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Never Let Them See You Sweat!
Old 02-02-2017, 09:06 PM
 
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I have a class that is absolutely horrible! I am not the healthiest person in the world and not as spry as I once was. That aside, I have the kind of class that sees any weakness as an opportunity and takes full advantage of it! I am a 12 year veteran teacher so I am not a newbie. I have held strong and stuck to my guns. However, the other day their behavior was so horrible that I almost broke down and cried. This is the class that drove several teachers into retirement! My question is, do you let them see you cry? Do you tell them how their poor behavior choices keep you up at night? Do you tell them that the stress of "trying" to teach them is so stressful that it might be making yoyr condition worse?

I know I am not the only person out there that has or has had this "class" and I'm curious what others have done.


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Old 02-02-2017, 09:17 PM
 
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No, I don't show/tell students all that. The worse they are, the more professional I am. I do try to make lessons as involving and engaging as possible because my goal is to make learning so all-consuming that behavior is not an issue. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:59 PM
 
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I would worry that if they are that uncaring and disrespectful, they might see that they made you cry and wear it like a badge of honor. I can remember being in a class like that, and when we made one poor teacher cry, some kids were just so proud of themselves!

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Do you tell them how their poor behavior choices keep you up at night?
I might tell them this though, in a "I care about you guys and I worry about your future" kind of way.

I'm sorry they are treating you badly, and I hope your health improves.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:26 AM
 
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As someone who has done all of the things you are asking about, I would definitely not do it again if I could help it. It was during my first year of teaching and I felt like crying so I thought about it and wondered if they would feel guilty if I cried. They didn't (It happened probably 3 times)

I tried to hide it and regain my composure but someone would always point it out "Mr. SwissTeacher2 is crying!!!" and it was definitely not in a caring manner.

The bottom line is that most of these students do not care about you or do not know how to care about you. If they did, they wouldn't be treating you this way. They probably treat their families like crap too (probably because that's how their families treat THEM). Because they don't care, they won't feel empathy towards you if you reveal these things. Many of them may even feel satisfaction knowing how they are affecting you. Only a few may feel empathy and it probably won't be the leaders.
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Wait until you get home or at least...
Old 02-03-2017, 07:24 AM
 
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to the car. As a 23 year veteran I feel like crying today. Not the kids...their parents. They are never satisfied...want more and more from the teacher.
With your situation I would punish until it hurts. I would also try to praise anything I could find that is positive. Reward class if possible. Maybe you already are. Good luck!


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Old 02-03-2017, 10:26 AM
 
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I'm so sorry. What a tough situation.
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:34 AM
 
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I've been in education for a long time, and agree it's best if you don't let them know they're getting to you. In recent years as a sub, I've been with many classes like this one, and I really understand the frustrations teachers face when they have to deal with them on a daily basis.

This isn't going to be "the solution," but if you have upper elementary students, you could read them a tearjerker. It sometimes helps them to develop a little empathy. Several years ago I was with a tough group, but the teacher left me the book, Edward's Eyes, to read late in the morning. I couldn't believe it. A "hard as nails" bunch melted like butter. Not a peep out of any of them. I mentioned it to another teacher who taught the same grade (she was reading the same book to her group), and she agreed it was a great choice for their classes.

Another book that comes to mind is Wonder. A couple years ago, in various subbing jobs, I read assorted chapters to a number of classes. There was one chapter (I don't recall which one) that was quite powerful, and a student who had been giving me a hard time all morning became a different kid when we discussed the content and made personal connections. If you really want to get through to them, there's a chapter near the end in which the family has to deal with a very ill dog (I won't say more in case anyone hasn't read it). I don't think there was a dry eye in the room!
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Showing your emotions.
Old 02-04-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't let them see me cry. The kids that behave like this WILL use it against you. I've recently seen this with happen. We had a teacher leave over the 7th graders that I teach. I teach them ELA and the teacher taught the same group math.. The math teacher told me recently on of the kids said.. we are trying to get you to freak out and leave like Mrs. XYZ did.

Sorry, all you can do is shake it off and be so professional when they get like this. I am going through the same thing you are going through right now. I try to be so SO professional and predictable. I am almost like a robot with the kids who are a behavioral problem. I feel they need that predictability.

I do cry when I get home though.. I've never broke down at a job more than I have here.
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Never let them see you sweat
Old 02-04-2017, 09:58 PM
 
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Crying in front of a tough group of kids is the worst thing you can do. They will wear it as a badge of honor and use it against any teacher they have in the future. Everyone has had THAT class at one time or another. What made me feel somewhat better was thinking that I had those kids for only for a few hours a day. Their parents have to deal with them for their rest of their lives.<!--v
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