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Pupil Attitude - please read

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by iteachu, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. I have a cleft lip and palate and recently joined a new secondary school. Kids all lovely but small group of year 10 students who are obviously and rudely mocking my appearance. Not hugely concerned or bothered in all honesty but wondering how I should approach dealing with it? Previously worked in primary schools where kids have never bothered or noticed a difference.

    Any advice on how to deal with this would be appreciated.
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    It is bullying - if it was directed at a pupil I would want it dealt with, so I would apply the same logic to it being directed at staff.
  3. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Would you feel comfortable in addressing it directly - for example: "I know you've noticed that I look a bit different so I thought it would be useful for you to know what it's called and how it happened, so you don't feel so awkward in future if you meet someone else with the same condition", and then briefly explain biologically what causes it, following with "I will be happy to answer any relevant questions you may have in your own time". ?

    I've found in the past that dealing with attitudes that are rude or inappropriate head on in a detached teacher mode, most students realise their behaviour only embarrasses themselves and they stop, and the ones who persist in it can then be dealt with higher up the food chain if necessary.

    While it should not be the case, very often the default for kids is rudeness and mockery of something unusual, or that makes them feel awkward and they are not sure how to handle.
  4. muso2

    muso2 Established commenter Community helper

    When my sister was at school, she had a teacher with a red birth mark that covered half of his face. In the first lesson with every class each year, he would explain to them what it was and then expect no further comment.

    I presume that then any inappropriate comments would be dealt with as strawbs suggests.
  5. Nead2604

    Nead2604 New commenter

    I have an accent. I found the best way to deal with it is hit it head on, be the first to bring it up, have a chat, and have a laugh about it, if that is possible. If you are the first to recognize it and talk about it then there is nothing they can say because it is no secret and you do not show any sensitivity for it. Once the power to hurt you is diminished, it ceases to be a weapon!
    FrankWolley likes this.
  6. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I would report this to the HoY or HoKS if you deal with it and it doesn't stop.
  7. richardrogersscience

    richardrogersscience New commenter


    My advice would be to definitely not let these Year 10 students get away with treating you like this. It's bullying: plain and simple.

    I would try sitting down with these students, in the presence of a senior manager (e.g. the relevant Head of Year or Deputy Head) and explaining to them why their comments are inappropriate, rude and unacceptable. In addition, I would explain the consequences they would face if they continue (such as detentions or bringing in their parents for a chat). When these students are older, workplace discrimination or bullying could cause them to get fired (as no employer would accept this kind of behaviour).

    Make sure you speak with your line manager first. He or she may have some really good tips that would work perfectly with these particular students.

    Good luck. Let me know how it goes.


    Richard James Rogers

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
  8. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    When my eczema got very bad, and started to cover parts of my hands and face, I turned into a sort of science lesson, explaining what had happened, what caused it, and how I was being treated. there were a few hard core students who continued to take the p*ss but most came around to be sympathetic to some extent. I had more problems with parents contacting the school asking if the condition was contagious, although I suspect that the SMT was just saying this.

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