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Harassment

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rotyat, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. I am a fairly new teacher (4 years) in a wonderful school. I have and always have had an excellent reputation for my relationship with the kids. However, 2 girls out of my year 10 group have complained that a) they aren't learning anything and b) I talk too much about my private life. The one girl is targeted a C and the other a D. The one with a D should get a C but I doubt the girl who is targeted a C will get hers. Their progress is on a par with the rest of the group who are all where they should be at this point. My eldest son nearly died at Xmas and I told my excellent class all about it. This sparked off the second complaint about my private life. They have complained off and on since September about not learning anything, and used things I have said out of context to complain. I told my head that I didn't want them in my group any more because they made me nervous. This resulted in them being moved up to a higher group. Today I discovered that my class know what has been going on and they were very sympathetic and I ended up in tears as did a couple of the girls. This resulted in a child I have never even met threatening to punch one of the girls who had been complaining. The kids asked me if what they had heard was true and I said yes it was and added that they did not like me talking about my son. This was clearly a bad move as I have been told that I risk being considered unprofessional. I feel like I am on a roller coaster that I can't get off. I am tearful at school because I cannot believe that the parents of these children care so little about what exactly my private life consisted of. I tried to have as little time off as possible (my son is 30) to prevent my students being taught by cover or TA's. I want this to stop, but right from the beginning it was out of my hands and now I have opened my big mouth to boot. Short of a gun does anyone out there have a solution? Thanks.
     
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Talking in any detail about your personal life is never that good an idea. There are all sorts of reasons why the girls might be upset about what they heard about your son, and being teens haven't dealt with it well. Maybe think carefully about what you share, how you share it and with who you share it in the future.

    And telling your class tales about other children is totally unacceptable. I'd be fuming if I was the parent of either of them. The only possible outcome was that members of your class would take your side and so be cross with these girls and want to hurt them.

    Probably not the end of the world, but you do need to be much more careful.
     
  3. Thank you for all your replies. As it happens I have been able to speak to a very senior member of staff who assures me that I have blown this all out of proportion and they will support me all the way. There is anger that these girls were moved up instead of down. I am not the only one making mistakes it seems. I am a bit concerned that agreeing with students and mentioning my son is perceived as telling tales, but everyone is entitled to an opinion and I left myself open for that. To nearly lose a child regarding of age is very difficult to cope with, but I never lost sight of the job I do and my desire to do the best for my students.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Nooo not that part. But the telling the class that these children have been making your life tricky and so have moved groups is the bit that is not ok. It wasn't ok to do so.
     
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I am sorry to say that I agree with the sentiments of the other posters. I think you have been rather foolish and indiscrete. It seems to me that you have made themistake of blurring the distinction between being friendly and approachable to students with being far too informal and divulging details of your personal life. Students are there to be taught; they are not your confidantes. I do not believe that the reaction towards you constitutes harassment in any shape or form.
     
  6. Can I just say that I have never said for one minute that I wasn't foolish and indiscreet. I know this and I seriously wish I had got my thinking head on or the school had dealt with it in October when it all began. I haven't wrote the whole story down because no-one not even I have time to read It! Suffice to say that when this began I was not being foolish or indiscreet! What I was hoping for from the forum was someone who had been in a similar position to tell me how it would pan out; not tell me what I already know. Even though the school have promised me full backing on the grounds that I am a good teacher, and that explaining how ill my son was not considered as 'confiding' in students; in fact I have been reassured especially by some new mums that they talk about their families all the time. If only year 10 had never been told about it by one of the girls, if only I had kept my mouth shut, if only my son hadn't been so ill that my judgement was impaired, if only I had had the time off work instead of coming in, if only.........someone would tell me what I should do next as I am following every bit of advice as it comes in. I was feeling pretty desperate when I came on the forum, and even though the school have now told me to forget it and move on I still wish I could turn back time.
     
  7. Sorry I have only read your last post not the whole thread. However, we all have things in our past which we wish had not happen but, however much we would like to, cannot change. It sounds like your school is supportive and understand what a difficult time you have obviously been through. So you need to focus on how you move forward and manage how you are feeling. How about exploring some CBT techniques to help you manage your feelings or some mindfulness techniques. There are excellent books on both these topics and websites too. If appropriate your doctor may be able to refer you to a clinical psychologist who can help you learn these techniques. They do take some practice but make a huge difference.
     
  8. hey thank you! What is CBT? Never mind will google it. Thanks very much. One of my bosses suggested time off but I wish I had done that sooner rather than now. I have brought this latest stuff very much on myself and just wish to make sure it never happens again. I have thought about how school have handled it and lessons can be learned from it. One of the parents was already on school radar as someone never to be left alone with because of a previous incident with another teacher. Both sets of parents are best friends and that is why I felt harassed as their initial complaints were unfounded. Most of the time I have been completely confused by it all! Thanks anyway for reply.
     

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