HELP, Students are hitting on me!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by BarbieTeacher, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. BarbieTeacher

    BarbieTeacher New Member

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    Feb 15, 2007

    I am a new fifth grade teacher at a K-8 school and I have an embarrassing problem-- the middle school aged boys keep hitting on me. I will walk by a group of them in the hall and one of them will whistle, cat call, or make a semi-obsecene comment at me! I don't really know how to react because I rarely know which boy is guilty. When things like that happen outside of school I either play deaf, or sometimes answer with an equally obscene comment. However, as a teacher, I am at a loss. I know that I am young (easily the youngest teacher at the school) so I always dress very professionally and am so careful about how I present myself.

    My questions is, how do I respond to this in a way that will end all of this and cause them to respect me as a teacher?
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 15, 2007

    Next time it happens take the kid directly to the principal.... it's inexcusable behavior. Nip it in the bud.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You can't ignore it. If you don't know who the student is, turn to the group and give them all a stern warning that doesn't leave any doubt in their minds that you don't welcome the inappropriate comments.
     
  5. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Walk the whole group up to admin. Say what you would normally say outside of school, minus any expletives and make it take a few mintues. (Hopefully this will make them late where they are going and force them to explain themselves.) Just rip into them about respect, proper "manly" behavior, the formality of the teacher/student relationship, the rudeness, the degradation, and the thousand ways that it's just plain wrong. Or follow them where they are going, if you have time, and report the behavior (in a stage whisper) to the teacher to whose room they are reporting. Be a stone cold witch, as needed!
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Forgive me if I'm out of line here:

    Your screen name "Barbie Teacher" immediately conjures up an image... and it's not that of a professional, stern diciplinarian. I wonder if on some level you're projecting that same not-quite-an adult image to these kids?

    Or your real name could be Barbie or you could collect them or something and I could be totally off base. If so, I apologize.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It did make me wonder, too, if you were willing to be the stern grown-up at work.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The whole grade may be ripe for an intro seminar to sexual harrassment 101. It's good for peer knowledge at that age anyways.
     
  9. BarbieTeacher

    BarbieTeacher New Member

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    Haha, that is a fair enough concern! I certainly see your point. My name is Barbie... a fact I would never, ever tell my kiddos.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh, that is a riot!! No matter what the name, it is hard sometimes to be willing to make them toe the line. Well, not for me, actually, .... LOL But I know it is for some.
     
  11. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2007

    Don't be surprized if the kids do know your first name. At most schools I've been at I knew all my teachers's first and last name. If it wasn't posted above the door, it was on paperwork on the teacher's desk, or another adult staff member used first names within earshot of kids. I always remembered to call my teachers by first name, but that's just how I was raised.

    But I would talk to the administration, and if possible the class and explain the inappropriate actions the students are taking....also you might want to avoid making semi-obsene comments back, being the adult it doesn't look good for you.

    Good luck:)
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Then you have my sincere apology!!:sorry:
     
  13. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Ignoring inappropriate behavior works only once. Since it didn't work for you, it's time to take action on the whole group. You are an authority in the school - not just for your grade - and you don't have to take this rudeness! Report them and report the behavior and continue to make a big deal out of this until it stops. If it doesn't stop, there are other actions to take for sexual harassment.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Seriously, a good opportunity for a school wide educational seminar.
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Feb 16, 2007

    You are being harassed. It does not matter that these are 7th or 8th grade boys. It needs to be address. It doesn't matter that you don't know which in the group is doing the cat calling or whistling. They are all taking part of it by standing there and laughing among each other. You need to go speak the the principal immediately. Set up a plan with him or her to nip this problem before it gets worse.
    I worked in a middle school about 5 years ago. I had a 7th grade student grab my butt. I was so mad I walked out of the classroom and right into the principals office. The student was suspended for three or five days (I can't remember now). It got the point across that this type of behavior is not tolerated.
    You have already let this go on to long as it is, can you imagine what they are doing to the 7th and 8th grade girls if they have the balls to do it to a TEACHER!
    You need to go to talk your Principal on your next break, or over lunch today.
     
  16. Zrocker

    Zrocker Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2007

    When I was in the 8th grade we had a very young attractive art teacher.

    She didn't last long. I am sure it was in part because she couldn't handel us boys.

    Her method was she started to cry and said that she had been raped.

    It did stop the inaproprate behavior in it tracks and made several of my friends feel guilty.

    Hope she moved on to another school. I just know we had her at our school for one semester and never saw her again.

    She also wan't very fair in grading. So perhpas it would be better if she didn't move on to another school after all.

    I'm new to teaching in a school setting; but, I have worked juvenile corrections. I believe fairness is very important to getting and recieving respect. The fact that you were concerned about who was the responsible party tells me your concerned with the fairness issue.

    Sometimes the kid pulling another kids strings to do something is the real problem. Not the kid cohersed into making a whistle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    The real problem is that a kid would even think of doing this to another adult... but then again, the times sure have changed. I graduated high school in 1990, so yes, it was a while ago, but not that long ago.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Feb 18, 2007

    Middle school boys are full of hormones and not too full of good sense. We have a sexual harrassment policy in our handbook, and they are referred to the office for offenses you mention.
     
  19. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    I find it appalling that some people are blaming "Barbie" when she is only asking for help. This is what this site is all about, right?

    Ever heard of the rape victim stories where the police constantly blame the victims for being raped? Terrible.
     
  20. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Barbie did you ever talk to the principal? What happened?
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm the one who started the "blame"... please allow me respond.

    Anytime we're online, we can only rely on what's typed. It's not unheard of to have kids post, posing as adults. That's what I first suspected-- that "Barbie" was a kid being cute. Or that the original poster was unconsciously projecting the image of a Barbie Doll, which would not help in a class of young boys. Again, we have no way of knowing.

    As rude as it probably sounded, I wanted to raise the issue. When I found out that I was wrong, I apologized and meant it sincerely.

    From that point onward, I think the answers have been helpful. I don't teach kids that young and felt I had nothing to offer the discussion.

    My apologies again, both to Barbie and to anyone else who felt I was out of line here.
     
  22. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    1. Tell the group once you do not appreciate the behavior...be stern and even mean about it
    2. Havea male teacher or adminstrator talk to these boys about proper male/female relations
    3. Involve a coach, I as a coach have a lot of leverage over my athletes....if a female teacher told me any of my athletes were harassing her it would not be good at practice
    4. Contact their parents....make it them sit down with you and their parents and explain the situation....pretty horrifying for an 8th grader
     
  23. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    Im a guy and I kind of have the same problem with female students. I caught one girl taking a picture of me with her cell phone. Various female students constantly ask if I have a girlfriend and if Id ever date a younger girl, etc etc. I always reply with smart aleck responses. I know I should probably tell the principal, etc, but these girls are just being girls and 99% of them are GREAT students. Ive noticed that just giving smart a$$ reponses like, "No i have no girlfriend other than my history books" or "Cmon, you know teachers dont have lives," or something like that usually works. The girls usually get the picture and back off. Its just the initial "new-ness" of a young teacher that appeals to them.

    As far as the girl with the cell phone, I still dont know what to do. I pretended like I didnt see her and it was while I was lecturing. Its hard with girls because any little "put down" or calling them out could really shatter their self esteem. I told my supervisor and other teachers and after they are done laughing they tell me just to make it a "non-issue" and that it will go away after a couple weeks. Its been a few weeks and these same girls are "normal" again. There are always the one or two girls who are just "fans" but dont do anything. Its all on how you come across. I dress the part and ignore everything so they just stop trying.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Does your school have some sort of policy on the use of phones? If so, that's the way to tackle it. Not that she's using the phone to take a picture of you, but that it's out (or in use) during class.
     
  25. LambdaChi96

    LambdaChi96 Rookie

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    oh yeah good idea. thanks.
     
  26. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Down the hall from me is a single guy teacher the girls try to hit on. He pretends that he is married. He even goes so far as to show off pictures of relatives and pass them off as his kids and wife.
     
  27. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    I'm wondering the same thing as JaimeMarie...what ever happened wtih this situation...?
     
  28. Mr. ISB

    Mr. ISB Rookie

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    I agree with all of Aliceacc comments. They seem reasonable. Don't ever let some snotnose little brat catcall or touch you. When I was young(a long time ago) I noticed some of my teachers physical appearance to be attractive, but I would never of thought of touching them or even flirting with them. By the way that was female teachers. Just to be clear. These brats are learning to demoralize female teachers from rap videos and rock stars running around with no panties on. They are going to do this. It sucks that we have to deal with it now as teachers but it is what it is. Also I hope that acc stands for atlantic coast conference, florida state in the house, woooh woooh.
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    sorry to hijack!

    Nope, it's not terribly creative. It's the start of my last name:sorry:
     
  30. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Alice Accordianplayer.
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I waitressed in an Irish Pub for a few years; believe it or not, I like accordian music (and bagpipes!!!)
     
  32. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Oh, my mistake: alice accordianlover :D

    Sorry, Barbie, I hope you're still out there teaching boys how to be decent.
     
  33. kellys.happy

    kellys.happy New Member

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    Barbie, I had the same thing happen to me when I first started teaching. I too was the youngest teacher in the school. You've got to seize control of the situation -- and fast! Otherwise, you're opening yourself up to a truck load of problems. You don't want the boys to think you're enjoying the "flattery" and then turn on you as you exercise some sudden authority by taking the matter up with your principal. Lest we forget, the huge burden of responsibility falls heavily on us as their teachers. And that's how it should be.
     
  34. BarbieTeacher

    BarbieTeacher New Member

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    Thank you, everyone

    You all are so awesome. I guess I mainly needed a big boost of confidence that--yes, this is totally inappropriate and it's completely my place to do something about it. I've loved and incorporated every bit of wisdom you all have shared with me.

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner, here's an update: The next incident occurred while I was walking my class down the hall when a group of middle school boys made some whistling noises. I stopped dead in my tracks and conjured up my best teacher-voice, “Excuse me… what is your name?” I got all of their names and gave a mini lecture on how inappropriate and disrespectful they were being. As I was talking, their classroom teacher (a male) came into the hallway and overheard the conversation. He was even more upset than I was and assured me he would take care of it.

    My class said they had never seen me angry before! Luckily this isn’t a behavior that any of the kids in my own class have picked up!

    I’ve also had a short conversation about the situation with our vice principal (also a male) and he was very supportive. It is my first year at this school and I hadn’t felt that I was a part of the “team” the way the rest of the staff is. I’ve found that everyone is really supportive and willing to help. The situation has certainly been improving and I just feel better overall now that it’s not some dirty little secret.

    Thank you for all of the confidence you gave me to deal with the issue head on and ask for some help! What a great support system!!
     
  35. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I'm glad everything worked out for you.
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Good for you!!!

    Isn't it funny?? You put on that teacher voice, and total strangers will give you their real names!!! It sounds as though you hit exactly the right tone!!!
     
  37. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I'm glad everything is working out for you.
     

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