other things I learned to make sure I was heard in the very back in the auditorium because when I was in high school we had limited microphones. Couldn't afford to provide me one everytime. Alot of people tend to think I'm angry or upset. No, that's just how I am.
     
  4. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2019

    Agree completely with this. I hear this a lot from my female coworkers as it relates to parents. The idea that I don't have angry parents coming after me because I am a male. Not true, and I believe their parent complaints aren't about gender at all but attitude.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I totally agree with this. I’ve personally witnessed my female colleagues make comments towards us men, but we wouldn’t dare to say anything about the females because of the potential fallout.

    One female ex-colleague who moved out of state had a complete fit when she found out I was given the STEM director/Dean for Academic Affairs position because she wanted it and she tried to claim sexism. I felt obliged to defend myself but my principal did all the work for me. He stood up during a staff meeting and said I was more qualified than any of the other candidates because I was: 1) clearly the best educator for the job and 2) much more knowledgeable about maths and science and then proceeded to demonstrate why (I can teach Pre-Algebra through Advanced Calculus, Calc 3, DiffEq, Linear Algebra; plus, all the physical sciences and computer science.) He went on to say that I have been in charge of Robotics Club and Mu Alpha Theta and fill in for other math teachers and science teachers without issue, so it was only natural that I was selected. He concluded by looking about the room at the staff and locking eyes with the female in question before proceeding with the meeting.

    She was FUMING and I just smirked at her for the remainder of the meeting. It was glorious and anything but sexism, lol!
     
  6. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Jul 19, 2019

    Screw her, you earned it.

    And a sidenote, a while back you were describing yourself, I left a smiley, I totally thought you were a girl. :oops:
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Oof. I get that sometimes. A lot, actually. You wouldn’t believe how many times a guy has taken a romantic interest in me... I’m not joking, the day I got hired at my school, a male student rolled up a magazine and slapped me on the behind and said, “Nice @$$.” I turned around in shock and took him straight to the principal and he was suspended for 10 days.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This all transpired during a staff meeting? Totally inappropriate, in my opinion.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    What’s inappropriate is saying another staff member is sexist in front of the high-school staff with zero evidence and yelling because you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. What’s inappropriate is impugning another person’s character because you are irate and didn’t get a pay raise. What’s inappropriate is betraying a colleague and slandering them in front of your fellow staff.

    It was handled exactly right and I’m lucky that my principal is fully supportive of me.
     
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  10. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I'm an 8th grade teacher. I'm literally the only male 8th grade teacher at my school. I do have better luck with a lot of students as well but I know why. At every parent conference the parents will usually tell me their kids like my class because I talk to them like they aren't little kids. The other teachers at my school are a good bit older than me and most of them have kids of their own so they talk down to the kids a lot. I had a teacher in college one time say something like, "make the kids like you and they wont tell on you when you screw up". I think this is true. If they like you they want to please you, especially younger kids.
     
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  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, I have heard similar comments that since I am a man, challenging boys will naturally behave for me. I wish. I am glad I am hearing this comment less now than when I first started teaching 25+ years ago. Even though it comes out of the mouths of a few female teachers, I think it is insulting to female teachers. Women have shown they do just as well in the classroom management area as men. I don't hear these comments about men from experienced female teachers. They have seen that though some men are great with classroom management, some really do poorly at it. I know myself, my classroom management was worse than my female grade level team when I started teaching. Now it is very good. My gender hasn't changed, but what I do with classroom management has changed a lot. Good training and good decisions define classroom management--not gender IMO.
     
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  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It tends to be our older female teachers who get those kids.
     
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  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I'm happy to hear that he's supportive of you. However, I wholeheartedly feel that a staff meeting was not the proper place to have that sort of conversation. As an administrator, I would've simply stated that it's a personnel/HR matter and won't be discussed during a staff meeting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  14. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I have to agree here. My P would have probably died had that of been aired at a faculty meeting. Just simply because of the nature of the conversation.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My principal and I would have never allowed that discussion to have occurred. Staff meetings are jam packed with instructional items that need to be addressed--not adult "playground" issues. It almost seems unbelievable that this happened.
     
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Be that as it may, when someone accuses you of something heinous in front of everyone, you have a right to defend yourself right then and there and regardless of the forum. She was the one who decided to make a spectacle in front of everyone and throw epithets with zero evidence and raise her voice. She disrupted the meeting once my principal announced my promotion. My principal would not have said what followed otherwise. And I think he handled it beautifully in that he didn’t address her specifically and did not invoke any one person’s name. He just said that all the candidates were carefully considered and that I received the position because of my extensive knowledge of maths and sciences and experience and not because of my gender.

    When he outlined all of my accomplishments and subject area competencies, there was no question that I deserved the promotion. She couldn’t refute a single thing he said thereafter.
     
  17. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I'm still trying to figure out my relationship with my P. I mean obviously I'm new to the school, he's my new principle. But I'm also his new VP. So we're still trying to get acquainted really. But still, HR.
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    She and I are really in sync. We compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses and I know when to step in or back down. It comes with time, though.

    The principal/VP relationship is like a marriage.
     
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  19. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    At the same time, there's also a time and place for everything. I feel like the situation could have been diffused and deflected to a more appropriate venue.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I have a great relationship with my principal. And I’m not going to wait on HR when someone is accusatory in a public forum. And I didn’t even have to say anything because my superior addressed the matter right then and there. I felt vindicated and was satisfied with the result.

    The meeting progressed after his statements and we got through all of the items, but I would have said something otherwise.
     
  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Let’s agree to disagree. The situation was diffused and the accuser couldn’t defend her position after my P very clearly demonstrated why I was chosen. He did it calmly and professionally. He didn’t rely on invective or condescension. He just stated the facts.
     
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  22. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Yeah I agree. He invited my crew and I bowling tonight so that should be fun. And of course him being my first principal with me as a VP I'm really hoping to learn alot from him. And so far he's definitely taken on a mentor role.
     
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  23. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    In terms of the OP's colleague making the male comment, the teacher shouldn't have said that. Period.

    I understand her point but the way she made it feels like it was to tear someone down rather than lift someone up. There is a different way to bring up what I think she was trying to say (the broader issue) without tearing down a colleague. I'm sorry to the OP that you were exposed to that.

    As for FMP's issue, the problem seems to be that this was announced at a staff meeting. If that was the first time someone who applied for the job and didn't get it was told this information (that FMP got it) that is a problem in and of itself.

    HR should have standard processes for sharing promotions and it should never be done in a way that makes someone who wasn't successful in the process feel uncomfortable or shocked. Where I work, that information is sent out via email first. This gives people personally impacted time to process the information. An alternative would have been for the P to talk to the unsuccessful candidates in the building in advance of the meeting.

    I feel bad for the teacher who wasn't successful. It doesn't matter if she wasn't the right person for the job. Her dignity needed to be protected and finding out that kind of information in a public forum was 100% not the way for that person to get that information.

    So did she respond badly? It sounds like it. But 100% she was thrown under the bus if she was told the information that way.
     
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  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    She started the whole ordeal with her screaming like a banshee — very professional of her, by the way — and throwing accusations and insulting my principal and me personally. But of course, you conveniently overlook that and launch into this diatribe of her being “thrown underneath the bus.” All my principal said was, “I am pleased to announce that futuremathsprof has been chosen as the new <insert title>.” She responded by blowing up. Then, and only then, did he explain why he and the other admin made the decision to promote me.

    She started it and he ended it. He did it professionally and stated the facts, nothing more.

    She lost her dignity when she started raving like a lunatic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  25. TeacherNY

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    I am always find out that some posters are male when I think they are female!! but it doesn't make any difference to me!

    In regards to the post about the teacher meeting,I think the principal felt he was put on the spot and his judgement was being questioned so he felt he had to issue that response.
     
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  26. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I'm sorry FMP but I respectfully disagree that she started the whole thing. I would say that the P choosing to share this information in this way was what started the whole thing.

    I'm not suggesting your P was unprofessional. I'm suggesting that there are typically standard processes for things like sharing information about promotions and those standards are based on decades of research and experience with human behaviour (far more knowledge than any of us will ever have as an individual).

    The reason for processes like emailing in advance of a verbal recognition of a promotion is based on the recognition that the process of applying to VP jobs is very emotionally draining on those who don't get it and that schools want people who are unsuccessful to still feel good about themselves and to have their dignity. If for no other reason than the interest of the school, we don't want people to become bitter as they are less effective employees at that point. I realize you said she is leaving, but the broader issue is how failing to protect dignity impacts staff morale, people's willingness to put themselves out there, etc.

    Part of what I see in effective Ps I've worked with is an ability to anticipate how people will feel/ react to certain decisions. Just like politicians who count up who is voting with them before a vote, my best Ps have spent a lot of time talking to staff ahead of staff meetings to make sure that they have all the important players on their team before making any major announcements in a staff meeting.

    In this case, with respect to your P, it sounds like your P either didn't consider (or didn't care? - I would assume it was the former) how this staff member would react to this news. If your P had been able to tell that person in advance of the staff meeting, your P could have sent them home if they were not in a state to be in a staff meeting.

    I would also add that no one is perfect. Your P sounds like they tried their best in the situation but I would hope that as an admin team, a different approach would be considered on another occasion.

    I would also add that unless this person is known as someone who always says things very aggressively or at inappropriate times that if this was a team I was leading (I've led a few teams over my career so I'm no expert but I do reflect when things like this happen on my teams) I'd consider it a canary in the coal mine moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  27. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You’re wrong. Sorry. The lunatic had never had an outburst like this in the past as far as I know and I worked with her for five years. I think it is ridiculous to think that my P should predict her reaction and plan for that eventuality. Really?

    Also, announcing promotions during staff meetings is a very common practice in the private industry. It’s not something new. It might be done that way at your school, but it is not the only practice that is acceptable.

    There is absolutely ZERO excuse for her behavior. Part of being an adult is not acting like a child when you don’t get your way.

    Please stop defending the indefensible.

    And about the lunatic losing her dignity when she did: one definition of dignity is defined as “a composed or serious manner or style.” She was anything but, so she lost her dignity, by definition, when she blew up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  28. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Thank you. Your response is reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  29. GPC0321

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    I'll play devil's advocate regarding the OP. Could it be that the female teacher knew something about this particular student that informed her comment about him probably doing better with a male teacher? If she's already taught him (and she has according to the OP) then maybe she's aware of a home situation or past problems with other female teachers that have been traced back to the boy not having respect for women? This isn't at all uncommon. It also works the other way. I had a male student two years ago who was an angel for me and all of his female teachers but would challenge any male teacher he had. This stemmed from an abusive father in the home.

    Some children are not raised to see women as authority figures. And like it or not, in our society, men are often viewed as stronger and more authoritative. So, some students, and it does seem like especially headstrong male students, when the choice is between two equally capable teachers in a school, will often respond better to the male.
     
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  30. Mr.history

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    Maybe but its also just as likely that this was another teachers excuse not to have a problem student. At least thats what it would have been at my school.

    Here something interesting I've noticed. I have only ever had elementary and middle school teachers say this. I never heard the female teachers say this about the high schools students. Not sure why.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

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    I've heard high school teachers say it. I've said it. I do think some students and their parents would have an easier time with some teachers because they are men. I've had a handful of parents, during conferences, tell me or their kid that I didn't need to be respected because I'm a woman. Those are the parents that were brave enough (dumb enough?) to actually say it in a conference, so I'm assuming the numbers of those that believe it are higher.

    There are a lot of young men/students that do not have any male authority figures in their lives. Sometimes that means they need one as a teacher and sometimes that means they will refuse a man's authority in the classroom. No real way to tell until you get to know the kid well.

    That being said, don't cry foul when your female colleagues make these comments and then expect them to help you enforce dress codes with your female students.
     
  32. greendream

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    I agree with this. It largely depends on the kid.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    FWIW, I've had students who were violent with female teachers, but model citizens with the male teachers. The social workers at school try to give us a head's up when these students enter the school. Some of our students perceive males as having power, since they have seen their mothers beat up. Their take away is that men are not to be trifled with because physical power is something they see as desirable. Other students have daddy fixations, since there is no dad in their life, and they blame the mom's for "not being able to hold her man." Their take away is that women are too weak to "hold their man", therefore are not someone worthy of respect. I've never asked to have a student sent to a male teacher because of these student perceptions, but it would be ludicrous to say that these things don't exist. I see this much more frequently at the SPED school, probably because many of these students have been in trouble with the law before getting to us. I would hope that I am up to the tasks that these students bring to the table without being the damsel in distress.
     
  34. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    It's the right word. It does surprise me a little, though, that you would post this so close in time to a post suggesting that parents of boys are "crazier". Did you not see how that post could be perceived?
     
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