For the first time ever I just walked out of a school. I would rather clean toilets than put up with being harassed by the “students” I was employed to see each day this week. I wish parents could see it as it is: teacher baiting and bullying that is normal for lots of boys – and some girls – now. It’s become so normal for students to band together and have a go at their teacher.
This is what you need to know.
The loud ones enlist the other ones and try and take over. You can’t fight a mob mentality. It’s the ones who often have poor school ability, or just like power play with women.
As a teacher, I find myself in the middle of the “f” word being thrown around, as well as the “c” word, and the “I told you, get away from me” when you approach them about their behaviour.
In my opinion, there are a lot of kids who should not be in classrooms. They are the ones who have no intention of doing anything other than kicking their way through school and creating trouble along the way. I find some of the most damaged kids in the classroom get the least attention because of these loud mouthed yobs who decide to take over everything. Being loud and rude does not mean you are in more pain than the kid in the corner who is silently miserable, being bullied or dealing with depression.
The real kids who need support are overlooked. It is not okay and is not fair, but the system spends its time with the ones who yell the loudest. Those who really have problems miss out on attention, resources and their more serious problems being addressed. For every badly behaved student, there is a person suffering in silence from serious depression, anxiety, home issues, or other medical issues What about the silent students who need help and support from staff? What about the rights of those kids to learn, and the rights of teachers to be in a room with students who respect the rights of others to a safe learning environment?
I am tired, so tired, of being hammered in the press as a teacher. I’m tired of us talking about ‘disengaged’ kids. I’m tired of being told that having kids who play up in my classroom is my fault for having “no classroom behaviour management skills”.
Baffled by all the watered down teacher talk on your kids report card? This may help.
The thing is though, I do have standards and I do have skills. Burning out would be normal, not weak under the circumstances. Teacher churn is huge, and for good reason.
I have had kids yell at each other about “giving it’ to each other’s mothers in class. I know of instances where boys have got up in the face of female staff or female students intentionally close, and said that they’ll “give it to them”. I have had boys as young as 14 talk to me about their penis size without blushing as though I am interested. There is the rape culture mentality, as though all women – regardless of age – are available for sex and interested, and if they are not, they will be punished by it.
These examples are everywhere.
I’ve seen another student held up a plant, smirked to himself and asked a middle-aged teacher if she’d like a “root”. In another circumstance, a student put a girl’s calculator down his pants, and then handed it back to a female student. That class was one of the worst I have ever taught, where I would leave and cry my eyes out because I couldn’t stop sexual harassment in my own classroom.
Girls are being trained to be victims, and a lot of boys are training as perpetrators, and middle aged female teachers like me know it. Misogyny is alive and well in the classroom. What really bothers me is that girls can only be two things: silent or tarty and boys, meanwhile, are silent or disrespectful.
There are serious problems with behaviour in our classrooms, and we need to question the behaviour of boys when they are still young enough to learn.
Do you think we have a behavioural problem amongst our teenagers?