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mrteacherguy 10-30-2018 06:28 PM

Students hate/dislike me
I know that as teachers we are there to teach, not be their friends, but would be lying if I said that it didn't bother me that a fair number of my students tell me that they hate or don't like me.

This is one of the worst behaved groups of seventh graders that our admin has seen in quite a while, and they weren't much better as sixth graders (I made the mistake of moving up with them so that I could switch content areas).

When this year started, I'd made an effort to change my teaching style and attitude some, to try and be more easy going and less strict, but the way the students behave means I have to be Mr. Strict Teacher.

We're only just finishing with October, and I'm already feeling so physically and emotionally stressed. The assistant principal that oversees my grade level is pushing me to give out more to meet (students can trade them in for hot Cheetos, extra credit, bathroom passes, etc), and while I can do that, a lot of the students seem to not care about such things.

I've never been good at being the fun or outgoing teacher, so building relationships with my students has always been a struggle, but how can I work on building positive relationships when even the smallest good gesture is met with indifference or a metaphorical slap in the face?

Juiceboxes 10-30-2018 06:35 PM

I have learned its all about genuine relationships; not rewards. It can sure help with motivation for some ages or groups but building a caring relationship with trust, boundaries, and warmth goes a long way. Students will begin to care about you and what you think/feel about them and their actions, even if they could care less about incentives. Yes, it is all so much easier said than done. Best of luck to you!

tester10 10-30-2018 07:24 PM

Teaching with love And logic
I find the book, “teaching with love and logic” works great with middle schoolers.

They need relationships but that book gives structure especially if you’re a normal middle school teacher with over 100 students per day.

Best of luck!

TAOEP 10-30-2018 07:33 PM

How about making an effort each day to make a connection with at least one student. Pay attention to what he-she is interested in and use that as a way to start a conversation. Talk about the World Series or the school cross country team and how that's going. Or last night's band concert and how you enjoyed the trumpet part your student played.

Repeat. Repeat.

Let the students get to know a little about you. I'm not saying that you should try to be their best friend. But be human. You can mention that you carved pumpkins last night with your kids. Or that the thunderstorm woke you up and you're a little tired today.

And it's fine to still expect the students to be quiet when you are giving directions and to bring their books to class.

Larnow 10-30-2018 08:03 PM

Teach Character and Social Skills.
You have a very difficult situation, and I don't think I could deal with it. I teach grades 1-5 only, but you can try this. You probably have done these things,also.

Obviously you are aware of how difficult teaching is. I still remind myself to teach the students everything. I try not to lose patience. I teach the students everything , such as personal character, manners, social skills, or whatever they are lacking. Give yourself a minute here and there each time students act rudely to you.

Try not to let them see you get upset, otherwise they feed off it. THIS is difficult to do!

I try to give students an answer or explanation for everything they do, rather than telling them or shouting at them. I try not to ignore tedious things like reminding and teaching students to line up quietly before class, asking for permission, or saying thank you. I try my best to not lose my patience, and sometimes I do. I try to take the time and explain these things to them. This is one way to build relationships.

There are worksheets, activities, and videos on character, child psychology, and behavior skills on the internet. Check it out. Most students don't know who they are.

It is very hard to teach social skills because schools want them to learn the core subjects, but again they will have difficulty learning anything if they have no manners. So I try to sneak this stuff in between lessons and whenever I can. I make social skills part of their Health and P.E. grade.

This means I try to have patience with them. It's very difficult and annoying to remind students to get into a line correctly, but I remind myself that's just as important as a math lesson when students are rude and can't behave. I try to model it and show them.

If they laugh while I am teaching this stuff, then I teach them why it's necessary to act more mature. I mean, if they can't do something simple like lining up or raising their hands before they speak, then learning academics will take a long time coming. Often I have the students practice these things.

When I practice manners with the students, the academics should eventually follow. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I just try my best. Students might not grow much academically in your class this year, but at least they might learn how to behave a bit for you or for the next teacher.

This is all easier said than done, but what you can do is weave all of these ideas into your core lessons. So don't be afraid to stop a lesson , and explain and showing the importance of sitting up straight or not asking for a restroom break every minute.

I am not friends with my students, but I do my best to teach them. I learn something new everyday, and believe me I'm no expert in child psychology.

BioEducator87 10-30-2018 08:50 PM

Most middle school kids don't even like themselves, I wouldn't worry about what they think of me. Just teach them the best that you can.

cruxian 10-31-2018 02:44 AM

Lol, BioEducator87 speaks my truth. Middle school kids don't like anything much. My DD reminded me of herself when she was 2 and would just say no to everything on principle alone (even things like toys or candy) because that was her age. She was like that in middle school too.
I like what TAOEP said too about talking about school things and complimenting them or mutual interests. I know one of my DD's favorite teachers talks to her about cross country and even came to a meet.

ellenroo 10-31-2018 07:13 AM

If it helps any, mine are doing that too. I have an easy time connecting with students 99% of the time and being a fun teacher ( I mean, it's hard to not be a fun art teacher) But I have 9-12th graders telling me all day how much they hate me. Because I hold them accountable or expect them to work in my class. It is disheartening. And I have to remind myself that they are still children and I'm not their friend and I don't need their approval. It doesn't make it stop hurting necessarily. But it makes it hurt less.

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