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How to stop taking things personally?(7 Posts)
I am a visitor at a secondary school and training to be a teacher. I was with a class today and 2 girls would not stop laughing pointing and whispering about me. Obviously as a teacher you’re not supposed to let it bother you but still its not a nice feeling. How do you avoid taking it personally? And how would you react if it was you?
I would expect the adult in charge t them off for whispering and being rude and if it continued to implement a sanction.
But that's probably not much help.
I would tell them off for rudeness too.
I rarely take anything a pupil says personally any more, it's something which gets easier with experience. I think it helps to acknowledge the age gap between you and them (in your head I mean!!). They are teens, teens make mistakes and they don't consider adults (esp teachers!) to be 'fully human'. They don't really have the empathy to understand that they might upset you so they are just trying to entertain themselves.
As with all things teaching fake it til you make it. You must present to them as supremely unconcerned about their trivial unkindness (Imagine you're being sniggered at by next doors pet Labrador, not so worrying now is it?!) and eventually you'll toughen up for real.
Probably no help, but my dc at secondary school have mentioned that a couple of their male teachers who i know have been at the school for many years are "nice but slightly threatening." Not as in actually making threats, but in their demeanor.
I said that they've probably worked out over the years that this makes their life easier with some of the kids they have to deal with. I think they tend to nip that sort of behaviour in the bud very quickly and firmly. They are probably testing you to see if they can get away with it
If I'd have noticed pupils mocking me, I tended to go and stand right next to them. Stand there for 10 seconds. Look at them with my head cocked and ask if they felt the need to share anything with me. That tended to be incredibly unnerving. I never once had a pupil pipe up at that point. I guess that falls into the 'nice but slightly threatening camp.' If they had said it to my face at that point, depends what they said, but likely they'd be sent out or given a detention (or both). Also a phone call home.
Oh and how to get over it? Well, these kids don't know you. They aren't your friends and there is no reason that you all have to be Belize mates... respect (even from kids) is earned. You've got a job to do. You administer discipline where necessary, but concentrate on the job.
Or, the kids grind you down and you try a different school. But all kids push boundaries of new teachers (teachers new to them, even if the teacher has been teaching for a long time).
One of the long standing teachers i mentioned, when year 7 dd was laughing at something another kid had done, honed in on her and said "What are you laughing at? What's so funny?" ie. Embarrassing her. I'm sure this works well as a deterrent. That they'll be singled out and embarrassed if they start being disruptive.
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