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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Playing favorites

I'm a little frustrated with one of my classroom teachers. She seems to play favorites and it drives me nuts.

I admit when I had my own classroom and my own students and classes, I did have favorite students. And I have them now, even. It's the nature of the teaching beast. But what makes the mettle of the teacher is the ability to have favorites but still treat them all the same. One thing kids wrote on my evaluations over and over again is that I was fair. None of them could ever argue that I wasn't- and that was high praise to me because I tried to always be fair. It would kill me to have to discipline one of my favorites, but I would still do it. It's just "the way I roll."

Now that's just me. Obviously not all teachers think like I do. For example, there is a kid in one of my classes that-today- kept putting his head down on his desk and kept falling asleep. Over and over again. The teacher kept telling him to put his head up. This kid is a total brat- he's an obnoxious mouthy smartass. He's rude and often crude. He complains and whines about everything, every day and has a sarcastic comment all the time. AND SHE NEVER WRITES HIM UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then today with the sleeping thing. Because, as she told me later, she just feels sorry for him and likes him in spite of his evil behavior since she's known him since he was in kindergarten. BUT, there's another kid in class who put his head down on his arm while he was taking notes, and she yelled at him to get his head up and docked him his participation points.

I just hate that. I've seen the grade book for the evil kid and she doesn't deduct his participation points but she does for other kids.

There is nothing I can do about it; and trust me, this isn't a battle I want to fight with her. And I know I don't have to fight her, I could just talk to her but it would be awkward, uncomfortable, and probably I would be told to "mind my own dang business." And I'm certainly not gonna go over her head- "Hel-lo!" we know how bad that would be!

I've talked to other aides- in generalities to see if they witness this in other classes with other teachers (because I don't want to point a finger at one teacher) and unfortunately it seems like they do have these problems. I can't decide if it's noticed because we're the outsiders looking in or if it's a culture set by this particular school system or even an third option... who knows?

I'm most certainly not perfect as a teacher, but I do try to be fair and the injustice of it all just makes me angry, tired, and guilty. Great- like I needed one more thing to worry about!

Mags

9 comments:

Anna said...

what a hard situation to have to deal with and it sucks you have to kinda take the back-seat on this one. You're going to be pulling your hair out by the end of the school year. Maybe your fairness with the students will sorta rub off on her? you never know.

Cheryl said...

That's a tough one. Getting others to see their behavior as wrong when they don't want to or are unable to see it is really difficult. And as you already know, might be more trouble than it's worth. Too bad though, she's not helping him with her favoritism. He might be rudely shocked one day (like in a job situation) when he realizes this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Maggie said...

Anna, I hope it can rub off, but she's been teaching for 25+ years so I'm not sure... I hate being between a rock and a hard place!

Cheryl- I would be shocked if he could even get a job! Okay, okay... I'm evil, I know.

Lilith said...

I would some how "tip off" the parents of the kid that got points taken off, that she doesn't treat her students fairly. That way they can complain and you don't get in "trouble".

Maggie said...

Lilith- Regardless, I can't get in 'trouble" since it's not my classroom; I'm just an observer, so I'm the hook. But it would be interesting if other parents knew...

Evil Pixie said...

It's too bad those teachers don't recognize what an impact playing favorites can have on students. It is one thing to have favorites, but it is another thing to show it. Even worse is not being able to do anything about it. Ugh! How frustrating for you!

Maggie said...

EvilP- you summed it all up perfectly!

Here's a funny. I wrote that post last night and had it scheduled to post this morning. Well, at school today, I was accosted by a group of 8th graders after first period. They were all saying things like "I thought I was your favorite"-- they all thought they were my "favorite" and compared notes and realized I tell them ALL they're my favorites!!!! it was a riot!

And I do that, which is usually amusing- I tell every kid he/she is my fav (even when I want to smack him or her- I always think it might make them nicer to me and make me like them better- reverse/ trick psychology) today I had about 25 kids telling me "I thought I was your favorite".

One kid said, "Well you're my favorite teacher. I don't tell everyone that!" I giggled and pretty soon they were all chuckling!

Bragger said...

I would have a hard time biting my tongue. Gets me in trouble a lot, but I think I would have to question it at least. But I'm not in that position, so maybe I would have the good sense to shut up for once. Maybe you could just accidentally drop something very large and heavy on his head instead. I'm just sayin'......

Maggie said...

Bragger- I thought I might bite it off! And if I thought I could drop a HUGE, heavy object on his head and get away with I would. His head is pretty big anyway so it might mash it into a shape.

Grrrrr!

I already stuck my foot in my mouth once today and I figure it will take about 3 days for my ass chewing to occur so I'm gonna just shut up about the favorites.