Students Laugh at Me

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by hopefulnovice, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2009

    Or so it seems...I just had a class where we discussed a video on ancient Rome. One of the students was telling me which fact was the most interesting to her and I didn't hear her. So I asked again, and she laughed and said "Yea, that's what I just said..." several other kids laughed along. They do it often, laugh and giggle when I don't get someone and have to ask again...

    It bothers me. I'm trying to just let it go, and I'm better at it, but it's hard. How do you deal with this?
     
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  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jan 5, 2009

    Dear, you are having a bad year! What grade is it? Middle/high school students *love* to get a one-up on the teacher - they will mutter something totally unrelated to the subject then be sarcastic when you ask them to repeat yourself.

    To stop it in my classes (and I am a sarcastic person - I know you aren't supposed to be as a teacher, but sometimes it's the only thing that works), if a middle-school kid muttered something unintelligible, I would say, "Oops! Didn't get that - guess I have to ask someone who can actually enunciate!" and NOT give the kid a chance to answer again. (I couldn't do it in high school b/c they were "sensitive")

    Kids are tough - they sense weakness, they sense teachers who are unsure of themselves, and they LOVE to get one up on you. And they will continue to laugh if they can sense it bothers you. You have to grow some armor, and that takes some time.
     
  4. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    Jan 5, 2009

    I give them a reason to laugh if they want to. I'll say REALLY loudly "WHAT WAS THAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! SPEAK UP!!!" Mine haven't been bad about that this year though. *shrug*
     
  5. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2009

    I do that, and they refuse to repeat. They just say "oh, nothing" or "never mind"... These are 9th graders.
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    My favorite! That's when you pull out the, "Oh? You cared 20 seconds ago, but not anymore? It MUST have been important, because YOU said it! No, really, we are all hanging with bated breath to hear what you said! We care! Right class? We CARE ABOUT YOU! Share with us! SHARE! No? Ok, how about Johnny? What was your favorite part?"

    The kid is usually slightly embarrassed and, of course, won't say anything... the trick is to NOT give them a chance to interrupt or say anything at the end.
     
  7. hopefulnovice

    hopefulnovice Rookie

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    I'm afraid it will become a power struggle then. I'm pretty sure the kids who do that to me would have "the last word" at all costs. I don't want a spectacle in my class, and I don't want this to interrupt my teaching. However, I guess to nip it in the bud I need to do this at least ones to a student to "show" the rest that I mean business...I hate these confrontations, but I'm sick of being bullied every day...
     
  8. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Jan 5, 2009

    They know and sense that you hate the confrontations. If they are bold enough to bring it on, you need to be bold enough to give them right back what they give you, and as a previous poster said, move on without giving a chance for response. If they do try to get the last word, then just put your hand up and say: "We'll continue in private if you wish, but I have a class to teach" or something to that effect. Confrontations at that age are almost inevitable, but they don't have to leave you feeling bullied.

    Many will say that you should never be sarcastic, etc. and I believe that in general, but when faced with tough students who are not willing to give you a chance, it's more important to show you can hold your ground.

    What can also work is to turn it around and laugh at yourself. If you don't hear a comment, say something like: "I don't know but I think I have corn in my ears or something because I didn't get that." If they won't repeat, say: "Oh well, I guess it wasn't important, let's just move on." They need to see that their attempts at ridiculing you don't bother you (even if they do). Good luck.
     
  9. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Jan 7, 2009

    Today, I said something wrong and the kids laughed at me. I asked them what was funny and they told me. I kept my calm and said, "Yes I make mistakes. Sometimes you will make them and you and you." After I said that they shook their heads and admitted that they say things wrong all the time.

    I't's good that you're not letting the kids see that it bothers you.
    One time my leg was tangled in my keyboard cord under my desk and when I stood up to walk I tripped and fell behind my desk-making a loud bang. Talk about hilarious. I think I laughed more than they did. :)
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 7, 2009

    Yesterday a student refused to let me help. He was all over the place (on the floor, standing up, sitting, laying on his papers, etc.). I was calm and continued to try to help but I didn't make it into a big deal. FINALLY when I started getting somewhere another student starts interrupting with pictures from his book and distracting him. They almost seemed to be in cahoots. I finally looked at the other student and said, "If you show that book one more time and interupt us, I WILL take that book from you. Understood?" The boy looked at the other kid (that I was struggling with) and said, "Wow, strict!" The other kid looked at me and I said, "Now let's get to work." I didn't book an argument and he didn't challenge me after that.

    This group has special needs and I'm trying to maintain a sense of humor and patience but sometimes they need to know I'm in charge.
     
  11. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jan 8, 2009

    I just ask them if they are perfect and if they say "yes," then I tell them that they're not telling the truth. I get laughed at all of the time. Don't let it get to you. They want you to feel bad.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 8, 2009

    It's hard to let the laughter go, but you have to. I had many experiences with my students snickering at something I would say that they probably thought was lame, dumb, whatever. One girl said to me, sarcastically, that she liked my pants. Then I saw her laugh. Just let those things slide. It goes with the territory.
     
  13. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Jan 9, 2009

    haha, yeah, I teach highschoolers and I know what you mean about the laughing. I'm still kind of younger, so I usually know if I'm saying something that they'll interpret inappropriately, or if they are saying something alluding to something else. If people laugh, I usually just quickly say something, very deadpan, like "haha, ok, we all get the joke, but you're in high school and I know you can be mature about it now".

    Or, if I don't know why people are laughing, I say, in a kind of curious tone, "ooook, I have no clue what's going on, but let's ignore it now and get back to the lesson. You can laugh about it later."

    Generally, I don't care if they could be laughing at me. I'm sure if I were a student, I'd laugh at myself sometimes too. And let's be honest, sometimes we laugh about students later too. :)
     
  14. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Jan 10, 2009

    My middleschool class does that too, with me. It only bothers me when they don't move back on task afterwards. I don't know if this is the problem that you are having, but with this one class, I am having trouble finding the boundary between being a good sport and being an authority figure. I'm not sure what's been going on with them lately, but since Christmas break, they've been a whole lot worse. I don't have any good advice, but you are definately not alone.
     
  15. LMCharbonneau

    LMCharbonneau New Member

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    May 4, 2015

    Well, I would do

    When I couldn't control my student's laughter, I gave them something to really laugh at. I wore a toga to school with my red high heels and did my make up like a traditional "street walker."

    They really could not understand what was happening. Then I started googling strange things like: How can I eat student souls and how to sneak porcupines into the school in my shoes.

    Once the initial hilarity of the situation ended, the students began to look at me in a whole new light. They were scared and now they are my minions. Muahaha.

    Good luck to you all. And may the Spock be with you.

    :love:
     
  16. andstuff

    andstuff Rookie

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    I am not sure what just happened... but I like it. lol
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Some of my kids would say the answer, but say it so quietly that I can't hear. I ask them in a nice, encouraging way to repat it and they say "nevermind" and refuse. I know some of them are shy, so I tell them "no go ahead, I think you gave me the right answer, I just couldn't hear it all", but some are just oppositional, and they'd love me to give them the attention and keep asking. With those, I just say "ok, who can answer my question?" and move on.

    The key is not to let it bother you, or at least don't show them. Put on a face that shows how you think it's childish and not funny at all, and then ask someone else. Don't give them the negative attention they want.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 4, 2015


    [​IMG]
     
  19. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    May 5, 2015

    Yeah, I bet a lot of people looked at you in a whole new light after that.
     
  20. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    May 22, 2015

    Try not to let them get to you. When things like this happens to me, I just smile and say something like, "I liked your answer so much I wanted to hear it again", or "my ears are older than yours so get used to speaking louder in class".
     
  21. Switch

    Switch Rookie

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    May 25, 2015

    I don't think you need to be sarcastic. It's condoning the behavior and you put yourself to their level. You aren't being picked on- you just have to be firm and mature. Maturity and wisdom are the things you have that they don't. Responding with immaturity is an invitation to more. If not there somewhere else. Practice the look. I can make a barking dog stop. Let your body reflect your thoughts. And get closer to them so you can hear and speak in a quiet voice. Don't let little kids bother you it's not personal.
     
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    May 25, 2015

    Well let the truth be told, I'm on Effexor and honey, NOTHING gets to me. I laugh at myself all day long when I mess up or say something stupid--which I do all the time, and my kids KNOW it won't bother me--they know nothing they do will try my patience--therefore they don't bother. If I trip over my words, and I do that a lot--I just say "Sorry, my brain is so smart my mouth can't keep up with the words in my head." Or if were to trip and fall over a cord, I'd laugh at myself, and then say "Alright, enough, quit acting like you haven't fallen up the stairs before and get back to work." The kids are trying to get under your skin because they KNOW they will be successful. You have to take away any victory they will get out of their behavior. When a student is bad or disruptive in my room, they know they will get the tiered consequences--that it is not personal, I am not angry, I am not upset, and I still love them--the last consequence is bounce out of my classroom. And I don't ever get upset or flustered with a student, I just simply say "Alright sugar bear (and yes these are 7th graders, but they still love to be called sweet pea, dumpling, honey comb, etc.) get out of my room! Two more times this week and it'll be a referral. Oh and here's your work, enjoy Mrs. Suchandsuch's room." With one student I might get a "Oh, I definitely will" and I will say "Great pudding pop, the more you enjoy it, the less I have to feel bad about sending you out!" Yes, that's sarcasm which I do naturally but they don't have the grounds to be nasty when I'm calling them sugar plum--which they know, so 95% they refrain from escalating further. Do not give them anything to feed off of, that's when you lose.
     
  23. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    May 25, 2015

    Love your last line. I feel the same way. My job is to educate and protect the learning environment. I can dish out consequences which eventually lead to bouncing out of my room (it the disruption continues), but ultimately discipline is the parents' job, not mine. I'm not raising them, their behavior is not a reflection of me. Now the three kids I gave birth to, their behavior IS a reflection of me. So I treat teaching the way I'd expect my sons' teachers to conduct the classroom. Protect the learning environment it, institute consequences as need be, and then let ME know if my child is a problem--I WILL handle him. Granted there are parents who won't, but again, that's not the teacher's problem--at the end of the year we will part ways, but the parents will still have to deal with a child who consistently defies authority.
     
  24. Switch

    Switch Rookie

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    May 26, 2015

     

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