How to deal with inappropriate comments from students?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Letuseat56, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Letuseat56

    Letuseat56 New Member

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    Jun 12, 2019

    I’m a recent college grad, 22 years old and will be starting my teaching placement this year. For the last few months I’ve been subbing at a school before I start my training. This school isn’t the best, it’s a rough school with a low pass rate and the majority of kids coming from low income backgrounds. The major problem I’m dealing with is inappropriate comments from the boys. It started off with the ‘your hot’, writing their numbers on the work, looking me up and down in the hallway or when I entered the room. However, it slowly escalated to saying extremely inappropriate things in lessons, female students would tell me some of the disgusting things the boys say in their study periods about me, in lessons they would comment on my body, compare their physiques to my husbands (they would flex their muscles and ask if my husband had muscles as big as theres???), ask me to sit on their laps. Boys would cheer when I entered the room cos that meant I was subbing for them. I’ve stopped subbing at that school because honestly I felt extremely uncomfortable teaching some students there and I felt the school wasn’t dealing with the situation seriously enough. However, in the new term I will be training with a school that is similar to it (pretty rough, not the best grades etc.) I really don’t want to go through the same sort of issue at my training school because at one point the subbing experience put me off teaching (I was on the verge of withdrawing my application at my training school.) I knew that with being really young I would get a few comments but wasn’t expecting anything like this. Is there any advice that someone can give me in dealing with the issue. My response at the last one was going straight to administration but do you think I should be calling out the behaviour more myself?

    Also, is this normal behaviour?? After talking to a few friends who teach they’ve all admitted that they have gone through something like this before. Is this what I should expect as a young teacher?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 12, 2019

    The best way for a new teacher to deal with these kind of inappropriate issues is to make your expectations and consequences very strong right from the get go. If a disgusted look and an "excuse me?!" doesn't work, get rid of the student. And the first time you kick a student out, make sure your administration (and your students) are aware that you will not deal with those kinds of situations. If you show a very strong front and prove that you expect to be treated respectfully, that will go a long way. Don't be afraid to stand up to administration respectfully.
     
    bella84 likes this.
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2019

    Maybe start subbing at higher-end schools?
     
  5. Letuseat56

    Letuseat56 New Member

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    Jun 13, 2019

    Unfortunately because I’m not qualified yet I’m not in a position where I can pick and choose schools. Also the majority of schools in my area aren’t the best so it’s likely I will teach in more rough ones.
     
  6. Letuseat56

    Letuseat56 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Will definitely take it on board, especially standing up to administration when I feel that they aren’t dealing with it seriously enough
     
  7. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2019

    Not true. There are plenty of first year teachers who work in good school districts to begin. Not everyone starts at a rough school.
     
  8. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Jun 19, 2019

    I'm a dude, so I haven't faced this issue but I do have some advice that could help. First the thing I wish I had known more my first few years teaching is how effective a phone call home can be. I taught in a very rough school my first four years teaching and even then I could call home and the parents would still want to help deal with behavior issues. I'm not sure if I was nervous about the calls themselves or what but I realize now that I could have made my life way easier had I just made a few phone calls.

    Second is professionalism/dress. Make sure you are always dressed "older". I wear a shirt and tie everyday. I'm 30 now but when I started I was your age and I had a baby face. The kids didn't really know how to take me when I was only 4 years older than them (seniors). By dressing more professionally it helped me separate myself from them and they saw me as an authority figure. I also developed a completely different demeanor in the classroom. At home I'm laid back and kind of goofy. At school I try to be more stern and direct so that the students know I'm serious about what I expect.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 19, 2019

    Dress professionally. Behave professionally. Set high expectations & stick to them. Have consequences for not following expectations.

    Just because you are at a low-income school doesn’t make it rough, necessarily. My low-income school isn’t rough at all. Some would argue that upper-income schools with super-involved parents are rougher in many ways.
     
    SpecialPreskoo likes this.
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2019

    Sexual harassment is never okay and can never be allowed to let slide. Let the students clearly know that their actions and comments are inappropriate, document and inform admin. You should never be expected to tolerate harassment in your workplace.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  11. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Jun 20, 2019

    I have been there... young, pretty teacher in a classroom primarily of teenage boys. I dressed and acted professionally all the time. Any comment gets shut down immediately. A simple but firm "Not appropriate" usually did the trick (this also includes any comments made by the girls letting you know what they have been saying). I NEVER talked about my personal life, and rarely let them talk about theirs. Once they knew my expectations and that I will not tolerate it, they recognized me as a female authority figure and the comments stop. They'd even stop other students from making comments around me about any female.

    This behavior may be a byproduct of our culture but that doesn't mean we have to accept it.
     
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  12. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2019

    Have you brought it up to the administration?

    There might be ways to deal with it beyond just yourself. If an admin or security officer sat in your class for a bit, I'd imagine they might stop commenting. Of course they might start again as soon as they were out of the room, but there would be the threat of bringing them back whenever you told them to stop commenting.
     
  13. fallenshadow

    fallenshadow Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2019

    Ignore it. Don't even acknowledge it with a reply.
     

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