Made a Mistake with a Disrespectful Student - Help and Advice Please

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bkimble00, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. bkimble00

    bkimble00 Guest

    Mar 10, 2016

    Hi,

    I have been a teacher for three years already, but this is my first year teaching middle school. I have had an extremely difficult time adjusting to this age group in terms of behavior issues. It didn't help that I came in halfway through the school year and had to develop a relationship with the students quickly.

    I have several students who are rude and disrespectful, but one takes the cake. I have had multiple run-ins with him at this point, but nothing so severe as yesterday. While doing group work, he started calling out to me to "get him some beer" and "bring some Doritos too." Well...I saw red. As a woman, as a human being even, I didn't take well to being spoken to that way. In a moment of passion, I flipped him off.

    He responded with laughter, and I partially knew he would take it as a joke or witty rapparte even before I did it.

    The trouble is, now I feel awful and guilty for doing it at all. I know it was the wrong thing to do, and I now also fear he might decide to tell admin about it and I could lose my job. I have never ever done anything like that in a class before. I just lost my patience and had a bad moment.

    Should I tell administration myself before he does? I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my job. Please help.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 10, 2016

    I think I would break it to admin myself. Yes, it was crude and a huge mistake, but it happened and you can't take it back. I want to know what other consequences the offensive little squirt got!
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 10, 2016

    Yeah. I think informing admin is best in this case.

    It's just interesting to me, that the advice to another poster was different for a different case, and there's some invisible line between what needs to be reported (flipping a student off) and what really doesn't need to be reported (saying the word 'd-bag'). I think maybe the physicality of actually flipping a student off is what crosses the line.

    Just come across as repentant, and you will probably be fine.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 10, 2016

    I agree - share with admin. Better to come forward after reflecting on the action than to be found out and on the defensive. You might go so far as to ask for guidance about what would be a better course of action, given the disrespect and persistence of this particular student.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 11, 2016

    My advice in both cases is the same...notify admin of exactly what happened. In both cases, I know that I would likely have an official reprimand for unprofessional behaviour placed in my file. I would certainly seek out advice on how to deal more effectively with this type of situation in the future.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm a bit shocked, truthfully, that flipping the bird kind of just happened in 'a moment of passion'. The kid was pushing your buttons, OP, trying to get under your skin. And he did. You lost this one. You've got to find someway to regain control of this class and maintain your own self-control. Most likely, this student was not the only one who saw the bird and word will get out (I'm sure probably is).
     
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  8. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2016

    This speaks to the fact that you only truly lose in a classroom when you lose control of yourself. You can have a bad day with kids. The kids can be unfocused. But as long as you're calm and you maintain your rational brain, you can make hay. It's only when you allow the students' actions to impact you emotionally that you falter.

    Always remember that you control the room, not the kids. If this kid says something clearly disrespectful again, calmly and dispassionately remove him from the classroom. Let him hang out in the hallway for a good couple of minutes before you calmly make your way outside. When you do, calmly impose a sanction and move on with your day.

    As for informing administration, I'm a bit stumped there. The posters here are probably right. It's probably best to tell them. Yuck.
     
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  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah. I think it also depends on your school climate and relationship with admin. My admin would probably secretly flip off a student if only teachers were able to see it, so I know that I would probably be scolded for doing it in front of students, but there would be some lenience.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is just very hard for me to believe or understand. Flipping off children isn't really my go-to behavior when I'm feeling frustrated, so maybe that's why. If this is true, I would advise the OP to work on impulse control and coping skills.
     
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  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I can be as blunt as I want to be when talking to my P about a student. He's been known to use some "for-adult-ears-only" language when students aren't around (as have I). A slip that was overheard by a student would be one thing, but a profane comment or gesture directed at a student? I would have a lot to answer for.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It's been a day. Has anything happened?
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Agreed, but I don't think that the other poster was directly calling the student a d-bag. Hence why it wasn't such a big issue. Perhaps in your workplace it might be.
     
  14. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Mar 14, 2016

    I think the difference with this is that its harder to understand a physical reaction like flipping the bird over a verbal slip. I've never unintentionally flipped someone a bird in the heat of the moment but I guess that was this person's reaction. Also there is the fact that the bird represents a word that is probably more taboo.(maybe depending on the school I guess)

    I'm usually not one to sweat the small things but I would probably be worried about a real reprimand on this one. I doubt I would be fired for this at my school but I would probably get a written warning. I think it shows a greater loss in control.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 15, 2016

    The original poster hasn't been back since starting this one thread.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I guess if you're the type of person who flip people off on a regular basis this might happen. I don't think I've ever done that to anyone so it would never "just come out" accidentally in school. Just...wow...
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I wonder why! o_O
     

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