1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Kissing teeth

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Delabela, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    Completely agree. This defiance is inappropriate and should be omitted from the classroom environment immediately. Kissing teeth is a West Indian thing and is regularly referred to in Andrea Levy's "Small Island".
  2. I tend to agree with you nubian princess. Kissing teeth is not a version of swearing. Ignoring it to some degree makes the person feel silly after a while.
  3. I have to wade in on this debate. I have never associated 'kissing teeth' with being told to 'f off', yet it can be disrespectful. I say, it can be disrespectful, as it depends on the context it is used in.
    Yet, when students tend to use it, they are usually ignoring something that you have said or insinuating that you are talking rubbish /not listening to you and so are challenging your authority.
    It shouldn't matter what race you are, you just deal with it as any other type of challenge to your authority that you face in the classroom.
    Going down the road of telling them lies about slavery isn't helpful to anyone and I find this a bit disturbing.
    I often ask the students if they do it to their parents, to which the response is often no. Then we tend to have the discussion about why they feel it appropriate to do it to me. But then again, that is on a good day. On a bad day, well... ;-)
  4. 'I often ask the students if they do it to their parents, to which the response is often no. Then we tend to have the discussion about why they feel it appropriate to do it to me. '
    I shouldn't think they're at all bothered about whether/ when it's appropriate; the point is, their parents wouldn't let them get away with it, while teachers often have no choice.
  5. I take kissing teeth very seriously, immediate warning or if it's in reponse to a warning for other poor behaviour, immediate detention and phone call home. I don't really care about it's exact equivalence in terms of swearing/spitting etc, they know it's rude and they know they shouldn't do it. At the mega strict Mossbourne Academy in Hackney kissing teeth results in a week's exclusion.
  6. When I was at secondary school, it wasn't the students who kissed their teeth. One teacher for some reason used to always kiss her teeth at us- very rude and uncalled for.
  7. Hi fellow teacher, the kissing teeth attitude comes from the afro carribean or west indian continent.
    Its surpose to indicate the mannerism that they are disgusted with a situation or predicument.
    In our country youths white, asian and black seem to think its cool or street to do this action , it too gets my back up , and worse when white youths. Talk black street jargon!
    How do we stamp it out?
    Me personally would have a lesson in communication skills and piont out how pathetic this behaviour comes across , and talking street words like , innit , you get me, star, and kissing teeth is not english grammer and they shouls understand written pieces of english should not contain such idiotic words, hopefully they might get the message.
    It all else fails and they continue , throw them out of the class for rude behaviour and get to write in detention why they suck their teeth, reverse sicology!

    Good luck
  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

  9. I tell them that although I appreciate their attempts to show their love for me by blowing me kisses I will have to report their actions to their parents as I am spoken for! Cue maximum embarrassment for the teeth kisser.
  10. I am Caribbean and i feel it is part of my culture. However it has now been adopted by most ethnicities and should never be directed at a teacher. I tell my pupils that it is like swearing. I also tell them if they wouldn't do it to their parents, don't do it at school.
  11. West-Indian continent. Continent? are you sure? lol.
  12. Sucking of teeth would NEVER be tolerated in my home, my brothers and sisters, my parents, my wider family or my extended family 'back home' in St Lucia!
  13. spiderwomen

    spiderwomen New commenter

    I work in Primary and if a child kisses their teeth at me- I deal with it. No soft words, trying to make light of the issue, a full on attack if necessary, (verbally of course). I can't stand it as it's just disrespectful behaviour and the child knows it. My experience of working in inner city schools as a supply teacher has meant going into schools where the majority of the children are black. Though, I've enjoyed most of the schools and worked with some exceptional teachers, and lovely children; the initial hurdle is getting the black children to show a little respect. Though black children are not exclusively the only race to have 'attitude,' they dominate a lot of the unacceptable behaviour in schools. If kissing teeth was the only problem, then we would probably laugh it off and find it adorable. Unfortunately, it's a mild form of aggression and everyone should challenge it regardless of their own race. Sensible, educated and extremely talented black teachers will not stand for it - they probably come down the hardest on them! Used correctly, E.G having a conversation with a friend and expressing a sentiment by kissing their teeth is maintaining their cultural heritage, which is great. I think another poster wrote something about not using the English language correctly, I've never encouraged children to express themselves in the 'Queen's English,' it's always been a requirement for their writing. However, they choose to talk is entirely up to them. I think another poster, or the same wrote how he hated white children mimicking the language; well I hate black people pretending to be white! Generally they aspire to the middle classes, as there's no difference between the lowly whites or blacks. This can result in a black child with a drippy personality and losing all their jolliness! Keeping it black, is keeping it real, (once the attitude and teeth kissing is sorted).
  14. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

  15. @nubianprincess Well yes, but it depends on how it's done... If I'm dealing with a kid for doing something wrong and then they kiss their teeth at me they're liable to regret it (in the same way as tutting at me). In some situations kissing teeth/tutting/protesting body language is all pretty much saying 'f off' but conveniently avoids the F word and the weight that it carries; the sentiment can be pretty much the same.
  16. That is outrageous! How can anyone who is not an inherent racist state that black children dominate a lot of the unacceptable behaviour in schools? Methinks it has to do with children and young people's innate sense of the type of not-so-covert racism that they see within you. Give respect and get it back. If you learnt anything about other cultures and the history of institutional oppression in our schools then you would recognise that the problem is with you and not the pupil. God help the 'black' children if they aspire to be middle class and clueless like you. Try reading 100 Black Men of London and look at their website www.100bmol.org.uk/ to educate yourself on what aspiration really means and....oh....let's not forget Mr Barack Obama.
  17. Disgusting!
  18. Exactly, it's within African culture too. It's extremely insulting and if I ever (or even at my age now) tried to do that to my mum or dad I'm pretty sure they would want to launch me across the room. Think about how your parents would react if you told them to pi*** off and its the same thing.

    The kids who know what it means culturally would almost certainly not do it at home (yes it's that bad) and are probably doing it because (in some circumstances) the teacher is white and they think they can get away with it. I know this as a fact in the school I teach at and the one I went to. Luckily at the school I teach at because I punished them as severely as if they had sworn at me, I've never had it more than once.

    However, the white teachers at the school I attended were very switched on to it, people got one hour detentions, calls home and were dealt with. The remaining kids that don't know what it means, well it's just that! They know its rude but don't know how bad it is and are copying their peers as kids tend to do.

    So my advice is don't have it!
  19. knobbystiles

    knobbystiles New commenter

    Better still, explain basic English grammar to them and the usage of "you're" (as in "you are only there") and "their" (as in "with their own kids").
  20. the rounding on spiderwoman here for stating an uncomfortable observation is similar to that of the gutter press when Ian Blair (whilst Deputy Commisioner of the Met) stated "Society cannot duck the fact that most muggers are black"

Share This Page