I'm tired of "that's not fair"

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Learner4Life, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2009

    It's getting close to a break and you can really tell by how much I'm am getting tired of but this one is really bugging me. This is just this morning's conversation:
    me: okay I only have 5 Chapter reviews turned in. Those people that did not turn in a chapter review will be in a recess.
    child: What? that's not fair! (starts crying)
    me: not fair? Do you think it's fair that these 5 people actually took home their homework and instead of watching TV or playing with their friends, actually DID their homework last night?
    child: But it's not FAIR! I'm a child, I should be going out for recess!

    yesterday:
    me: alright *child* go put your name on the board because you were not ready for class when the buzzer went off.
    child: WHAT?!?! My book was in my cubby instead of my desk! It's not FAIR that I have to put my name on the board. It's not my FAULT! (starts crying)
    me: Sorry buddy, life's not fair. (You can tell by my lack of enthusiasm that I really am getting tired of this)


    My class is so emotional it drives me crazy. If I have them stay in for recess, they cry. If I put their name on the board, they cry. If I tell them they got a word wrong on their spelling test, they cry. If I use the word bureau on a spelling test, I get punched in the face (okay totally separate incident but still emotions running wild).

    Can Christmas break get here any faster?!?!?!
    P.S. I tried to take a personal day this week because I have gotten no Christmas shopping done and no one will come in to sub the week before Christmas.
     
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  3. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2009

    If I had to deal with that I think I would kill myself...ug

    you should tell them it's not fair that you have to listen to them whine.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Don't teach anything less than university. I dealt with that crud with community college students every day. "Its not fair...I couldn't study because I had to work and have 4 other classes...I shouldn't have to take this test." No, it's not fair that I have to put up with your whiney butt. If you can't handle it, don't take so many classes. What's really not fair is that I or one of my colleagues will have to deal with you again next term after you fail my class. UGH.

    ETA: My personal favorite. "It's not fair. I tried really hard so I should still pass". Um, sorry, trying only goes so far in real life. I'm sorry your primary and secondary teachers coddled you. I expect you to actually know the material before you pass my class.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2009

    I have a sign on my board that says "That's not fair" in a circle with a line through it. Sorry, life's not fair. I will be fair, and you will do your job. If you believe it's not fair, we'll talk, but chances are, what you really mean is "That's not fun"...
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 18, 2009

    My 9th grade honors geomerty teacher had a couple signs on her desk:

    Fair is a weather condition.

    This is not Fed Ex, The Library of Congress, or Burger King. Therefore, I do not Deliver Overnight, Know Everything, or Do it Your Way.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Yeah, I don't tolerate crying for "no" reason. Seriously, if you are crying because you did something (not hurt or for any real reason) you either stop or leave the room. It is disruptive and annoying.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 19, 2009

    My friend (the dean) has a pat answer for "it's not fair."

    You're right; life isn't fair. And we should all get down on our knees every single night and thank God for all we have. If life were fair we would have as little as so many other people on this planet have. We wouldn't have enough food to eat or clean water to drink or sanitation. We would live in fear.

    Thank God that life isn't fair.



    It makes it kind of hard to come back with a whine about something trivial.
     
  9. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Dec 20, 2009

    i've never been for taking away recess - but anywho - life is not fair - that's my reply
     
  10. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Dec 21, 2009

    Learner4Life, I just had a conversation with my mom about her office (she manages a call center) and she was telling me that one of her direct reports always complains "that's not fair" when something applies to others and not to her.

    Some people never grow out of it.

    Tell them your job is not to be fair. Their job is to learn. Your job is to teach them things that 5th graders must know and ask if it would be fair for all his/her classmates to move on to 6th grade while that student stays with you another year.
     
  11. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Dec 21, 2009

    "That's not fair!", "You're mean!", "I hate this class!" and other little jabs are attempts to change the teacher's agenda - get back to work - to anything else. Some students are expert in this area due to lots of practice and adults giving in to the whining. Since it seems to work with other adults might as well stick with it.

    Consider: Any words from the teacher are a signal back talk is working. Expect more back talk. Instead, don't say a thing. Stand with a bored look and wait until student runs out of gas. When students realize you can't be rattled with back talk they will give up trying.
     
  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy Companion

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    Dec 22, 2009

    Tell them they are right and to sit down.
     
  13. Dynamite Boys

    Dynamite Boys Companion

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    Dec 22, 2009

    In my class we talk a lot of about difference between "that's not fair" and "that's not equal" . . . and about falling rules in a classroom! It drives me crazy when kids say "that's not fair!", but like someone else mentioned - I think some people never grow out of it! My goal is by the end of 6th grade . . .maybe they'll use it just a little less!!!
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 22, 2009

    My 12th grade government/econ teacher used to say "If your mama said life is fair, she lied to you". I used that line on my classes a few times.
     
  15. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Dec 22, 2009

    I haven't read all of the above posts, so sorry if this has already been said. However, I tell my students, both when I taught 4th grade and my kindergarten students now, "You get what you get, and you don't pitch a fit!"
     
  16. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Dec 22, 2009

    Thank you Alice, for that reminder! The best gift this year was a donation in my honor to Living Waters International, to dig wells in impoverished countries.

    Personally, I use Loomis' approach of not responding- just looking at them and shrugging my shoulders or just saying 'sorry, hope you won't do that again!'. Otherwise yes, you're endulging their attempts to get a rise out of you.
     
  17. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 23, 2009

    I agree simply staring at the whiner without saying anything can be very effective. Whenever my student began having too many side conversations, I would just stop talking and sit down on my stool at the front of the room. It only took a few seconds for the kids to realize they were getting out of line.

    Of course, it is very hard not to retort back to a kid when they whine "That's not fair!"

    I gave my 7th grade students a multi-lesson project to do this year (as part of my own coursework for my multicultural course). One of the tasks involved taking a virtual shopping spree, then converting the cost of each item and total cost to a foreign currency. Two students asked if they could use Bahama dollars for their currency. They chose Bahama because the Bahama dollar is equal to the US dollar. I said they could, since it was technically a foreign currency, but I would prefer they choose a currency that required them to do the mathematical conversion. When they got their papers back, they received a 96 instead of 100. Their first response was "That's not fair. You said we could use Bahama dollars." "Yes, I did, but I never said you would get full credit for it. You did less work than the others so you got a lower grade." I also pointed out they still got an "A" on the assignment so they had no reason to complain. :D
     
  18. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Dec 25, 2009

    My students are not allowed to use TNF in my room. On the first occasion each year we discuss it at length. I tell them that as the leader of our classroom, it's my job to help everyone learn - and as the leader, at times I get to decide who does what and how many and how often. I tell them that when they have completed a teacher ed program and have a teaching license, they can decide what is fair in their own rooms. Until then, it is my job. They never question me again - publicly, anyway. When a classmate slips and utters the infamous TNF line, they get that "Uh-oh" look on their little faces...:lol:
     
  19. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Dec 28, 2009

    Any phrases along the lines of It's not fair or That's not fair are banned in my classroom. At the beginning of the year we have a conversation about what is fair and what is not fair and what students are really trying to do when they say those words. After our conversation the phrases are banned and any one uttering them has to pull from the It's Not Fair jar that I keep on my desk. The jar has slips of paper in it with things on them that really aren't fair, such as everyone in the class gets to tear a piece of paper into pieces, throw it on the floor, and the person who said it's not fair has to pick them all up.

    It usually only happens once after that that someone will utter those 3 banned words. There will be a shocked silence and stunned faces will look at me. The speaker instantly regrets his or her choice of phrase.
     

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