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Downy Downy is offline
 
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Seeing former Students in public
Old 06-11-2017, 05:30 AM
 
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Hey guys

From memory I have been a member for 5 years however I have only recently started posting again. Bit of background I'm from Australia. Started teaching while only 22 and I am still in my 20s. I taught 2 years as a PE teacher (yr 1 - 7) and 3 years as a classroom teacher yrs 3-5). This year I am just subbing as I sort of wanted to take a bit of a break.

To the topic I know I am going to get a few telling me "it's none of my business" and you are probably right. But I have found it difficult seeing former students who are now 16 - 17 smoking in public. These are students who were my top athletes as well and I can't help feel devastated and disappointed with the life choices they have made after year 7. I have never approached them about it as 1) they were with their friends or boyfriend, 2) not sure how they would react.

Maybe it is just a case of myself getting to attached to them, only being 10 or so years younger than them and wanting them to grow up into fantastic human beings. Has anyone had this issue in their teaching career or have I just come too attached? Should I just try to avoid them as hard as that is?


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poor decisions of former students
Old 06-11-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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Yes, I have this pop up for me every now and then. I haven't had a situation with smoking, but there are some kids who get pregnant right away (or even in high school) or get arrested. Some stop taking their meds for some serious mental disorders and it shows.

Honestly, I'm disappointed, but I don't let it get to me too much because they are autonomous people. They are making their own choices and there are consequences for those choices. I think that is how I deal with it. If I made a bad choice, I would hate to have my 10th grade English teacher feel bad. It's on me!
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former students
Old 06-11-2017, 10:12 AM
 
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It's a lot like having your own children. We can teach them right from wrong all day long their whole lives, but it's up to them to make the right choices. Me saying something isn't going to automatically make them go, "Oh! My mom/teacher doesn't approve. I think I"ll quit." If only it were that easy.

Along the same lines, if I see a student smoking or doing something I don't agree with, I do tend to make a comment IF I'm given the opportunity - just something simple like, "What made you start that habit?", but I don't dwell on it or preach. It usually starts a good conversation or at least lets them know I care.

Don't avoid them - it may be good they see you. It may hold them accountable in knowing others are watching.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:57 AM
 
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Thanks guys for sharing your experiences. I hope i can pull them up one on one if the opportunity arises and have a chat about it. But yeah for some reason I get upset like they were my little brother of sister. It is the first time though I have seen it since I am still a young teacher.
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Don't avoid them
Old 06-12-2017, 07:29 AM
 
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Don't hide from them. Say hello using their name. They will hear the 'lecture' without you saying it. Also look for previous students who are making good choices too. I have seen many of my former students as secretaries, clerks, checkers, all around the area. It is great to hear their stories of the classes that they are taking and their future plans. I always get super excited to see former students at the county library!


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Old 06-12-2017, 07:28 PM
 
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I understand- I feel disappointed when former students are making unhealthy or unsafe choices. I've learned not to google any of my former students because things come up that I'd rather not know about. (yikes, I just realized that my first group of students is hitting their 30s now! I had them in first). I agree with not avoiding. Continue to be a positive role model, say hi, and they'll see you still care about them. Our own flesh and blood children don't always make the choices we'd like them to make, so how could we expect our students to? I'm not sure about you, but I also know I haven't always made choices that would make a teacher or parent proud, either I'm glad to know they still cared about me.

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Maybe it is just a case of myself getting to attached to them, only being 10 or so years younger than them and wanting them to grow up into fantastic human beings.
This threw me off- you meant they are 10 years younger than you, right?
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:59 AM
 
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This threw me off- you meant they are 10 years younger than you, right?#

Haha yeah just read that and I admit it doesn't make sense. Good to see everyone understood what I meant
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