Teacher holding a grudge

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2008

    So, last year at the beginning of the year, a bunch of newspapers showed up at my classroom. I passed them out to students to read at the end of class. As I was taking a look at my own copy, I noticed that the headline on the front page had some grossly incorrect grammar, and I commented on it. I wasn't mean about it, I just said, "Oh, it looks like they made a mistake on this headline. It should say ___ here. I wonder why they wouldn't check it before they printed it up."

    Cut to a few days later when one of the assistant principals sends out a very harshly worded email to the entire staff. The email pretty much said that teachers had used a copy of the student newspaper (whoops! I didn't know it was the student newspaper, but I should have assumed it was.) and "bashed" one student's hard work. The student spent an hour in the AP's office sobbing because she was embarassed that a teacher would make fun of her in public. Blah blah blah. "Don't EVER use student work as an example of mistakes in your class."

    This email was addressed the entire staff, but I figured it was really meant for me to see. Later in the day, my supervising administrator talked to me, and I explained that I meant no offense, that I was very sorry that the student's feelings were hurt, but that I really don't think I said anything bad other than pointing out a glaring grammar error. The admin seemed happy with that, and nothing more was said about it.

    Cut to today, nearly two years later, when one of my journalism students says to me, "Don't tell [the teacher] that I told you this, but she's still pissed at you about that thing last year where you said there was a mistake on the paper. She tells all her students not to bring stacks of papers to your room anymore."

    Now, the student who told me this is trustworthy. Oh, and I haven't ever seen the student newspaper since then--not in a stack outside my door, and not in my mailbox when it's in everyone else's.

    I get it that this teacher evidently hates me. Fine.

    What bugs me about this whole situation is not that the teacher is holding a grudge, but that she is telling students (outright or implying) that I'm terrible and awful, that I don't "deserve" a copy of the paper.

    I'm actually really hurt by this whole thing. I'm a good person, and (I think) a good teacher, and I care about students immensely. I really am sorry that this student's feelings were hurt, but seriously... I pointed out the error with absolutely zero malice, no sarcasm, no disrespect. I am a teacher, and I feel like it's my job to teach the right way to do things...and in my opinion, printing a newspaper with a huge error on the front page is not the right way to do things.

    Bah. Just a vent.
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 18, 2008

    It's not the kid's fault either who wrote the piece, it's the teacher's fault for not catching it. That stinks she is still holding a grudge against you. Sometimes I wonder how people can hold grudges. I usually forgot by the next day.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2008

    Maybe the teacher is upset because it was a mistake that SHE should have caught before letting it go to print and distributed around the school.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2008

    If she's not upset about that, she should be. I would have been mortified. [...But then again, I obviously care about using reasonably good grammar.]

    But I'm still getting the short end of this stick. :(
     
  6. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Apr 18, 2008

    How very petty & childish. Good grief.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2008

    Cassie, I'm sorry. The teacher and admin didn't handle the situation very well.
     
  8. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2008

    I'm sorry you have to deal with crappy people. You did nothing wrong.
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Apr 18, 2008

    Just let it roll . . .

    If she is still holding a grudge, she must have bigger problems than a grammatical error. Don't waste your energy worrying about it! Enjoy your kids.
     
  10. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    That's ridiculous. I hate it when people hold grudges for such a long time.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Apr 18, 2008

    Send an email that says something like...

    Dear Teacher with a Grudge's Name,

    I really miss having xyz student newsletter sent to my classroom. My class and I enjoy reading them. I love that the school encourages writing and has a school newspaper. Not every school puts that much thought into how to use writing in such a way that is meaningful to students. My students benefit from reading things written by their peers. Now that I am aware that this is a newsletter written by students thanks to my glaring blunder when I first started working here I have really tried to use xyz newsletter to encourage students to write articles of their own, cherish (needs another word) the words of their peers and even look up to many of their shining examples as inspiration especially as they look for worthy topics to expand on. Can you please send me x number of copies each week? I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 18, 2008

    I think this (indirect info from a student) has been kicked around before in another thread. No matter how trustworthy the student professionalism dictates confronting the source before rushing to judgment. Your opinion of this teacher may be perfectly justified but better to base it on first-hand facts. I know I've been in situations where students have said things about me - to parents, colleagues etc.- where stuff was taken out of context, was meant as humor, or tweaked ever so slightly. :2cents:
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 18, 2008

    I think cut has the right idea. Something to that effect would be very professional yet let the teacher know you've noticed something amiss in a non-confrontational manner,
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    How unprofessional, immature, and just downright rude! (I do not mean you, Cassie - rather, the "offended" teacher.)

    I like cutNpaste's idea. Not only is it a professional (and pleasant) way to document the fact that you have and are not receiving copies of what is supposed to be a school-wide publication, you are also documenting the fact that you are not the one holding a grudge.

    Here is my take on cutNpaste's note:

    First, send it as a hard copy, not an email. Emails can and have been altered. Keep a copy for your records (butt-covering).

    Dear Teacher with a Grudge's Name,

    I really miss having xyz student newsletter sent to my classroom. My class and I enjoy reading them. I love that the school encourages writing and has a school newspaper. Not every school puts that much thought into how to use writing in such a way that is meaningful to students.

    I am of the opinion that our students can only benefit from reading things written by their peers. Now that I am aware that this is a newsletter written by students (thanks to my glaring blunder when I first started working here) I have endeavored to use xyz newsletter to encourage ourstudents to write articles of their own, examine, appreciate, and critique (in a positive, educational way, of course) the words of their peers. It is often the case that students find many shining examples of literary expression as articles in this newspaper, and these articles serve as inspiration, especially as students look for worthy topics on which to expand. Would you please send me x number of copies each week? The students andI would greatly appreciate it. I look forward to hearing from you and to reading the student newspaper soon!

    Respectfully,

    Cassie753


    Just my :2cents:, which, in today's economy, is about what it is worth, lol!
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Really, after two years send a letter stirring it up again? I would just send a letter requesting that they provide you with the school newspaper once more.

    My admin would've told that grudge-holder to grow up.
     
  16. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 19, 2008

    I agree, why bring it up again. Also, it avoids causing a problem if this is old information or the student was mistaken. I would just send a note that says that you haven't been getting the paper, please send x amount.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 19, 2008

    :2cents:
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 19, 2008

    I won't be emailing the teacher anything at all, period. I think that now, two years after the fact, if she is still upset about this incident, nothing I say is going to fix that. At the time, I explained the situation to my admin when I was approached. I had no idea that this teacher had felt personally slighted, or I likely would have addressed it with her at the time as well.

    To clarify a few points... The district sends out quite a few different newspapers geared towards students. I guess I thought that this newspaper was one produced by adults at the district.

    I didn't lambaste the paper or the student. I honestly, truly don't think I did the wrong thing. I wasn't rude or sarcastic or anything like that. I merely pointed out an error in what I thought was a light, factual sort of way.

    Of course I make mistakes. I also proofread the stuff that my students produce before it is published or displayed.

    I guess people are totally allowed to feel like I did the wrong thing. I just don't think I did. I did NOT make a "lesson" out of the piece. I pointed it out while the students were taking a look at the paper during the last 5 minutes of class. In our class, which is really more like an advanced English grammar class than anything else, we talk about grammatical errors all the time. It's how we learn to identify and fix them. It didn't and doesn't seem off the mark to me to have identified an error here.

    *shrugs* That's that, I suppose.
     
  19. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Apr 19, 2008

    No, I don't think Cassie did ANYTHING wrong. I'd be mortified as well if there were a huge grammar mistake on the front page of a paper that I should have checked. You don't owe anyone any apologies.
     
  20. Poisontipped

    Poisontipped Rookie

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    Did you end up speaking to the student who was upset?
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No, I did not speak to the student. I don't even know who the student was.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    You didn't even realize that it was the students' newspaper, so I don't understand how this teacher is still upset about this petty thing. Here's the thing: life is way too short to spend your time worrying about this sort of stuff. That teacher is going around carrying hate or dislike for you over nothing, and that's her right to do so. You, however, know that you never meant to hurt anyone's feelings, so you can feel good about yourself. Don't let yourself stress out about this teacher's issues, because there are always those kinds of people who are just looking for something to gripe about.
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The teacher may have thought it should have been obvious that it wasn't a real newspaper and therefore it had to be a student newspaper. I suspect if she is involved in it day to day she doesn't get how it could have mistakenly happen. Also she probably had to deal with the aftermath of the student, whom she had an attachment for (by the product of teaching, and it held a very poor first impression and sometimes unless there are things to replace those memories it can be very hard to get rid of it.
     
  24. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Holding a grudge is like eating poison and waiting for the other person to die.
     
  25. Tealsmith

    Tealsmith Rookie

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    That's a good one Hoot Owl.
     
  26. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2008

    I don't think you did anything wrong. We are encouraged to take the students names off papers and correct them as a class for state writing tests.
     
  27. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    It's a shame that we live in a society where constructive criticism is being view more as an attack that simply what it is. It's no wonder we have the troubles we do in education. The you-did-your-best mentally as oppose to encouraging academic excellence has become too common in today's society.
     

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