Ignoring others' negative comments

Discussion in 'General Education' started by yearroundteach, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    Aug 8, 2011

    There are several things I am planning on changing this year in hopes of eliminating some of the stress that comes along with teaching. One area is to not get caught up in the negativity that can sometimes breed among teachers.

    One area that bugs me yearly is the 1st grade teachers telling us about our incoming students. I have went to them in the past with my list because I want to hear about things that will be helpful to me (a student who has major seperation issues on their first day, techniqes they learned to help a certain student with something, how to effectively communicate with certain parents, etc.) but it seems to always turn into a time for them to complain about certain students. This year I am probably just going to avoid a few of them the best I can because I know they'll have a few things to tell me about a couple of the students they gave me. I just don't want to hear it. I'd like to form my own opinions of these students.

    My issue and vent is that I already know more about some of these students than I'd like to just from complaining I heard from their teachers last year. I am already feeling less excited about the year because of what I already know. I'm struggling to find a way to wipe my mind clean so I can get a fresh start with these students and start the year without a dark cloud hanging over it. I am trying hard not to be worried but the mix of these few students is going to be a huge challenge if I am to believe what I've heard. Which, as I said, I wish I never heard! :dizzy:

    I am also struggling to not feel offended that I recieved all these students. They have said time and time again that I am given these students because "I can handle it" and because of my "strong classroom management" but I still have a piece of me that feels hurt. I mean these are my collegues that we're talking about. It isn't my administration that makes the class lists, it is the prior year teachers. It seems to me that they should realize (being in the classroom themselves) that when they all load me up with the most severe of their behavior problems from each of their classes it can become overwhelming :unsure: no matter how "good" they feel I am.

    So anyway, I guess there isn't a whole lot of specific advice anyone can give me. I just needed a moment to vent so that I can shake it off and start this year off great :thumb:
     
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  3. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 8, 2011

    What has your past experience been?

    Do they complain about these students and then you see the same thing or do you have different experiences with you? If it's the latter than it seems that it's all about attitude.

    Our 2nd grade teachers are very "real" in that I feel that the info they give me is accurate and not a complaint or vent in any way. Even with that, I prefer to go in with a clean slate and find my own way with the students. I do approach them if I have questions as we get underway and always appreciate knowing if there are students who shouldn't be partnered though.
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I do talk to the 3rd grade teachers, but the special ed teacher that works with me, also works with 3rd. She is my best source of information. She has worked with me for 3 years and knows me. So, kids that they will comment on being problems, she'll just shrug off and say they won't bother me. She gives me some great details on the kids (sped and non-sped). If you feel more comfortable not talking to them, then definitely avoid it if possible. The 5th grade does come to me, and I always am honest with them, but I try to be very positive about the kids. Your post is going to make me think about what I say to them, though! :)
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I hear about the 6th graders all year long at lunch, so I'm pretty familiar with a lot of their names when they get to me.

    Last year, everyone kept telling me how horrible the class I was getting was going to be. They were not nearly as naughty as their rep lead me to think they would be. I'd take everything with a grain of salt and let the kids show you who they are.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I'm with you-- I don't share my class lists trying to get the lowdown.

    I think that, for one thing, kids grow in the course of a year if we allow them to--- particularly kids as young as the ones you teach. A child who had major separation issues at the start of kindergarten may very well adapt well to first grade.

    But there's a more imporant reason.

    One of the things I love most about teaching is that new start I get each September. I can completely reinvent my teaching if I choose--new kids, new year, new rules and new approaches if I choose.

    I think that our kids deserve that same fresh start. That kid who caused so much trouble last year deserves a new year with a new teacher who isn't looking for trouble before it happens.

    You're a smart person. You'll form your own impressions and figure out how to deal with any trouble as it occurs. But give those kids their fresh start.
     
  8. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I've also learned that just because a child is a "problem" or "challenge" with one teacher, doesn't necessarily mean he/she will be so with me.

    Each teacher has his/her own teaching style and personality.

    Stephanie could be such a handful for Mr. Jones, but she meshes beautifully with Miss Smith's personality and style.

    *shrug*

    I say just start the year with a smile.

    Don't borrow trouble. :)
     
  9. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I think it has been a mix of both. Sometimes their information is accurate and other times I have a different experience. I guess the things I have a problem with is the venting for the sake of venting. Information like "You have ____? I am so sorry I gave you that one! (with a look of pity) You are going to have such a rough year with him/her!" Doesn't help me in any way and now I have this negative image of this child.

    I also very much appreciate knowing things like you mentioned (who shouldn't be partnered with who), I just with I could get that information without getting statements like the one above. :whistle:
     
  10. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    Aug 8, 2011

    Thank you everyone for the replies. I know I absolutely need to find a way not to let this affect my view of any of the kids.

    I totally agree Alice! I want to give every child that fresh start that a new year allows you.

    IDEUK8, that is also very true. There have been plenty of times where someone has told me that a child was going to be difficult and they ended up being wonderful. And vice versa.... I had a coworker tell me at the start of last year that I would just LOVE ____ because he was so great and he ended up driving me batty half the time :rolleyes: So I know I need to take it all with a grain of salt.
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 8, 2011

    Last year, I had a female student (we'll call her G), who I am sure is E.D., but undiagnosed because she was only 6. Her mother and I were working together (her behavior was horrible, but not terribly disruptive to other students when she was in my class). Mom was working to get the child to a psychologist (Medicaid and limited local resources), and I was working to find things that worked with and for G in the classroom. Note: she had no learning disabilities - she was the highest reader in first grade. On the advice of mom, one day, I asked my former P to have a talk with G and "put the fear of Mr. A. in her." (quote from mom) Two weeks later, under the guise of leveling the classes (strictly a numbers thing, not abilities), Mr. A removed her from my classroom and placed G in the other first grade classroom! G had a horrible year, behaviorally. She and the other teacher never developed a relationship. G would scream and cry for hours (according to the other teacher, with no triggers). She lost every conduct folder and homework assignment ever sent home. My colleague is not a bad teacher! However, I think that my P, by disrupting the budding relationship G and I were growing, gave G a bad taste in her mouth, so to speak, for my coworker, and she determined that she would not have a good experience in that class. She cried when I told her that she would have to change classes. It was horrible. My coworker told me that some days, she would scream and cry "I want Mrs. Whatley!" over and over. We had a deal that, on days when she had a B or better in conduct, she could come to me for science and social studies (we cover the same material). Unfortunately, she only came to me about 3 times. I've posted this to illustrate how one child can have a good experience/relationship with one teacher and not with another. It's no reflection on either teacher, just the way it works.

    If asked, I try to give constructive information to the 2nd grade teachers. Ours is a small school, so many times, they already know who has been a challenge, behaviorally. I also try to ask for constructive information from the K teachers, in order to find the best approaches for my kiddos. For instance, one of my students 2 years ago had both parents in jail and lived with grandma. In addition, he had watched his older brother drown two years previously. All of this affected his behavior and trust in adults, and I might not have known that if I had not spoken with his K teacher!
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Aug 8, 2011

    I think it's a matter of staying positive when others might be negative. There is a lot of negativity, and I feel it as well. Even today, our first day back, I could sense it (I certainly hope I wasn't being negative at any point). I think you are starting off with a good attitude. :)
     

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