The GRIPING!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by myloveasdeep, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2011

    I love my job. Almost every day for the past year I've come home feeling fulfilled and proud of the work my students did. All that "the first year is the WORST" stuff didn't happen to me.
    Just in the past week, however, it's like my students have become pod people. We finished the big research paper and the rest of the year is slated for funny,challenging, entertaining letter-writing activities. And yet they GRIPE!

    They tell me they're bored, they text in class ( and roll their eyes at me when I confiscate phones), they whine about the workload (they never even have homework, for heaven's sake), and they say things like "How is knowing how to write a complaint letter relevant to my life?"

    Their attitude is putrid. They're wearing me down. I am thisclose to busting out the Prentice Hall Grammar Workbook and telling them to enjoy their new best friend: comma exercises.

    I assume it's because there are four weeks left in school and we're all tired and straining for the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish they'd lighten up. Work isn't fun anymore.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Apr 21, 2011

    I feel your pain. I have seniors, and next week when we come back from spring break they'll have about 23 days of class left. It seems that as they years go on, they have less stamina for and/or interest in school. Unless they have instant gratification, a la texting/gaming, they don't even care about trying. I end with a speech project that's pretty enjoyable, so I've got my fingers crossed.

    Get out that PH Grammar if you need to! Lord knows, they can all use the practice. ;)
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I have a poster (that I made) in my room that reads:
    The deadline for complaints was yesterday.

    My students learn when they gripe they get reminded of the poster.

    I point to the poster and move on.

    I don't get much from my seniors (they have had me for 2 years). My juniors are starting in with "but it's the end of the year ..." and I either point to the sign or simply say, "So?"
     
  5. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2011

    rest assured that no matter what fun things you plan, or whatever amount of work you give them, it's sometimes just human nature to complain...so even though their workload may be light, they will still complain that it's too much.

    The first couple of years I got upset by senioritis, now I understand it and don't take it personally...keep plugging away and don't let them get you down. If you give in and don't give them work it will just slow down the whole process...one time I had my students sit and do NOTHING for a whole period (after AP tests and when they are seniors), and they complained about how boring it was...no computers, no talking, nothing. After that it wasn't hard to get them to complete assignments...
     
  6. school_o_fish

    school_o_fish Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2011

    Eek. Your classroom sounds like mine. I have mostly juniors in my chemistry classes and they are complaining every. single. day. I have a new mantra "There is no whining in baseball or chemistry!"
     
  7. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Apr 22, 2011

    Huh?

    OK, why not? I give!
     
  8. school_o_fish

    school_o_fish Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2011

    I don't know why, there just isn't! I have heard the saying "there is no crying in baseball" frequently so I changed it to make my new classroom saying. It is probably me being wacky and silly, but it diffuses the situation when kids are getting whiny and crabby because we have to do some work.
     
  9. anthrogirl

    anthrogirl Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2011

    I am a middle school teacher, but I have a class who gripes too.

    It's my most advanced class.

    They are always complaining about the work load. Every single class. My class with the most struggling students? They don't complain. They even sick their teeth in and get creative.

    I think the problem with the more advanced class is that they are so focused on their grades they are afraid to think outside the box. They would rather just regurgitate information and take notes.

    So different situation than yours, but yeah. The griping has been driving me crazy. I love that poster, though.
     
  10. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2011

  11. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Apr 23, 2011

    I loved that movie:)
     
  12. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2011

    Interestingly, I saw a family car today with a message soaped on the back window, "Can you believe 2011 is over already?" (As if celebrating their child's accomplishment this school year, which still has until mid-June to the actual finish date.) So, the parents are as bad as the kids.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 24, 2011

    It's an occupational hazard. After a long school year, adolescents are going to complain in the spring. That's all there is to it. Don't take it personally or let it bring you down. Ignore it.
     
  14. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2011

    HAHA! I like the poster!

    A couple of our teachers have a sign like this in their room:
    [​IMG]

    But I think I like this one better:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 24, 2011

    Could it be that message meant something else? Or perhaps the student, not the parents wrote the message? Or that they were remarking on the culmination of a sports season, or a sales campaign at work?
    Give parents, and kids, the benefit of the doubt...and a chance to gripe sometimes.:)
     
  16. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Apr 24, 2011

    I would buy that if they didn't have "Class of '12" written on the side windows. (I probably should have mentioned that in the original post as to how I reached my conclusion. ;) )
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 24, 2011

    Still possible there's another student in the home who has finished...

    Regardless, I wouldn't let it bother me.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 24, 2011

    Our Seniors have 8 days of classes left.

    For all intents and purposes, their year is over.
     
  19. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 24, 2011

    Haha my kids whine when I give work on Thursdays, Mondays, Fridays, if it's raining outside, if it's hot outside, you name it.

    "Whaaaaat??? We have to do ______?? But it's THURSDAY!"
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 25, 2011

    There's a lot of whining going on now - the kids seem to feel that once the state tests are over, there's nothing left to learn in the school year.

    They whine; I tell them it's my job to torture them with fun stuff. I save mythology and drama for after the tests; they love them and it keeps them going until them end.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 25, 2011

    The funny thing is, when adults do it, it's called "venting" and I've been told in no uncertain terms that it's seen as healthy.
     
  22. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 25, 2011

    I see your point, but I think whining and venting are two different things.

    Venting usually centers on a specific incident or event in which the person feels they have been mistreated, ignored, insulted, wrongly chastised, etc.

    Whining usually involves complaining about having to do anything. The OP is not being mean, malicious, vindictive or belligerent in her assignments to the class, she is just expecting them to continue doing assignments even though the school year is almost over. That's not an unreasonable expectation or request and is certainly not a "wrong treatment" of the students.

    So their complaints are considered whining rather than healthy venting.

    A better example of a vent would be a student complaining about being given an extra assignment simply because (s)he chooses to not stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. ;)
     
  23. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 25, 2011

    I felt like even if I gave them something fun or cut them a break, they would whine, so I would tell them the assignment was something totally ridiculous, let them complain, and then "be nice" and cut the assignment back to what I had intended it to be anyway. lol. Then they say, Oh, Thank you!!
     
  24. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2011

    I'm sure Alice is right. This is my first year, after all. I do wish that they'd confine their moaning to "I don't want to" rather than "You're wrong for making us work" because it's such an odd and baseless accusation that it offends me.

    I think my best strategy is the no whining sign and selective deafness. Garrett Keizer says that he can't help but sympathize with them when the sap is flowing and it's sunny outside. The whole world feels summer coming and who are they to fight biology?

    Thanks, everybody. It helps to know that this is a universal springtime event and I am not alone!
     
  25. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Apr 25, 2011

    Button Pushing

    :rolleyes:
    Your students are trying (and perhaps succeeding) to push you into decreasing your workload. It is an old trick, my wife's honors classes used it when she was in HS (she is now a retired ele. teacher). It must be handed down from generations, or it is a learned response. Don't give in. If you keep increasing your expectations (i.e. work) as they gripe, they will eventually get the message. Mine did (back in the day, BR).
    TechnoMage:whistle:
     
  26. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Apr 27, 2011

    I love that line since I was a shop teacher and we DO work until the LAST Day (and sometimes weekends to finish a project, kind of like trying to put 10 lb of potatoes in a 5 lb bag, in regard to time)
    I used to say "There's No crying in shop class ..."
    and
    "the end of school is like a box of chocolates ... you'er never sure who's going to get the last one, and usually it has a hole where someone has stuck their finger in"
     
  27. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Apr 27, 2011

    I have always thought that there should not be a published Last Day...

    We just teach each day like there will be one following and starting in May the Principal just spins a "wheel of fortune"
    and if it hits the "School's out wedge" he announces "GO HOME"
    and plays Alice Cooper's "Schools out for summer" over the intercom,
    every Student that is passing and in attendence may leave for summer and they have 20 min to vacate the school,...
    ... if not spin again the next day and add another School's out wedge each day till it hits.
    [​IMG]
    Schools out for summer

    I had the pleasure of meeting Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) at the Phoenix Airport one time, when I mentioned that I taught at the school he attended as an eighth grader
    he asked if some of his teachers were still there and one was!
    He is 63 years old, OLDER THEN ME!
     
  28. misterdee

    misterdee Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2011

    My poster reads:
    Beatings will continue until morale improves

    Whatever you do, don't threaten them with the grammar book. If they don't value your creative exercises it is because it isn't how they "do school." Many students would rather complete boring worksheets than challenge themselves. We need to keep pushing if we want creativity.
     
  29. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Apr 27, 2011

    Just saying that whining isn't only at high school. I have several that are complaining and I teach first grade. Our behavior as a grade levelis becoming more and more unbearable to contend with. Today even the principal was astonished at how bad they have become and made then entire first grade sit out. Ummmm 21 days and counting down!!!!!
     
  30. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 27, 2011

    I had 3 sixth graders tell me that while yes, they did roll their eyes and sigh loudly at their music teacher, it was ok because they always do that and that shouldn't be considered attitude.
     
  31. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    IrishDave: I love it.

    misterdee:Good point. I hadn't thought of that.
     
  32. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Apr 29, 2011

    SEE POST #26
    If it lands on a subject They get some reward Free: Pizza, sodas, Movie that day.
    I entered this Idea in a teacher Idea contest at school one year and I won and it was presented at a PTA meeting (it was a "Teachers are fun-ny" contest) I won a dinner for two at a nice restaurant

    [​IMG]
     
  33. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Apr 30, 2011

    LOL.....if that came up in my class, I'd probably be the first one out the door!
     
  34. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Ron Clark's method of instantly doubling any assignment that receives a complaint has done wonders for me. It only takes once for my kids to get the point that I really have no interest in hearing their complaints.

    I put in way too much work to make the class enjoyable to hear that nonsense. Beyond that, your idea of using the grammar books is not a bad one at all. I think it is important to show students that you could be the lazy teacher who just goes with the same materials everyone has used for two decades if that really is what they want.
     
  35. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    May 12, 2011

    And if you did that to them??

    THEY would consider you rude.

    Point of view.
     
  36. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 12, 2011

    Um, ok, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, but rest assured, I do not roll my eyes and sigh loudly at students.
     
  37. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    May 26, 2011

    Not only do students complain, but they will assure you that none of the other teachers are making them do anything >.>
     
  38. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 26, 2011

    "Eye rolling" is a universal sign of disrespect. It is NOT "OK" just because another teacher let's them get away with it and it IS a sign of attitude.

    In my class, students willl get a consequence for doing it. That migjt be a discipline check, loss of recess, copying a short essay on respect or a combination of the three.
     
  39. Born2beTeacher

    Born2beTeacher Rookie

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    May 26, 2011

    Ahh, the whining- seen it in every one of my classes. My seniors are bar none the worst though- they've all pretty much heard back from their future universities/colleges/workplaces, so there's no motivation to really do work anymore (that's the vibe I'm getting), and they're all focusing on prom, grad and summer plans, so work kinda puts a damper on all that happy stuff.
    My grade 10s and 11s are sometimes whiny too, but most of them realize they'll be spending another fun-filled year with me come fall, so they have to grin and bear it :)
     
  40. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    May 26, 2011

    Ughh.. I hate hearing the question "when am I ever going to use this?" Are you serious? You live in Texas, but can't figure out when you might need Spanish?! They just like to complain.
     

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