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What to do when you dislike a student???

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by msmillreef, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I am/was (retired last year) an effective teacher. I had solid behaviour management skills and strategies. I could identify a lost cause. I worked in tough inner city schools. I managed them and also the other 26+ that wanted to learn. I had very good relationships with the vast majority of pupils (I believe anybody who says or considers they have excellent relationships with everybody is either deluding themselves or is lying).
    I found it became tiresome and wearing after 21 years of it, which is why I chose to follow another path. For the following 17 years I had a very different experience.
    You speak for yourself and I'll speak for myself. Neither of us is right or, in fact, wrong. Neither of us is a better person than the other.
    We'll have to agree to differ on our viewpoints
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    @stopwatch "I am/was retired last year.."

    Mate... Log off TES and enjoy retirement.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I 'retired' fourteen years ago and, amidst a varied, enjoyable and active life, still find time to log on to TES at least once a day. I appreciate that my educational experience is no longer current but some things don't change (such as the smog in Santiago de Chile) so I post either when I feel I have something to contribute or when it amuses me to do so. Clearly, Stopwatch still has a lot to offer to the forum and I'm sure he will not be patronised into silence.
    stopwatch likes this.
  4. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    This is a discourteous and distinctly unhelpful comment. I expect to retire one day and will continue to contribute to discussions when I feel I have something useful to say.
    stopwatch likes this.
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I can multi task and do both TES and retirement - now isn't that impressive for an old person!!
    Mainwaring likes this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Stoppers, I was retired and one of these days I will most probably retire again. We OAPs must put these cheeky young whippersnappers firmly in their places!

    As for having something useful to say, miketribe, I do not think I have ever done that and I am too old to start now.
    stopwatch likes this.
  7. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter


    I am rather disturbed by the negativity of some of the comments on here.

    The snide implication that disliking or hating a person is unprofessional. Your emotional detachment or lack of emotions is your "cross to bear".

    Every psychopath, murder and rapist was once of school age. Many, start on their path long before they leave school. You might not hate people but I have hated the odd evil individual. I recall a colleague screaming at me for trying to warn her about one of her sixth form age tutor group. She too believed that you shouldn't hate anyone. He punched her unconscious a few weeks later.

    15, 16 year old etc may legally be children but some of them are already mental cases. I do not need to study medicine nor be a psychiatrist to have seen the evidence with my own eyes. For a while I worked in a school where the local newspapers court-report section was a who's who of previous students and many younger siblings were of the same mould as their elders.

    Is a teacher a terrible person for having emotions? No, certainly not.

    What matters, as has already been said, is to act professionally. Having said that he's targeting you by attacking the display in your room. Target him with the school rules. Catch him out. Report your concerns. Track his every move that you see record it in professional journal. Use every rule, never give him an inch. Refuse to write any reference for him. Only provide what school reports your contract requires you to. Mark his work the same as any other student in the class. At the end of it you have all you have done is follow the school rules and procedures to the letter.

    This is a mistake. Look him right in the eyes the same as any other student. Some of these unpleasant types betray their psychopathy via their emotionless unblinking stare. Students pick up on these things.

    Trying imagining something else.
    stopwatch likes this.
  8. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

  9. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Be the adult in the room.
    Use the wisdom of age to be more mature than a teenager.
    Apply adult judgement as to whether to use a firm response, or even humour, to deal with a specific incident.
    Ask yourself whether this is actually about liking a student, or if it is that you struggle with not being liked.
    As for the fact that some people grow up to be murderous psychopaths, if any teacher truly thinks that they are dealing with this, then they should of course report their observations. Social workers and prison officers also work with people in this category- does anyone expect them to apply their personal likes and dislikes to their professional practices?

    As others gave said, the advice given to me many years ago by an experienced teacher when I was in my first year of teaching has stood me in good stead: kill them with kindness. Be the better human. Be objective, kind and calm.
  10. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Some similar examples from the school/s I taught in, include

    1) A boy who ran into the Headteachers office with a pole and chased her around the room trying to hit her over the head with it.
    2) 2 14 year old boys who beat up and murdered a boy in town when he complained about them pushing into a queue
    3) A 15 year old boy who pushed his mother down the stairs and then called the ambulance to say she fell
    4) A 15 year old boy who. after assaulting me, was suspended. The following week he stabbed an adult in the head with a homemade spear in a local park. Why? because the man had complained to the boy about him insulting and belittling his disabled daughter.

    There are many other examples I could give.

    These were State Secondary schools
    The main reason that I found it difficult to be fully supportive about and positive towards children like this is the disproportionate amount of time that they take up and take away from the vast majority of the other children in the class.
    It isn't always easy to 'be the adult in the room' and be completely dispassionate about these children.

    What is irritating is the sanctimonious and condescending way that some posters here are insinuating that anybody who is anything but supportive and unremittingly understanding of children like this, is not a good person, or a good teacher.
    oldgit and miketribe like this.
  11. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    The OP made a specific comment to which I replied.
    You decide to call me sanctimonious .
    If all the things you refer to actually happened to you, then you have my professional sympathy
    For my part, I have been sworn at, threatened, had furniture thrown at me, and have been spat at during my teaching career.
    Overseas, I have been told that someone's father would sort me out, been asked if I know who I'm talking to, and been told that the darling in my class pays my wages.
    And yes, I have chosen to be the adult in the room in all those situations.
    I have been in a lockdown where shooters fired semiautomatic weapons in the grounds of the school
    I have sat with a Y13 girl having a miscarriage.
    I have comforted students when a year 12 was killed on her moped on the way to school.
    I have had students who hated me at the beginning of a year, but none, to my knowledge, who didn't at least appreciate me as someone who wanted the best for them at the end.
    I have confronted bullying head on.
    I have cried for children who shared painful stories with me.
    Who do you think you are to say that I am sanctimonious?
    If you or the OP cant cope with a child messing up a display, then I suggest you have a long, hard think about who is the problem.
    Be professional.
    Be the adult in the room.
    Remember that teaching is more than bloody job
    englishdragon likes this.
  12. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    If you and others can experience these levels and types of incident and maintain a GENUINE positivity towards your job - well done. Just don’t expect everybody else to take the same attitude and don’t make condescending and patronising comments towards those who choose not to.
    afterdark and miketribe like this.
  13. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Well, now, you don't get to give orders.
    Nothing patronising or condescending about saying that a professional should act professionally.
    If a teacher chooses not to maintain a professional attitude, and outwardly shows a student that they don't like them (back to the OP rather than your rant) then teaching may not be the best choice for the rest of their working life.
    I never said I maintained 'genuine positivity '. Maybe take a step back and think before you type in future.
    englishdragon likes this.
  14. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I don't get to give orders? It wasn't an order, it was informing you not to expect others to agree with your beliefs - because I, for one, won't be doing that. The difference is that I am not telling you to accept mine - just to accept that people have a different viewpoint. I accept that you have a different viewpoint and am genuinely admiring that you can maintain this viewpoint and approach- and choose to do so. However, having reflected many times over my, very varied, 38 year career, I have come to a different conclusion.
    I find your comments patronising and your attitude sanctimonious as you come across as taking the attitude that anybody who doesn't take your approach isn't a good person or a good teacher and should do something different - that your approach is better, It isn't better, it is just different.
    Please take a look at the language and comments that you have made in your comments, telling people to be professional, to reflect on their behaviour, to be the adult in the room, to consider if they are in the wrong profession, to step back before typing etc. You seem to be the one who is giving orders.
    Anyway, I am sure that you realise that neither of us is going to change our viewpoint, so mine is now that we should agree to disagree.
    I am sure you will want to respond in a similar vein, so please do (that isn't an order by the way).
    Have a good day. I'm off to my allotment. I'll no doubt catch up with you later in the day
    englishdragon likes this.
  15. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    That comes across as sanctimonious. And to honest you are assuming that.
    Because Psychopaths will say anything to get what they want.
    stopwatch likes this.
  16. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    We obviously qualified at a similar time, as I am speaking about a 39 year career.
  17. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Yes because the many, many young people I have worked with since 1981 who were difficult or unpleasant were obviously all psychopaths.
    Do have a word with yourself.
  18. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I qualified 1979, but we are still permitted to have different viewpoints.
  19. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    Never said otherwise.
    One of my managers was actually in my class 1983-1987, back in Blighty. Small world.

    Like most international teachers I taught my own offspring and all their friends, so I have had some pretty candid feedback over the years.

    Having survived a life threatening illness some years ago I do maintain a positive attitude towards my job and life in general. I truly want the best for my students and staff, and have never in my life been called sanctimonious, but TES brings out the keyboard warrior in all of us.
  20. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    I didn't say that. This is converse of your own argument.

    There it is again, the smug sanctimoniousness.
    stopwatch likes this.

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