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AIBU?

To think worsening behaviour in school is due to the size of children these days?

104 replies

gassenhauer · 07/10/2022 19:47

Obviously not the only reason, almost definitely not the main one, but certainly a big one I think. I have siblings a good couple decades younger than me, at 11 my sister is 5’7 (apparently the lower end of avg. height in her year), 14 y/o brother 6’4, both overweight and massive. I’m 5’3.

I do find it hard to imagine how teachers would be able to break up fights, or even properly confront bad behaviour if a pupil that big is known to be aggressive. Surely this must impact?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

464 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
86%
You are NOT being unreasonable
14%
Maireas · 07/10/2022 19:49

No. Nothing to do with their size.
Most of the problems aren't fighting, but disruptive behaviour, bullying and defiance. Size is immaterial.

stargirl1701 · 07/10/2022 19:50

No. Teachers need presence in a classroom. That is not about physical size. It's a psychological presence. It is authority. I'm only 5 foot 5 inches but I've been teaching for nearly 25 years. My size is irrelevant.

gassenhauer · 07/10/2022 19:51

of course, but defiance is something that needs to be challenged. As a teacher I’d be wary of challenging a student larger than me if I knew they would react physically (but then again that could well be why i’m not a teacher!)

OP posts:
Maireas · 07/10/2022 19:51

By the way, I'm a secondary school teacher of some decades experience. Just under 5' 2", students have mostly been bigger than me throughout my career. I've not found it a problem.

ClocksGoingBackwards · 07/10/2022 19:51

Their size doesn’t account for them being aggressive in the first place though. If they weren’t fighting, it wouldn’t matter what size they are.

DewinDwl · 07/10/2022 19:52

Yippee! Friday night

gassenhauer · 07/10/2022 19:53

Okay I’ve been successfully convinced I’m wrong! Thanks :) It just sometimes shocks me to see the size of my siblings and their friends!

OP posts:
Devo1818 · 07/10/2022 19:53

Is behaviour getting worse? Source?

Maireas · 07/10/2022 19:53

gassenhauer · 07/10/2022 19:51

of course, but defiance is something that needs to be challenged. As a teacher I’d be wary of challenging a student larger than me if I knew they would react physically (but then again that could well be why i’m not a teacher!)

Then I wouldn't be able to challenge the hundreds of children I teach in a week.
Not an issue.

gassenhauer · 07/10/2022 19:55

Devo1818 · 07/10/2022 19:53

Is behaviour getting worse? Source?

No source but just the impression I get from hearing my siblings’ stories since we went to the same schools.

OP posts:
Hoardasurass · 07/10/2022 19:57

The average height for women in the UK is 5'4 so your sister at 5'7" by age 11 is in the 91st+ percentile not low end of average.
The average height for men in the UK is 5'9" so your 6'4" 14 year old brother is again in the 91st+ percentile.
So your theory fails at the 1st hurdle

MadameMinimes · 07/10/2022 20:00

I’m less than 5 foot tall and teach secondary. The kids have always been bigger than me. It’s irrelevant.

Also, I don’t agree that behaviour is worsening. More children are struggling since Covid, but behaviour is not fundamentally worse than when I started teaching 14 years ago. Teenagers are teenagers.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow · 07/10/2022 20:06

Some of the most challenging kids at our school are shorter than me at 5ft 1.

sparepantsandtoothbrush · 07/10/2022 20:08

at 11 my sister is 5’7 (apparently the lower end of avg. height in her year)

What a load of bollocks

BeanieTeen · 07/10/2022 20:12

I don’t know what you imagine is going to happen? Older being physically abusive towards school staff can happen of course - but it’s rare because the consequences are pretty substantial. It’s not like you having a physical confrontation with your siblings (do your 11 year old sibling regularly intimate you physically because that’s also kind of odd). Consequences for being a rude little shit much less severe. So that sort of behaviour is more of a problem - and children of any size can be rude little (or big) shits.

Georgeskitchen · 07/10/2022 20:14

No it's because nobody is allowed to tell the little darlings they are misbehaving anymore. So they have a free ticket to behave as they like

Testng123 · 07/10/2022 20:14

My scariest teacher was 5 foot nothing! She had total control over the class, you could hear a pin drop.

ArseInTheCoOpWindow · 07/10/2022 20:14

I stopped teaching a couple of years ago. I’m 5ft 8. I’d say 25% of girls were taller than me.

Bad behaviour was usually due to large class size rather than individual tall people.

Each generation is successive slightly taller than its parents due to better nutrition. With this current government this may reverse of course.

SophieJo · 07/10/2022 20:16

stargirl1701 · 07/10/2022 19:50

No. Teachers need presence in a classroom. That is not about physical size. It's a psychological presence. It is authority. I'm only 5 foot 5 inches but I've been teaching for nearly 25 years. My size is irrelevant.

Totally agree.

Newsinglemum58 · 07/10/2022 20:20

I’m shocked by the attitude and behaviour of some of the secondary students at the school where I work. I think there’s a real crisis in terms of parenting, and this creates real problems for schools.

The levels of defiance, disruption and just a basic lack of respect, and even out-right contempt for adults, is evident and very troubling.

I had thought about training to teach one day, but working as cover staff is incredibly off-putting. Unless the govt paid me to train there’s no way I’ll do it. Even then, I think it could be a huge mistake.

SergeiL · 07/10/2022 20:26

5 ft 7 for 11 year old girls round here is highly unusual. Where do you live?

mondaytosunday · 07/10/2022 20:27

Are you saying that bigger kids behave worse? That's an outrageous assumption.

idonotmind · 07/10/2022 20:29

No way is size irrelevant.

A 15 year old lad who is 6 foot 2 vs a woman who is only 5ft?

Get real

Newsinglemum58 · 07/10/2022 20:31

I don’t think the size of kids is the issue. It’s far more than that. I have had a couple of boys stand over me a few times and loudly point out how much taller they are than me though. (I’m 5.2)

Wishyfishy · 07/10/2022 20:32

at 11 my sister is 5’7 (apparently the lower end of avg. height in her year)
I struggle to believe this.
I am a few inches below average height for a woman in the U.K. and all the year 6s I see (so mostly 10 years, some 11) are smaller than me. I can’t believe that in ONE year the average height of a girl becomes over 5’7. I’m sorry this simply can’t be true.

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