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"Are you pregnant"
Old 10-14-2018, 03:52 AM
 
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How the heck is a teacher supposed to react to this???!! (If you're not actually pregnant, that is) I feel there's no good way for me to even respond. At least not with me unintentionally showing how much that bothers me, or without almost crying. There's also the chance a kid didn't know it was rude to ask that, or really thought I was pregnant, esp at age 11. More recently there was a girl who asked me this in an intentionally malicious way, but other times I suspect the kids' assumptions were innocent enough but still hurtful and indirectly offensive.

This has happened multiple times over the last 8-9 years. Not constantly but every so often, at least twice each year on average, including when I was actually pregnant, but more often when I wasn't. Once even by a STAFF member (older middle age male with quite a gut himself, ironically)!...at a time that I was at my absolute thinnest too (5'7" 125lbs). It's mortifying each and every time it happens. The absolute insult to injury is how badly it destroys my classroom management. I notice that each time it happens, it causes an eruption of chaos/unruliness and kids lose respect for me. Awful.

Another insult to injury with the pregnant comments: All of my classroom management struggles have resultedin me gaining a lot of weight since the school year started! Between the stress and the "stress eating"/snacking on carbs and the glass of wine my husband pours me after most really stressful work days. So now kids have more reason than ever to assume I'm pregnant. My waist cincher only does so much. The new clothes my friend got me as a birthday present are now too small 😭😭😭

I never know the right way to respond. Or, I know a few responses but they're definitely too snarky and inappropriate for school lol. How can I professionally nip this in the bud?


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Are you pregnant
Old 10-14-2018, 04:08 AM
 
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I was asked this near the beginning of the school year when I was teaching 3rd grade. Here is how I responded: I got the attention of the class and told them
"I am not pregnant, I am fat I know I'm fat as I look in mirrors. Please don't ask me again if I'm pregnant. "
We got halfway through the school year without anyone asking. When someone did ask, a student(girl-a little overweight), said "don't you remember she told us she's just fat".
That was it. When students don't get a rise out of you with their questions/comments , they stop making them. Don't react to what your students are saying about you.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:21 AM
 
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Thanks. I did that when it happened on orientation day 2 mos ago. I just turned the other cheek and walked away. I knew I'd break down in tears if I gave the response you did, which defeats the purpose of me saying it (since reacting emotionally will just get a rise out of students). So I didn't respond, turned away. It continued. To the point that another teacher (already in the room) had to step in.

Also, the "I'm fat" line won't work as well for me because of my body type. I have a generally naturally slender body type. When I gain weight, it all goes to my belly. I end up looking like a thin girl with a protruded pot belly bump. So I really do probably look pregnant at times . It's been that way since my mid to late 20s, starting years before I actually had children. Ironically, I actually looked less pregnant when I WAS pregnant (until a certain point) than I probably do now! I imagine that if I told a class "I'm not pregnant, just fat", I'd get my usual noisemakers calling out stuff like, "No you're not! You're thin! It's only your belly that pokes out!"
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:24 AM
 
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"Please don't comment on my body--thanks."

Shuts it right down and puts the shame where it belongs.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:02 AM
 
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Good idea. Hopefully kids won't take the ambiguity to mean I might BE pregnant though. When I actually was pregnant and I didn't give a direct answer (kept it secret from my job until halfway thru the pregnancy), kids would talk and speculate. Hopefully that doesnt happen here...and hoping I'm not actually pregnant! Lol


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Old 10-14-2018, 05:04 AM
 
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I'm so sorry, that has got to be hurtful. Adults, and many older children, should know better.



Quote:
"Please don't comment on my body--thanks."

Shuts it right down and puts the shame where it belongs.

I like Zia's response.
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I do like the advice above..
Old 10-14-2018, 05:12 AM
 
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Please do not comment on my body.

And if you are calm enough to continue it would, in my opinion, be great if you could add something general to include the message that they should not comment or judge anyone by questions like that. As you noted in your post, you have students who are being embarrassed by other students comment on their bodies.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:18 AM
 
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I've been asked this more than once, by kids and adults. I just roll my eyes. The shape of my body, like yours, makes me carry my weight in the front. I'm not embarrassed. It's biology. If it's a kid who is likely copying what they heard an adult in their life say, I say, "You know, that's not a polite thing to ask someone. You always wait for the person to say it first, even if you think you know. I didn't bring it up first, so we are not going to talk about it." If the kid goes in for a belly rub, I back up, remove their hand, and say, "Oh, I don't rub your belly. I really don't like it when you rub mine. Don't touch me, please." If it's an adult or an older kid being a jerk, I make direct eye contact and say in a flat tone, "No, I'm not." Generally they get embarrassed and say something like, "Oh, I thought..." and I repeat with eye contact and an even drier tone, "No. I'm not," then I walk away.

I can see why people get embarrassed, but I don't buy in. Society's imagery tells me I should be rail-thin with big boobs and a flat stomach and hairless-all-over like a prepubescent kid, and that's just not how most females are past age 12. I just don't wear anything gathered near the bra line or very tight, I find clothes that are flattering on my shape and I feel good in (and this changes). If a glass of wine feels good to you, have it. If your body doesn't feel good, start going for a walk or to the gym after school and get it feeling better. If people feel the need to comment on our bodies, that's a reflection on them, not us.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Hopefully kids won't take the ambiguity to mean I might BE pregnant though.

Who cares? They can think whatever they like...doesn't have to affect you. And when you don't randomly pop out a kid, I bet they figure it out.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:27 AM
 
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LastMinute123, I wish we had a "like" button. Your answer is spot on!

anxietyridden, my first gut response was to answer back "No, are you?" - because I thought you were going to describe an adult asking.

Since it's kids (and parents might complain about about a quip like that ) I'd go with the manners lesson.


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I have the same body type. Usually,
Old 10-14-2018, 05:38 AM
 
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we also have thin legs. Leggings and tunics are the way to go.

Even though I am in great shape and work out all the time, when I gain five pounds, there it sits. I like to wear tight clothing, so it is a pain to keep struggling with the gut issue.

I remember once a little girl came up to me and asked if I was pregnant. I said, no, why do you ask? She said, "Well, why are you wearing a dress if you are not pregnant?"

People are just rude. Maybe just ask, "Now, why would that be YOUR business?"
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:45 AM
 
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Sorry this keeps happening to you! I've never been asked this by kids or adults, but if people seemed to be in the habit of asking me throughout the years, I'll probably include it in the "First Day of School Rules" for the new class I'll be teaching.

That's a good lesson to them and I'll go on the explain that it's a rude question to ask whether the person is or isn't pregnant because it's too personal and no one's business. Kids in MY class would definitely learn to stop asking that to people.

Now, unfortunately, there's not as much that you can do about the rude adults who ask...unless you don't mind giving them a dose of their own medicine and don't care about keeping things pleasant because they're definitely not being pleasant when they ask! I don't know what quick comeback you can say to adults, but have a good statement or two ready to dish back to them!
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Sorry this keeps happening to you! I've never been asked this by kids or adults, but if people seemed to be in the habit of asking me throughout the years, I'll probably include it in the "First Day of School Rules" for the new class I'll be teaching.
Actually...the "pregnant" stuff occurred BEFORE the first official day, in another teacher's classroom I was in, only a half-hour before I was due to talk to them about my rules and expectations with the new orientation students �� So I never even had the opportunity to be proactive about it. And I was too sore to bring it up without crying, since it'd JUST happened a half-hour before.

As for the "no...are you?" comeback to that staff member: I agree.I should have said that to him. Sadly, back then I was a too-nice doormat who prioritized other people above looking out for myself. Still am in Some ways. Also, I'd JUST started at that school mid-year only 2wks prior...so I wasn't trying to start off on the wrong foot by possibly ticking off a staff member who didn't like my snarky (albeit well deserved) sarcasm.

That wasn't the only staff member who asked if I was pregnant, just the nicest one. About 5 years later, a female custodian asked me on 2 or 3 different occasions. I showed that it bothered me her thinking that. On the 3rd time, she was even malicious about it! "Horizontal walked"* down the hall with her posse of 2 other girl custodians, loudly asked if I was pregnant in front of them, while pointing to her lower belly and saying because I had a "pouch". I was right by the bathroom door of the bathroom I was headed to. I showed brief split second of disgust at her before going through the bathroom door. I saw her laughing at me as I entered the bathroom. Then I vented and ranted for almost 5mins to an empathetic colleague who happened to be in the bathroom washing her hands. I reported it to the VP but nothing was ever done. Initially the VP said she had an idea of who it was, even asked me if the woman had "orangey hair" (yes). Then never pursued it, later claimed she "couldn't figure out who it was" In reality she knew she couldn't discipline that woman in a unionized job without proof beyond hearsay. So for the rest of the year, I felt uncomfortable and probably looked like a psycho in front of a fewof my coworkers when I would put On a grumpy face each time that custodian walked by us and said good morning lol. That was the year I quit teaching too (before returning to it when I couldn't get a job in any other field). She was not the reason I quit teaching but definitely a contributor.


* "horizontal walk" = when 3 or more people walk down a hallway or sidewalk side-to-side, forming a horizontal line of people instead of walking one behind the other. I find it extremely rude and irritating, as it wastes space and makes it extremely hard to walk by them coming from the other direction or to pass around them from behind. Passing them is essential, as I've noticed many horizontal walkers also tend to walk very, very lazily slow. Horizontal walking is most commonly observed with adolescent females, tweens, and cliquey "mean girls" females.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:26 AM
 
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I'll probably get major slack/heckling for this but I hate my belly and no I'm not going to just accept it as my "biology". I already dye my hair, wear makeup, and got cosmetic surgery in the past. Without the cosmetic surgery, I'd probably look even more pregnant than I apparently already do lol. On the only day that I went to work without my usual makeup (due to crying hysterically the entire ride to work, breaking down to my husband about how much of a failureI feel, due to my huge classroom management crisis I wrote about in an earlier thread), I heard girls whispering thatI looked "ugly". One innocuous, well-meaning-albeit-immature boy actually told me that I looked like the dying people from some Harry Potter movie. I ignored it. Then the next day he said it again! Ugh. And yes, I am the pale kind of person with very little to no contrast in my facial features, the type who looks washed-out and sickly without makeup. When I dont look my best, I feel like it definitely affects my classroom management...anyone else go through that or feel that way? So yeah, hating my belly...I need to get my energy up (job-related depression has zapped that along with my health) to find time outside family and work paperwork to work out, and I need to stop eating any carbs.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:31 AM
 
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On the only day that I went to work without my usual makeup
Quote:
anyone else go through that or feel that way?

I had pink eye last year and couldn't wear eyeliner/mascara for a few days. On the third day, one of my girls asked, "When will you be pretty again?" It made me laugh.

Kids lack a filter between their thoughts and spoken word. Seriously, just laugh it off. I guarantee you, none of them are thinking about it this morning.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:43 AM
 
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It seems as though you are having a tough time in a lot of arenas right now. You are very concerned about your appearance (weight/shape, complexion), how your students perceive you (Harry Potter comment, pregnancy comment), and how others perceive you doing your job (other thread). You've mentioned being in the verge of tears or crying, and feeling like a failure in both threads.

I would imagine you are not spending much time feeling happy...Life seems to feel really hard for you right now.

Are you seeing a counselor? I ask because a lot of the things you're mentioning are about how other people perceive you. Yes, you might be around really mean people a lot. But also, if they're getting you this upset this often, then either you have to change when you're around or you have to change how you perceive/value their judgements in order to feel like you're living a mostly happy, mostly fulfilling life. I definitely have people comment on my complexion (So pale! Feeling well?), kids trying to rankle me with comments (Honey, let's focus in the issue of your school work, because insulting me isn't going to change your long division skills), weight distribution (examples above), and classroom skills (if it's useful I change it, if it's not I think them and close my door). These are part for the course, but shouldn't drag you into the depths of despair where you feel sad enough to cry at or after work frequently. You can feel better!

Are you happy with you? That's really what matters.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:48 AM
 
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Honey, let's focus in the issue of your school work, because insulting me isn't going to change your long division skills

Excellent response!

I agree with LastMinute...what you are describing sounds debilitating. And I am very sorry you're going through this. I hope you find a way to feel better soon.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:48 AM
 
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You seem to be going thru some tough stuff right now.

Your username, your comments about crying and your responses make me want to recommend talking to a counselor. We are in such a stressful job.

Please take some time to enjoy something today and see if you can find a counselor to help you through.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:02 AM
 
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Zia, when I finally realized this:

"I guarantee you, none of them are thinking about it this morning,"

It changed the way I moved through the world. No need to play back the awkward/embarassing/unsure moments of the day while I'm falling asleep. The other person has already forgotten about it, so I will, too. Make a change so it won't happen again (or won't bother me again), and Let It Go.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Zia, when I finally realized this:

"I guarantee you, none of them are thinking about it this morning,"

It changed the way I moved through the world. No need to play back the awkward/embarassing/unsure moments of the day while I'm falling asleep. The other person has already forgotten about it, so I will, too. Make a change so it won't happen again (or won't bother me again), and Let It Go.
Yep, me too. It's incredibly liberating to realize no one else is obsessing over whatever it is.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:26 AM
 
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I guarantee you, none of them are thinking about it this morning,"
Maybe that's true in most other cases. I already said my student made the Harry Potter dead people comment more than 1 day in a row (3 to be exact). I already said the custodian called me pregnant on 3 different occasions, going from mistaken (congratulated me on being pregnant, at which point I swallowed my pride and gave her benefit of a doubt by telling myself she likely got confused since I'd recently had my baby after being pregnant at work, then responding by nicely telling her I had my baby, even warmly sharing pics of my baby with her) to ignorant to plain malicious. And that custodian wasa grown-a adult too, a good bit older than me with grown children.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:49 AM
 
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I don't mean to imply folks aren't being rude to you when they see you. I meant they aren't spending Sunday morning mulling it over. I'm sorry you're hurting so badly.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:51 AM
 
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You seem to be going thru some tough stuff right now.
I admit I've had a lot of stuff going on.

1. I moved from out of state only a month before I started this job.
2. I'm going to file bankruptcy soon.
3. We moved for several darn good reasons, to get away from some problematic situations, primarily my house. My house is/was very old and requires way too many repairs that I cannot afford and am unable to do myself. Hence the bankruptcy. I didn't feel comfortable raising my kids in such problematic house. Plus my mortgage went way up this year due to a surge in taxes and a new requirement to have flood insurance due to Fema remapping. So I called it quits and moved, to save my sanity and my family. Wrote off the house as a loss. I can rebuild credit later.
4. We're still in the process of selling that house. Agent has been annoying and unhelpful. Nobody wants that crappy shack of a house. Nobody. Agent keeps emailing me these stupid feedback forms where prospective buyers say they're not interested and leave insulting cuts about my former home. I finally moved out this summer after reaching my no-go zone with that house and its issues. It'll probably end up being a short sale or foreclosure. But I'd rather walk away now, and give my kids a good home in a place I feel much happier, than stay and eventually lose the home anyway.
5. Right after we moved, my husband lost his job due to "seeking other work" (yes he was, as he wanted a job in our new state, as opposed to commuting a 3hr roundtrip each day to a low pay temp job). That's what catapulted my need to find a local, better paying job, which I have now.
6. My husband landed another job but it's still low pay and involves not seeing him much during the week due to the later shift. Great way to save on childcare since we're broke, but I don't spend awake time with him much mon-fri.
7. I JUST had a baby (but was way thinner postpartum than now lol, since I was on the low-carb diabetes diet all through my pregnancy).
8. I cut my summer "maternity leave" short to accommodate the given start date of this new job. This job started a few weeks before my previous job did.

Yes, quite a lot to deal with. Moving, baby, bankruptcy, job changes. Stressful but manageable, as I've been in SO many more stressful situations in the past. Also, I was happy to move and have another baby. I love my new town much much better than my old town. I love my new home, which suits us and our needs so much better. My husband has been 100x happier since we moved, so that's another plus. My life would be amazing IF I didn't have the job stress from student behavior. My paperwork would be less (bad student behavior creates extra work), I'd feel better about myself and my capabilities in my craft, I'd be physically healthier, and thinner too lol. I love my life on weekends (except when I have to spend weekends doing work, feeling like a "boring mom" and antisocial wife). I can honestly say that it's the job that has me miserable.

And I asked HR about counseling through an EAP but was told no, it doesn't start until my health insurance does, this winter. I have talked to the school guidance counselor though.
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Pregnant?
Old 10-14-2018, 07:53 AM
 
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No, there is just lots of me to love!
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:56 AM
 
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That is such a heavy load! So with everything going on in your life, it sounds like you don't have the emotional reserves to deal with any attacks to you personally.

The janitor is a bully and shows classic bullying in the workplace behavior. Document and send to your HR.

The older man was just clueless and lacks social graces. Just say, "Really? I don't appreciate your questions."

The kids are rude, disrespectful and are trying out a power play on you. I would find a consistent comment to fall back on if kids ask you. Maybe, "Did you know that's a rude question? I think you owe me an apology," or whatever phrase suits your personality.

Don't discount post-pregnancy hormones. Given a little more time, you might start to feel better and have more emotional reserves so these questions are less hurtful to you.

Since this keeps happening with adults as well, I think I might try to find a light-hearted response line that makes clear your feelings, but leaves you in control. Something like, "Pregnant? No, that would be a big surprise to my husband." and leave them guessing.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:59 AM
 
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Your student made that comment because it made him feel powerful to make you feel small. That's not actually a commentary on your body. It's a commentary on his unmet emotional needs and/or unmastered social skills. Do you think you look dead? I doubt it. I'm pale, too. People comment frequently on my paleness, specifically in the summer. I just say, "Nope, just the fairest of them all!" and keep the conversation going. They stop when it doesn't get them anywhere in conversation. Your student is not perseverating on your paleness, he's thinking of it when he sees you and saying it to make himself feel 'big.' He will find a weakness to comment on even if you're tan and thin with designer clothes and professionally done hair/makeup daily.

Same goes for the janitor. She's thinking of it when she sees you (not all day) and using you as a step-stool to make herself taller. I had a conversation with 2 6-year-olds about the same exchange yesterday: There are better ways to feel good than talking about someone else. Some people don't get that lesson in childhood. By 'it's biology,' I don't mean I'm going to school in wrinkled pajama pants with unbrushed hair every day. I mean I'm eating healthy, wearing clothes that flatter me, and recognizing that with changes like age or pregnancy come body changes and as long as your body does what you needed it to without chronic pain or health problems, you have to meet it where it is (like we do with students) and not worry about it meeting anyone's standards but your own.

You definitely have a lot going on. I'm glad you're pursuing someone to talk to. It sounds like you're on track for an 'upswing' with your description of your house and husband. I hope that, soon, you are able to tune out the comments and perceptions of others and feel strong in your body, confident in your interactions, and joyful in your new home and new family - None of which comes from others.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:01 AM
 
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I guess my irritation about it also stems from the reality that it adds insult to injury in regards to the original problem being poor student behavior/classroom management. Every time I've had "bad classes", I've put on the undesirable weight. I've generally been thinner without trying during the years where my classes go okay. Although even during the "good" years, I've had kids ask me if I was pregnant when I wasn't. Not often, but at least once or twice per year.

Sigh, it just sucks that kids calling me pregnant just rubs it in that I have an added consequence/punishment (weight gain) resulting from THEIR disrespectful behavior.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:16 AM
 
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LastMinute123, I agree with you that the janitor was a mean girl bully. I feel ashamed that I even tried to "nice up" to her by showing her baby pics of my at-time infant. She didn't even use cheesy low budget acting skills to hide her overall disinterest. As for the male staff member, he was older like 50s, definitely not that old. Definitely should have known better, esp since he looks 6-7mos pregnant every day. As for the student who said I looked dying, he is a "young" 11, looks a little younger and definitely acts younger than his age. He's the inquisitive type who "says the darndest things". He actually asks me how my day is, has a cute sweet side. Not an angel though, as he has shown defiance towards the deans when he's gotten in trouble before though. So while he seemed concerned I might be sad or sick on The first day he said it, he should not have ever repeated it the next days. The girl student who asked if I was expecting...yeah she definitely knew better. I told the dean asap and the dean had her write an apology letter.

I think a better idea for me than simply growing a thicker skin (or growing anything other than growing my already-born kids, that is!) is for me to actually lose weight and tone up. More eggs, less ice cream. More long walks and yoga, less sleep and grading failing papers. And yes my belly is a sign of poor health. I am already prediabetic and had diabetes during my last pregnancy, and I'm not even obese and probably not even clinically overweight. A few other health ailments too that have potential to shave years off my life. And no I'm not a smoker (used to be) or drinker, aside from an occasional ale with dinner.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:23 AM
 
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One other thing: I definitely did the therapy thing multiple times before during my teaching career and although I am looking to do it again when my insurance kicks in, I will admit it wasn't useful for me before. The most spot-on advice I got was from the one who told me to get out of teaching!! She was one of at least two therapists I'd seen that were former teachers themselves. But I will say that the time, commute, and money cost of therapy did create a catch 22 for me when my main life stresses/gripes bringing me to therapy were lack of free time in my life (due to all the teacher paperwork) and being broke (yeah, having no raise in almost 6 yrs will do that to ya!).
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:57 AM
 
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It sounds like you have a lot going on and you might be taking that all out on this one thing. I'm an "apple" shape and have been asked plenty of times at various sizes if I'm pregnant. When I was a ST I was a size 8 and I remember a little girl hugging me and then stepping back with excitement in her eyes and saying, "Wow, you're going to have a baby soon!"

Sometimes it can be hurtful because obviously kids are honest, but you also have to consider that half the time they don't know what they're talking about either . Maybe mom or someone else in their life is pregnant and they're over generalizing. In HS I taught swim lessons with a girl who was literally probably a size 00- not an ounce of fat on her- and one of the kids she taught would not let go of asking her weekly about "the baby in her tummy."

As for adults, I can't believe the social graces some people lack. My teammate always says you don't ask a woman if she's pregnant until she's in labor! I've had two different parents ask me. I'm usually not the type to make smart remarks but on both occasions, I said, "No, I'm not, and in the future you should refrain from asking anyone that."

There was a third incident with a teammate I no longer work with. I'd gained a little weight that fall and P announced at a staff meeting that there was a new baby coming. Teammate looked at me and said, "Ohhh it's you, isn't it?!" I didn't have to say anything because another teammate put her in her place.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:29 AM
 
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Ok...going out of my comfort zone here, but I think you are suffering from PostPartum Depression. You must take care of yourself beginning NOW. Everything seems to be a negative or defensive response.

Please go accept help from someone. You and your family deserve it!

Glad you've reached out to us. This is a great community.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:51 AM
 
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Maybe a five or six year old could get away with not knowing better. Fifth graders are old enough to know better. I don't care if you weigh 400 pounds. There's no excuse for that rude question.

Next time someone, adult or child, asks you that, look them square in the eyes, pause, and then say, in your most deadpan voice, "No. Why do you ask?" Maintain eye contact while you let them stammer for something to say that doesn't make them seem like a jerk. Then walk away. I also think Zia's idea - "Please don't comment on my body," is a good response. Period. Don't water down their feelings of being a jerk by explaining anything or trying to teach a lesson on good manners. Just let them feel the jerkiness of their jerky remark.
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You have a full plate right now
Old 10-14-2018, 11:56 AM
 
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with all of the changes you are going through. I am glad you like your new house and your hubby is happier. I wish I had some magical advice to make you feel better. The only thing I can think of is trying to focus on things you are thankful for. That helps me at times when I am really unhappy.
Teaching jr high, might push most people over the edge. Kids at that age are so smart mouthed. I love Zia's response of Please don't comment on my body. I maybe meaner, but I might say, " Why are you looking at my body?" In a way that might make a JR High boy blush!
Maybe I can make you laugh a bit. A mouthy 7th grader asked a friend of mine that question a few yrs ago. She responded with, " No, I am just fat. I got that way from eating rude kids who ask personal questions over the yrs." I know the smart a__ who asked her that and he ended up really liking her as a favorite teacher (and being more respectful) because she had a smart alec comment to come back with him at when he tried to get her goat more than 1x. I have known a few jr high teachers who were very successful. The common denominator they all seemed to have was a unique sense of humor. The humor of elementary teachers is on a different wave of thought. I wish you the best and hope life gets better for you soon. I just saw annie's , Why do you ask?" That 1 is effective for many rude , personal questions!
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:17 PM
 
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Ok...going out of my comfort zone here, but I think you are suffering from PostPartum Depression. You must take care of yourself beginning NOW. Everything seems to be a negative or defensive response.
I know I have it, and that's the whole reason I was petrified to return to work this fall, for fear that if the job was brutal I'd be at high risk to develop PPD. I have been scatterbrained central ever since I've given birth. My brain has felt like a patchwork quilt that has had all the patches detached from one another. So I feared that kids would notice this and try to pull one over on me. That's why originally I was going to stay at my much easier, better fit previous teaching job, despite the 80min commute each way. But when my husband lost his job, I panicked, and jobsearched right alongside him to get a closer, better paying job. But I have not felt mentally prepared to be back at work. But I could deal with it if it weren't for my classes behaving absolutely horribly. I can honestly truly say that this job has been the trigger for my PPD.

I've gone back to work postpartum before and it hasn't been this bad. In fact, after my first child, I returned to work 9wks postpartum. Although I had some MAJOR setbacks and trauma in my personal life, I did fine at my job. I liked my job and in fact my job was like my uplifting sanctuary that took my mind off the personal life problems. Then the following year they messed with my roster, ruining a good thing I had going by switching the grade level and courses I taught. I had a terrible time with classroom management, and in turn a terrible time at the job, and feeling terrible about myself and my badly behaved students. The VP thought I had PPD until I reminded her that my child was now a toddler and I'd never felt down about myself in the previous year when I was at the point postpartum to get PPD! She realized I was right.

I've always been the type who is externally affected. My moods are not affected nearly as much by hormones, chemical balances/imbalances, etc as they are by events occurring to me and around me. Example, I'm the type who has an extremely hard time with death. And failure too. And feeling ripped off or "walked all over" (even though I'm not good at standing up for myself). If I had no kids at all, I guarantee you I'd still feel Godawful about the kids' bad behavior and pregnancy comments. I've been there before, except I cut myself a LITTLE more slack back then because at least I was new. By now though I feel I shouldn't still be having these kinds of classroom management problems! So while I may have PPD and while my sadness at unintentionally causing a few students to cry may be related to my motherly postpartum hormones, I do not think my aggravation at disrespectful rowdy behavior is.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:21 PM
 
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Summerwilcom, I LOVE that comeback line! I'm totally using it. If they report me, then oh well. I'll just tell admin what students said to start it. I tend to have a snarky sense of humor like that, although lately it's been kind of hidden due to all the preoccupied stress I've had, and trying to stay vigil to whatever goes on in the classroom.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:25 PM
 
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Haley23, I am so sorry you had those experiences. Some of them honestly sound worse than what I went through. At least I know I'm not alone, but yeah I know how it feels. How long have you been teaching?
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:55 PM
 
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You’ve gotten some great ideas and suggestions from my posters.

I agree with Zia’s great response. It lets the student know that it is not okay.

I am sorry you are dealing with so much at this time.

Last edited by noonespecial; 10-14-2018 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:59 PM
 
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It is rude for anyone to ask if they are pregnant. My former teammate asked a 53 year old teacher if she was pregnant a while back. That did not end well.

Last edited by travelingfar; 10-15-2018 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:36 PM
 
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It is rude for anyone to ask if you are pregnant. My former teammate asked a 53 year old teacher if she was pregnant a while back. That did not end well.
Oh good God I hope that teacher at least had the opportunity to have kids of her own.

I say this because I worked with someone who's that same age but never had kids, has had even worse classroom management problems than me (which actually got her written up!), and has been asked the same pregnancy question. Like me, she's a naturally thin girl, much more than I. She loves to run and work out but gets so bogged down with schoolwork, she seldom has free time during the school year to keep up her exercise as much as she'd like. That and she says that each Sept she notices her pants fitting tighter from the stress increasing cortisol which in turn increases belly fat. (I didnt notice this but I'll take her word on it) When I griped to her about the false pregnancy accusations I was getting, she said same thing used to be said to her and still is. Even worse, she's the type who wanted kids but missed the boat, in part because the job robbed her of having any free time to find someone better than her loser unemployed noncommitted boyfriend (that and she's the super meek passive type who never stands up for herself and would even let colleagues at our job bully her). I think it'd be a lot more hurtful to get the pregnancy comment if one never got to actually be pregnant and now can't.

Hmm maybe I should count my blessings. I had belly fat hangups before I ever had kids and I still do now after having multiple children. At least now I have my kids. They are the highlight of my life! I guess things could be worse...
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:46 PM
 
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I have a coworker who really lets it get to her when kids say rude things to her. She replays it over and over and tried to figure out why they would say such a thing.

I tell them they are being rude and move on without giving it a second thought because zero percent of my self worth/self esteem comes from what a 13 year old thinks about me.

I donít know what the difference is between how we think. Itís not like I donít wear makeup, dress well, or generally like to feel put together. But if I donít meet someone elseís standard, too bad.

I wish I knew how to tell you to stop worrying about it. Iím sure itís making you unhappy.
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I feel ya!!
Old 10-14-2018, 05:05 PM
 
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I was in exactly your position! I was in the best shape of my life. I ran a marathon, then got hired in an extremely stressful situation. I gained 20 pounds. I had a parent ask me that and when I said no, she kept on and on about it. She even bought me a baby gift, no lie! I left at the end of the year so she probably thought I left to have the baby! I usually just say no. But one of these times I'm going to say something like nope, I just like cookies. Or nope, I just like cake.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:21 PM
 
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Ima Teacher! Do not give any rude person the keys to your happiness or self worth. Who cares what those idiots think?!? Other posters have given you some good comebacks, and here are a few more:
"Why do you need to know?"
"What business is it of yours?"
"Why do you feel the need to comment on someone else's body?"
"Why are you so focused on my body?"
"Didn't anyone ever teach you that it's rude to comment on another person's body?"
"That's a very rude personal question! I'm sorry you weren't taught better manners but it's never too late to learn."
"Are you intentionally trying to offend me, or are you just ignorant?"
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:36 PM
 
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Ruby Tunes and Ima Teacher. The reason I "care" and the reason I started this thread is because I'm questioning if it has affected and corroded my classroom management and rapport. As I said before, kids acted up for me after the first kid asked if I was pregnant then kept justifying his opinion aloud to the other kids in the (smallish) group on orientation. How kids started snickering at me every time they saw me afterwards and the day after. How even when I ignored it and moved on asap, a few kept asking me repeatedly "but wait, do you think it's rude for someone to ask if a teacher is pregnant?" the first time I had to formally introduce myself to the group. I feel like it helped to corrode my classroom management without me doing anything at all.

First impressions matter. And I blew mine by apparently not wearing a tight waist cincher on that particularly hot, 90 degree day. I've heard stories about the new kid at school getting off on the wrong foot socially when she's made fun of by the other students for wearing a "dorky" pair of sneakers or other fashion faux pas. How it was so much harder to try and build any kind of fitting-in afterward, getting off to an embarrassingly rocky start. I wonder if my "pregnant" experience on orientation day was like that.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:56 AM
 
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The 53 year old teacher had three grownup kids at the time my stupid teammate asked her if she was pregnant.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:57 AM
 
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Oh wow lol. Yes, your colleague was stupid. How did the teacher react? And I'm glad she had kids.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:37 AM
 
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Travelingfar , your story also reminds me of a 60 yr old since-retired teacher who once said to me how she felt she needed to lose weight because she looked 6mos pregnant! I said, "I'm not far off from you! I was a lot bigger than you at 6mos pregnant!" Lol. Again, another teacher attributing the belly gain from the stresses of the job. At least I know I'm not the only one gaining weight from teaching.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:51 AM
 
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The 53 year old teacher said she wasn't pregnant and gave my teammate a nasty look. She then told everyone about it.

My teammate was fairly new, but it was obvious that the teacher was not of childbearing age. My teammate is an idiot.
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Me too!
Old 10-15-2018, 09:29 AM
 
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I was at a restaurant with two close friends. It was a while ago when those high waist Laura Ashley dresses were in style. So, yeah that is what I had on. The waitress asked if I was pregnant!!! I was shocked at first then burst out laughing. I asked my friends "should I be insulted because I have this middle age spread, or should I be complimented because that ship has sailed mor than a decade ago..I was in my late 50s"

Male friend.."well, that isn't the best way to get a good tip is it?"

Anyway..anxietyridden You are not alone. In this society is seems it happens to a lot of us. I just hope that as a society we can start demanding that the public treats us better.
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I get this a lot.
Old 10-15-2018, 10:06 AM
 
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I've had 4 kids, including a set of twins, and I could stand to lose at least 30 pounds. I carry most of my weight in my gut, and I look pregnant.
But if someone asks, I say, "No, I'm just fat."
Maybe snarky, but it's rude to ask, so I'm going to be rude back.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:51 PM
 
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The reason I "care" and the reason I started this thread is because I'm questioning if it has affected and corroded my classroom management and rapport. As I said before, kids acted up for me after the first kid asked if I was pregnant then kept justifying his opinion aloud to the other kids in the (smallish) group on orientation. How kids started snickering at me every time they saw me afterwards and the day after. How even when I ignored it and moved on asap, a few kept asking me repeatedly "but wait, do you think it's rude for someone to ask if a teacher is pregnant?" the first time I had to formally introduce myself to the group. I feel like it helped to corrode my classroom management without me doing anything at all.
Yes, I think it likely did hurt your management. I donít, however, think the ďwithout me doing anything at allĒ part is accurate. You may think you didnít do anything, but there was some reaction that they picked up on, and they ran with it. A former administrator used to tell us that a big part of classroom management is making sure you donít let the kids know where your goat is tied. That is so very true.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:48 PM
 
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Yes, I think it likely did hurt your management. I donít, however, think the ďwithout me doing anything at allĒ part is accurate. You may think you didnít do anything, but there was some reaction that they picked up on, and they ran with it. A former administrator used to tell us that a big part of classroom management is making sure you donít let the kids know where your goat is tied. That is so very true
Okay so how am I supposed to hide my hurt at this? If I was that great of an actress, I'd be working at Hollywood for millions per movie...not in a classroom for my wage! Okay yes I'm a sarcastic smart-a at times. But really, the comment did catch me off guard. Although i think it's a cruel added insult to injury to have kids give ME judgment when I was the victim here and kept myself calm and cool.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm joining the conversation late, and I just want to echo everyone else--I'm so sorry that you have so much on your plate on top of rude, disrespectful kids who hurt your feelings.

You asked how to hide your hurt so this doesn't affect your classroom management. You have to change your thinking about this behavior. Take yourself out of the equation, and treat it as a teachable moment. If a kid said something rude to another kid, how would you react? What consequence would you enact? Then practice in your head or in front of a mirror, reacting the exact same way. Rude behavior is rude behavior, whether it is directed at you or someone else. As soon as they see you emotionally react, they win and get exactly what they want out of the situation.

Check out the book Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. It might give you some ideas on how to improve your classroom management. This book was a lifesaver for me. It explicitly teaches how to react in a nonemotional way to misbehavior.

Also, please talk to your doctor about the PPD. I think if you can get that under control, you won't wear your emotions on your sleeve quite as much.

I also think you should consider changing the age group you teach. I know that advice doesn't exactly help you right now, but think about it for the future. I teach elementary kids for a reason. Middle schoolers are mean! There is no way I could teach that age group. I didn't like them when I WAS a middle schooler, and my appreciation for them has not changed since then. I think it takes a special kind of person to teach that age group, and I am definitely not one of them. Perhaps you would be happier teaching younger children, too.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:45 PM
 
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I also think you should consider changing the age group you teach. I know that advice doesn't exactly help you right now, but think about it for the future. I teach elementary kids for a reason. Middle schoolers are mean! There is no way I could teach that age group. I didn't like them when I WAS a middle schooler, and my appreciation for them has not changed since then.
I agree with you about middle school. I too had a bad experience in middle school, particularly the grade level Im teaching now. I was a loser back then, and my grades were my lowest in that grade as a result of dwelling on my unhappy unpopularity.

In a way, when I accepted the job, it was because of my dire financial situation but I also told myself maybe this is my chance to do better in this grade. This time as a teacher not as a student. Perhaps it'll give closure to my own woes when I was a student in that grade. Ha nope! These kids are RUDE. They're also rude to each other. I hear them accuse others of being gay, ridiculing crooked teeth, laughing at the kid who cries easily, etc. Asking to get a seat change because they can't stand a classmate. I always shoot down bullying. Of course this prompts kids to shoot back, "why you defending him? He never listens to you." Um...because I don't condone bullying? Smh.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:11 PM
 
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Did you say whether you are in counseling or not? That could be a great starting point. One of my friends believes everyone could benefit from counseling.

Iím one of those weird people who loves middle school kids. Iíve heard it said that you canít grow brain cells and sex organs at the same time. That explains a lot. They can be snarky & mean, but they can also be sweet & helpful . . . sometimes in the same class period. They donít process emotions appropriately all the time. Some days the brain is on disconnect.

I love my kids, and I want them to know that. Part of that, however, is calling them out on their crappy behaviors. ďI love you, and I want you to be a decent human being one day. Decent human beings do not (fill in the blank with whatever stupid thing they did or said).Ē
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:51 PM
 
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Well. Last night, after catching my husband in a terrible form of deception/betrayal (hint: it has to do with "retail therapy" and it's NOT his 1st or 2nd offense; keep in mind I'm the breadwinner), he admitted that "we're both getting fat". Yes he's gained a lot of weight too in the last few months. It still hurts. Now I'm afraid he's going to eventually fall for some other woman who might be happier, better adjusted at her job, younger, AND thinner. I worry because I've had guys cheat and/or leave me before in the past. I was even dumped by a guy years back when I had infertility and all the emotional stress that comes with that (later found out he didn't wait long at all to hook up with someone else).

I have an interview tomorrow after work; wish me luck. Wearing my waist cincher under my suit so they don't pass me over for the job due to thinking I'm pregnant.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:26 PM
 
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I say take good care of yourself and family. We had a coworker to die this year. Before his death, everyone was in his face. Then when he died it was business as usual. Everyone went about their lives like it was nothing. I can really relate to your story. Kids like to ask me do I regret never having kids or a husband. These are street wise teenagers who know exactly what they're doing. One day I was fussing at a class. My whole chest felt tight. I said to myself, these kids aren't going to make me have a stroke. I will be in a home somewhere. While everyone goes on about their lives. Start learning to laugh at those kids. If you dont you will lose your mind. You are the adult and in charge. You are smarter than they are. They are picking on you because they know it upsets you. The moment you show it doesn't bother you, they will stop. You will see some of them in 20 years and they will be sagging all over the place. I would not make them write an apology letter. Ignore it. Show them you run the class. You are in charge. Make your class very interesting. Shos them you are not her to play. They will stop.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:19 PM
 
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I say take good care of yourself and family. We had a coworker to die this year. Before his death, everyone was in his face. Then when he died it was business as usual. Everyone went about their lives like it was nothing. I can really relate to your story. Kids like to ask me do I regret never having kids or a husband. These are street wise teenagers who know exactly what they're doing. One day I was fussing at a class. My whole chest felt tight. I said to myself, these kids aren't going to make me have a stroke. I will be in a home somewhere. While everyone goes on about their lives. Start learning to laugh at those kids. If you dont you will lose your mind. You are the adult and in charge. You are smarter than they are. They are picking on you because they know it upsets you. The moment you show it doesn't bother you, they will stop. You will see some of them in 20 years and they will be sagging all over the place. I would not make them write an apology letter. Ignore it. Show them you run the class. You are in chargex Make your class very interesting. Show them you are not here to play. They will stop.
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