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Ran into students in town..

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sabrinakat, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Earlier today went into the local town for some shopping and saw a Y7 that I teach and said hello, asking if she was with her parents (get along well with the parents) and she said she was with her older sister (who I taught for 2+ years), and no big issue. I tried to say hello to the older sister but she walked away. Felt really uncomfortable and bought what I needed and as I was paying, joked about the rudeness of the students and was informed that there was past evidence of theft.

    Am gutted that a student who I taught until last June, teach her younger sister currently and have a good relationship with the parents, was rude when we saw each in the local community (with my response always and only a 'hi'). And I'm actually taking her on an overseas trip in a few weeks!

    Part of me wants to tell the student how rude I thought she was but am wondering if her response was more 'oh, no...it's a teacher - run!' and why I might be oversensitive, I was very mindful of them being in the shop and what embarrassment a teacher might cause but a little upset that a student was so rude.

    Given that I am taking her along over half-term on an overseas trip, would you say something along the lines that you were confused by their behaviour, etc? Just curious and thanks.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I think you're maybe making mountains out of molehills here.
    She didn't say anything rude, she walked away, She may have felt very uncomfortable for whatever reason.

    Give it a few days and you'll see it seems trivial.
  3. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Hopefully it was a one-off but as 1) never an issue before and 2) am responsible for her overseas in a few weeks, would like to find out what was happening, etc...sigh.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Hi there,

    I am also sensitive about such matters and as one whose mother insisted on fake smiles , nodding and even handshakes. ...sometimes pushed to even ask " how are you " I actually understand your sensitivity and the girl's wanting to run away too. It is actually normal behaviour ( the running away). The only child I recall that had such manners is one young lady whose manners were extraordinary ..she went on to be a famous child star and remains a special person I terms of how to behave in public. Maybe you too have such well developed skills unlike the rest of us ( sadly I still want run away from certain types ) ....its a gift and something in me tells me that maybe it's good to have such high expectations. However I'd just let it pass but know my mother would have been deeply offended had I reacted in such a way to any of my teachers.

    Anyway lovely speaking to you ...mother would be proud of me as I have ended this conversation. ..politely :D;)
    Bumptious and agathamorse like this.
  5. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    It is a bit rude, but she’s a teenager and they can be a bit rude (or appear so) in situations where they feel uncomfortable or weird. I think seeing a teacher while they’re out unexpectedly could be one such situation. Or she might have just been having a bad day and didn’t want to chat?

    I don’t think it’s a personal thing and I certainly don’t think it’s worth worrying about. If she continues to act ‘off’ around you in more regular circumstances then it would be worth saying something but for the moment just chalk it down to being one of those things.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi @sabrinakat

    I can completely understand why you would be upset, but not all parents teach their children to be as courteous as you are. It would have been easy for them just to smile and say, "Hello Miss". That is all you were really after: not War and Peace.

    If I were you I would just let it pass. If I thought it would make a difference I would say something, but I don't think it is worth you expending your energy.
    strawbs, Bumptious, Curae and 2 others like this.
  7. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    So the person at the till implied they have previously been in trouble for shop lifting. That could explain the strange behaviour. Perhaps they were in the middle of something.
  8. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    So the person at the till implied they have previously been in trouble for shop lifting. That could explain the strange behaviour. Perhaps they were in the middle of something.
    Cervinia, grumpydogwoman and Piranha like this.
  9. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I think it is a simple boundary issue. Outside of school I wouldn't approach a student at all, and if due to proximity a polite 'hello' is required then that is all I give. I certainly don't expect a student to be friendly, chatty or advance the conversation.

    Certainly I see nothing particularly rude. Meeting a teacher outside of the arena where teacher/student rules apply is doubly awkward for them, as they will be uncertain whether normal rules apply and would also resent it if they did as it isn't school! Makes sense to walk away.

    I would absolutely forget it and definitely not refer to it at school. If you did, and even suggested they had behaved poorly, it crosses a boundary where they would feel you expect them to default to school relationships when not at school and they would rightly feel this to be unfair.

    No doubt you were just being friendly and polite, but see it from there experience. How should they respond? And why should they respond? They have no relationship with you other than that of teacher/student, and therefore outside of school that means no relationship at all. Responding to you as if a stranger is not as rude as you might think, in fact it makes a great deal of sense.
    Rott Weiler, Bumptious, BioEm and 3 others like this.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    This is why I always tried to live well away from where I worked (didn't always managed it, but definitely preferred to do so...!)
  11. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    I’m a bit surprised that your post is about her not responding to you, rather than the mention of shoplifting. Surely that is something that needs pursuing?
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    The OP says 'past evidence of theft' - well, no teacher should reply or comment about comments like this by a shopkeeper which they have no proof are true...
  13. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Oh sure! I can see the conversation now!

    Parent: Excuse me Miss Kat, im told that you accused my daughter of shoplifting??

    Our hero: Yes Mrs X. A checkout assistant who didn't kick her out of the store suggested in passing that shop lifting happens, and because I was hung up on inferred rudeness (I'll criticise your parenting on that later by the way) I made a non logical leap that your child was the shop lifter because it neatly explains the rudeness I inferred!

    Parent: oh that's ok then. I won't raise holy hell, with justification, with your head teacher about this.
  14. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    But, if it IS true, then maybe the child was embarrassed by it and that explains why she didn't acknowledge the teacher or maybe even she didn't want to embarrass her teacher, by association with a shoplifter, in front of shop staff.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have taught many years as a supply teacher and I often run into former students in town - usually stores or hair salons or other places where they are working. If they serve me at a till and I recognise them, I am hardly going to ignore them or look sullen. I just say "hello". If they smile, then perhaps I might enquire how their studies or work is going. I do agree, however, it can be awkward at times.

    I also live on a street where many children live and they know I am a teacher and I teach in their schools. It has never been a problem.

    In the OP the reference to theft could mean theft by children in general - not just these two particular young people.
    Bumptious and grumpydogwoman like this.
  16. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Yes I see your point.

    She may have just farted in the corner too, and wanted to avoid embarrassment.

    Or, she may have not changed her socks.

    Or, she may have just robbed a homeless person in order to buy chewing gum, or worse DRUGS!

    Quick! Let's assume the check out assistant knew that the girly was shop lifting, but instead of throwing her out or calling the police told a random customer instead! Maybe the check out assistant knows who the drug dealer is too...
    baitranger and pepper5 like this.
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Older girl uncomfortable about meeting someone who knows parents in a shop where she's under suspicion of theft?

    Who can tell without psychic powers?

    I'd say forget it - it's outside school on a Saturday and you maybe don't know the whole picture. I only said hello to pupils outside school if they said hello first, which wasn't often.
    BioEm and pepper5 like this.
  18. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    That’s a MASSIVE leap from my suggesting it needs pursuing. My point was that I was surprised that the focus of the OP was of the offence taken at the ignoring, rather than any concern over whether the pupil was ok, or getting into any kind of bother. Maybe I interpreted it wrong though. Perhaps the shop assistant made a general comment about teenagers and shoplifting and there was no concern for this individual child.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Out of school my rule is this:

    I do not speak unless spoken to. It's their time. They're not on the clock. Nor am I. If they want to speak first then I'll respond.

    A brief smile and a nod of the head is permissible. Just about.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I would be more embarrassed/disturbed by the comment like that from a shopkeeper I didn't know than by the lack of social graces showed by a teenager, TBH.

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