Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teacher Tale: RESPECT

If you missed my I’ve returned to work update, read it here.  I’m really enjoying high school and can’t wait to get plugged in more to assist with various activities. This move was just what I needed to get my teaching mojo back and baby have I got it! Remember how I use to share with you my teaching frustrations or successes (here, here and here)? Well I have a story already for you and we are only in week 4. Yep, already there’s one for the blog. Although this one is serious and I’d like your opinion especially if you are a male and you just happen to stop by to see what I’m wearing. Heck, ask your husbands and co workers to enlighten me.

Recently, I had two male students to lose their cool because they felt I was disrespecting them. Now I can be extremely bold and straight forward but I try not to provoke the kids for two reasons. The Bible admonishes me not to and they are so much bigger than me as well as different from the way we were with adults growing up. Now I’ve always been a firm believer that an adult is always right until another adult straightens the wrong adult. I also believe that children should be seen and not hear. I believe a lot of things. Lemme refocus. LOLOL!

Students today feel and will quickly display disapproval if they are given a directive and don’t like it. Am I the only one? Children of this era do not like rules and regulations for various reasons. I am of the opinion that it is mainly due to parents not setting any boundaries. By the time they arrive to me in the 8th grade (my former years) or are in high school, you can’t tell them nothing and they don’t’ want to hear it anyway. This statement has come from African American male students and really left be bewildered. I went home over the weekend questioning if I was being petty and not allowing a bit more freedom since I have older learners. NOTE: It was confirmed on Saturday that I am running my classes exactly as I should be. I prayed about it and was finally able to draw the following conclusion.

So many of our AA male students are misguided about what R.E.S.P.E.C.T. means. For them, respect means don’t step on my new sneakers, or bump me in the halls or ask me to pull my pants us for whatever absurd rationale is floating in their head. I attempted to explain to all my classes today that I am in no way attacking their manhood (which they technically don’t have yet) but there are mandated District and School rules that we must follow. I try to address any infraction politely. The reaction I get almost makes me wanna take it to the streets. So I spoke to my students about responding to certain situations in various settings. I explained that the street credibility isn’t what is given in an academic setting. None of them belong to the mafia so sit down and let me teach you. You do have a double block of reading. Sighs…

How can I help my students understand respect from the point of view that I am the teacher, adult in charge of the room who will not do anything that will embarrass, injury or insult any student? Sound off below. 

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm not a teacher but a Youth Minister and our ministry is small so we don't have a lot of kids, but we do have some that are transitioning into teens and being able to talk with them and help them to understand can be a battle. That goes for the younger kids too. I ask God for wisdom in this all the time because the world we are in is bringing up a new generation of young people.

For me it's all about approaching it with love but still be firm. I'm not really worried about being the "cool/hip" teacher or their friend so to speak, but I do want to be respected (not so much feared in a mean way). I also want to be a teacher whose class can be fun and someone they can get along with, but still be seen as an authority figure and again respected.

Like I said that is what has worked for me in most cases you still have some students/youth that will test you and you have speaking in tongues to keep from going there, lol but it has worked. So I say pray and just let the Holy Spirit lead you!! :-)

Carsedra McKoy:

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