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Got shouted at by students in public

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ecneicsteach, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. I'm a relatively new teacher but I am currently not in school because I'm on sick leave. I have been off for a little while. I was walking to the shops and a pupil who I normally teach saw me and was with a bunch of friends who started shouting at me for being off. I ignored them and walked on and by the time I was going back they were gone. I emailed the head to tell him, not because I think he can do anything but because if the kids are hostile when I go back or say anything before I am back in I want them to know. My question is how do I deal with teaching these kids when I go back - I don't know whether to address it directly but it will be a while until I'm back in. I also just don't want to go out anymore in case it happens again.
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Difficult not to react as you have (fearing to go out again), but DO try to overcome it (perhaps go out when they are likely to be at school).

    When you return to school, as the HT what has been done to those pupils (so, if they DO say something, you can reply knowing what happened, e.g. 'So being spoken to by the HT once wasn't enough? Let's go and see him/her again.' etc.) I'd also take great pleasure in enforcing every school rule on them for the next few years - however minor the infringement, pull them up on it. If they claim you are picking on them, you just deny it 'School rules apply to you as well everyone one else' .

    But in the long term, don't live in the catchment area if you can avoid it.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  3. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I would leave it to the headteacher to deal with. If you're off for a while, I'd expect the pupils will have forgotten about it by the time you're back, but if they do mention it then just shut the conversation down with something along the lines of "it's not any of your business". Definitely don't let it prevent you from going out - presumably you have a medical note from a doctor to say that you're not fit for work, but being unfit for work does not mean unfit to leave the house! In fact in many cases of recovery from injury or surgery, or mental health issues, getting out of the house to do some light exercise is recommended by doctors. I remember when I was off after a car accident, my doctor specifically told me to keep moving and to avoid sitting for long periods of time, so told me I should be going for walks, going shopping, etc. I wasn't fit for work because I was on heavy painkillers that stopped my brain from working and I had mild concussion, but I was capable of walking slowly to my local shops or going out for a stroll! I was fortunate that I lived a long way from my school so there was no likelihood of me bumping into students or parents, but you shouldn't let that stop you from going out if you're up to it.
    jlishman2158 and phlogiston like this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    of course he can do something, and he presumably has.

    They students are out of order, and should have, and presumably will have had appropriate consequences.

    If it happens again, just report them again, and if you can cope with having extra contact from school, ask the head lets you know the consequences.

    Best wishes x
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    You handled things perfectly - you ignored them, you walked on and you have reported it to the head.

    Now forget about it, get well and when you go back, carry on as usual.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Carry on as normal and try and get better.

    Look to move further out away from the school . The problem with living so close is that you will undoubtedly feel unable to switch off .
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    These kids amuse me, trying en masse for the benefit of each other to prove they can annoy you. Get one of them on their own and they'll stand there sheepishly trying to look a bit smaller. Transparent pseudo peer induced rebellion which is actually not very rebellious, is it? Shouting at a teacher down the shops? Seriously? Is that the best they can do?

    Am I the only one who would have stopped and waved at them?
    I teach them, I know them, they are making noises in public to attract my attention, what an absolute unexpected delight to see them out and about. Particularly if I am absent from school-what a welcome chance to find out everything is ok with them!
    And what a delight it will be every time I see them. I shall make sure of it. I shall indicate it by striding purposefully towards them to elicit another "hello" even when they don't see me first. And when I'm next in class I shall ask them "going down that shop again any time soon?"
    And at that point when they realise they really do not and can not bother me, they will run a mile when they see me out and about. Unless they are the nice ones, who genuinely like to stop and chat. Don't forget the nice ones.

    Turning the tables on catchment residency.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    It's sad that several posters state (correctly) that it can be hard for a teacher to live near her workplace, considering that many teachers are eco-friendly and don't agree with driving long distances (I have never had a teaching job for which it would have been feasible to use public transport). In any other job, wouldn't living near to the school be seen as an advantage? Also (last century!) I had letters of application sent to me suggesting that I should 'hire them' as they lived nearby which would be of mutual benefit!
    OP, I'd say that many lack empathy today-this seems to be much more the case than it was in the past, so they might not be able to comprehend that someone can be sick enough to be off work, but not need to stay in bed all day. The head might have already pointed this out to them.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I have lived close to three of the schools I've worked in. It was only actually an issue in one - but the school was in special measures so perhaps to be expected. Interestingly, the (raw) egg that smashed our window was actually thrown by a child from a different school, although probably because his mates from my school had encouraged him.

    In the second, it was the best scenario - church school with most kids bussing in from outside the city. I lived within a mile, but very few pupils did.

    In the third, I think the main reason there was no problem was that the majority of the primary school staff lived in the village, including most of the senior management. Whereas for most secondary kids it's a novelty to know where a teacher lives or to see a teacher out of school, in this village it wasn't.
  10. flyingcircusfreak

    flyingcircusfreak New commenter

    I’m unpleasantly surprised that two of the responses suggest that the OP should move house. OP is a new teacher who is off sick for what sounds like the medium term. The school should be dealing with this!
    monicabilongame likes this.
  11. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Harsh answer- dont live in the catchment area (although why should teachers not have the right to.)

    Nicer answer, visit shops during school day or very early when kids are not about. Take OH and friends/family with you.

    Maybe putting two and two together but sounds like you are off with WRS maybe? Ones circle of confidence can shrink or grow. Staying in because of a few teenagers behaving badly will shrink it and make your return harder. The third option is go out when you want and ignore them.

    Again sounds harsh maybe, personally I wouldn't email the Head. Paranoid part of me says if you are well enough to go to shops they will want you back in.
  12. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    If they started with Mister (or Mrs) you're probably OK. I have lived in the catchment area of several of the schools I have taught at and not had much problem. I even lived next door to one of the nastier kids in the school.

    One notable evening, I was outside my house pottering in the garden when a car drove past, then slowed. Someone poked their head out of the window to shout "Mister $$$$ you're a ******"(pretty mild insult) One of the few times I almost injured myself laughing.:)
    caress likes this.

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