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Is this common? I used to be a formal teacher at the HS & MS level, now I'm doing informal activities at the elementary level. Every once in a while, parents come to me to tell me that their child thinks I hate them! I'm a very reserved person and don't display my affection well, but hatred? Really? I think I'm going to try to transition to just writing curricula. I'm pretty darn good at that.
My point is, is it me or do others have this happen, too?
1390 Activity Points
They must be thinking because you want them to do work and some kids don't like to do work. And as a teacher it is our responsibility that student is learning and working so he she can succeed. But as time goes by and they get use to the routine they will be okay and hopefully parents will understand their and your situation too. Wish you all the best :)
2845 Activity Points
Hello Once again,
I also want to mention that it depends what is going on in child life, what's his/her family and friends treating him/her? Sometime they having some personal issues at home and when they come to school and don't want to do anything but they got norther choice so then they end up thinking that their teacher is not good enough for them.He / She is mean, strict etc etc. ...
Also it depends whats that student background is because that affection student a lot so we also have to keep in mind they are kids and we are adult so we just have to work it out somehow and soon they will love you :)
Young students are very much so still developing their social skills. Normal interactions may be unfamiliar for them. Try letting students come to you instead of pushing yourself into their personal space. I would also suggest incorporating fun activities for them. Encourage students to participate because it is fun and avoid asking them to obey because you're the authority.
580 Activity Points
It definitely happens! Kids at that age are still learning those coping skills and self-regulation skills for their emotions so it is hard for them to really decider what is going on in their heads! Best advice is assure them that you do not hate them, in fact its the opposite; you care for their well-being and their success! I am sure that it was just you trying to push them to do better and they didn't want to that day! Trust me there are days where I want to cry because I made one of my littles cry but it happens, they are going through A LOT! Hope this helps!
920 Activity Points
Personally, I've never have a parent tell me that their child thinks I hate them! However, I DO sense a feeling from certain students in my class that think I dislike them or something. When I sense this, I try my best to reflect as an educator of what I may be doing wrong or what some of my actions may be portraying or communicating even though it is not my intention! Hope this helps... best of luck!
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I would suggest incorporating some fun activities to do with them. As well as, being opening up and letting them get to know you. Sometimes, children need to know we are like them, this way they know we can all relate to one another.
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I would suggest just making more small talk with your students and getting to know them a little better. Fun learning activities can help as well. If you don't do so already, you could also greet them in the morning as they come into the classroom and tell them you will see them tomorrow when they leave the classroom.
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I think that as a teacher it is really important to build strong connections with students especially those at the elementary level. Students really want to see that side where you can relate to them and feel that they can trust in you. I am a second grade student teacher and since the start of my student teaching I made sure to establish a relationship with all of my student by getting to know each of them and I also let them know about me. I have noticed that these meaningful connections that I made with my students have really had an impact because students feel that they are important in the class and feel that they belong. I would say that a great way to build those connections can also be through student activities that let students talk about themselves and their interests. Also, classroom discussions that are student led are also a good way to build those connections with students.
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I think that it can be common with teachers that are reserved. I remember working at a Boys & Girls Club and I was very reserved, and it was difficult to show emotion and that nurturing side of me. However, once I began to let loose and feel more comfortable the club members were all able to feel comfortable around me as well. I think that it is very important to make those connections with students and let them know you care for them.
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I am currently Student Teaching at the elementary level with first grade students and I consider myself to be very warm and cognizant of their emotional needs because that is just my personal philosophy, I believe in the power of human connections. I feel that no significant learning can take place without it. I have also noticed how because of that connection and the fact that I am in transition to becoming a teacher, they might see me more as friend than their teacher.
I think that they might be noticing that you are a very reserved person and therefore cannot connect with you on a more emotional level. I'm sure that you can figure out a way to dissipate the idea that they have of you hating them. I wanted to offer my experience of the other end of the spectrum. I wish you the best of luck!
930 Activity Points
Hi Heather! One of the biggest differences I have found between the HS/MS level and elementary level is that the little ones crave affirmation/attention for even the smallest of tasks! That doesn't necessarily have to be affection... if you are good at writing maybe try writing your praise to the students?? A simple "great job", "I can tell you are working so hard," or "I'm so proud of you" really goes along way!
Hope this helps, good luck!
200 Activity Points
It seems some students are simply misinterpreting the fact that you are a very reserved person. I'm currently a student teacher, and something I've learned is that for many students, you have to be a little over the top with your feelings (especially with the younger ones!). Perhaps simply adding a few more smiles and some positive feedback or reinforcement will help. Many times, a student just needs to have a more concrete way to tell how a teacher is feeling.
805 Activity Points
I definitely believe that children in the HS & MS level are still developing social skills and are still being introduced to the fact that not every person responds the same way, teaches the same way, etc. I don't think you should take it personally, it's a form of learning. Maybe by asking them what it is exactly that they gave them that impression would be best. Good luck!
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I know you're probably in a tough situation right now but kids change their mind a lot about how they think somebody is feeling about them. Since they are very young your students are most likely in the process of developing social skills so adult figures can be daunting to them depending on their own personal situations. My recommendation to you is to try to get to know your students a little better and in the process they’ll get to know you better as well. Show them that you can be more than just their instructor. Encourage students to participate by providing fun activities and projects for them to work on. Many students also tend to dislike their teachers from the start because they may have bad experiences with their previous instructors so they tend to generalize all teachers as a whole. Overall, providing a comfortable space for the students is vital. Depending on their personal situations, some students use school as a way to seek refuge from their own lives, it can be hard for those students to enjoy a place where they do not feel comfortable.
Best of luck,
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I work in the after school program and I am only there for a couple hours, and my students have said the same thing. We have grown closer over the last few weeks, and it is all about connecting with each individual student. I had to learn about each students life and what they enjoy and try implementing it into conversations or books we read. Students just think you hate them because in elementary, they do not handle getting in trouble so they automatically assume you hate them. Just give it time and try to express that you do care about each student and their successes.
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Transitioning from older students to younger students can be a struggle. Being used to the atmosphere of older students is completely different than in an elementary setting. You do not need to show affection in any way, but showing the students you are really interested in what you are teaching is something that will get their attention and maybe want them to start doing the work. Students are not going to do work and if you overload them in work as most do in the higher levels of edcucation you will not be on there good side so to speak. Guided inquiry is a great thing for elementary students because they feel in charge and get to take most of the experiments in their own way. I am currently in college and going to be a elementary teacher soon and I have learned some great tips on how to get students to get engaged and be happy for say. I would not take them saying they hate you to heart, I would say try to do more hands on acitvities and not so much lecture, as well as show interest and excitement in what you are teaching and they will be too.
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I've had students from a challenging class I had last year tell me that I "hated their class." This wasn't in an accusatory way, but rather, "Come on, you hated us" kind of thing. In fact, I often enjoyed their class. They were rambunctious, but often came up with the most creative ideas and made me think of things in a different way. I did have to be stricter to keep things in line though. I think teenagers tend to think in terms of black and white, either you love them or hate them, there's no in between. I tried explaining this, but they preferred to view it the other way. (Though I think they took pride in being the hated class).
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I used to have students come up to me after a few weeks of school and say that they did not want to be in my class at the beginning of the year because they heard I was mean. After getting to know me they said that they enjoyed my class. I think my reputation was that I was strict in the way my class was ran and I do not show affection very easily like you said about yourself. Give them time and let them get to know you!!
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Heather, We live and teach in a very different time than when I was in school. Many of our students today are lacking positive "attention" at home and others are over-indulged to make up of absent/working parents. Some of our students can be very "needy" for the right kind of attention. However, try not to allow yourself to get caught up in the "she doesn't like me"s. Continue to teach as you are; even if you were more outwardly affectionate, there would still be a student or two who would think you favored one over another. If, however, this becomes a bigger issue, I would recommend documenting your interactions with the students in question. Maybe you could better determine then, what message they are misinterpreting. Good luck!
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I think most parents (& lots of students) expect elementary teachers and people working in elementary schools to be more "huggy" and affectionate with students. I currently teach 8th grade science, but before becoming a teacher I subbed in all schools and volunteered in my own children's elementary school. This is the trend I have noticed, so if you are shy and not that outwardly affectionate towards the elementary kids they might be misinterpreting you as "not liking them". I would give it some time so they get used to your natural demeanor and then I don't think it will be an issue for you.
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Overall student are wonderful , but when it come to disaplan they will find anything to say and in there minds they know and understand your are out for their best!! don't worry kinds will be kids when it comes to someone given them ruels to keep them in line
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In the beginning of the school year students will tell their parents anything. I don't think they truly think you are mean or that you 'hate' them, they're just getting use to the new class and you. Your kept to personality has nothing to do with it. I think its more about what is expected of the students in your classroom and the types of activities done. It hurts, I know, especially when parents speak out. But try not to take it to heart. Let it be a learning experience and give it your all to make sure those kids are experiencing and learning the most in your classroom while having fun. Which I'm sure they already are ;)
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There is a natural dichotomy between instructors and students at the upper grade levels. As authority figures, we involuntarily inflict oppression on young adults. While we may be aware of this natural order of things, most teens are not. As such, it often reveals itself recklessly, as your students have demonstrated by throwing around the term 'hate'.
Case in point, you cannot take it personally. The role you have developed as an authority figure goes hand in hand with being an instructor. As children, we often hated our parents, but this did not mean we lacked respect for them. Being a strong, supportive instructor is a reward in itself. Don't get hung up on kudos, and walk tall.
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Chances are this has nothing to do with you- most kids I've taught have bigger issues and choose to take it out on teachers
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I just read all the posts on this thread
Students do come to school with bigger issues. There are some differences in classroom cultures from elementary to high school. You might want to observe how other elementary teachers in your particular school handle their student interactions and classroom climate.
Perhaps it could be just a simple thing like smiling. You can still be reserved but students are looking for signs from you.
Just a thought............
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
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I feel that it just depends on the individuals themselves. Some students are going to dislike you regardless of how you treat them. You have to remember that you are there to be their teacher, not their friend. I am not saying that you have to run your classroom like a dictatorship but let them know that you have rules that must be followed but at the same time, you will be there for them if they have any issues or questions. Moreover, kids tend to say the darnedest things. Maybe you did one thing that they didn't like and took it personal and that makes them "hate" you. I am a male going into the field of education and I feel that I might be running into this problem quite often. It is more difficult for me to show affection and care towards a student than it is for a female teacher.
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Heather, I feel your pain. I teach middle school and find that students tend to just say whatever comes to mind sometimes.
I think this is more common for those of us that teach Science because we have to be stricter than other teachers because of the content we teach. If you think about it, we have equipment that if used incorrectly, students get hurt. By nature I am a rule follower and many of my peers are not. It makes for a really uncomfortable conversation when one teacher lets students do something and you don’t. Students immediately think because you said no that you hate them.
Generally it only takes a couple of weeks for students to really understand why the rules are in place. For me it helps that I have mixed classes of 7th and 8th graders. The 8th graders have the maturity and experience to help the 7th graders over the rough spots and the 7th graders have the enthusiasm the 8th graders may have lost.
I think the common thread throughout all of the posts is, “Don’t take it personally.” That’s hard to do because by nature we too want to be liked and it seems the harder we try, the more “hated” we become. The key is for you to be yourself. Students will eventually come around and understand that you do care, you just may show it in another way. If you have one student that just keeps insisting you dislike them, have a conversation with them. Ask them right out, “Why do you keep saying I hate you? What is the evidence of that?” I think you will be surprised that they will tell one single incident that happened so far back in time that you can’t even remember doing or saying whatever they are upset about. Oftentimes the student can’t even remember why they think you don’t like them. Sometimes you will find another student told them you didn’t like them just to pull their chain. You never know with students why they believe what they do, but if it keeps you worrying, ask them. I think you will be surprised about their answer. I bet you will find whatever it is really doesn’t have anything to do with you.
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One important thing I learned is to focus on fostering relationships with students in order to create a safe learning environment. Of course, I am not their friend. But having come from a tertiary research/teaching background, I did not understand how this was a very important difference when working with children. Yes, being reserved and not smiling too much will be interpreted as being "mean"--that happened to me a lot year 1. Other related issues cropped up in relation to my "tone" and "attitude"--the emotional atmosphere in the class. I felt it was unfair that I was being judged because of this and not based on the actual results--they were learning, they were passing, they were testing proficient. All that didn't matter until I started working on creating a more relaxed atmosphere in class. I unearthed my weird sense of humor out of the closet. I started sharing out my feelings ( yes, I know..it sounds yucky at the beginning). For example, just two days ago, I was feeling really sick and told my students so. They were really sweet in being extra cooperative and some of them came up to me afterwards to say that they hoped that I would get well soon. I am still working on how to create bonds with my students that will help them learn better in class. But now, I am thinking that the focus is really on kids as individuals. I am their mom in the classroom. I probably spend more time with them than their moms. My goal for next year is to get to know them better. But at the same time, I also have deal with my own definition of personal space--since I am not a natural "bleeding heart" personality. It really amuses me when colleagues tell me that I am "too caring". Btw, even with our best efforts, there will be that kid who hates you. It's just a personality match issue.Can't win them all!
Mary Ann Ng
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You cannot please everyone. The truth is you, as a teacher, often spend more time with a student than their own parents. You have to pick up the slack where the parents are lacking. If students are not getting enough love or attention at home, it will often be displayed in a classroom. You providing discipline or guidance may be seen as a negative thing in a child's life, maybe they are not used to it. However, I think providing an appropriate amount of affection is really important as a teacher. That is something that I would work on as a teacher if I thought that maybe I wasn't providing enough.
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I wouldn't get down on yourself on this matter. There is always going to be students out there that don't think you like them. I've noticed especially the ones who have discipline issues and you are the one who "cracks" down on their behaviors are the ones who feel this way. They will learn to love you in a respectful way if you continue to do the same for them. =) Good luck!
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One of my classes has decided that I not only do I dislike them but I don't answer their questions. I have students saying loudly that they hate science and my class. They say that I am a lousy teacher. Granted this is only my second year of teaching but it sure is getting depressing! I am so glad school is almost over!
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I have experienced this as well. Being a little older sometimes has a bit with my students' cautious attitudes, and some of us are just a bit more serious. What I have found though is when I take a sincere interest in a student's problems, and really try to find out what is troubling them, they really open up and once the conversation is established, most will be less cautious. I came mid-year into a classroom where a few students had developed a reputation as trouble-makers, didn't like school, teachers, etc., and nothing was going to change that. I proactively "invited" several in during study halls, just to get to know them, and encourage them to understand that we shared our mission. Not to say that everything was great, but those students "seeded" the class and made the transition a little easier. There was still a fair amount of pain, but we finished the semester. What is gratifying is that now, two years later, I have run into the "problems" from before, and received huge hugs and thank yous - along with encouraging remarks like "I am starting college in the fall" from the kid you knew had the potential but chose not to show it. Sometimes it takes time for them to realize you really do care, and hopefully you don't burn out trying before you get to reap the rewards.
Keep up the good work and remember that kids take years to mature. Most of them will get there, and hopefully you will be lucky enough to see the positive result you have made on their lives one day!
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I think a lot of times students will confuse a structured, lets get this done type of classroom as belonging to a mean teacher. Once they get to know you, and realize that you do care about them, things will change. It is quite a transition to go from a high school background to the lower grades.
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I get told all the time that I'm mean...but kids really want to be in my classes. So how does that work out? lol
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My son is at the Middle School that feeds from my Elementary School. Ever since he started MS, his overall comment was the teachers don't like the kids. It was a general observation he made from the transition between the two buildings. I've taken days off during the year to volunteer at the MS and I truly understand the situation. The middle school students shock me with their disrespect and rude comments. This is a great community; however the student behavior is very surprising. The same students that were kind and respectful as K-5th graders, go to MS and change their personality. I commend the MS teachers because it would be a tough environment for me to teach. I don't think they're mean, but to keep the students on task or focused they are strict. Since they have so many more students throughout the day, I'm not sure if MS teachers have that opportunity to develop those personal connections with their students. I think the connections go a long way. They certainly have a challenge.
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I cannot say that I can relate because I am a teacher that gives too much affection. My students are known for getting annoyed with me, but I don't stop. what I can suggest is to demonstrate the little affection you know how to give through your communication skills. Tell the students that you enjoyed working with them. At first they may not believe you, but after a while they will start to understand that you really do care for them.
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Students that are in young grade levels need a completely different type of attention than middle school and high school students. I personally love early childhood, but that's because I like to connect with the kids, I play with them, and I speak to them in a way they will be able to relate. Perhaps early childhood is something that is simply more challenging for you, just as being in a high school classroom would be extremely challenging for me. Best of luck!
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I've experienced a similar situation and it was very upsetting to me to find that my students didn't feel that I enjoyed being their teacher. I understand that your personality is somewhat quiet and reserved but just thanking the students for behaving well or greeting them as they enter the class can go a long way!
1355 Activity Points
This has happened to me as well, but I think having a smile on your face when you get them from the morning assembly and asking them how they are doing shows them that you are interested in them. Showing interest in a student's life goes a long way even if it is just asking them about the book they are reading.
325 Activity Points
All of the posts were good to read and have a fairly consistent strand, as some have noted. Personally, I naturally do not smile a lot, giving younger learners an assumption that there is a deep seated hate for them. Most of the time, their perceptions change after a few interactions. My several years in the profession suggest the importance of relationship- building and communicating to my care to students. More than most beginning teachers seem to know, young students are adaptable and can adjust to most adult personalities. It is adults yell, berate, and snap at them consistently that lead students to the conclusion that the teacher is a "hater". Drawing from most texts on discipline, the best resolution is just to be yourself, your best self that is. Also, if only a few students feel that you hate them, you are probably doing pretty well. Just my two cents. -nate
G Nathan Carnes
3015 Activity Points
Teaching at that grade level is hard, at that point it is all she said he said. Once one rotten apple starts this teacher wasn't nice, they all start to believe it. At that age they don't want to put in any of the effort they have to, and they start to just hate school in general. Its not just you, its school in general. Its the age range, that time there is so many hormones they can get nasty.
280 Activity Points
Maybe the students feel unacknowledged or looked over. I can remember back to when I was a student and when teachers didn't take time to acknowledge me it often felt like they just didn't like me or didn't care about my learning. I think it would be a different situation if the students told their parents they hate you. Maybe try including positive feedback during your instruction.
680 Activity Points
From my experiences kids in elementary schools love attention from adults. When adults make an effort to just notice the kids individually the students love it, when an adult in the school does not do this, I believe the students take it the wrong way and think you "hate" them. They know you do not really hate them, but they just say that because they have not had a lot of positive feedback.
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How are things going now, Heather? It has been a while since you posted your question. Have you made any adjustments? If so, what is the state of your relationships with the students? Just wondering. -nate
Younger children are generally more eager to please. I recommend providing more positive reinforcement. Children love to be noticed for the good they do.
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In high school....I find a strong correlation between the kids who do nothing, and are failing...and the ones that claim that I "hate them".
If you like doing the informal science... keep doing it. Don't take the feedback so personally. There may be things you are doing that make some kids feel that you don't like them, so you might ask the parents if they have any more specific feedback for you. Like maybe you told a kids "Oh.. be careful that is sharp!" and that little interaction upset them. Especially with elementary, students can often internalize things that were just a fleeting moment to us.
Keep having fun and engaging activities. Enjoy yourself. When you are enjoying yourself, the students will perceive that you are enjoying yourself because you are with them.
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This has happened to me before too. I think it's just that kids want a lot of things easy and if you don't help them by giving them the answer of making it easy for them then they have this thing in which they think you hate them. I would just suggest to be a bit more open and help then understand how its related to the real world and the importance of it.
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I agree with relating the lesson to the real world however, it also requires a teacher who can guide their own thinking through inquiry. As teachers we should guide children.
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Hi Heather -
One simple and effective thing to try is simply to great every student as they arrive, by name, and just let them know you are glad they are there. Unfortunately, some children never even get a positive comment from any adult in their day, so this can go a long ways towards building a connection with each of your students.
As time goes on, you will learn more about each individual student and can add comments about their interests or positive comments about their efforts as you greet them each day. Pretty soon they'll start answering back and greeting you as they come into the room.
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I looked at this because I'm new to teaching science. However, I'm a teacher's kid, a mom, and have taught for 13 years. Every once in a while, kids will just get something in their heads. I suggest getting a package of cheap postcards and cheap postcard stamps. Then, write everyone a VERY brief card with 1 specific complement, ie. I enjoy your humor, enthusiasm, politeness, neatness, kindness, etc. Just make sure it really fits the kid. Kids love getting mail addressed to them. It'll go a long way with the parents too. Hint: Maybe get another teacher to proofread the stack before you send them out and be sure not to leave a kid out. Good luck!
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First off, I want to say thank you for your selfless service to provide young people the opportunity to learn and grow. Unfortunately, when we work with children we do not know what we will get or where they are coming from. One student may see your reserved personality and not be able to identify it with anything they've seen before because they may come from a family that's more extroverted and outgoing. Whereas another student may be able to identify your personality as reserved and more introverted based on what they have seen or experienced. Kids are also dramatic sometimes so don't take anything personal. As long as you are doing your job well and you are passionate about your craft, they will see your genuine care for their future. Don't forget positive reinforcement with the little ones. Good luck!
535 Activity Points
Hello, younger students can be more sensitive so don't feel back or reckon yourself about it. I'm currently doing field experience at schools and I also substitute. Sometimes when you act strict with the younger ones, they may interpret it as disliking them. It is important to create some time for engaging class discussions so that you can show students that you're listening to their ideas and care about what they have to say. I would try my best to get to know each student individually so you can address their interests in your lessons. Students will always go home and repeat the small details of the classroom. It is important to provide students with positive feedback every now and then and make sure it is specific to what they're doing.
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When it comes to dealing with elementary students, especially, you need to be more than an educator to them. First, you really have to know the area in which you work in, the SES of that area, the demographic to which the school caters to, and much more. I have found that it really helps to understand the culture of the students. All students at the core are usually the same in my experience, from the tutoring and teaching I have done. Whenever students walk in, I always greet them with a fist bump, ask them about their night/weekend before, and other things. Students want to feel they are cared for and are receiving attention. They are very good in determining in whether you are genuine or not, so it is something that a lot of teachers need to practice or need to become. I have done research of classroom management styles and I am a big fan of Gathercoal's. For older students, this type of classroom management can work. Younger students, it can, but again, it all depends on the type of student and what grade. Here is a link: http://www.dock.net/gathercoal/judicious_discipline.html
Again, teachers/educators need to be more empathetic, compassion over judgment, and start out the day with a clean slate for each student. In the beginning, you might be taken advantage of by your students, but this is something that is developed over time. Students never forget the teachers they "hated".
Also, at the end of each week, it really helps to gather the students in the class in a circle and let them talk about what happened during the week. Be expected to hear things about things they did not like from their peers, you, and so forth. This is a great time to resolve conflict and get everyone on the same page. Peers can address things with one another, and you, the teacher.
I hope this helps for anyone, great posts.
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