I completely lost my temper in front of my students. Am I in trouble?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by pinkcupcake90, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Dec 17, 2015

    Hi, everybody.

    My seniors are the meanest bunch of students I have this year. They are so lazy, immature, and disrespectful. They always roll their eyes at me and tell me that when I assign them a book to read that I am inhuman.

    I have this one kid in my senior class whom I have kicked out twice. He talks back and is very disrespectful and disruptive. Today, I yelled at him and asked him to leave. I just told him, "Please leave my classroom right now."

    After he left, my class was acting like a bunch of smart Alecs. They refused to do the work and started laughing at me. I completely lost my temper and starting yelling at them. I also said, "I can't deal with this stupidity any more." May God forgive me.

    I hate myself for losing my temper. I should have controlled my tongue. Do you think I should tell the principal of my mistake? Or maybe I should bring them some treats to make it up to them?

    Please forgive me, you guys. I'm a new teacher and I never realized how hard it is. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
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  3. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2015

    Definitely don't bring treats because that would send disrespectful students the message that disrespectful behavior is not only allowed, but also encouraged in a classroom. Do not tell the P about what happened unless he brings it up first.

    What I would do is teach the class the lesson that I had planned for tomorrow and act as if nothing happened. If there is a counselor or dean at your school who is supportive of teachers, I would consider asking this educator to come to your classroom and talk to the seniors about how unacceptable behavior should not and will not be tolerated at that school and to describe the consequences for not following classroom rules. One consequence can be loss of senior privileges. Another consequence can be for the student to be dropped from your class and he will have to take the class elsewhere, such as in alternative ed or summer school.
     
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  4. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    I feel so awful. This job is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don't want to lose it.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 17, 2015

    I would not bring treats for them because that would send the wrong message and you would look weak.
    I would however apologize to the student you yelled at and to the class for yelling at them and saying those things to them. It will not make you look weak, this will earn some of their respect.
    Also let them know that we're human, even us teachers, and sometimes we react in ways that are not appropriate but it is important to take responsibility. I would also let them know that their behavior hasn't been appropriate, and although you're not looking for apologies, the disrespect has to stop.
    Don't make it into a long lecture, just take a couple of minutes and then move on to the lesson. Don't even open it up for discussion. What you are doing is modeling how one should act after making a mistake.

    I had to do this a couple of times. It seemed that I would end up looking weak for admitting wrong, etc, but that didn't happen. I know I won some students back, some respected me because of it and some just didn't care either way. But it improved the climate as a class and the students looked at me as someone who is treating them as adults and with respect and I'm not on a power trip.
     
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  6. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2015

    I think that schools need teachers like you who genuinely care about students. Don't be hard on yourself. All teachers go through a few rough years unless they are teaching in schools with mostly high achieving students who live in very supportive homes.

    I would also see if there's a mentor teacher (preferably one who has had experience with students who are similar to yours) and ask this teacher for advice. Hang in there; it does get better.
     
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  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Dec 17, 2015

    Definitely NO to the treats. Also it's understandable that you lost your temper. You shouldn't do it if possible, but you don't need to tell the admin, and you definitely should NOT reward them for making you lose your temper.

    I follow the Smart Classroom Management school of teaching. I would HIGHLY recommend it to you. I lost my temper once or twice, and while its regrettable, it's not the end of the world. The website is http://smartclassroommanagement.com

    This article is without a doubt, my favorite from this website, and something I think would help you right now. I follow that procedure every day and it helps me to never lose my composure again.

    If you want to change the way you see and feel about teaching, and the way your class treats you and each other, I definitely recommend reading the entire site and all of his books. His advice turned my class around and my entire mindset as a teacher around.

    I felt the difference in my confidence just yesterday, when I walked into a colleague's room who had a sub that day, and she was having tech problems she needed help with. The kids were being very disrespectful to her, and they didn't expect me to do anything about it. I stopped them in their tracks, administered consequences to those who were breaking the rules, assigned them book work to do so I could concentrate on the tech problem, was able to fix the tech issue while they were working, and get them started on watching the film the teacher left for them, all in the span of about 5 minutes. I'm one of the youngest teachers at our school, and the first inclination of these students was to show disrespect towards me thinking I would just lie down and take it. They realized their mistake instantly. I didn't have to get angry, and I didn't yell. I just calmly administered consequences and told them what they would be doing. I would have been very similar to the sub just couple of years ago and lost my temper or just rolled over and took abuse.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
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  8. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Thanks for being so nice. I do love this job so much. I want to spend the rest of my life teaching books to kids. I just never thought it would be so hard. I pray that it does get easier with experience. Thank you so much. :)
     
  9. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    This is a great website. I'm checking out this article, and it seems to hit home! Thank you so much. :D
     
  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Peregrin, as always, you have great advice! I am just curious -- what were the specific consequences you were able to give walking into someone else's classroom? I still feel hesitant about enacting consequences because I'm never sure what is the right consequence at the time. I also use some of SCM's methods but have never felt I had a solid plan of consequences that made sense for high school students.
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2015

    To the OP: I don't think you're in trouble, unless you have vindictive students who will try to go after you, which I think is rare. TBH, the students have probably heard worse. I would take the advice from Linguist and others to apologize sincerely while maintaining your composure. Work on coming up with a strong management plan over the break, and be prepared to come down on it hard from day one of second semester. Classroom management is probably the hardest part of teaching for most of us, and it takes some of us (myself included!) years of practice to find what works for us as individuals. I for one am still learning after five years in the classroom -- I can also say that it does get easier with every year!
     
  12. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2015

    The smartalec in me would bring the treats and eat them in front of them for spite. :rolleyes: :innocent:

    And the smartalec in me wouldn't apologize either. Why apologize for blowing your top over their BS?
     
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  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2015

    The apology is for yelling at that one student. There is no need for that. yes, we lose our patience, yes I do say things to kids I shouldn't, even raise my voice, but the bottom line is, we shouldn't. Those kids are looking at us as professionals, often put us on the pedestal and expect us to always treat them fairly, even if they don't do the same. So yelling shatters that view.
    I wouldn't want someone yelling at my kid, and if they did, an apology would be appropriate.
    I bet the class fell apart after that because the kids didn't like the yelling at the one student.
    And then saying "I can't deal with this stupidity anymore", the kids will probably take it as they're called stupid. Are they acting stupid? Yes, Is it a big deal for saying it? No, not really, but the only way to clear the air and improve on the class climate is by apologizing.
    Now I also said that the OP must let them know that their behavior is not appropriate and remind them to act respectfully. If you only apologize, but not address the issue, the kids might think they have the upper hand. If you don't apologize, but try to address the issue, it will fall on deaf ears because the students don't care. So both must be done.
     
  14. pinkcupcake90

    pinkcupcake90 Companion

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    Dec 18, 2015

    I should have clarified. I actually didn't yell at the student. I kicked him out of class for being disruptive and calling me the "b" word under his breath.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, you said you yelled but if you didn't, then you obviously don't need to apologize to him. But I would still do everything else for the class, as I described.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Thanks Ms. Irene! I think you can use similar consequences for High School as you do for Middle or even Elementary, and they are: Warning, Time-Out, and Phone Call Home.

    Of course with high school students you probably don't want to call it a time-out. I call it a focus table for my 8th graders, but for high schoolers, you might not want to call it anything and just tell them that you're relocating them to a spot where they need to work silently.

    In the case of the sub yesterday, I could have relocated some students, but all I had to do was tell them that they better get in line or I would ____ (I was more specific, like 'get your shirt back on or I'm taking you to the office' --yes he took his shirt off). It worked in that case, because there was a sub in the room and I could take him anywhere. If I know the teacher will do something about it, I will tell them I'm going to be taking down names on a list that I'll hand to the teacher the next day. And I can always hold them in at lunch in my own room. I also said that if they're talking during the film, they'll be taking Cornell notes. The teacher didn't leave that as a possible consequence, but I'm sure he wouldn't care if a few students were made to take Cornell notes for being disruptive.
     
  17. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2015

    Definitely no treats, and honestly I wouldn't even apologize over it.

    I've lost my temper one time with this one kid who drove me NUTS. He was in the middle of being loud, obnoxious, rude, etc and I asked him to leave the classroom. He talked back and I screamed (the only time I've ever even raised my voice) "GET OUT OF MY CLASSROOM!!!"

    Of course I immediately took a step back at looked at myself and what I was doing. I learned from that mistake and I hope it never happens again. But, I never apologized because I think that's giving the situation too much power. The next time I saw him I was delightful with a big smile and a warm welcome to the classroom. I think, especially with teenagers, they don't care if you apologize. What they care about is being treated equal and not holding a grudge.
     
  18. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    I agree - continue on as if nothing happened. Students know a teacher is allowed to have a bad day once in awhile and will understand they may have to suffer the consequences of their behavior. I would not worry about losing your job so much that it keeps you up at night. Stay positive in finding solutions.
     
  19. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I think it's important for teachers, in such situations, to realize that it's not the teacher who is misbehaving; it's the students. Personally, I agree with the above, when I step below standards I've set for myself, I do readily apologize, but I also expect the students to meet the societal standards that the school has set for them. What I find scary is that these are seniors! In 5 months they will be entering the workforce!
     
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