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MsImpisi MsImpisi is offline
 
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Students Don't Like Me
Old 11-05-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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Lately, it's really been killing me that the majority of students seem generally ambivalent to me as a teacher. I have a few girls that I talk with at lunch, but by and large the answer always seems to be "He's so cool!!! He's so diligent!" There's a young male teacher in my department who I have no respect for, he admits he grades things arbitrarily based on how much he likes the students, every time I call down there he's insulting them or cussing at them, he wastes classtime, but the kids are absolutely crazy about him. I'm always hearing thing like "But they got to watch the movie in Mr. S's class" In reference to a film that I could not get approved because it contains nudity, but which he didn't even bother with the approval process for.
Just today the kids were talking about a teacher I do respect who is getting his EED. I'm also getting my PhD while working and he and I are good friends and often commiserate, but somehow they are in awe of his ability to carry the workload even though I'm in the more stringent program. I like the students. I get along with them, I guess I just assume I would be somebody's favorite teacher given the amount of hard work I put in.
Is this just a "high school kids prefer male teachers" thing or am I maybe missing something? I'm not harsh with them, I do demand that they work hard and I plan challenging lessons, but I've never given them anything that they couldn't handle with just a little bit of help.
What's going on here?


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It's all about connections
Old 11-05-2014, 12:38 PM
 
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I'm wondering if you have made connections with your students. Sometimew we are so intent on our subject area content, we forget about the individual students. They love having connections to their teachers.
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same
Old 11-07-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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I totally see that at my school! The "cool" male teacher who doesn't teach for squat has the adoration of the students. While those of us that actually teach and make the students do work don't get that kind of vibe from the kids. At my school even admins seem to favor the male teachers that seem cool, but they don't really teach! It's weird!!
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:29 PM
 
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I am the youngest teacher in my school and I am the only male English teacher, my kids HATE me with a passion. I have had students write at the bottom of their essays that they don't like me, I have heard my students tell freshmen that if they get me, they will fail because I grade so tough (I grade according to the FSA rubric and my department head said I am still too nice!). It has nothing to do with the teacher's gender and age, it has everything to do with what happens inside the classroom.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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do you crack jokes?

I've got a really good rapport with my students this year even though I grade REALLY hard (very little of their grade is based on "what they do"... 90% is based on what they understand which I gather through assessment).

All it takes is a few jokes ... I had a student asking to go to the bathroom right when class started the other day, he explained that he hadn't had a chance to go because he had to talk to his previous teacher after class. He's not one of my frequent flyers and I knew he'd get the warm up done in about ten seconds when he got back so I let him go.

One of the problems in the warm up had the letter "p" as the variable. So as I was explaining how to factor the thing i was repeatedly saying "p." About halfway through the explanation I remarked "i guess it's a good thing johnny went to the bathroom before this explanation"... the crowd erupted. It did take a few minutes to get the laughing to stop, but it was great. They see me as a human with a sense of humor who can cut loose, but I haven't had to compromise the level of rigor in my class.

another thing you can do is schedule a quiz or a test on a date when you know they won't be ready for it, then the day before compassionately tell them that you realize that they're not quite ready and you want to give them an extra day to review. They'll think you're REALLY understanding then.

Anyway, this is what's working for me this year.

good luck... but the way, I'm an overweight, nerdy-dressing 49 year old woman.


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Old 11-09-2014, 02:22 PM
 
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Well damn, this hasnt really made me feel better. I am caring, but I have boundaries, I am a high anxiety personality, but fairly laid back. I'm not a "joke cracker" because most of those seem to be at the student's expense, which seems cruel and unfair. I hated my "jokey" teachers in high school because I was often humiliated by them in the classroom.
I guess I should just quit, *sigh* I've been thinking that maybe I went into the wrong field for a while, and though I love it to peices I can't imagine going through my whole career without recieving an ounce of appreciation from those I spend so much time caring about.
Thanks for helping me realize this.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:00 PM
 
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Have you thought about switching to a lower elementary grade? Where I am, the little ones still come up and hug their teachers!
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:42 PM
 
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I teach ESL 9th and 11th grade sheltered English. My students hug me and call me out to wave hi in passing. You have to build a rapport with them. Yes, sometimes I make jokes - harmless ones and oftentimes, I'm the butt of those jokes. Tell them things about yourself. Talk to them upon entry. Give them high fives, notice them. A lot of students don't get attention at home. Give them attention and they'll love you. Tell them things about yourself, your family, what you did on the weekend, what you plan to do, etc. ASk if someone wants to share something at the beginning of class on a Monday or Friday. Build a community, a family within your classroom. I'm also fair. I treat everyone equally and tell them so. I might tell one student that I can not do x for them as I would have to do x for everyone. Students appreciate that. Be honest. Don't be condescending. Ive had many students call me "mom" and I don't mind. I have a son that is a 9th grader in a different district (as we live in a diff district from where I teach), so I very well could be their mom!
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Give them space (their entitled to fail too)
Old 04-14-2015, 08:14 AM
 
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I agree with AMDucky but you have to have boundaries. There are many teachers in my school who seem to curry favour with students & play favortism too. Its the same anywhere there are schools. Don't worry about it MsImpisi since that's not the way you'll gain respect & really although having your students like you is nice - having respect can be more rewarding (when they come back to visit you!)

I used to feel the same (unliked/unwanted). In fact, I used to help with our announcements and they got too long so I had to turn some students back. This act made me very unpopular for a couple years. I had to work hard to gain students' trust again. I have found a few tips that may help (in my own journey to get students back in my corner). First, don't get too worked up if the student doesn't love your subject area. As others have told me- they have a right to fail. Give them warnings, and try to throw ropes/give them opportunities for remediation, but if they don't show up or fail tests- there's nothing you can do about it. Second, remember to keep your classes student-centered & give them engaging lessons that they can learn your lessons themselves. Give them some distance. I don't always corner students who mess up (give them a chance to save face) and each needs a 2nd chance. Expect the unexpected (& throw it in -even though you planned it- into your lessons). Use humour, inject a bit of fun into your class, use multi-media and the NET, social media and stuff they relate to.

Remember- whether a student takes to you or not has nothing to do with your gender. I am a male teacher who's admired many a lady at our school who have regular followings. Sometimes a male student will hate a female b/c she reminds him of his mother who left home (or typically vice-versa!) I've had many a female student who either "loves" or "hates" my style of teaching.

Good luck (& I hope you don't quit!)
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:52 PM
 
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I substitute teach, and it's even harder to build rapport with students when you're not there every day. They really do like cracking jokes, but yes don't tell jokes at students' expense. I try to come up with really silly stuff, like...

I told 2nd graders that their teacher was going to be out the following day, and as much as I would love to come again, I was already scheduled to be at another school. I could chop myself in half and the other school could have the top half but then you'd have to talk to a leg all day and I don't think you'd learn anything from my smelly foot. And my top half wouldn't be able to walk, and chopping a person is kind of messy...

Middle schoolers tipping their chairs drives me crazy... I'll tell them that they need to keep all 4 chair legs on the floor... because you could fall but you're young, you bounce. Me, I walk by... la de la de la and whoops trip over the chair legs and fall and break a hip because I'm really old.

If kids come into the room and say "we have a SUB today??" I'll repeat in the same tone of voice, "We have to LEARN today??" Or I'll say, "Uh, this is Mr/Mrs <regular teacher>. I just had plastic surgery, so I look a little different now."

Or kids asking "Can I go to the bathroom?" I'll say "I hope you can because if you can't, there's a huge problem and you need to see a doctor about that." or "I don't know, can you? I mean, I don't help students go to the rest room, that's not on my job description." (of course they roll their eyes and say "MAY I..." lol)

If I have door duty, I'll welcome the kids into the school and say "HI!!! Welcome!! It's going to be a great day of learning today!" Some of them give a look like "uhhhhh ok" but they're amused all the same.

If I've had a class before, I'll tell them I missed them even if it's only been a day. Sometimes I'll tell them I missed them even though it's been less than a day. Sometimes their teacher will be in the room (but having a sub because they've got meetings and computer work or whatever) and I'll tell them their teacher is invisible today. Maybe I'll get in a "Don't tell your teacher that I said this... don't want to let it get to her head... but you have one of my favorite teachers at this school... she's such an amazing teacher." (it's especially funny if the teacher is engrossed in something and didn't hear it)

I told a class of 6th graders in a computer lab that they needed to work on their assignment and ONLY their assignment. I know ALL the tricks that kids do with switching windows, thinking I won't know that you're googling boy bands instead of typing your paper... but not only do I know ALL the tricks, but I could teach a CLASS on tricks... so... don't try me. <smile>.

Of course humor can make the kids get hyper, but it really does get them on "your" side.


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