Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The "Disrespectful Student" Dilemna!

I'm trying.
I am really trying.
I am trying not to let one kid ruin my enjoyment of my class.
I refuse to let this student get on my last nerve to the point where I lose my cool.
But, it is hard.
And everyday, it gets more difficult.

I understand where it comes from.
When you live in a household where you are king in a house of two, and then come into a classroom of 24, things change.
When the teacher does not treat you the way Mama does at home, it makes the relationship in the classroom difficult.
When Mama thinks you are a "lover" and what you do is cute, the relationship in our room becomes even more difficult, because I don't think it's cute.

I ask my students to be part of our classroom, have fun, be safe, meet my expectations, learn.
There are certain rules that are followed in our classroom, and they need to be followed so that we can continue to thrive the way we do, every day.
I think what bothers me most is the disrespect.
The utter disrespect.
I raised two boys,and I have never had them speak to me the way this child speaks to me.
I love my kids, even the most difficult ones, I have loved the difficult ones. I have difficult ones now, and every day we find a way to make it through the day and enjoy being around each other.
But this one...

Yes, I try to find positive things about him, because there are one or two things.
Yes, I have had conferences with his parent.
Yes, I use my buddy teacher.
Yes, I pick my battles.
Yes, I have used positive reinforcement.
Yes, yes, yes!

I don't really need advice.(But I am willing to accept any.) I just needed to vent. :)

Maybe he will change. Maybe my magic teacher mojo will prevail. :)

We'll see.

photo credit: Wendy Copley via photopin cc


  1. I think we've all experienced this situation. Venting definitely helps. Do you have a referral (to administration) system? Perhaps once they begin to see the level of disrespect you are experiencing, they will take action. Do you have a counselor? Meeting with the counselor may help him to understand how inappropriate his behavior is. As a fellow teacher, I feel for you. I hope that things get better!

    Teaching With Moxie

    1. Thanks Diane. He knows his behavior is inappropriate.He's been doing this for years. I believe I have made some headway.Thanks for the advice.

  2. I feel like this is exactly what I said to a co-worker today. Like...exactly. Creepily the exact same thing.

  3. I know right where you're coming for. I have two of these little princes in the one class that meets EVERY. DAY. (We have block scheduling.)

  4. I read this blog because so much of it applies to my step-parenting situation. My 16-year-old step daughter chose to live with her dad because of this total lack of respect.

    I still have a 9-year-old step daughter at home and much of what you share here works extremely well with her. For example, last week you talked about raising the bar for one of your challenging kids and she surprised you with a follow-up email. My little one responded VERY WELL when I raised my hand to the ceiling, "This is what Mommy and I think about you." Then I lowered my hand around her knee level and said, "When you act like that, this is how you make yourself look." Then I raised my hand back to the ceiling saying, "Mommy and I like it when you make yourself look this way." I ended with a smile and a hug.

    I learned this from you, Lisa! You are my 'Answer Lady'.

    But you know what. Teaching and parenting on SOME DAYS with SOME KIDS can make us feel like total failures. We share; we vent; we discuss; we calm down; we reset; and then we get back in there and do what we do.

    What works best for me is when my wife tells me, "Honey, I know it's hard for you sometimes but I want you to know that I'm so proud of you because you NEVER GIVE UP on my daughters!"

    Lisa, I'm awed at the example you show us here. I learn something from you on every post. You give me the skills and the courage to get back in there and do what I do.

    All the best from Toronto,

  5. What are you getting to baby sit this jerk? A few bucks an hour. Forget him...only way to do it is make it harder on parent and admin than it is on you. Chances are this kid is problems for others so rally the troops and give them something with teeth in it...that is, some consequence that really does bother this present and future ahole. STOP trying to be understanding. You can't remedy this broken person. Read George Simon's blog on character disturbances. I left the classroom because I was disgusted by the few jerks ruining it for everyone and still demanding more. Best of luck. You're going to need it the way society is headed. curmudgeon

    1. Sorry, it's in my genes to be understanding.:) And it's also in my genes,no matter how horrible a student may seem to be, I can't give up on them.

  6. Thank you for sharing this story, I was just telling my husband about a student just like this one. Many teachers have felt this way from time to time. Hang in there hopefully positive responses will prevail.

  7. As a teacher in rural Alaska, I must speak my piece. Daily, teachers are verbally abused here, some to the point of tears. I will not go so far as to say that it is a majority of the students, but it is at least a third of students. I have been called everything from "f---er" to "junk" and also have been told, "f--- you, you f---ing c---head." This pales in comparison to what some kids experience at home. I keep my cool. I remind of consequences. I tell them I would never say those things to them. When I see that teachers in the lower 48 are struggling with just one student's level of disrespect, I feel little sympathy. Please be thankful that you get to be respected the majority of the time, and that the majority of your students have a safe home environment. I will not respond to any other comments.

    1. Trust me, I am thankful!
      And his level of disrespect is nothing like you mention above.
      Maybe I'm spoiled.Although I can't imagine having a kid curse me out every day.
      I can't believe that you and other teachers are allowed to be treated that way.It's a shame nothing can be done about it.