How do you handle student disrespect?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by riverdance85, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Students have been disrespectful at times this year. I usually just hold them after class or pull them out and try talking to them. Am I using a wrong strategy when I say to them "Is there something I am doing wrong? Do you not like Spanish? Are you just bored?"

    I talked to a young lady (10th grade) and she responded no to these questions. Perhaps she just wants my attention? She tends to be the attention-seeking type. Anyway, I told her that I expect a little more respect, especially since I try my best to show her respect.

    I have been working hard these past two years to show all of my students respect, yet they still can be disrespectful. I also strive to plan activities that maintain their interests (I think that stems from my question here).

    Is there a magical way that seasoned teachers have that prevent student disrespect? I know that I am not alone when thinking that teaching would be more enjoyable if students showed more respect! :unsure:

    ¡Gracias a todos! Thanks to all!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't have any magic, but I will say that I don't think you should ask those questions. They can open the door to more disrespect.
     
  4. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Good point. Thank you!
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Can you elaborate on this?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I feel that by asking disrespectful students to tell you what you are doing wrong, you're taking ownership for their disrespect. The implication is that your actions are causing them to behave disrespectfully. If students believe that they are not accountable for their own actions and that you as the teacher are accountable for their actions, I think it's pretty likely that they will continue to behave disrespectfully. I also think that they will probably behave even more disrespectfully than they did in the first place because they can now blame you (and with your implied consent!).
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I agree with Caesar.

    Honestly, it seems like you are far more concerned with students respecting you than showing you respect. You can have students respect you and still be disrespectful from time to time. You can have students that have no respect for you at all act in a respectful manner.

    I am much more concerned with how students treat me than what they think of me. Teens are fickle and there is no way to keep all of them happy all of the time. But you can expect them to TREAT you respectfully.

    When students are disrespectful I call them out immediately. I don't wait and tip-toe around them, asking for a private conference out in the hall. Instead I tell them right then what they did wrong and how they should say/do something instead. If the behavior continues I might have a side conversation but generally that isn't needed.

    You will have students from time to time that just want to play Alpha Dog. You may never "crack" them but that doesn't mean you have to be submissive either. Just stay consistent.
     
  8. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    This is how I have handled it, albeit it might not be the best.

    Situation this week: I told Bobby to stop chatting and get back to work. I walk away from him and her two kids bust out laughing, I turned around--see nothing. Walk over to one kid and asked what was funny. Bobby had flipped me off to my back! A 4th grader!?!? I know he was trying to look "big and bad." So I walk back over to Bobby who proceeds to say "Mrs. AdamnJakesMama, I didn't flip you off!" I said "Huh? How do you know what Cindy told me???" He had admitted it, right then.

    He finally broke down and admitted it as well. I sent him to CARE for 30 minutes. Then, held him during resource to talk and then so we could call his mom. Our talk? "Bobby, I know your mama and I know she raised you better than that. I think she'd be VERY embarrassed to know you were behaving this way. As a mom, if my son did something like that I would be really embarrassed because that kind of disrespect reflects on me and I know I raised him better than that. Don't you think your mom is going to feel embarrassed? How is she going to feel when she finds out? Do you realize you're not only disrespecting me but disrespecting the good people who raised you when you behave that way?? "

    I let him talk to mom first. Then I talked to mom. Told her what I said...

    Later that day he walked out of the team teacher's class w/out permission, and both things together equated getting written up.

    As a former middle school teacher, I would've handled it similarly for middle and even high school.

    I would ask your class what would happen if you disrespected them by speaking to them disrespectfully or making ugly gestures. And say you demand the same respect from them that you are expected to show them. Then go over the consequences of what happens if they disrespect you. I love pulling the mom card, personally.
     
  9. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Caesar and 2nd time, your responses are quite enlightening! I thank you so much!

    2nd time, you are right. I am concerned that they treat me with respect; I expect them to return the favor. I believe that if someone gives you respect, you must return it (I realize that I am working with teenagers). The other reason is because I don't want to be seen as inferior. Am I wrong? Please enlighten me if I am missing something (I am rather inexperienced with working with teens, save for the last two years). Am I too concerned about this respect thing? Maybe I should relax a little?

    The truth is that I have been tip-toeing around out of fear of the entire class defending their offending classmate (it seems that in our rural Virginia school teacher disrespect is rampant!), which has happened to me before. Naturally, being outnumbered, I want to avoid those kind of situations. One of my greatest fears as a teacher is mutiny... I try so hard to show them that I genuinely like them and respect them.

    Based on your feedback, I will strive to not be afraid to call them out on it in the moment.

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your time in answering my question.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm pretty blunt with my students; if they are acting disrespectfully, I call them on it. Often, they don't realize that what they are doing is being perceived as being disrespectful. I have found that I have had to do a lot of direct teaching about body language and about appropriate ways to present themselves.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I agree with Caesar and 2nd.

    I don't ask them questions about why they're disrespectful. They're teens. Whatever they do they do because they feel like it at that moment. They don't think through their actions, and asking them to try to explain it to you is not going to end with an answer that you like.

    I just tell them what they did wrong, give them their consequence, tell them to not let it happen again and move on.
     
  12. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    "How do you handle student disrespect?"

    "Get out of my room.....................now."

    (Depending upon your school environment, it may not work for you, but it does for me.)


    ;)
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Why would you not expect it too happen again if they just do it because they feel like it at the moment?
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    You can also have students "show respect" out of fear and have students "show respect" out of respect.
     
  15. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I find that asking a student if their is something I am doing wrong has benefits(in certain situations). My experience is most students don't blame the teacher and it actually falls back on them, and many times reveals some other issue they are "dealing" with.
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For me, it totally depends on the kid. If a kid is always being disrespectful, I'm more likely to call them out in class. If a kid is never disrespectful... except for one time... that's when I have a one on one conversation with them, since obviously something is up.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    absolutely. I'd rather they actually respect me than just show it. But I'll definitely settle for respect out of fear rather than disrespect.
     
  18. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Agree on the first part, to the 2nd part I would not be able to teach running a classroom environment based on fear.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    When you provide a consequence students learn that all of their actions have consequences good or bad. Since it's happened once and they recieved a bad consequence out of it, they may slow down, think it through and not make the same mistake twice. There is variation in students of course. Some will get the lesson the first time, for others it takes it happening once or twice more. The important thing is to divorce your feelings from the entire thing. Just impassively enforce your rules and explain what they did wrong and why it's wrong.
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    You're reaching again.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Not reaching at all, my point was clear. I would not want a classroom where I got respect based on fear.
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So the students do think through their actions?
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Not really. I'm not speaking for all students of course but most don't give their actions much thought. If they misbehave they did it because they felt like it. They didn't look back into their past and decide their parents divorced, they're being raised by an Aunt who doesn't care for them and they've had a very bad day, therefore they've decided they're going to make the teacher also have a very bad day.

    If they do respond to you "why are you misbehaving today" with "I just had a really bad day and I've been having problems at home" that response is usually due to teachers who condition them by asking questions that guide them to admitting such and then giving them sympathy as if that excused their actions. They quickly learn that saying this gets them out of being held accountable for their actions.

    And even if that stuff is true, you still shouldn't cut that student slack otherwise you're basically teaching that student that they don't have to follow the rules of society as long as people pity them which may result in them losing their self-respect.

    The two most common reasons for their behavior is 1: ignorance or 2: they felt like it.
     
  24. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yet you expect your consequence to work?

    I am confused by how they don't think through things.....except the consequence you give.
     
  25. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    I call them out as soon as they do that in front of the whole class and tell them to treat others the way you want to be treated.
     
  26. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You don't feel like doing things when there is a negative consequence associated with it.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I believe most students use more than negative consequences when making decisions.
     
  28. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yep, for most students this is true, but for students who are more likely to misbehave in the classroom (about 2-5% of students) what it usually comes down to is: "is this action worth it?"

    If there is weak accountability and the consequence doesn't always happen the student might figure he can do what he feels like while probably not experiencing a negative consequence. If there is strong accountability, the student has to stop and figure if it's worth it or not.
     
  29. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is interesting I find for the students who have chronic misbehavior(2-5%), negative consequences have the least impact.

    I'm still confused, here you make it sound like the other 90ish% are thinking about their decisions.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I find this to be true for the 90+% of students including positive experiences, past experiences...etc when making decisions.

    I find for the 2-5% this does not apply much at all. They do things all the time with negative consequences attached to it.
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would say yes, the other 90%ish do think about their decisions. But still because they're teenagers their ability to think through their decisions are still greatly diminished.

    As for the chronic 2-5%, I think one has to carefully look into whether to their point of view a negative consequence is really negative to them. i.e. if they get kicked out of class they don't have to stay in a boring class; if they get suspended they can do whatever they want for the day. For those 2-5% their parents don't likely care and won't hold them accountable for their behavior at home if they get suspended.

    If you find a way to make a negative consequence truly negative for them (i.e. make your class so fun that they want to participate, so losing class is not a good prospect; help them foster relationships and responsibility in the class, make lessons exciting, etc.).

    Also if the consequence is only enforced every now and then at the whim of the teacher, instead of every single time, then the student may think there is a chance that they can get away scott free and the social reward for doing something funny in the eyes of their peers may be worth more than the slim or 50/50 chance that they might get into trouble for it. If the chance is 100% they really have to think and weight the benefits and outcomes.

    Now you may think that this is a lot of thinking, but it only happens after a clear system has been established, hence the benefit also includes getting the student to think more about their actions, but also a lot of it is instinctual cost-benefit analysis and doesn't happen consciously, I believe.
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Gonna let it go Peregrin, we can agree to disagree.
     

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