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Is it an uncomfortable issue to admit that there are some pupils you do not like?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The secret supply teacher address the elephant in the classroom by discussing the unresolved issue: working with pupils you simply do not like, for one reason or another:

    '…every single day of my teaching career I’ve come across children I did not like.

    There, I’ve said it. To be honest, I’d often come across several I disliked in a single day, if not the one lesson. It’s not a comfortable issue to discuss, but there it is. You’re just not going to like them all.

    Although maybe “dislike” isn’t quite the right word. Let’s just say I’ve regularly had to teach children who irritated me. Irritated the living **** out of me.

    There’s the one who can’t stop shouting out stupid, irrelevant comments while I’m trying to talk to the class. There’s the one who always asks what they have to do, literally seconds after I’ve patiently explained three times to the entire class exactly what to do. The one who isn’t happy unless they’re poking or flicking another child in the room. The one who doesn’t remove their coat when arriving in class and then, after being politely reminded of the rules with regard to coats, spends the next 10 minutes removing it, while standing up, wriggling about, and whining and grunting like an wounded dog.'

    The writer has recently taken up supply teaching after 20 years in a full-time teaching job.

    How often have you come across this problem, was it on a daily basis and how do you overcome this issue? Are their pupils who are impossible to teach or have a problem with authority, discipline or carrying out simple tasks in the classroom? Do the pupils drive you to distraction and how have you coped with your problematic pupil?

    caress likes this.
  2. WB

    WB Lead commenter

    No feeling of discomfort here - I don't some of the kids I teach.

    Some children - like some adults - are not likeable.

    I try not to let it show but if somebody stood at the back of my classroom for a month they could probably work out who I like and who I don't.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Sounds like the yr11 cover lesson I had P5 today. Lucky the room had high windows or they would have been licking them! Best thing is it is supply. I may never see them again or if I do I shall not be held responsible for their results. The people to feel sorry for are their regular teachers.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Trouble was these kids were so dim they didn't even twig when I was being unkind to them. Like the drama queen who flounced out to go to the toilet. When I said "don't hurry back" he just looked puzzled. Of the girl who told me a dozen times that "Miss doesn't teach this topic like this" but just continued to shout when I gave her the board marker and asked her to show me how Miss did it.
    caress and Dragonlady30 like this.
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    In answer to the OP. No it isn't uncomfortable. There are some kids who are completely unlikable and have no saving graces.
  6. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    There's always the old chestnut 'It's not the child, it's their behaviour'...
    nomad and WB like this.
  7. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Precisely!! Why should I like someone who does everything they can to stop me doing my job, making the lives of others a misery and then come up with the, 'It was a joke' defence? Usually when contacting parents, the kids are defended to the hilt.

    AGHHHHHHHHHHHH:mad: :mad: :mad:
  8. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Very much this. Some of the worst people who inhabit society do show these unlikeable tendencies at school.
    Such tendencies should not be readily indulged.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I would sometimes sit kids I didn't like well away from me so I couldn't hear their stupid little comments. I particularly remember one girl who said things I couldn't ignore who was at the front of the class, I spent far too much time dealing with her as I couldn't be seen by the other kids to let it go. I sat her at the back for some other reason and realised she was still doing it as I could see her lips move, except now I couldn't hear her and the kids near her knew this, we all just ignored her and peace reigned once again.

    Often the kids the teacher doesn't like are also disliked by the other kids.

    I used to sometimes make an effort not to be seen to dislike them and was sometimes rewarded for my at-best neutral stance by them thinking I liked them as I presume most other teachers showed them they didn't. As a result they'd hang around after the lesson for a while for a chat. Feigning the right amount of benign disinterest instead of active dislike is a fine balancing act.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There are way too many questions in the opening post.
    And the mistake of the inexperienced, that of assuming that because a child is irritating, you are irritated.
    I am never irritated by children being pests. Just never. they can be horrible, vile, disruptive, violent. But none of that equates to either minor irritation or strong dislike to me.
    It comes with time. You are there for the kids more than you are there to deliver a lesson because that is how kids work. That is what you buy into when you become a teacher.

    Dislike is another story. I've disliked plenty of kids,but that has borne no relation whatsoever to how they have done in my lessons. I dislike princessy attributes, histrionics about nothings, material avarice, and a lack of willing to share.
    That's because I do not like those traits in anybody, so I wont exempt the kids I work with from my own silent judgement.
    Because they are just people.

    I'm not sure where "admitting"comes into all of this (see thread title), unless you take the new teacher view of "I'm in this to get down with the kids and be their friend"
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I always hang onto the idea that once these idiots have left school then when they try their antics in the street/pub/workplace with adults less tolerant than their teachers someone will give them a good slap. Perhaps after half a dozen or more slaps the penny may drop!
  12. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    And don't you want to be a fly on the wall when they get their comeuppance!
  13. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Next question.
  14. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    I see nothing wrong with disliking some students, but I am rather disappointed with the examples given which are well within the realms of totally and completely normal.

    I have disliked students - the one who boasted about cruelty to a stray cat, the one who used to break pens purposefully, the one who bullied younger students. That’s what dislike should be reserved for. For the above - well, it’s totally fine to be irritated by the behaviour but I can’t imagine feeling real dislike because of it.
  15. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Quite often I will use someone's behaviour to judge whether I dislike them (child or adult). I tend to cut children more slack as they are more open to changing their behaviour
  16. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I remember an occasion when I was asked to demonstrate one of the machines I sold to a school that had been put into special measures. The request had been made by a teacher I knew well, who had been asked to offer advice about the techniques his successful school used.

    I had been told to set the machine up in an empty classroom, but after a while the door opened an a kids was dragged in by an angry teacher. It turned out that this kids had been disruptive and had needed a temporary exclusion and the room I was in had been earmarked as the place disruptive students were taken to.

    The kid asked me what the machine did, so I showed him. He asked me if he could have a go at using it, so I showed him what he'd need to do. He was as quiet as a lamb and thrilled to bits that he'd designed and made something he could take home to show his mum.

    Within half an hour, half a dozen other kids were brought into the room. They too asked what was going on, so I asked the first kid to explain.

    He seemed so proud with his new-found knowledge when he did so. I appreciate it's a completely different story giving a brief lesson on a one to one basis, using a technology that would seem like magic to a kid experiencing it for the first time in comparisson to trying to control a crowd when teaching the requirements of a dull national curriculum, but as an individual with no teacher training, being left in the situation of having to cope with a group of the most disruptive kids in the school albeit for only half an hour, I felt I didn't do too bad.

    I've mentioned before that in my business, I employed a number of youngsters who left school without a qualification to their name and by all accounts were horrors to teach, but when given the opportunity to learn the creative practical skills that schools are reluctant to teach, they lapped it all up, giving me no trouble at all, apart from wanting to learn more.

    What might we learn from this?
    agathamorse and HelenREMfan like this.
  17. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I'm suppose to like them as well?

    Oh carp...
  18. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    That Papert was right?
    Duke of York likes this.
  19. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Some children are just unpleasant. Some do annoying things because they're quite young. Some are budding psychopaths. Most have good qualities in there somewhere. It generally all becomes clear when you meet the parents unfortunately. I'm Primary though and most of the children still want to please. It must be hell in Secondary.
  20. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    In which case, it could be argued the sooner they get those slaps the better.

    (but we’re not allowed to do that).

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