What's with screaming when teachers step up at assemblies?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by a teacher, Aug 30, 2016.

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  1. a teacher

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    Recently at an assembly I was reminded that when certain teachers are introduced to an auditorium full of kids that they get what amounts to a standing ovation. Does anyone have any insight into why this happens? In every situation that I have seen this occur the teachers have not been particularly spectacular educators, which is to say I found plenty lacking in their teaching methods.

    But at the same time it has been hard to identify a common denominator regarding teachers who students scream and cheer about when they get on stage to address the crowd. Psychologically, what do you think is going on in these kids weird heads?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I'd imagine they're popular teachers.
     
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  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Ummm...awkward, but I --for some reason-- was that teacher. When they called me to stand up, my kids and the other third graders (and some fourth graders with whom I worked) all cheered. Remember we don't just teach, but also form relationships and bonds with the kids. Maybe that teacher had that with the kids.
    I felt popular so I ate it up. LOL
    ;):rofl:
     
  5. a teacher

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    I can understand that in Elementary school, but I don't get how it happens at the high school level.
     
  6. a teacher

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    Obviously they are popular, but why? I wonder if these are the teachers who do a lot of stuff outside the classroom (chaperone dances, coach teams, etc.). In the day-to-day teaching that most teachers are busy with there really doesn't seem to be any occasion that would lend itself to kids being motivated to lose their minds when the person's name is called at an assembly.
     
  7. a teacher

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    But most importantly, what should the rest of us make of it? Should it be a matter of concern if we are not receiving hyper reactions?
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I think the rest of you should not worry about it.
     
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  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My mom was one of those teachers who got the screaming ovation. My dad, not so much. As their kid who was also a student, it was a little weird to watch, but Dad knew that they were both effective educators in their own ways.
     
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    It could be that the teachers connect to them on a personal level more within class, it could be that they see more of the kids outside of class with sports/activities, it could be that they've developed a name for themselves in the community, it could be a ton of things. As you said, popular does not necessary mean the most effective, nor does it mean that they aren't effective. Don't worry about it.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    It can be hard not to resent the popular teachers. While everyone can say that we'd rather be respected than popular, I think deep inside somewhere we'd all like to be both. It's hard not to be jealous. I just remember that I know I'm doing what I think is best for my students' academic, social, and emotional development and go on from there. I connect really well with many students, and some not as much. I'm certainly not the one that everyone just loves. And that's ok.
     
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  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    And in the end, this is what we are being paid to do, so if we're doing that, we need not worry.
    (Though I will say, being a guy at the elementary level makes it a tiny bit easier for that popularity... :p )
     
  13. TechnoMage

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    It is the same reason that your children will listen to a peer before you, and celebrities who know nearly nothing but are revered, same reason. Not a good reason, but a reason.
     
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  14. a teacher

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    Could you unpack this a bit?
     
  15. ChildWhisperer

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    Don't you remember the popular teachers when you were in high school? Everyone knew who they were even if they never had that teacher for a class.
     
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  16. a teacher

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    I guess. They were jokesters or just generally very involved in school activities and visible. But you make a good point that it had nothing to do with their performance in the classroom.
     
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  17. a teacher

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    You stated that beautifully. I just find that kind of reaction annoying, because it makes every other teacher look like they are lacking somehow. I guess for me, while on the one hand I couldn't care less if teenagers would howl for me or not, on the other hand because we receive so little validation that is a quick thumbs up.
     
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  18. a teacher

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    I guess since I was once at a school where everyone placed a high premium on popularity, likability and relatability, I still carry scars of not being in the popular crowd. There's no way that building relationships with students in the ways that teachers do could cause cheering. I know there's no way I could ever elicit cheering and I am doing everything I can to relate to my students. So the common denominator would have to be that after-school stuff; putting in extra hours outside the classroom. That is something I couldn't do any more of than I am. But my extra time goes into developing my self as a teacher, not a community figure.
     
  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I completely understand: I was always a quieter student who never fit in with "that" crowd", and always dealt with confidence issues alongside of that...which made for a tough middle/high school set of years.

    That being said, just keep finding ways to connect with your students, keep bettering yourself as a teacher, and you'll find a great niche, I'm sure. Perhaps you're never the "most popular", but personally, I'd love a middle ground of "highly effective teacher" and "well liked teacher"...popularity isn't everything :) .

    For me, it was interacting with peers that was slightly harder...but funny enough, with younger, and sometimes with people older, I was able to interact better. I'm able to work with kids differently than I can my peers, and have developed strong abilities in working with parents. So...as a teacher right now, I find myself relatively popular, despite not being the most outgoing nor outspoken individual (okay, it also helps that I'm a male in elementary...it's like an automatic head start :p ). I don't interact tons with other colleagues, though...definitely a dichotomy!
     
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  20. MsAbeja

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  21. a teacher

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    Definitely. But again...extreme and unnecessary.
     
  22. a teacher

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    I like what you wrote about finding a niche. I am not naturally drawn to working with students nor am I a naturally friendly person, though I do have social skills and get along well with my colleagues. I will never be teacher of the year because that involves giving way too much of yourself and losing balance in life. I will never get standing ovations because I am not a showman, and I won't be the one going beyond my professional responsibilities in being concerned about the personal lives of students. There is simply no time for any of that if you are dedicating all your energy to best practices and great instruction. That however, should be enough to put me in the top 10% of teachers. Getting parent and student validation is one of the few ways I get any feedback which is why, because I work hard I value it so much. This is why I suppose I get annoyed by the standing ovations. Those teachers aren't as strong in the work as I am but they get a shortcut boost to their egos because they do certain activities or behave in certain ways in public that garner attention.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that you're taking this too personally. If students like one teacher, it doesn't mean that they hate every other teacher. If students like one teacher, it doesn't mean that teacher is easy/lazy/whatever (your logic on this point seems flawed to me). Just let it go.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  24. swansong1

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    I really don't see how you have determined that if a teacher gets loud recognition at an assembly, then they aren't as "strong in the work". Why does one have to cancel out the other?
     
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  25. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    This discussion got me thinking about one of the pieces of advice that veteran teachers gave me when I was student teaching many years ago. They warned me about being a popular teacher for the wrong reasons, although these veterans didn't seem to be referring to any specific teacher. Some of the "wrong reasons" were because the teacher brings us McDonalds food, gives us field trips, never gives any consequences for misbehavior, never gives homework and wears a certain brand of clothing. (Crazy, isn't it?)

    Don't get me wrong; I know that some teachers are cheered loudly because they do their jobs well. However, I'm just saying that even at the high school level, some students are very impressionable and will admire some of their teachers for the reasons I stated above.
     
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  26. ChildWhisperer

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    This

    And this

     
  27. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think at the High School level students are able to distinguish between teachers they like and good teachers. I've read some teacher ratings where the students have explicitly stated that the teacher is really cool but they're not a great teacher in terms of helping them learn.
     
  28. MsAbeja

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    The music video guy was extreme, in the sense that most teachers can't "compete" with that. Not that it's a competition.

    Honestly, I think that the basis of our job rests firmly on building relationships with our students. They don't really give a hoot if our lesson plans are on point (though they do appreciate a safe, controlled learning environment) but what really matters to them is how much we care about them as individuals. I think teachers who do that have a higher likelihood of getting those standing ovations, and not for all the wrong reasons.
     
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  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Elementary teacher here...How often are these assemblies where teachers are being cheered? In my school, there are a handful of assemblies per year...mostly tied to content or character education....Sometimes they ask for a teacher volunteer. Most teachers DON'T want to get called up and those who do participate are cheered regardless of who they are...I seriously have no time, inclination, insecurity or interest in monitoring who gets the highest decibel in cheering volume.
     
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  30. a teacher

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    I am responding to who exactly I have seen cheered. Yes a popular teacher can also be a good teacher, but that's pretty rare.
     
  31. a teacher

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    And that's what's so annoying!
     
  32. a teacher

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    What's the point of being "cool" if you are not educating your students? Anyone can be "cool" by those standards.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How are you determining who is and who isn't a "good teacher"?
     
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  34. a teacher

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    I have to correct some of your points based on my own experience. Firstly, the music video guy was a little silly. Think about it. All the time that went into that production could have been spent on more substantial things. He mentioned in the video that it was his first year teaching. I am quite sure he did many things poorly. But he set up expectations that he would be "cool". That has nothing to do with teaching.

    On your point about building relationships I think you are being too general. We all build relationships with whomever we work with, whether kids or adults. Building a relationship doesn't necessarily translate to standing ovations. Those teachers have some special appeal to kids, and much of that has to do with image as well as the perception that they are somehow better. That's what's offensive in these kinds of reactions by the kids. Where are we supposed to get our validation?
     
  35. a teacher

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    I think elementary school kids like everyone. But I certainly like your attitude!
     
  36. a teacher

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    So why no standing ovations for the teachers who actually TEACH?!
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'll repeat a previously asked question...how do YOU determine whether a teacher is a good teacher? It has been my experience that I spend the majority of my day in my room teaching my students. I don't have time to spend the day in another classroom deciding if that teacher is "good". Maybe things are different for you?
     
  39. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Kind of beating a dead horse here. How do you know that someone who gets an ovation isn't actually teaching? Teachers who actually teach can't be popular because that automatically makes them bad teachers? That attitude kind of raises my haunches...so I'm out of this thread now.
     
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  40. Peregrin5

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    Because they're high schoolers and everything is a popularity contest? I don't know. I don't think it really matters who pubescent teenagers cheer for. Most of them are in love with musicians who I would barely consider musicians.
     
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  41. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    :rofl:
     
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