My students are writing complaints about me, and I'm worried

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Kenz501, May 13, 2017.

  1. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 27, 2017

    Kenz, also check out this video:

    And then look for his Week 1, Day 1 video (should be in the side bar).
    Tell me what you think!
     
  2. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Okay, and this one is pretty cool too, it's Whole Brain Teaching.
    Now, I'm not sure I could do this day in and day out for the entire class period, but there is a part of me that really wants to figure out how to incorporate at least some version of WBT into my teaching.
     
  3. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jun 27, 2017

    Man, I can ONLY IMAGINE what would happen if students at my school were able to file complaint forms against teachers. The school would have to hire someone full time to read them all. Whoever came up with that brilliant idea is clearly not a classroom teacher.
     
  4. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jun 27, 2017

    This sheds a lot of light on your situation. I too was bullied as a kid--not as much as what I think you're describing, but enough that it has had a big impact on my personality and on the way I interact with people. My first inclination will be to assume that people don't like me or that they think I am weird, even if there is no logical reason for it. When I first started teaching, I would often assume this, and I would approach students with fear and uncertainty in my heart. The problem is, other people can sense that and will react accordingly. I have noticed that being a teacher has made me have to face many of my fears, because somehow being a teacher can amplify them and bring them right to the forefront where you must address them.
    What students need is someone with confidence, and it sounds like you struggle with that. So do I and it is not easy!! I think in this case you may want to work on something called "fake it till you make it." A little while back I watched videos and read books on body language and learned how to present myself more confidently and assertively. I also tried to change the way I felt about my students. Instead of thinking "this person doesn't like me," I tried to think "What is this kid all about?"--I tired to be curious about them. What also makes a difference is eye contact, which may be difficult for you. I strongly suggest that you really try your best to make eye contact with your students because it makes them feel as though they have your attention. Smiling and just "shooting the breeze" also helps a lot.
    Overall I think that you are so used to feeling like a victim, that you are playing the role with your students. You need to figure out a way of claiming ownership of your classroom space and making that space a comfortable place to be for yourself and the kids. Right now, your space feels fearful--try to figure out how you might turn that around.
     
  5. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2017

    I guess I could keep explaining how frustrated I am, but I really don't want to stay there. Worst case scenario, the kids are doing it because they know they can get away with it. Maybe these kids have already heard that I have a reputation of being inconsistent or a pushover. A slightly better case would be that I'm doing something unconsciously that's sending a negative signal to the kids; no one will tell me what it is, though, including the kids. I've gotten some ideas, though. Maybe I need to keep my voice low and consider proximity when giving corrections. I noticed today that one of my students got defensive, even downright hostile when I asked him to move to another desk. The students weren't acting out like this at the beginning, though, even though I did sometimes give corrections that everyone could hear.

    Another factor is definitely preparation. I'm guilty of giving out busy work, because I can't keep up with everyone's requirements. The kids notice, and I'm sure they're tired of the excuses, but it's not like I don't try. It's very early in the morning here, and I'm trying to figure out how to help a student. I think I'm at least dedicated.
     
  6. George Smash

    George Smash New Member

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    Jun 28, 2017

    They are afraid of you - that is a way of protection) maybe you should visit your colleges and asked them what to do)
     
  7. Rita Espinal

    Rita Espinal New Member

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    Jun 28, 2017

    I am a graduate student and also teach as an adjunct. I was just made aware a student may be filing a formal complaint against me because I sternly told him he was not allowed to leave the class to take a phone call. He is not disputing the rule or my enforcement of it, rather claiming abuse because of my tone.
    What should I do to prepare? Should I seek legal representation? I'm not sure what steps to take and I don't want to do anything in the beginning that could jeopardize my chances for an acceptable resolution.
     
  8. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jun 28, 2017

    I have a feeling that many of the teachers on this board would agree that a college teaching program cannot ever fully prepare you for what it is actually like in the classroom. The only way you can really be prepared to teach is to teach--which means that the first few years are a bit of a struggle as you figure it out. And yes, you put in long hours especially in those first few years. But it does get easier and easier as you find your "teaching voice." Student teaching is super important, yes, but you are still not the one fully responsible, so even though it is an invaluable experience, it still won't give you the skills you need when you have control.

    Unlike what some others have said, I don't think you are necessarily "not cut out" for teaching. You are working in a detention center, for pete's sake. I work with upper middle class high school students and even they can get under your skin and be horrible. I would be willing to bet that with your desire to do well you CAN--but maybe this situation isn't for you. Detention centers don't get enough resources in general (kind of like jails and mental hospitals, which also don't get enough resources) and they are notoriously poorly run (my mom worked at a jail and a mental hospital, and her boyfriend worked at a detention center--Ive heard the stories. They are often bureaucratic nightmares filled with disgruntled workers who are sick of the system. It's unfortunate, because these kids arguably need more, not less support.

    Anyway, don't get too discouraged--the first years are friggin awful in the best of circumstances. Try reading "The Reluctant Disciplinarian"--it helped me a lot!
    https://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Di...&sr=8-1&keywords=the+reluctant+disciplinarian
     
  9. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Okay, on top of the discipline issues I've been having, this computer program makes me feel inept. I'm not familiar with some of the subjects the students are taking and my attempts to get the program to teach them to me have not been successful. I can't even cling to content knowledge in this setting! No wonder the kids feel like they don't have to respect me.

    In the right conditions, I can thrive as an educator, but I'm not likely to do well like this. The kids are mean and demanding. This program makes me feel stupid, and I've already lost the kids' respect anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2017

    The only thing I can say, and I think I said before:
    Especially in a juvenile detention classroom, kids need structure and strict control. That means you have all your do's and don't do's and heavily enforce them. You didn't do anything wrong, stop thinking that you need to apologize.
    When I used to work there and now when I sub during the summer, if you saw me, you wouldn't think that I'm so strict, but only because I established that I don't play around and they better listen and follow directions or else ... Once you establish that, everything is very easy, you can enjoy the kids (they can be so much fun and sweet and rewarding). You have to show your dominance and that you run the classroom, not them.

    It wasn't always easy, at first I struggled but I learned and changed every day. I used to take things personally and kept blaming myself. Of course they sensed it and fed off of it.
    Once I changed my mentality, everything was easy.
     
  11. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2017

    What program is it? Were you not trained on it? Are you expected to know how to use the program?
    What subjects are you not familiar with?
     

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