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Blaming the teacher
Old 09-26-2018, 07:02 AM
 
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I don't understand why some people always blame the teacher for everything. I have a difficult class this year which is mainly do to a handful of students coming from unstable homes. They act out in class and disrupt their peers. Unfortunately, nothing seems to motivate these students. Teachers can't sprinkle magic fairy dust over their class and make everything better. What is a good response to those who try and say it is all my fault?


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Who says that?
Old 09-26-2018, 12:16 PM
 
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Just wondering who it is that is saying that...parents, other teachers, admin? I know how I'd like to respond but it wouldn't be appropriate
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:49 PM
 
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It's mainly admin and one teacher.
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Yup, drives me crazy
Old 09-26-2018, 02:06 PM
 
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I feel for you an this type of thing drives me nuts.

If they blame you to your face, I'd tell them you must have been doing something right all these years if they felt comfortable placing these kids in your classroom.

I hate when teachers are blamed for a kid's grades. It's not the teacher's fault the kid doesn't study or work hard. Grades aren't magically or arbitrarily given either, they are earned.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:55 AM
 
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I too can think of a number of responses... including something along the lines of "I'm doing the best I can" along with the explanation that's what we're teaching kids. "Work to the level of your ability and you'll get the same trophy as everyone else."

More appropriately, I would use a version of "figuring out who to blame doesn't really solve the problem" and try to shift the focus to solutions. That usually sends people running away because they don't know solutions and really can't be bothered. For that matter, most can't accurately state the problem in the first place. Another response is "Can you be more specific? What exactly are you referring to...?"

Another technique is "I'm eating this elephant a bite at a time..." which is acknowledging the problem and creating the message "I'm working on it." I think it's important not to get too defensive as that will be seen as admission of guilt.

Very often these comments/accusations are just a smoke screen or the accusers' way of convincing themselves they are doing something to solve the problem by criticising you. Sometimes you just have to refuse to take the bait. Acknowledge the problem (it's not really deniable) and thank them for their feedback.

The way we get treated is the way we teach people to treat us. If admin does this, I might try asking for help. Don't confess in the process. Just respond with something like, "You know, I'd really appreciate it if you could spend some time observing in my room and make some suggestions."

An old friend used to say that the best way to solve a problem is to make somebody else own it. With the last option, the best that happens is you get some help. The worst that happens is they stop bothering you about it after you shift things back on them.


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Old 09-27-2018, 05:43 AM
 
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Last year a teacher at my school got this-the group had been...tricky before her but in her room it had been massive chaos.

I was getting most of her students minus 1 this year. I was patted on the back and told good luck. My class has been great so several people made comments that the issue with this kid and that kid was that the teacher was weak on management and just not a very good teacher.

I find this to be not entirely fair-the one kid who was separate from this class is instead wreaking havoc with his fresh crop of eager followers. Now that class is the rough one just barely above Lord of the Flies.

The issue wasnt the teacher, the issue was that some of the group dynamics are bad and 1 really hard kid can upset the balance no matter how good the teacher is.
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Documentation
Old 09-28-2018, 08:26 AM
 
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I keep documentation on my students who aren't working. I tell my mentor and administrator things they're saying to me about not wanting to work and what I tell them. I write it down, I call home, everything. And if anyone comes and says it's my fault I say "would you like to see all my documentation on how this student isn't pulling their weight? All the things they've said?" I'm an art teacher. We do fun stuff. If you're failing my class you're not trying at all.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:24 AM
 
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I've been there. Definitely documentation and also, if it is appropriate, I have had people come observe my class. Our school psychologist blamed my classroom management last year when I had about five unruly first graders. I invited her to come observe and show me some strategies and she could not contain those little guys. She told me she misjudged me and supported me the rest of the year.
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