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/feels/ - Advice & Venting

Talk about relationships of all kinds, ask for advice, or just vent

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how the fuck do i control kids with a timid personality and a small frame being a teacher? Anonymous 110272

having no experience in working as a teacher for now im just asked to do desk work and to observe other teachers to learn from them, but yesterday as someone was busy i was asked to cover for them and it was a really embarassing day for me.
some kids used their cell phones in class, and i grabbed one of their phones but just as i turned back to do something the phone was gone and someone swiped it back. maybe 20% of the class listened to what i was saying while the rest were just talking or sleeping. some of them didnt finish their homework and were copying them in class. some of them didnt care about me when i asked to submit their homework notes even if it was empty and only like 10% of them gave their notebooks. one kid didnt even notice that i was standing next to him and was using his phone and scrolling instagram. some kids started to ask me if i am in a relationship and my age and my personal details and being the oversharing idiot i am i was responding to them and saw them sisterly. theyre girls so its cool but later i realized its very unprofessional.
i felt disturbed by all this and went to another teacher and she told me that im supposed to control the class and that i dont have to be tyrannical but i have to explain what theyre doing is wrong and make them face the consequences for their rule breaks and i just dont know what to do. one thing she told me that affected me the most is that "you are not their friend" and "dont let them call you "sis".

there are some teachers who are scary and also tyrannical ways to control students like shaming them for being dumb but i feel that these things are so wrong. i dont want to make the kids feel bad and traumatize them but at the same time i wish i also knew how to control them and make them be decent so that i dont get fired for being a poor teacher. there are rules that i shouldnt abuse, even verbally, but other teachers dont seem to care and call them horrible names.

Anonymous 110303


Anonymous 110320

psyops what?

Anonymous 110327

You voluntarily choose to become a prison warden. Now the gangs are testing waters and they have found that you're a gullible retard. You are still too naive to realize like in the case of the phone scroller that whatever the inmates do they do it to break you apart because you are their enemy, and whatever rules they can establish with you they will keep it for as long they can treat one of their enemies as their doormat. It looks like you're royally fucked if you can't become more controlling, nona. That doesn't mean you've to become a psychopath if it doesn't fit your persona. There are other types of controlling like helicopter mum and that sorts

Anonymous 110359

I don't want to be a controlling mom either.

I'm a massive fixer and a people pleaser and all I see around me are these broken people doing broken things, both students and coworkers, being unable to handle pressure and frustrations of their life displacing their pressure on me. I think that the actual time I spend in class is 50% of my work time, but only 15% of my total work load. It's not really a prison warden job, but more like a customer service job where I have to do a lot of paperwork and planning and preparing reports for weekly meetings.

Anonymous 110364

>You are not their friend
I hate this advice. Firstly, you can be on friendly terms with students; if they like you then they'll probably do what needs to be done. Secondly, telling people what they are not is pretty useless.

My students see me like an older sister. I don't like telling them what to do; there are rules in the classroom and everyone (myself included) follows them (ideally). Not always the case, so here is what can be done to 'redirect' behaviour:

Acknowledging individual 'good' students is the best way to influence everyone to do the right thing (see: psyops). They can be little devils, but by golly kids crave validation, especially from someone older (i.e. you). Use this to your advantage. Sometimes I use sticker books ($1 for 300 stickers is very cost-effective, so many retards give lollies and other expensive prizes), I'll go around and give stickers to the ones who are on task, and most of the 'naughty' ones will start trying because they want a sticker too (granted I often don't do this unless the class seems more unsettled than usual, that's just cause I'm lazy). Also, I try and make the lesson interesting. It doesn't have to be a wild lesson with 20 resources; sometimes I just have a single problem at the start that grabs their attention and forces them to think. 90% of my learning goals are clickbait at this point (I actually hate learning goals for the most part, every single one I "need" to use is either unintelligible or a spoiler for the lesson content).

For the students who are 'unmanageable', I usually just walk over and stare at them. I try make it more unsettling than threatening. Few people enjoy having a helicopter mum standing over them watching every little detail, especially a helicopter mum who says nothing and just looks disappointed. When I feel they've experienced an appropriate level of discomfort, I explain very clearly what they've done wrong and what I want from them. This works with who I am because I'm not a reactive person. They tend to respect me for my intelligence; they know I'm well versed in what I teach and people will generally respect you if you're very good at something. Cue Machiavelli talking about the prince and his prowess, etc…
Depending on where you are (geographically) you can call the kid's parents and maybe the parents will take your side (if they don't then don't bother lol). I once knew a teacher (quite a small woman) who called a boy's mum in the middle of a lesson because he wouldn't listen to her, embarrassed him. This is probably what first reply meant by psyops; you haven't done anything disrespectful to the student, but you have left a deep psychological wound (hopefully it brings them regret on their deathbed).

The only issue (I think) that arises with "being their friend" is that it can lead to you being 'desperate' for them to like you. You have to be comfortable enough that you can handle 'rejection' from them. Could you sing in front of a class of 20-odd teenagers if the opportunity presented itself (doesn't count if you're a singing teacher)? It's my eventual goal; making them cringe is honestly so much fun. You're going to learn a lot this year, my advice hitherto may be entirely useless for you, but one piece of advice that isn't useless is to reflect on your 'failures' and 'successes'. You can't change your small frame, but you certainly can change the 'timid' personality (actually, you probably have to, but it'll be for the better if you do). This doesn't mean you have to become belligerent, but it does mean you have to know what you stand for and what you want for the future generations. Anyway sorry for the blogpost

Anonymous 110381

I really appreciate this, nona, so no sorry needed.

Friendly is different from being a friend, right? I spoke casually to some students because they were talking to me in that way too and they literally asked me if I was in a relationship, and it was very uncomfortable. I asked them to not use their phones and to give them and all that but they just gave excuses, and I feel like I gave them that room to give excuse instead of just simply obeying a management rule that no phones are allowed.

The stickers idea is so cool. I actually wrote "good" and gave feedback about the wrong things in some of their notebooks that I had to sign and I did notice them crave that validation. I'll try to spice things up!

Even yesterday, one of my coworkers told me that he thought I was in my early 20s and I looked so young, and that it's a big weakness. He also instructed me to use my eyes to make them uncomfortable, and to not lose my temper when I see someone disobeying me. He also mentioned that I have to be way more smarter than what the students are capable of, or else I'll look very incompetent if I keep looking at books and stutter my way through the class so yeah. I'm surprised to see everything you had written about is something I got lectured with yesterday, lol. So yeah, thanks!

Anonymous 110388

>Friendly is different from being a friend right?
Yeah, I'd never go to one of their birthday parties, but I can still talk and speak to them in a pleasant way.
>they literally asked me if I was in a relationship
It's up to you on how you answer. Some teachers will tell them when they're planning on getting married, others (me) will say "that's not relevant to today's lesson". If you're not comfortable telling them then don't tell them (in my case, I know they're just asking to get out of doing work, which is funny but it can distract me from doing my job)


You can even just give them a double-thumbs-up and they'll be on cloud nine. Stickers idea is just a good way to signal to other students that the good ones are being good; even older kids love getting unicorn, dinosaur, and kitty cat stickers (I'm unsure if it's ironic love or a genuine appreciation, they both get the job done).

Looking young is a weakness if you let it be. It can equally be a strength - you're closer to them and so they may feel more empathy for you.
>Not lose my temper when I see someone disobeying me
This is definitely important; controlled 'anger' is far more terrifying than someone small throwing a fit. They want a big reaction, and they know if they can get it then they have you beaten.
The best way to make sure you don't blow up at them is to be aware of how you're feeling at the start of a day. If you notice you're a bit down, you kinda have to force yourself to be more positive because otherwise you're going to spiral out very quickly.

>Something I got lectured with

Try not to think of it as a lecture. I was in a similar situation to you (I'm sure he was too) and I'm just throwing out some things that helped. You'll try it and it will/won't work, the important thing is you reflect on it afterwards and figure out what works best for you. Anyway best of luck.

Anonymous 110619

Lmao I relate to you so hard. I'm in my first year teaching. The first few months I tried rly hard and the other teachers criticized me for being too difficult. Now I dgaf and they say I'm too relaxed and let them walk all over me. At the end of the day, you're just there to pick up ur cheque. That's the attitude I adopted. The students listen to me and vent to me about their other teachers now.

Anonymous 110628

>It's not really a prison warden job
from your POV. from the POV of the kids that's exactly what teachers are. not that nona by the way.

Anonymous 110640

The university program I'm about to finish is also preparing me for teaching and tbh I realized somewhere a third in that I don't want to do the job precisely for this reason.

Just to add on, it's two languages, one that is officially taught in schools by the curriculum, and another one that is not. I've had practice class/course sessions for both, and the difference between a random class of public school kids and a select class of people of all ages who genuinely want to be there, who are curious and open to learning, who communicate like normal people, ask questions and have empathy for you as their teacher, is so damn stark.

Anyway, in your place I would just nonchalantly give a round of detentions/bad marks/whatever punitive measure you have. Not even argue or get into a discussion with them but just like, "Oh, by the way Daniel, the principal is waiting for you." and get on with the class like it's no big deal. Until I ruin their futures or they learn to behave. But maybe it's a bit of a power fantasy. Not looking forward to the slashed tires lol

Anonymous 110907

0 DFdutCJBo0Rj7N3O…

OP of the thread here.

I'm finding it really hard to be a teacher actually. I'm passive so students like me so far and want to be friends with me, but they don't seem to respect me. If they're playing in the corridor and I ask them to stop playing and get in the classroom, they just say "just one more minute!" and continue to play till I have to repeat myself for 5 to 10 times. The students who want to listen, listen though, even if it's not a significant percentage.

I've read all the replies above and I genuinely don't want to be an abusive person. I've already been in an abusive relationship before and I don't want to do the things that I've experienced in the past, especially onto students whose brains are still developing. But this is exactly what the other teachers tell me to do. They want me to be more manipulative and covertly abusive. They want me to shame the students by making them unable to answer questions and humiliate them. One teacher even boldly said that he slapped a student to put him in place and he sounded quite proud about it. I literally saw a teacher explode and say horrible things to students just because he got scolded by the management about something else and he just came and displaced his anger onto these students who had no idea what is even going on, and of course when he left the students were like "what the fuck just happened?" and went back to their business.

Thing is, I don't think being abusive is going to work with the lot I am looking at. The boys seem more vulnerable to abuse than the girls in here, and there are important policies that make sure that girls are not touched, are allowed to use the restroom no matter what, they have their own complaint center, etc. so its impossible to be abusive to them when they do something that triggers me. I have also signed a sexual / physical / verbal / academic [giving them low marks] harassment document stating that I will not do any of it. I don't mean to label or brand the whole teaching profession but I feel like I am surrounded by psychopaths who thrive in an atmosphere like this. Not a single teacher is compassionate about the students, except for maybe one who is probably only compassionate because she has a son so she sounds like a boymom and says "students will be students" lol.

Anonymous 110908

>Now I dgaf and they say I'm too relaxed and let them walk all over me.
Yes, nona. A lot of teachers are complaining to me that I'm being too relaxed and that I need to learn how to dominate students lol, but I think I'll just be myself and chill around than having to be something I really am not. I felt so bad even for something simple, like making a girl who talked in class stand up and read questions.

I really hope that I don't get to face the consequences for this though, lol. Like, being branded as inefficient and get fired.

>At the end of the day, you're just there to pick up ur cheque. That's the attitude I adopted.

Yes, ultimately it's all that. I honestly don't want to play the role of a therapist for these kids. I have enough problems in my life already lol.

Anonymous 110910


Quality post. Agreed on all counts. Stickers are status symbols, and people of all ages will act to maintain their status more than anything else. Bad actors know what they're doing is bad, and dislike being watched more than anything. It's so uncomfortable having someone stand over you.

Only thing I would add is that they ever have something they're not supposed to or are using their phone when they're not supposed to you don't "Take" it from them, you make them hand it over. Just standing over them long enough makes them uncomfortable enough to eventually submit. You need to get submission in order for your authority to be recognized. If you're only ever taking things out of their hands and using force it comes off as an overreach of your authority and they'll just resent you.

Anonymous 110911


That's what the union is for. Get enough years in and you'll have tenure. Just make sure your test scores don't suck.

Anonymous 110942

>Quality post

>Bad actors dislike being watched

I think they like being the centre of attention, which is why yelling at them from across the room is so ineffective - it gives a chance for a back and forwards which means the remaining classroom will alternate attention between you and the troublesome one. Stopping your lesson and walking over to them still keeps me as the centre of attention (the real reason we're teachers amirite lolz??) and gives them minimal chance to 'look cool' in the eyes of their peers.

>taking their phones

Thankfully there's a "phone ban" in all schools here; if a kid's using a phone in school and refuses to hand it over it's basically an automatic suspension (who would've thought that having government legislation support teachers leads to positive results???). But I do agree - getting your way by force will put a target on your back.

>Not a single teacher is compassionate about the students
That's really unfortunate. I know some teachers who are hard-arses as a way of being compassionate (e.g. "if you don't study, you'll fail, so I'm making you study for your own good"), and some teachers who are doormats because they don't care at all (e.g. "I'm close to retiring so do whatever the f___ you want, idc what you get on your test"). I'm compassionate in the sense that I want kids who were in my economic position (i.e. lower to lower-middle income families) to have a chance at a quality education too.

Anonymous 110968


You're right. they definitely do like being the center of attention. A better term than bad actor might be "Chaos agent". Yelling and high emotional states are thrilling more than they are punishing. Stopping the lesson and having the room go silent is the opposite of chaos. It makes sense that doing things your way would reduce chaos and make a chaos agent a lot more uncomfortable.

Sounds like you've got a supportive admin. Cherish it, I'm sure you already do. I don't know what your union culture is like, but a lot of them are always slandering and shitting on the admin. Understand that your administrators are actually fighting back the Karens for you. It's a lot easier for district level admins to just dump all the Karen complaints on school staff and demand that you figure it out.

Anonymous 110969

Anonymous 110982


Um, nonas seeing all these replies make me think that teaching is a job where narcissists and psychopaths thrive. You get admiration from students if you're a good teacher and a platform to be the center of attention, and you also get to break their minds and dominate them if they don't do something you want to. Both of this are highly stimulating and floods the brain with dopamine. A better metaphor for all this is just vampirism. Teachers are vampires.

I also notice how good it feels to explain concepts and answer questions when students ask me, and I also feel really good when I see a student do something that I taught perfectly. I think it's triggering my fixer urges.

I don't want any of this and I wish I could just do this like any other job. I also earn peanuts so I don't want to stay as a teacher forever.

Anonymous 111015


Today I was asked to sub in for another teacher who was busy with something else and it went quite horrible. A dozen of students didn't even consider that I existed in the room and when I entered they were howling and catcalling me. I kept screaming and asking them to stop talking and I even went and asked them what their problem is but it was impossible to even establish some communication with them. Like, how can I even talk with someone who doesn't even want to listen to?
These brats were just bullying each other and one student even started to beat another one who was sitting next to him. They behaved like they're in playschool. I was helpless and I just stood there not knowing what to do.

I asked the students who were actually listening to me and wanted me to talk if their behavior is causing problems for them and they were like "just ignore them and teach for us we will listen" and apparently this is what the other teachers do too. I asked them why they're not complaining about them or doing anything about it and they were just silent. Nobody responded to my question. I guess they don't want to make enemies out of these meanines so they just ignore their presence, and their silence and ignorance gives them free reign to do whatever they want. I didn't like it and I'm not sure what to do if I got to teach these kind of students in future.

Anonymous 111058

That's bizarre, but at least it's not your fault because they're like that for everyone. If this were my class (and not just a sub) I'd call the parents and see if they'll do anything about it. If it got really bad I'd lock out the bad kids. This whole "right to an education" business kinda backfires when the useless members of society come to school and take everyone else's education away.

Anonymous 111059

Hey op. A student here. I agree with your colleague that it is unprofessional to call your students sis and that you shouldn't feel burdened to share your personal information with them. I personally think that you should be more strict with them. My school has banned mobile phones and it has been very effective, maybe you could suggest it to your school? You also shouldn't have to take it upon yourself to make your lesson more 'interesting' by giving into their demands, no teacher should have to do that. I think you should start giving punishments out like detentions or at least threatening them with sending them down to the office. I hope you find a solution soon and stay sane lol.

Anonymous 111093

>If it got really bad I'd lock out the bad kids.
Lock out as in asking them to leave the classroom?

There is a no phone rule where I work but it's not really "enforced" properly because of negligence and irresponsibility. They collect cellphones every morning but they don't really count it and some students lie that they didn't bring their phones. I think some students even keep it in their undergarments and we can't really frisk them because there's a no touch policy.

>I hope you find a solution soon and stay sane lol.

Yeah, it's quite hectic. I have to deal with both incompetency in the workforce and antisocial behavior in students. There's no rest.

Anonymous 111206

>Lock out as in asking them to leave the classroom?
Pretty much. Locking the door so that physically violent kids can't get in, or taking the rest of the class somewhere else. I don't think they'd leave if I asked them, but maybe they would because then they just go home. Ideally I'd just want the violent ones expelled; instead we coddle them because they come from a trauma background. A kid comes to school with a knife, we call police to remove him, and half the staff are upset that we're turning away someone who has nowhere else to go. School isn't a recovery house, but more and more discourse is subtly giving us the roll of therapist without the pay of therapist.

>incompetency in the workforce and antisocial behavior in students.

Had an older teacher say he's "not good with technology". He wanted to make text bold in MS word. Infuriating, you could say.

Anonymous 111215

>Um, nonas seeing all these replies make me think that teaching is a job where narcissists and psychopaths thrive.
Gee you think

>position of power over a microcosm that you rule

>plenty of opportunities to be manipulative and controlling over a whole bunch of individuals
>can even be psychopathic and abusive and very easily get away with it unless the administration is really on top of things (when does that ever happen)
>shit pay, mediocre hours, highly unpleasant environment if you DON'T enjoy manipulating and controlling the students (because then you are the one they will be trying to abuse)

Anonymous 111831

>im a dropout with nothing to show for my life so i still hate and a-log my teachers

how are people not over shit that happened to them in high school get over yourself

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