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Saying 'shut up'

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Hannahxxox, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Hannahxxox

    Hannahxxox New commenter

    After a stressful day last week, I lost my temper and told some children to 'please shut up'. I felt instantly guilty about saying it, and I am mortified to think these children would go home and tell their parents. It has been playing on my mind all weekend! What are your views on this?
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I wouldn't worry. Teachers are human and it could have been worse!
    jlishman2158 and border_walker like this.
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    In what context?

    If they were asking you about the work and you said it, then it is bad. If they were talking over you and you said it, no problem for me..
  4. Hannahxxox

    Hannahxxox New commenter

    They were being very noisy and not following instructions throughout the afternoon so in the end I snapped!
    jlishman2158 and pepper5 like this.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    please don't worry about it. They are in the wrong, not you.

    I would advise you not to lose your cool or to look like they are getting to you, but, trust me, a lot lot worse has been said.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I have known teachers who say shut up habitually. I think I never said it and I think it's good you don't as a rule. Everyone slips up. I did say the other sh word once in conversation with my TA but she was the only one heard me.
    TheoGriff and Hannahxxox like this.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'm now early retired, but throughout my career as a secondary teacher and headteacher I was aware that there are many (more in primary than secondary) people who think it's the next worst thing after murder to say "shut up" to children. It's not a phrase I'd tend to use, but...

  8. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I used it after various other entreaties. They use it on 'Educating Cardiff'. As always, it's the tone of voice that matters. You can use it cajolingly, wearily, exasperatedly... but not menacingly.:eek:
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Exactly. And given the fact that children these days are likely to use it as an expression of joyful surprise, I'm at a loss as to why it's considered so evil a thing to do.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You didn't need to say "please" with it though.

    I prefer "Stop talking". It's direct and there's no room for misinterpretation or smartarse comments such as if you said "Listen" (but I am listening! I can talk at the same time) or Be Quiet (but I am being quiet!)

    I've said "Shut Up" before, Done in the right situation and the right manner, it's fine.
    pepper5 and border_walker like this.
  11. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I don't think the issue is with the words you used at all. As others have said, it's about your tone and manner.

    The possible issue is that you say you lost your temper and snapped at them. There's a difference between speaking harshly in a controlled way for impact, and slightly losing control.

    I am happy to admit that I say "shut up" a fair bit. But only in a certain tone and with certain types of pupils. I find it works well with the kind of silly boys who mean well but get carried away - after asking them to be quiet in a more polite fashion, a quick "[Name]! Shut it!" directed at the key offender seems to get the message across that I mean it. I wouldn't say it to nervous Y7s, it's reserved for the pupils I already have a relationship with and who I know won't take it to heart.

    For general usage I also prefer "Stop talking", "No talking" and "Silence" followed by a reminder if necessary "I have asked for complete silence" so I can follow up by using the behaviour system (issuing sanctions for failure to follow an instruction) if needed.
    Hobzy and Hannahxxox like this.
  12. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Don't see the problem. If they needed telling to shut up, then its fine.
  13. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I did the same thing a few months months into my NQT year. Similar circumstances to you. It isn't the type of language I would like to use with children, but sometimes things slip out when you're under stress... and there are, at least, worse things than "Shut up".
    pepper5 and Hannahxxox like this.
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Absolutely, Wanet.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I guess it depends on your demographics. In my current school parents wouldn't bat an eyelid. It's not the phrase I'd use but in the heat of the moment it happens and I wouldn't have a queue at the door to complain.

    Now my last school, that's a different matter. In the leafy suburbs where pampered middle class kids are treated like royalty.... That would be a different matter.

    If you're that worried, and you have a reasonable Headteacher or line manager, speak to someone about what happened. That way they can be prepared if you do get any parents at the door. Hopefully then you can stop worrying. Also, if this is aa bigger problem, and not just one of those afternoons, you couilkd get some support .
    purplecarrot and Freudster like this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Most of us have done this, or similar. The children will not suffer long term damage, and neither should you.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I regularly used to have to tell my classes to 'shut up' when all else failed.... and they would say "you can't say that Miss", to which I would reply with a sweet smile "I just did". Never got the sack for it.....
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I once told a group of students to 'stop talking' to which they replied… "No worries.. we shall shout instead… " :mad:
    QueenKangana, pepper5 and shabkhalid like this.
  19. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Some parents would doubtless be appalled that their precious little snowflakes were spoken to like that. Unfortunately they wouldn't think to reflect on how rude their children are.
    In my last teaching job pupils who told staff to shut up went unpunished but there would have been hell to pay if staff had said it.

    I wouldn't worry too much - as long as you have a decent HT like Middlemarch.
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    My last class thought 'shut up' was as bad as swearing. Although I never say it (I use be quiet instead), I did explain to them that it wasn't the worst thing someone could say. Don't know where they got the idea it was so bad from.
    pepper5 likes this.

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