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MrsFrazzled MrsFrazzled is online now
 
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This student is a jerk!
Old 09-14-2019, 12:17 PM
 
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A better word would be that she is an a-hole. Iíve never had a student like this before. Some background: we have been in school for 6 weeks now. This student is a senior in my honors physics class. Ever since the first week she has been constantly negative, critical, and just has a bad attitude in general.

Every time I say something right or wrong, she makes little comments to her friend beside her criticizing everything. I havenít said anything to her because I just try to ignore her. I think she wants attention and Iím not going to give it to her. Everyone else in the class seems to enjoy it. So yesterday I saw an opportunity to speak to her as they were finishing a lab sheet.

She had a wrong answer on her paper, so I pointed it out. She began to act defensive saying that she had done what the question asked. I pointed out that she had not. I even helped her with the answer. She corrected the answer then slammed her pencil down on the desk. So ensued the following conversation:

Me: (very nicely) You donít always have to have a bad attitude. I was just pointing out that you had answered the question wrong.

Student: Well I answered it how it said to. I didnít really understand the question.

Me: Ok. Well you could have asked me about it.

Student: Well I asked in the lab yesterday like 3 times and you never answered me. You kept helping other groups.

Me: I donít remember that. I did answer a question that you had.

Student: It must be the pregnancy brain. (Iím 5 months pregnant.)

Me: Well Iím sorry. I try to help everyone when I can, but there are 23 of you and only one of me. If you had another question, you need to get my attention. (I do remember that I answered the question she had.)

Student: I donít understand this stuff. You donít really explain it. Youíre not that good of a teacher. Iím just an honest person and I donít sugarcoat stuff. (She really said this.)
*This is a load of bs. All I do is EXPLAIN over and over again!

Me: Well you do talk a lot to your friend. I have to tell you to stop talking. Maybe if you stopped talking and listen you would understand better. Also, you have a good grade in here, so you must understand it. If Iím not explaining it good enough, how do you explain your good grade? (Student just looks at me in silence.) Iíve never had a student tell me that before. Most students say Iím their favorite teacher because I explain things so well.

Student: Well I heard that from other students that you werenít a good teacher, so it isnít just me.

Me: (I wanted to ask who because I bet she couldnít come up with one student who ďtoldĒ her that.) You are entitled to your opinion, but most students say otherwise.

Student: When am I ever going to use this in life? (She has asked this one other time.)

Me: (Knowing she has asked this once before.) Why did you sign up to take this class? What did you think youíd be doing in here?

Student: I donít have to have this class.

Me: (nice and calmly) Why donít you change classes then?

Student: I donít want to take a stupid elective class.

Me: Well you chose to take this class so from now on can you try not to have a bad attitude in my class and not be so negative? If you canít say anything nice, just donít say anything at all.

That ended the conversation. There was probably more said, but that was the majority of it. I just hope maybe that will shut her up from now on. I donít know what her problem is. If it wasnít for her, the class would be perfect. I know that some teachers have been told worse, but I have never dealt with a student like her.


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Old 09-14-2019, 12:27 PM
 
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What do you know about her? Her home life? Her attitude and performance in other classes? I teach elementary school, so I'm less help, but a situation like this would have me talking and strategizing with my team about what's going on with the kid.

I would definitely NOT tolerate the attitude, though.
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:46 PM
 
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I don’t know anything about her home life. I’ve never heard her name come up in conversation before. Typically, you’ll hear about bad or problem students from teachers talking. I did text the chemistry teacher that had her two years ago (she is retired now) just to see if she has a history of acting like that and apparently she does. I thought she might just have a problem with me. The chem teacher said she remembered having to meet with mom a few times so I’m assuming mom isn’t much help if she is still acting that way as a senior.

If I continue to get attitude and disrespect from her, I will certainly contact her parents.

Last edited by MrsFrazzled; 09-14-2019 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:35 PM
 
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She has probably always been this way since a child. A nasty bitch that will become one of those difficult coworkers in the work place. What a piece of work
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:32 PM
 
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You might want to let her know, as a courtesy, that out in corporate America that "Pregnancy brain" comment could get her and her company a nice lawsuit filed against them.


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Old 09-15-2019, 03:51 AM
 
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I also am an elementary teacher, so take what I write with that in mind.

This girl is five months pregnant. This is not an excuse, but it sure makes her plate fuller than that of her classmates. I can't imagine being a high school student with a baby growing in me. Such a situation surely limits her social activities. When she should be looking towards enjoying her senior year and participating in all the "lasts" that senior year brings, she is loaded down with pregnancy.

What must the other students be thinking about her? What kind of decisions is she going to need to make in the next five months? Is the father of her child in the picture, or is he dating other girls and ignoring her? How is she being treated by her family for this mistake? Have her former friends abandoned her because of her pregnancy? Are she and her baby getting good prenatal care to deal with hormonal changes? Is she working with the school's guidance counselor or an outside counselor? If she plans to keep the baby, what does her after high school future look like? While all her classmates are making post-graduate plans, what is she doing?

You wrote that in the past, her attitude has been similar. It sounds to me like she is looking for attention that is positive and not judgmental. I would shower her with positive attention through word, deed, and smiles.

I hope you can find it in your heart to be part of her support system. You are more than just her teacher, and perhaps she could use a adult who is a role model with respect for her situation. IMHO, she needs kindness and to know you care.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:31 AM
 
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Connie--the student isn't pregnant, the teacher (poster) is.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:36 AM
 
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I think it is the teacher that is pregnant, not the student........
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A thought I use
Old 09-15-2019, 05:02 AM
 
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With those types of students I always think to myself 'If someone is going to leave frustrated today, it isn't going to be me.' Move her away from her audience as much as possible. Sound like a broken record when you remind her that she chose this class. As long as her grades are fine, answer her questions and move on. I definitely know that some kids get under our skin, but she'll graduate in a few months and you'll still be there.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:21 AM
 
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Elepen, that was my exact same thought, too.

Connie, thanks for the advice but Iím pregnant, not the student. She made the pregnancy brain comment about me ďforgettingĒ to answer her question, which I didnít by the way. No offense, but Iíve had pregnant students before and Iíve been very understanding and caring to them. Also, in my experience, students donít act that way for positive attention. They usually want a power struggle with the teacher to show how cool they are or show up the teacher. High school students are very different from elementary.

Youth, I agree. I typically donít give her the time of day. I say what I need to and I move on. Maybe I shouldnít say this, but I am anyway. I hope when she gets out in the real world she acts that way to the wrong person and they put her in her place.


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You're a Saint
Old 09-15-2019, 09:27 AM
 
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Wow, I love how you are not giving into this girl and arguing with her. It sounds like she is trying to antagonize you, and you won't fall for it. That's probably throwing her off her game. Also, you are not taking this personally which is awesome because clearly this girl has issues.

Is there a guidance counselor or former science teacher you could contact? As others have said, this is probably not a new attitude.

When I have students like this (loud, rude, attitude), I do like the "kill them with kindness" technique because then they have no ammo to fight back. Usually, I have won them over by the end of the class. There was ONE who despised me. It because a little bit of a joke in the school. Strangely, just last week I saw her at a fast food restaurant and she runs over and hugs me. She is in college now and doing well. We laughed about how she was in 8th grade. Sometimes we remind kids of someone in their lives they don't care for like a step mom or previous teacher...

Just hang in there! Congrats on your pregnancy. That comment was so over the top, it did make me laugh. I agree you can't say that in the workplace. This girl is in for a wake up call.
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love and logic
Old 09-15-2019, 04:53 PM
 
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You could try some of the love and logic lines:




That sounds like you're arguing with me? If you want to, we can argue at 3:30. We can make an appointment if you want.


To the Pregnancy Brain comment:


"yeah, you could be right about that" or

"If you think I'm bad while I'm pregnant, just wait till you see me after being up all night with a crying baby!"


If this is truly a problem with her getting lost and not understanding, and maybe she's afraid to ask questions, you could tell her to give you a sign when she needs extra help, other than raising her hand...tapping her elbow or something.


I don't know if you separate kids in high school, but I we do it in elementary. The trick is asking the most compliant student to move. If you ask a defiant student to move, they'll just resent you for it. I would talk to the girls sidekick in private ahead of time and ask her to do you a big favor and work at a different table and switch her out with someone who Ms. defiant is not besties with, but still gets along with well enough. Also make sure the sidekick doesn't think she is being punished.


This is probably all bad advice, but it's hard to understand a problem when you're not in it first hand.
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I've come to realize...
Old 09-16-2019, 12:34 PM
 
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that the phrases "I'm just brutally honest" and "I don't sugarcoat" are just code for "I'm a complete a$$hat that lacks all social awareness."
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