Unprofessional behavior witnessed during observation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BrownEyedGirly, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. BrownEyedGirly

    BrownEyedGirly Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2007

    I am currently in grad school and as a requirement for many of my classes I must do observation. I did only a few hours at another school where the teachers didn't even know I would be there that day. I sat in the back and they just went along their way teaching not including me or describing any of their techniques they were using which was fine. So a I then went to another school and was paired up with a different teacher. The teacher was teaching for close to 20 yrs and was at this current school for a long time. Well her classroom management skills, or at least everything I learned and thought you shouldn't do she did. She sreamed constantly at the kids, I mean at the tops of her lungs singling individual students out and throwing and pointing her hand at them. She would also say outloud that certain students made stupid mistakes. Then there was the complaining. From the moment I stepped in until the day I left all she did was complain to me. When someone would knock at her door when they left, she would look at me and roll her eyes or start talking to me from across the classroom about how the interruptions are annyoing. Or she would start going on and on about how there was too much paperwork for her. She was really helpful in that she would show me how she graded things, described the lesson she was about to teache or call me up to watch her grade student's reading etc. It wasn't just like I was invisible in the classroom. But then she had me teach them, mind you I'm not a student teacher, while she did work. She had me do 2 reading lessons with them, pretty much told me on the spot to do it and then a food awareness lesson which was her job. She would do other work while I did this. I didn't complain bc I actually found it helped me, that was the first time I ever taught, even if she wasn't watching, but considering I was sent there to observe I don't know why she made me do that. She also made me bring them to lunch, bathroom, etc. We then had some other observers come in one of the days and when we were all chatting they even made comments that she seemed crazy lol. The part that really surpised me was how she bad mouthed and ripped apart all the kids parents to me. She would actually stop what she was doing and tell me to meet her in the hallway where she would tell me how soandso's parents spoil him, or so and so's mom has a live in boyfriend. She even went so far as telling me that one girl's parents were white trash. I mean I've never heard a teacher talking about a child's family to me, someone she hardly knows. She actually went so far as to talking about other teachers who would pass her in the hallway saying how this ones a princess. Anyway, when my few days were done I mentioned to her that I might be back next semester and possibly observe her class again, not bc I liked her management skills but she did help me out by giving me tons of information I could use for my class and I fell in love with the kids:wub: She said "oh well maybe since I got to know you but I doubt it since it's really annoying to have someone observing and I'm better off to I go to another class":eek:hmy:. Well, for it being annyoing she certainly got use of me by smack talking about the kids and their parents and having me teach lessons. Any opinions? Was this professional behavior?
     
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  3. cdorey13

    cdorey13 Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2007

    I think you already know the answer to your question about professional behavior just based on reading how you wrote it. Coming in as a new teacher, unfortunately it is a difficult profession where there is A LOT of complaining BUT it is important to also know that it is not JUST TEACHERS. People everywhere are also frustrated with their paperwork, their rules and policies, the lines they must toe in order to do their jobs. My cousin is a flight attendant and said the other day, "I think they complain more than anyone!" I started laughing! My dad brought me lunch one day to my school and we ate it in the Staff Room, after we left he said there was more complaining in that room than positive talk. So just keep this in mind, wherever you get a job, JUST TRY to be as positive as possible. Take the paperwork in stride and remember why you are doing this job. And if at anytime you become "grumpy" then get out!!!
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 24, 2007

    It sounds as though this teacher is past her retirement! I'm glad that she had some valuable information for you in regards to grading, but she should never have discussed students, parents, or other teachers with someone there observing. Her classroom management style is her own, and you know that you will not use it as yours. When I did my observations, the teachers would always have me read to the students and ask comprehension questions, but they never would let me do a lesson! :eek: And they would allow me to take them to the bathroom and to lunch, but only after they asked if I was comfortable doing that. I agree with cdorey, you already know the behavior was unprofessional. Unfortunately, you have those in every profession.
     
  5. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2007

    While I think this teacher was unprofessional (by a long shot!), I do think having you teach a lesson will be beneficial. In my undergrad work, we were observing in the classrooms our freshman year. In our sophmore year, we began to teach small lessons to the class. In our junior and senior years, we were in the classroom quite a bit, and taught all the time. We didn't really take on all the responsiblilities until our internship.
    Have you talked to educational advisor, or the coordinator about this experience?
     
  6. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Oct 24, 2007

    As a parent, the things that really concern me are the constant yelling and calling kids stupid. The rest -- the gossiping, the whining, etc -- that stuff's probably all pretty unprofessional too, but happens in a lot of professions. Using you for whatever she thought she could sounds like it might be pretty typical.

    And yeah, it's pretty rude to tell the person you've just used to help that they've been annoying.

    Chalk it up to her being not terribly good as a communicator and a good object lesson in what to avoid. And, be thankful she gave you your first experience teaching (even if someone else would have been better).
     
  7. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Oct 24, 2007

    Also keep in mind she might not be aware that she yells as much as she does. It is easy for you to see because you are just sitting back and watching her. I remember when I was observing I would see all the things that teachers did wrong and wonder why in the world they would do that. Now that I teach, I realize that I can't always be the great teacher and there are times that I yell when I shouldn't because I am frustrated.

    She came from a different time when yelling was more accepted. I would learn from it and be glad that you won't be like that:)
     
  8. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Oct 24, 2007

    Sounds like she gave you a lesson in what NOT to do. Unfortunatley, there are people like that in the teaching profession and you will probably have the "pleasure" of working with some along the way. Even though you got attached to the kids, I would certainly request to observe another teacher for your next class. There are so many wonderful teachers out there who would give you tons of POSITIVE insight and information about our profession.
     
  9. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Oct 24, 2007

    Isn't it also possible that she was unaware of your current experience level? She may have been sent observers before who were supposed to get their feet wet with her. Most likely though, you were sent to her for a reason. Without ripping her apart, your critique or summary should include the positives you observed and some goals for your future as a professional. Never forget how her behavior toward those students made you feel so that when you have a horrible day, you will not fall into those kinds of habits. And, good for you for being able to step in and succeed. You have learned more than you realize right now.
     
  10. BrownEyedGirly

    BrownEyedGirly Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2007

    Yes, you are right. I do think that letting me teach a few lessons defentially helped and I was surprised at how well I did, even though, the reason she did it was so that SHE could do other work that that needed to be done and I could keep the rest busy. I was just surprised that's all. I think maybe she needed someone to vent to. I also think if she found observers being in her class to be such a burden and considering she has been at the school a very long time, she should request that no observers be put in her class. I mean it's a very large school. Yes, she gave me a ton of information as far as what she likes to do, showing me some of her lessons, even though she told me it's take too long to write out which is why she don't do it anymore, how she accesses reading, etc. and on a whole she was nice to me, but pulling me aside to consisently to talk about her students nontheless their family lives..I think that was totally uncalled for. My college works with this school alot since they place alot of students to there. I'm not going to metion her name or anything like that, really not worth it.
     
  11. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Oct 24, 2007

    Well You paint quite a vivid picture. I wonder what painting she would paint?

    You basically complained that at the first school you were ignored "which was fine."
    Then the teacher did the exact opposite at the other school and you complained.

    Are you planning to become a teacher?
    I would say you will learn more about the "mechanics" of Teaching from Teacher #2. Teacher #2 may have given TMI but it is a side of education you do not learn about in College.
    Right now you are still an outsider (outside of education). She took you in, maybe in confidence. She gave you a education in the classroom, she gave you a taste.
    I can not count the number of "New" teachers without using a calculator who have said "I did not sign up for this!" when put into the classroom for "Reals" :eek:.
    How long did you do "Time" with her?:|

    She may not be perfect but I think you need to remember that we can learn from everyone.
    BTW where about are you in NY? I am a former NYer (Oswego State class of 73)

    This poster is back to stirring the talk up to get more reactions
     
  12. missred4190

    missred4190 Comrade

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    Oct 26, 2007

    Well, I have a similar experience, but I was expected to take an active role with the students after observing for a few weeks. I witnessed the teacher telling students continually, "You will be wrong, I won't ask you," "What is wrong with you? How can you not get that?" "Are you stupid?" ect, and often in such a mean tone, rolling eyes, ect. I went to my supervisor, and she came in and observed one day, casually. She wasn't happy with what she saw either--these teachers are to be examples (positive examples), and these students were obviously afraid to even raise their hands for fear of being wrong!

    The principal got invovled and agreeded that it might be best for this teacher to try a year with older, more independent students. For the rest of the semester, however, he made a genuine effort to calm down, give students a chance to make mistakes without jumping all over them, ect. You could see the students gradually relax. By the end of the school year, you could tell that he was even enjoying them so much more. He is working now at another school with older students and loves it. It was a case of a teacher in the wrong grade level, pretty much. But I'm just glad that I let my supervisor know--it turned out that it made a big difference.
     

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