Working with students who hate you.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Anonymousteach, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Feb 2, 2014

    Working with students who hate you

    Have any of you ever been in a situation where you feel that or know that the majority of the students in your class hate you? How did you deal with it? For the past semester, I have been working with a group of students who have been fighting me on everything tooth and nail. No matter what I tried to do with them, they would fight me on everything. I try to hold my students to a high expectation without pushing them to the point where they completely shut down on me. Everything I tried with this class either failed completely or was very shaky. I try to develop a rapport with my students, but I am not buddies with them either. They weren't going to have it.

    Next semester, I will be transferring to a different position within the district. When I announced this to the class on my last day with them, one of them had the gall to say "thank god" out loud for everyone to hear. A couple of them giggled at that. Although I didn't let it show in front of the students, that comment hurt me on the inside. The fact that this student felt comfortable saying this wounded me a little.

    I'm just trying to remind myself that this chapter is behind me. New job, new students, clean slate. :) I just want to know what to do if I ever find myself in a situation like that again.
     
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  3. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    What grade was it and what grade will you be transferring to? And what subject do you teach? Can you elaborate on how you think your students are perceiving you?

    I worked with a teacher who got this reaction from students repeatedly in different grades and different schools. He was not able to rapport of any kind. It was something the students sensed about the teacher's attitude which may or may not have been accurate. Students were quite vocal to administration and to other teachers about the vibe they got from this teacher ... So I do know what they sensed, but I don't want to mention it yet. (Nothing weird or improper, by the way. I just don't want to assume you are giving off a particular vibe.)
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 2, 2014

    The one class that was always troublesome, (and they're still trying to cause trouble, but I'm shutting them down before they start) seemed like they hated me.

    Do I care? no. Do they actually hate me? No. I'm not there for them to like me. I have also communicated this to individual students and to the whole class on occasion: "if you like me, great, you're more likely to learn from me. If you don't, that's fine. You can hate me, it makes no difference to me, but you do have to show respect and abide by my rules".
    They couldn't argue with that.

    I don't think they hate you. They're just trying to get you upset (because it's funny), derail you and get you off topic (because it's more interesting), or just saying mean things because they're immature.
    Don't let a bunch of children or teenagers get to you.

    The comment they said "Thank God" when you said you're leaving was just to see how you react.

    Before I moved here, and announced to my classes in San Diego that I was leaving (I was subbing, but I was there every day so they all knew me well), one kid who didn't like me said "Yesssss!".
    My response: thank you for being happy for me, I'm pretty excited, too! :) he couldn't say anything.
     
  5. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    Feb 2, 2014

    High school special education (co-teaching). I am transferring to a similar position in another school. As far as student perception, it's hard to say. I mean, teens can be moody in the first place, but I was feeling an exceptionally negative vibe from them beyond the typical teen moodiness. I felt like there were two or three students in the class that were setting the mood and attitude of their classmates. Had they not been in there, this semester might've been a totally different story. In the past, I have been complimented by co-workers on my ability to develop rapport with students--perhaps it was my turn to have that one class.
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Unless the children are actively trying to get you fired - lying about you to Admin, passing around petitions to get you fired, staging walk outs during your class, etc. - I would just ignore it. I know its hard when your feelings are hurt or their comments wound you; but teaching, especially older kids who know how to push your buttons and find it funny, is all about having a thick skin.

    It doesn't matter if the kids like you at the end of the day (although it can help), as long as you are doing your job and you can CYA - I wouldn't worry at all about their comments or feelings towards you.
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Feb 3, 2014

    I'm going to take some leaps here, now that I know your teach sped. I may be way off base ...

    Something to keep in mind about students with disabilities ... It can be very embarrassing for them to show a new teacher their weaknesses. They would rather fail an assignment than write a flimsy paragraph littered with spelling and grammatical errors. If you keep pushing for more effort (as you might be able to with general education students) you may come across to them as uncaring or harsh. It is really important to gain their trust by giving them work you are certain they can succeed at until they build enough confidence to make mistakes in front of you. I'm not telling you to set the bar low. (I teach grade level standards to my students). But you must keep in mind what they can and cannot do.

    Does any of what I've described sound like it could apply to your situation?

    Also ... If it was just one class and this is not a problem in your other classes, it may just be a that you had a hostile kid in that class.
     
  8. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    This! My response is always "I'm okay with that. But you still have to do your work and you still have to try. That needs to happen whether you hate me or like me."
     
  9. AliLand

    AliLand Rookie

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    Obviously we all want a fun friendly environment to teach in - its better for learning. When I find bad chemistry in a class makes this impossible, I will settle for fear. As long as they are safe and learning, its fine if they don't like me! Almost every kid I teach does like me, but that's not my job. If this is an isolated case ignore it. If this is a common problem however, you must take it seriously. I'd consider asking other staff if they have a problem with this class.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I had a student once who I felt really disliked me. That was so hard, because generally I had great rapport with students. This special snowflake just took an immediate and strong hatred toward me-I never knew why. He wasn't particularly fond of many of the staff, and others felt the same way, that he just hated people (and yes, we all had pretty much the same feeling about him, although we of course tried not to show it). It was really hard not to take it personally, and it was a very long 3 years that I had to teach him. I just tried to never engage in negative behavior with him, and ignore when I could.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 3, 2014

    I also had one student hate me passionately for an entire half of the year. For most of the year he was fine, but then one day he received a consequence, and then began to mouth off about it. I had to call administration, and since that day for the rest of that year, he loathed me.

    I tried to confront him about his attitude, but I eventually just spent the rest of the year tip-toeing around him. He never broke rules after that anyway. He just made it clear with his body language that he hated me, and while I was kind of bothered by that, I didn't need him to like me.

    He was also extremely tall so that might have made him a bit more intimidating to me.
     

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