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Ran into students in town..

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

  1. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I took a massive leap because the suggestion that it be taken further was also a massive leap!

    In what way should a teacher ever 'take this further'??

    School have nothing to go on. So it stops.

    It is a police matter, if true.
    BioEm and pepper5 like this.
  2. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    For some reason, probably incorrectly, I read the OP as suggesting that the assistant was referring to that particular teenager. That’s why I thought the thread was going to go on to ask advice about how to handle it and was therefore surprised at the focus on the ignoring. I now suspect the assistant made a sort of general “teenagers, huh” comment.
  3. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    I said it needed pursuing. That’s all. I meant putting some thought into whether the child is ok. As it happens, I think I probably misread the OP.

    However, in general, are you saying that if you discovered a pupil at your school was suspected or accused of being involved in crime you wouldn’t as a teacher ‘take it further’?
  4. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    If it was a clear and unambiguous statement that that child was suspected of shop lifting, my only action would be to log it on MyConcern for the DSL in school.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    @sabrinakat I am somewhat surprised by your reaction to this incident. (It barely qualifies as such, but I can't think of a better word) I never had you down as such a snowflake!
    She's a TEENAGER. She said "Hi" and walked away. She didn't ignore you, but she was doing something else.
    Maybe it wasn't the most polite she could have been, but I have to say, I don't see it as rude.
    If you want to make a big issue of it, that's your prerogative, but if you're taking her away for a week, I'd be inclined to ignore this tiny thing in the interests of a more pleasant week away.
    Sorry, I don't mean to sound rude; it just seems a bit of an over-reaction on your part and not one I'd expect from someone who works with teenagers all week. I notice you posted at a very early hour - please tell me you haven't been awake worrying about this all night?
  6. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    As for the casual remark at the till about theft?

    Let's say those actual girls had once been apprehended for shoplifting and been given a caution. Two things. None of your business. And the shop assistant has no right whatsoever to speak to you about it. Oh, a third thing. It would have been dealt with by the appropriate authorities and it remains absolutely none of your business.

    My guess? Just the usual casting aspersions at teenagers on the basis that they're all somehow on something/nicking something/generally up to no good. Ignore.

    As for the girl. So she was in a mood? Meh. Poor kid. Of no consequence.
    Piranha, Curae, BioEm and 2 others like this.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'm not sure I would. After all the OP (or their family, or anyone they know) weren't the victims of this "crime" (if there was a crime...) And if there WAS a crime out of school, it's not up to teachers to investigate or meddle.
  9. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    Look on the bright side: she didn't throw stones at you, didn't spit at you and didn't swear at you. For me, that would be a huge plus. Who cares whether she made polite conversation or not? It doesn't matter. I always used to avoid students outside work hours and if they spoke to me I tried to keep the interaction as short as possible.
    sabrinakat, steely1, BioEm and 2 others like this.
  10. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I think the unspoken rule of a secondary school pupil (a proper teenager) bumping into a teacher in a shopping center is to not made eye contact! The only exception is that if the pupil is young and still keen to speak to teachers or an older pupil who is now starting to enjoy speaking to adults. Even then,it's a simple hello.
  11. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    No 'hi', no acknowlegement but walked as quickly as possible to back of the shop. But on reflection, think I was more surprised than upset. Oh well....
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So was she! Surprised!

    Teacher. Not in school. In a public place. Ugh! On a Saturday?

    I respected my secondary teachers very much but I've no idea what I'd have done if I'd seen them in a shop. I'm also not the most ill-mannered person I know. I think I'd still have retreated at some speed. Grimacing. I'd have been in quite a tizzy.

    Whatever next? Bumping into the Kardashians in Primark?
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    monicabilongame and CWadd like this.
  14. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I completely get that you're upset, and I do see why. Being seemingly blanked can be upsetting.

    But, with respect, I think you are overthinking this. Running into parents and students is a grey area - I take the view that a quick nod and hello is acceptable, but I avoid chatting to them - and if I'm honest, I will make an excuse to move on if they try and take the conversation further. A couple of years ago, the parent of one of my Form worked at my local Costa as a barista. One Saturday I went in to simply get a coffee, and was subjected to a tirade of what she thought was wrong with the school. I politely pointed out it was the weekend and she could meet at school if she wanted to discuss it. She backed down immediately.

    I think this is a classic case of "slightly embarrassed, moody teen." I wouldn't make any comment to the school. Try and chill a bit and enjoy the rest of your hard earned weekend.
    pepper5, Flanks, Curae and 6 others like this.
  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Quite common to bump into students and former students. 2 embarassing incidents (or potentially if I was that sort of person). In a DIY store when I popped in for something needed urgently and was in my less than neat DIY clothing. Another time in a store where I had a trolley full of booze (party coming up) and bumped into the Head girl and her mum. Lovely girl who came over to chat. I told the mother that her daughter had driven me to drink!
  16. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Star commenter

    This is my position exactly. The vast majority of kids I see out of school will smile and move swiftly on, which suits me fine.

    A little off-topic, but this thread has reminded me of a time I was in a sports shop in town with my mother. I had sat down to try on some trainers, when my mum leaned towards me and whispered "There appear to be several small children peering at us from behind the track suit display!". On the following Monday in school, three Year Seven students came running up to me in the playground to announce excitedly: "Miss, miss! We saw you on Saturday! With your Mum!". I'm not sure which they found more mind-boggling, the fact that teachers were allowed out on Saturdays, or the fact that someone of my advanced age still had a mother.
  17. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Bumping into students out of school hours is always awkward.

    I bumped into a few former students of mine (1-2 years out of 6th form) whilst on a work pub crawl before Christmas one year. As a group of reasonably sozzled teachers we just decided not to go into that pub because our former students were home for their own Yuletide boozeathon and it would just get weird if we occupied the same Wetherspoons.

    Bumped into another student at the supermarket. Awkward. He was surprised to see me; I was surprised to see him; he forgot my name and mumbled "Mr Mr Mr uh... Sir..." and I nodded, smiled and found something interesting in the tinned foods aisle. Bought chilli con carne in a can. It was horrible and tasted vaguely of tinfoil, but I needed to go elsewhere to break the awkward eye contact.

    Then there was the time that a student was taking my tickets in the cinema: again, awkwardness abounded, especially as he was on track to fail his mock exams while I had dashed out of school as soon as the bell had gone to watch the new Star Wars film. We both suspected that the other person shouldn't have been at the cinema at 3:25PM. Again, the human interaction was brief, awkward, and perfunctory.

    Your interaction with these students appears nothing more or less than the above.
    pepper5, dodie102 and CWadd like this.
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    She'd probably just bought a box of Tampax or something. I was once mortified when I was 13 and a neighbour bumped into me in our local 'Boots' after I'd just bought a tube of 'Imaac.' I legged it. Teens are weirdos.
    knitone, pepper5, Curae and 4 others like this.
  19. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter


    They're weird enough in lessons, let alone in a free-range environment.
  20. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    A colleague of mine had a breakdown many years ago and his wife took him to A&E, where the Dr was an ex-student. She told me that it felt embarrassing for a few moments, then she remembered that she had always been lovely and was there to help her poor husband. And all was well. Including with the husband, I'm glad to say.
    If you teach somewhere long enough, you will bump into students and ex-students. Be polite, but move away. Otherwise I might find that I say the things I repressed when teaching the little sh*ts...
    Mrsmumbles, pepper5 and Curae like this.

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