Preferential treatment to some teachers?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Jerry Dill, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    Jun 4, 2017

    At my school, I have found that the principal and the secretary give preferential treatment to this one teacher but not so much to me. Here is what happened recently.

    Teacher X had a senior female student who apparently blew up and got angry in her class. I also have this female senior in my class, and she has been calm and never got angry. Because Teacher X reported this senior's outburst, the student has been suspended from school except for major tests and major school events that require her attendance. So the principal and secretary strongly took the side of Teacher X.

    On the other hand, I have another female senior, who is frequently in a bad mood and gets angry about different sorts of things in my classroom. This senior took her cell phone to the bathroom for 20 minutes before returning, and I caught her reading personal emails during class time on her computer. On both occasions when I confronted this student with her rule-breaking behavior, SHE got mad at ME, not the reverse. On the second occasion, this senior stormed out of my classroom to complain about me. When I told the principal about this he said that he "would look into the matter." He didn't vote for immediate suspension of the student as he had with Teacher X, so instead of immediately siding with me, he needs to investigate. And the secretary didn't tell the angry student to shut up and go back to class, but she let the student skip part of my class to "cool down."

    Should I point out this discrepancy and double-standard to the principal or just keep quiet? I am probably just going to keep quiet, but I would like to hear responses. Should I tell the secretary that she should not indulge student temper tantrums but she should discipline the students instead of letting them skip class to "cool down"?
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Jun 4, 2017

    I wouldn't say anything especially if you don't know with any degree of certainty what happened with the female student in the other teachers classroom and the subsequent actions of the P. You have a general idea and you know the decision made, but do you really know what happened? Even if you did know with any degree of certainty, I probably wouldn't say anything either. I'd concentrate on my own classroom rather than worrying about what treatment other teachers may or may not be getting. I certainly wouldn't tell the school secretary what you are thinking of telling her. You can only worry about your actions not the actions of others, it only stresses you out unnecessarily.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 4, 2017

    You weren't there and don't know all the particulars. In my classroom I tell my students not to gossip about things they don't know about.
    I would just teach the students in my class and not worry about the actions of other teachers.
     
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  5. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 4, 2017

    As others have said, you may not know the full extent of what went on with the first student in the other teacher's classroom. I know in my school, if a student gets an attitude, is disrespectful, has their phone out, walks out of class, etc. then they are likely to get ISS for that teacher's class period for a day or two. BUT, if a student uses profanity during his/her outburst, that's automatic 3 days home (OSS). HOWEVER, I've known of at least one student this year who has had outbursts and used profanity directed at the teacher on multiple occasions. He was suspended, but wound up coming back because I think his grandmother was at her wit's end with him at home. This kid is mostly fine in his other classes, he just can't get along with this one teacher, so he spent two full days in ISS to fulfill the rest of his suspension and then was in ISS only during her class period every day until the end of the year (which was like a week).

    There are a lot of factors that go into what consequences a student receives. Don't automatically assume it's teacher favoritism. I know in my case, if I write a student up, or even worse, call the office to have one removed from my class, that kid usually gets pretty severe consequences. The main reason for that is because I rarely have discipline issues in my classroom that I don't handle myself. The office hears from me so infrequently that when they DO get a referral or a phone call from my room, they take it very seriously. I do everything in my power to handle my own students without getting the office involved. I reserve my referral forms and calls to the office for major issues (profanity, bullying, fighting, major disrespect towards me or a classmate, or being so disruptive that I cannot do my job).

    So, I'd let it go. Teach your class and deal with your students. Don't worry about what others are doing.
     
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  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jun 4, 2017

    Honestly, I have never heard of the secretary being the person in charge of doling out discipline, so everything about this situation seems odd to me. Since we never encourage students to gossip, there is no good way to know precisely what happened with the student in someone else's class. I don't know when your year is over, but I find that everyone is simply trying to outlast the students until graduation. Perhaps that is where your admin is, too. You have said before that you feel the principal plays favorites. Perhaps so, maybe not. You had also spoke of looking for another job, so maybe this would be a concern that would help you make up your mind on that matter.
     
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  7. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 4, 2017

    I just realized you have two recent threads complaining about this secretary, and in neither case do your issues with her seem justified.

    Why would you want a student who has stormed out of your class to be immediately returned to you when that kid is obviously still upset and is unlikely to be productive (and probably a disruption) if back in your classroom?

    By allowing this student to cool down and remain in the office for a while, the secretary has actually done you a favor. The kid obviously knows it's best if she remove herself from your presence until she's in a better place emotionally, and the secretary gets that too. That's totally normal when a child has an outburst and needs to be out of the classroom setting temporarily. Whether the issue is with other students in the class or the teacher, sometimes a kid just needs to escape and talk to someone and have some time to get herself collected.

    I'm not sure what your issue is with the secretary, but your complaints about her seem overboard. The things you've described her doing have seemed perfectly legit and normal to me.
     
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  8. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    Jun 5, 2017

    Some students are NEVER in a good place emotionally. Should they take a permanent break from school? Doesn't the show need to go on, most of the time? I saw this same student today, and she gave me the cold shoulder. Should she skip my last period class today? She's not my favorite student either, so should I skip my last period class today? Sometimes, as Melody Hobson has written in Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, you keep going through uncomfortable feelings. A person needs to become comfortable with uncomfortable feelings. I don't ditch every activity that is making me uncomfortable. I don't see why students should be encouraged to bail on any class that makes them uncomfortable either.
     
  9. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jun 5, 2017

    I definitely believe that people have to learn to deal with less-than-ideal circumstances. But if this student was upset to the point of storming out of your classroom, I cannot see how sending her immediately back TO your classroom would benefit her, you, or the rest of your students. If she was THAT upset (and yes, she's a teenager, and they tend to be emotional hot messes), then she wasn't going to learn anything in your class at that point. On top of that, if she was still upset, then she may have continued acting out, and that would have been disruptive to your teaching and your class's learning. Why sacrifice all of that just to teach this ONE student that she has to suck it up and deal with whatever was bothering her?

    Personally, if a student storms out of my classroom upset, I don't want that child back in my room until she has had some time. I don't need that negative distraction keeping me from doing my best teaching and my students from doing their best learning. Any student who is THAT adamant about being out of my presence needs to go for MY benefit as well as her own. It doesn't bother me one bit because I have a classroom full of other students that I can focus on better without that one disgruntled student monopolizing my time.

    You have to learn to pick your battles. Teenagers are going to act like emotional wrecks from time to time. They're going to be impulsive and are going to speak and act before they think. It's just their nature. I'm sure if this student starts habitually storming out of your class and/or skipping it completely, red flags will be raised and the situation will get a closer look. But you can't take an isolated occurrence of this so personally. I think every high school teacher has probably had at least one student storm out of class in a teenage huff at least once.
     
  10. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jun 5, 2017

    Jerry, I've seen a few of your threads, and I really got to wonder why you can't let things roll off your back. What's up with that? Control what you can control and let the rest be. I don't know, I'm just not quite seeing a connection with people here and it's a bit concerning. This stuff and that whole Dr/title debacle makes me wonder if you're more concerned about your opinions being validated than anything else. It's not conducive to being a good teacher, is it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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