When you start hating students

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 23, 2017

    This has been a rough year for me, and it's been compounded by the fact that I have a number of students who have just decided that they hate my class or hate me. It started since day one with students deciding that early on that they didn't like me or my class. I laid out my expectations and rules and defended them and I've been fairly consistent about defending them all year.

    I've tried to figure out where I've gone wrong, but I can't seem to put my finger on it.

    One student hated me so much she left my class mid-year (the one that decided that she didn't like me from day one, though she started liking me more later, apparently not enough to not want to switch classes though). She had a problem with the fact that I had a binder system, and I didn't want her on the floor under my desk sticking gum under it on the first day of school.

    Another students seemed to hate me starting from the beginning of the year when we watched Apollo 13 with the sub and I was out, and he decided he couldn't watch it because it was against his religion, and since then he's been on a tirade against my subject going so far as to say atoms don't exist, and his attacks have become personal saying his respect for me is smaller than an atom (which apparently don't exist), among other things.

    Another student started hating me when he blew up because he didn't want to do group work and ever since, any time I ever ask that class to do any kind of assignment, or inform them of any test, or if I make even the slightest misspeak he responds with eye rolls and groans.

    And then there are the students who act like they are being tortured when I have the gall to ask them to stop being disruptive or hand out consequences for disruptions.

    My rules are simple:
    1. When I call for attention and am speaking I need full attention. I don't want them to be writing or looking in other directions, because when they do that they often miss important instructions, and I have to repeat myself multiple times. If they don't give me all of the steps I am looking for, we practice outside of class.
    2. I want phones put away in class. If they are out I will take them for the rest of the period or day.
    3. I expect students to use my class-time wisely. If they are wasting it by being on their phones or horsing around, or doing things other than the tasks I assigned them, then I have them make up the time they are wasting after class or at lunch.

    I don't feel like I give much homework, and if students work hard, and turn in their assignments, I don't believe it's hard to pass my class, but I get students consistently not doing work and then complaining that I grade hard or they don't understand anything, when they decide to not listen to instruction in class, or complete work in class when it would really help them to understand it.

    When I go around to other classes, half the kids are on their phones and aren't focusing on work. The kids love these classes. They also love the classes that are easy to get A's in. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they hate my class. I am getting to the point where I am actually beginning to "hate" certain students (particularly the one who personally attacks me). I hate feeling like I hate students, but I'm afraid I'm getting there, and this is a low point for me, that I didn't have problems with before at my old school.

    I definitely hate the qualities of some of my students: their laziness, their disrespect, the lack of any drive or ambition for their own success, their utter disregard for learning. They just want things handed to them, and they seem to resent me for expecting more out of them. I guess it's a good thing I'm leaving teaching, as I don't think I could take much more of this, and now that I'm getting to the point where I'm literally starting to hate kids. I was hoping I could leave on a good note and maybe come back, but I don't know what's wrong with this.

    Is it me? Is it high schoolers? Is it just freshmen? Is it just this town (I would never expect my 8th graders to have behaved this way once they moved onto HS)? This state?

    Sorry for the rant. I just feel in a dark place right now, and I'm tired, frustrated, and I feel used up and spent. Usually I'm able to get motivated again or feel better, but things aren't working right now.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 23, 2017

    I don't think it's your rules or expectations. Many well respected and well loved teachers have high expectations. It might be your delivery. Or demeanor. Kids need to feel connected to their teacher, a sense of meaning and understanding. Other than rules and expectations, how else are you creating classroom culture and climate?
     
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  4. Teacher0909

    Teacher0909 Rookie

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    It's not you! You're doing exactly what you should be doing. You've laid out your expectations, and they're guidelines that will surely lead to success in your classroom if followed. However, there seems to be a climate in your school that does not match yours. That's not your fault! I hate that you feel this way, but I do understand. We lose too many great educators year after year for reasons such as this these. Is there any way for you to get more assistance from the principals or possibly the parents? I'm sure there are a few in each class that really appreciate having such a strong teacher. They might not ever say a word because they don't want to be singled out but will always do as they are told, turn in completed assignments, and give you a little eye contact when no one is looking. Don't let the rowdy bunch ruin it for them. You're probably one of the best things at this school they have to look forward to. Not all of our kids are bad and not all of our kids hate learning. Some of them will never share with us that secret they hold inside of being something great one day, but they look to us to teach them things they need to know to get there. If you're not being allowed to do it for all of them, do it for the few of them. I wish you the best.
     
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  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 23, 2017

    Whenever possible, I try to connect with students, and speak with them. I often ask them how their day is going or how their weekends have been. Even with kids who have friction with me, I make sure to bring attention to their successes, and praise them for making good arguments or displaying good thinking. I leave my classroom open at lunch and after school to any student who needs help. Most don't take advantage, but one student who has has actually confessed to me her thoughts about ending her life and I worked with her and the counselor to get her professional help, which she told me saved her life. She still visits me even though she now goes to the alternative school. I try to plan interesting and varied activities, and getting kids to work together on things or move around a bit.

    I always respond respectfully with students and rarely to never use sarcasm. But I am blunt. If they are whining or groaning, I'll tell them to try their task again without whining this time. I tell them when something is unacceptable or when they need to do better on it. I'm not a fluffy cheery sort of teacher.

    I often suspect that I mostly have hard times because I am a male teacher and young looking. Kids are often surprised to hear my age. I'm not really into the same interests that a lot of other men are into (like sports and such) which kids are also really into. I also feel at least one of them has problems with me because of my sexuality (or at least a combination of my sexuality and my subject). I don't tell everyone about it, but a quick Google search of me shows pictures of my boyfriend, and when someone asks, I don't lie and just answer truthfully.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think if you feel that you're hating a student (strong word), you are burning out, either in the professions, grade level, subject or school. Or just on the current year.

    I don't hate students, I dislike their behavior. There are students whom I could hate, but I learned to disassociate. I can say I don't care for them much, but that can change.
    Examples:
    student A: sleeps most of the time and doesn't do work. Once in a while he's awake, in that case he does nothing but disrupts the class, asks me 20 stupid questions (I mean asking me 3 times the same thing or something really obvious.), acts like a clown, etc. He realized that he just gets kicked out because I'm over his disruptions, so he just sleeps. There is no middle way with him. He is not disrespectful towards me per se, but the way he disregards my rules, learning environment, my time, students' time and how annoying he can be, I have to say that I' done with him. No feelings, no hate. However, if he turned around and did the right things for 3 weeks straight, we'd be back on a fresh start.
    student B: cusses. All the time. Got to the point that if he says the F word three times, he gets kicked out. (that can happen in 5-10 minutes) Called home several times, that actually works, so now he monitors his mouth more. On his phone. All the time. Doesn't do the work. Fails my class. Doesn't care. Then he asks me really dumb questions, and for the longest time I thought he was really that low. No, he just wants to annoy me. For example:
    me: Cesar Chavez passed away when he was 66.
    he: so was he as old as you are?
    me: what do you mean? he was 66 years old.
    he: so was he as old as you are?
    me: do I look like I'm 66? (I look more like I'm in my 30s)
    he: I don't know, was he your age?

    or (this happened yesterday)
    me: in 4 years, everyone in this classroom will be 18 and will be able to vote.
    he: not me.
    me: yes, everyone, because all of you are at least 14, for sure, so you will be at least 18.
    he: not me.
    me: how old are you?
    he: I'm 16. So I will be 20.
    me: ok. I said you will be at least 18.
    he: no. I will be 20.

    Then he admits, that this is just funny.
    I don't hate the kid. I don't care for him and I have no patience for him. I have called the mother so many times, we are now scheduling a parent meeting. But there's no reason to hate.

    You will not reach every kid. A lot of kids may hate your classes, even hate you, it is not personal. They're teenagers. You can't take it personally. They don't even know how to express themselves. They might be mad at their parents and hate their lives and it translates into hating you or your classes.
    Everything you said have been said to me. No respect, hating the work I give them, the assignment, hate the class, or even me.
    It was much more in my first year, less in the next and less and less. Now it's not that much.
    It doesn't matter, you ignore it and focus on the ones that do appreciate it. Everyone else can just suck it up and try to pass your class.

    I'm not a sweet, cheerful teacher. I'm more like the grumpy-cat, painfully honest, tell-it-like-it-is, serious, even sarcastic, but they know I care and I'm approachable
     
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  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I've met had some students who just grind my gears. But one thing I've learnt pretty early was never to let students know what my buttons are, because they just press it all the time, for the fun of it. Just to get a reaction. Kids know what annoy me, but never know to what extent it annoys me.
    One thing I always do when I get a feeling a kid has the potential to be difficult, is to contact their parents to let them know who I am, and what I think of their child (it's early on in the term, so nothing negative to report yet), try to get them on side.
    Another thing is to only call out the bad behaviour. Separate the behaviour from the kid. I'm very clear on that. I tell them I like them as a person, I'd say hi to them on the street, and I enjoy having them in my classroom. But, they are choosing some really silly behaviours that is not on. And I don't want to change them as a person, because the person is great, but I want the nagative behaviour to end because that's not benefitting them when they aren't learning, it's unfair to the class who have to put up with it and disrespectful to me.
     
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  8. Jerry Dill

    Jerry Dill Companion

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    I do think there are some kids who like to or need to be difficult. You seem to have a few of those students in your classes, and just having a few of those kids can start more well-behaving kids to stop following all the rules and complying. The rebellious students give the obedient students ideas about how to get away with things. I usually take the rebellious students, and I "fix" them either by making them talk to the principal or else by repeatedly giving them F grades if they are not keeping up with the assignments.

    That said, I have come to terms with the fact that in my school I need to repeat my instructions several times regardless, and then I need to individually explain my instructions one-on-one to some students. I have made peace with this fact.

    Also some of the students who are misbehaving in my classes are also misbehaving in the classes of other teachers. They are problems everywhere they go. I do not blame myself for not being able to fix them. I just try to isolate their negative influences on the whole class, so there is less negative rebellious spillover.

    I showed Apollo 13 (some of it) in a class and that movie was okay. But I also showed a documentary movie about going vegan and how animals used for food are mistreated, and several students got really angry about having to watch this movie.
     
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  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    There are just some students who are despicable. I know they say you can hate the actions of a student but you shouldn't hate the student. Well, sometimes you can't help it. Hang in there.
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sometimes personalities don't mesh. I think I'm generally easy to like as a teacher--I think I'm fair, I'm definitely hilarious (ha!), and I treat people with kindness. But I'm also quite blunt and straightforward, I don't beat around the bush, and I don't do for kids what they can do for themselves. Because of those things I've had students who absolutely detested me and took every opportunity to make it known. One student wrote an essay called "The Wicked Witch of the School" and guess who it was about? Heh. I won't say that it doesn't sting, but it's not something that I can control. If I can't control it, I do my best to just let it be.
     
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  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 24, 2017

    lol
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 24, 2017

    It sounds, going from past posts, like a huge part of your classroom issues stem from the culture of the school, which seems like it's a permissive mess.
     
  13. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

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    Peregrin,

    This is all a shame, and I'm sorry to hear how you feel. It's tough, our job. I know you're a disciple of smartclassroommanagement, as am I. The thing that's the strongest about the advice on that site from the sheer discipline side is how bright the lines are: if you put into place a specific and actionable management plan, and then follow through on it consistently and fairly, you have the opportunity to have a dream class. That's the premise. But the other powerful advice on the site is about not ever creating friction with students. Students really do have to like your class for your management plan to hold sway. They have to like you. I'm sorry, but teachers who say they don't care whether students like them are missing half of the battle. Of course this is not a popularity contest. Of course you're not trying to have students like you because you're easy on them or because you're cool or because you bend to what they want; of course it's quite the opposite! But if students like you, if they like your class, your management plan becomes almost effortless.

    "A" number one, brother, is that you have to bring joy to your profession. It all stems from that. Each and every single day you have to smile at students, be happy to see them, enjoy them. Enjoy yourself. Your management plan isn't the end, it's a means there. This is all much, much easier said than done, I know.

    My advice, if it's worth anything, is never to create friction with students. You say you're not a rainbows and butterflies kind of teacher, and you don't have to be. But the kids know if you like them. They know it from your tone of voice, from your body language, from your eye contact. You say that you're positive with kids, but I wonder if that's coming through.

    I know it's apples to oranges because I don't know what kind of teaching environment you have to deal with, but here's what I do: I make it a point to stand in the hallway every day before every class. Every single day (cheesy, I know), I fist bump kids as they come and tell them I'm glad to see them. I really am. It's not a show (at least not most days!). When a student doesn't meet my expectations, I tell that student that he or she is "breaking my heart." That's the phrase I use. And when I follow through with a consequence, I'm sure to let the student know it's not personal.

    I try to put love and care for students first. It doesn't always go the way I want it to, but that's foremost in my mind. I don't think you have anything if you don't have that. If you don't, then you're right: it may be time to explore something else.

     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have never needed a spring break as badly and in this specific way as I need one this year. I'm just tired of many of my children. My students are so unmotivated and so disinterested in anything that is not on Snapchat that I cannot get them excited about any lessons. It's worse with the seniors, but all of my students are doing this. Apparently I'm the worst teacher ever because I made them do work today the day before spring break. I hope that some good sleep, some travel, and some time away will get me through until the end of the year.
     
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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I don't agree with all of this. I'm sure there are students who don't like me and even more who don't like my class. It doesn't mean my classroom is chaos. I teach my kids that they don't have to like me, they don't have to like my class or subject, but they do have to follow directions, rules and show common courtesy and respect. That's it. And for the most part, it works like that.

    I do have friction with students sometimes. Most of my kids are troubled teenagers and they have friction with their own lives, then they come to school and think they can take it out on the safest people: teachers. I don't take that, I let them know how they are wrong, educate them on how they should behave and send them out of class if I have to.
    I don't tell every kid that I'm glad to see them, I don't fistbump them, but they know I'm glad that they're there, I care about them and their education. I don't tell any kid that he's breaking my heart for not doing the work. I might tell them that I'm disappointed, or that I'm expecting more from them but I'm not telling them that they're doing the work to please me. They should be doing the work to pass the class and graduate.
    You are describing a premise that will not hold true in most real life schools.
     
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  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I definitely am feeling burnt out. More like charred remains only are left. The kind of situations you are talking about I get very often as well. And it's just tiring.
    I started shaking hands and greeting students daily at the beginning of the year as I did for the past 4 years in MS. The kids all thought it was weird and childish because no other teachers were doing it. Other teachers began to mock me (probably playfully, but it was still annoying) over it so I stopped. However you may have a point with your other things. I do feel a lot crankier this year. I am still constantly smiling, but when it's class time I'm down to business, and I need things to run smoothly, so I have very little patience for disruptions or breaking of my rules, and often impassively (maybe it comes off as sternly) hand out consequences when they break my rules.

    What it comes down to is that I think I don't let my crankiness and tiredness and overall frustration show. I definitely never say anything to that effect and I try to be as positive as I can. I can tell when students try to goad me, and I'm very good at not falling into that kind of trap. I usually just smile and move on or go with a "Oh, that's too bad," when they complain constantly or try to jab at me with their little slights and insults. But internally, it's eating at me, and it keeps adding day after day, and their dislike of me seems to deepen daily whenever I have to hold them accountable for their actions. So maybe some of it is coming through unintentionally.

    I think part of it is that I need to acknowledge that I really do think some of my students are not great people. They may even be despicable people like TeacherNY said, and maybe it's not their fault. They may suffer child-being-raised-by-child syndrome, but I need to still pretend that they are good people, and play the mental gymnastics to convince myself that I really care about their success and "like" them. (A lot of SCM is convincing yourself of something that you may originally not believe to be true, and maybe I've been neglecting that part.) But yes, I think after this year, I'm done.
     
  17. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

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    I respect that my way or the SCM way isn't the only way to make it work. You said it: you care about your kids and they know it. That's critical. If they don't know that, if kids see you as a robot or worse, it isn't easy to be effective. And we're all missing a piece that's just or more important than any of this: engaging, challenging, authentic curriculum and lessons.

    I don't think I clearly explained "you're breaking my heart." I mean it facetiously, not literally. It's the phrase I use instead of "verbal warning, lunch detention, etc." to hold kids consistently accountable while also letting them know it's not personal for me. They don't work in my class because of some movie-like relationship I have with them: they do so for their grade or not to receive escalating consequences or, hopefully, because they're engaged.

    There must be friction with kids if you're to coach them into proper behavior within the confines of your classroom and hold them accountable for such. What I'm saying is that the art is to make those accountability pieces as impersonal, as frictionless as possible. Things like yelling at a student in front of his/her peers would violate this, for instance. What it doesn't mean is that you let things slide. In fact, I would argue that the LESS you let slide, the more you correct, the more frictionless your enforcement must be.

     
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  18. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

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    I can't say I understand your situation or that there's a magic bullet. I moved this year from a blue ribbon, affluent public school to a much more rural and lower achieving, but still respectable, public school. I was nervous my methods wouldn't translate, but they have.

    It sounds like the culture in your school skews negatively: teachers LAUGHED at you for making a connection with your kids? That sounds like a place I wouldn't want to be, either.

     
  19. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Peregrin you've been in the good fight, and it's been admirable and inspiring watching your growth over the past few years. You're hungry to learn, willing to open yourself up to new ideas and the possibility of being wrong, and relentless in your implementation of a system that you've created based on your own quest. In short, you've become quite the professional - not waiting for someone to hand you a script to read, but making professional decisions.

    As I've said before, the profession will be sorry to lose you, so here's what I'd say at this point in the game, because I've been there: Let it go. Come to peace with the last few months, and realize that this season is about to end. Look forward to new things to come, and let that give you life. Savor the good and bad moments now and catalogue them emotionally so that you can fully experience it. You can do this more freely, perhaps, because you know you've already made the decision to move on.

    If there ever comes a time when a refreshed Peregrin decides to re-enter the game, I think you'll find yourself with new perspectives and wisdoms that you don't have now, simply by benefit of distance from it all. Personally, I've transitioned from different positions and roles over the years, and sometimes a year or two of distance from something really enlightens me to things. BUT, that's not here or now - finish the year strong, but before you go trying to problem-solve why things are the way they are, come to peace with things, disengage, and find new strength in the next part of your journey. A while later, let those thoughts of self-reflection come back with a little more strength.
     
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  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I agree with you !! I use humor, as well, but with this kid I'm just so very tired. I won't even waste any effort in trying humor him, or trying to find a clever come back. He's just annoying. But with other kids I do what you describe, and it works.
     
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  21. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Although I agree that it's always important to reflect on one's professional decorum, I also find it important to remember that it's not me, it's the students, or in many cases, it's the parents. Parents are receiving mixed messages about school from media and other sources and there are always a few who are quick to demonize a teacher. I've seen such disrespect become a cancerous tumor in a school, but I've also seen it turn around within the next year.

    Sometimes teachers in a school collectively develop a mindset and pattern of behavior, and when a new teacher enters using more correct and beneficial behaviors, they tend to act like teenagers and throw in a bit of peer pressure, or whisper among themselves about the new teacher. It's akin to the proverbial frog in a pot of water slowly reaching boiling point--if someone turns off the burner, the frog might wonder why that person made the water so cold. In other words, this school needs you, whether they realize it or not.

    If I might delicately comment on the religious differences mentioned in the OP, unfortunately, yes, in today's society that can turn parents and ultimately their kids against a teacher. Several times, I've even encountered that in a Christian school setting. Ideally, I've allowed the student to explain her/his religious/cultural beliefs. The number one rule in my classroom from day one is that we don't have to agree with each other, but we do respect each other. When I first began teaching in the 80's, these differences could be discussed calmly, respectfully, and parents were appreciative of such interaction. (I got a kick out of one group of 4th graders' theological discussions on the swingset at recess). As time went on, parents sometimes became agitated that the class did not express their personal religious viewpoints. I've learned that it's important to maintain my own attitude of respect and appreciation of others, no matter what their beliefs or culture. Eventually, rough school and classroom situations smooth out.
     
  22. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think that you are someone who puts a lot of pressure to be truly outstanding as a teacher. Middle school students are not going to give you the most accurate feedback on how you are doing this. From your very open posts on this forum, I believe you are a very good teacher who are doing many things outstanding. Like any teacher, there are going to be areas where you can continually improve. I am sure you are open to improvement and can keep improving. Here are some things I notice:

    1. You have high expectations of students. This is great, but the middle school students who love to whine openly don't like this. You are doing a great thing by helping students and losing some popularity in the process.

    2. You say you are blunt. This can help in having high expectations for behavior, but it can be problematic for sensitive students. I can be that way also, so I have adopted a few things that have helped me. I am good at being very careful what I say to my principal and parents. I imagine that my students are adults at times or that their parents are right next to them when I speak to them. I have found over the years, I am far less blunt with students.

    3. You teach 8th graders--these students by nature see adults as wrong and in the way of their freedom. What you describe is normal.

    4. You teach Science that finds objective results, but Science has been turned into a political game. Climate change isn't about what the data says as much as what political party one is in (sigh). This will lead to problems with parents regardless of what stand you take. Remember if you aren't stepping on toes, you aren't dancing.

    Middle schoolers aren't poster children for the best of behavior. If you can care about them and teach them despite their immature behavior, I would say keep going. If all the days and years of dealing with such a challenging group has left you unable to like some of them, it might be a time for a break. You are a highly intelligent person and I am sure you will make the correct choice.
     
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  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2017

    Actually the OP now teaches 9th graders. This is his first year, he used to teach middle schoolers. Just wanted to point it out, in my opinion what holds true for 8th graders behaviorally also hold true for 9th graders, at least most of the time. The motivations and motivators are different, but this age is very immature.
     
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  24. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 26, 2017

    I want to be sure I wasn't misunderstood....I have dial up, and this morning I was in a hurry to free the phone line. Upon rereading, I was fearful that I might be misunderstood to imply that you are intolerant towards the students or parents. From reading your posts I would certainly not think that. What I meant was, over the years, I've noticed a change in parental attitude towards teachers in that they seem intolerant of differences in the classroom from their own personal beliefs. Even when they are disrespectful toward me, I still show respect for them, and I've grown even more in my respect and acceptance of them if and when this occurs.

    I was thinking about you all day today. I recall one year when I wanted to quit and I even prayed, "God, I've had enough!" I even began drawing up plans to go into business and open a store. I'm glad I didn't. Things smoothed out. There are some years when teaching becomes like baking a cake. Sometimes, all you see are the individual ingredients that are quite distasteful; the flour, the raw egg, the cooking oil. But after awhile, you pull a delicious cake out of the oven. I met a man from the Cayman Islands today who mentioned that as a tree ages, its coconuts become sweeter. Teaching also becomes more enjoyable with age. My first year of teaching, I met a fourth grade teacher who said she didn't really feel like she knew what she was doing until her tenth year of teaching; well, hopefully it doesn't take that long, but it does get better. Somehow, I feel like you are a breath of fresh air that is much needed in school.
     
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  25. HSEnglishteach

    HSEnglishteach Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2017

    What a beautiful metaphor, the coconut tree. I know I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing until year 5. This year I moved from a great public school to an average one, and I know that even if I had made the switch last year I would not have had the skills to smoothly transition.

    It sounds like, Peregrin, you went from being a rock star in an easier placement to a struggler in a much, much harder one.

    I don't know you or what's right for you, but what I do know is that our job is incredibly difficult, but so incredibly important and meaningful. I couldn't face myself if I moved into a cubicle after how much stretching and pain and triumph teaching delivers on a weekly basis.

    Rise to meet the challenge, brother. And if you can't, know that you truly can't. Really know it. Because regrets can go both ways.
     
  26. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Mar 26, 2017

    Consider the majority of your students are applauding silently your efforts to create a learning environment where they can get their work done without unnecessary distractions. They are not going to stand up and shout-out "Thanks!". The thanks will come down the road because you know what's best for them. The loud of the few would love you to have no standards whatsoever. Their antics although blatant, memorable and fodder for discussion in the staff room represent 5% of the student population. If classroom management can be liken to holding 30 corks under water at once these students would arrange themselves under the tip of your pinky.
     
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  27. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 27, 2017

    Thank you guys. I really appreciate the support, and it's given me some ideas on what to change when I get back. I am still set on leaving next year. I've already told the principals I've resigned and I have a spot in the college I'm planning to attend. I might come back to teaching at some point later, but for now I need that distance.

    This job is just so mentally and emotionally draining, and I have a feeling a large part of it is the school I'm at, and not so much the age group. Though the structural differences between middle school and high school have also been a challenge. Thanks again. I'll use this spring break to reflect and rest (and get over my flu that I caught literally hours after the school day ended on Friday -- my body has become accustomed to delaying sickness until convenient times it seems).
     
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  28. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Mar 27, 2017

    Peregrin, I went through something like what you're going through, except in reverse -- I started out in a rough school and lasted three years, then went back for my MA to sort out my options. I am now back in a school that is a better fit and I am glad to be where I am, but I most likely never would have ended up where I am if I hadn't taken a step back. I am sure you will excel at whatever path you choose, and if you do choose to come back to teaching, the profession will be lucky to welcome you back!
     
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  29. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Mar 31, 2017

    I taught at a summer program and there were a group of girls who didn't like me. I was one of the few teachers who didn't allow them to be on their phones as school policy said and I taught math which they hated. (Looking back, my classes were boring but we didn't receive any training on how to make math more engaging!) These girls were so disruptive and rude during class and I didn't have the skills to handle it. I constantly tried to form better relationships with them but they continued to be rude. We sat with the kids at lunch and one girl literally used her leg to block me from sitting next to her. That made me really upset--but it made me realize teachers can't take things personally. I went through the rest of the summer just by doing my best but I didn't really try to interact with these girls outside of the class.
     
  30. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Apr 1, 2017

    This. When I get to the point where I feel like I hate a student; I try to just have the bare minimum contact/interaction with them - nothing above my teacher duties. I have a few colleagues that blatantly antagonize kids that hate them (and they hate in return) by interacting with them in ways that does nothing but piss the student off. It's like they get satisfaction from riling the kid up. I'm not saying the OP is doing this, but sometimes, as the adult, we just have to back off and chalk that student-teacher relationship up to a loss.

    That being said, I am not much of an grudge holder and find that many of the students I can't stand still like me/connect with me because I've gotten very good at "playing neutral" (and I'm pretty funny).

    When I have a problem with a student, I often tell them that at the end of the day, neither of us are going anywhere. I need my paycheck and unless they stop coming to school, they need a grade. Thus, we are both going to be back here tomorrow so we have to learn to deal. If that means minimal-to-no-contact - so be it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yeah. When a student doesn't like me, I take that as a signal that I need to give that kid a wide berth. I still hold them accountable to the rules, but if they don't like me and I don't like them, it's better if we just don't interact. For the most part that's worked, but there is that one kid who is taking shots at me in his writing assignments, which provides the added benefit that I have written proof of his insults, which I then forward to his mother. LOL. The mother is always supportive, but seeing as I'm not seeing much change in behavior, it's clear that informing her is not having the effect I'd like it to have. I can tell he's been pampered and spoiled much of his life to the point that he thinks he's a genius who walks on water and can do no wrong though, so I guess that isn't surprising.
     
  32. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Apr 1, 2017

    He knows he is getting to you, since you are contacting his mom about it. He knows he is able to control your emotions. To some students (my least favorite), this is enjoyable and is just a game.Once you step back and don't engage he loses control over you. Write your questions in such a way that there is no possible way he can bring in anything about you, and grade by a rubric that takes off points for irrelevant answers. Then roll your eyes (metaphorically) at his attempts to get you mad and let it roll off your back.
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 2, 2017

    The question was "What is smaller than an atom and what evidence from our lab supports this?"

    If a student is able to bring something in about me in that kind of question, he can do it in any question. And he knows he loses points for it. He has stated he's ceased caring. (though his behavior indicates otherwise)

    I don't agree that "not engaging" means not holding him accountable by contacting home or enacting further consequences for disrespectful behavior. If I let him break rules without consequences I have a feeling that would only exacerbate the problems I'm having.
     

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