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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Verbally abused in the classroom

    The students have understood an agreed on not using cellphones in the classroom, however in the middle of the class the phone rings, the student answered it,
    and speaks freely out loud for about 2 minutes, when he hangs up you remind the student that cellphones are not allowed. You expect an apology or a least not an answer, instead the student tosses his phone on the floor and starts yelling at you saying that the school is stupid, your class sucks, he is not learning and he demands his money back.
    He keeps on going for about 5 minutes, some students try to come in your defense telling you not to listen to him.
    This is unexpected, this is the first time that happens to you. You try to remain calm, but the situation is getting out of control, you feel the flush in your face.
    what do you do? how can you handle the situation? what is the best thing to do?

    and yes it happened to me.

    replies appreciated it.


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    #2

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Are you the teacher? Throw him out of the class immediately he gets out of hand -- not five minutes later. It can be an effort of willpower, but in this case you have to stare him down until he leaves. Whether or not he gets his money back is between him and the head of the school. Neither you as a teacher nor your other students need his nonsense. (If he has criminal connections, though, I honestly don't know what to say.)

    Are you a student? Ask the teacher to throw this guy out. If necessary, complain to the head of the school.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Lpapi View Post

    x___x = delete

    The students have understood an agreed on not using cellphones in the classroom. However, in the middle of the class a phone rang. The student answered it
    and spoke freely xout loudx for about two minutes. When he hung up, I reminded him xthe studentx that cellphones are not allowed. I expected an apology or a least xnotx an answer. Instead, the student tossed his phone on the floor and started yelling at me, saying that the school is stupid, the class sucks, he was not learning, and he wanted his money back.
    He kept on going for about five minutes. Some students tried to come to my defense, telling me not to listen to him.
    This was unexpected. This was the first time that has happened to me. I tried to remain calm, but the situation was getting out of control. I felt the flush in my face.
    What do you do? How can you handle the situation? What is the best thing to do?

    And yes, it happened to me.

    Replies appreciated xitx.

    I don't get it.

    Were you the teacher or a student?

    If you were a student, you should complain to the teacher and the school administration.

    If you were the teacher, you should have asked the student to leave the room immediately, marked him as absent, put his outburst into his record, and reported him to your supervisor. If he refused to leave the room, you should have gotten assistance from whatever security people you have.

    I don't understand why he was allowed to talk on the phone at all. If you were a student, why didn't you raise your hand and ask the teacher to stop him? If you were the teacher, why didn't you stop him yourself?

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    I don't get it.
    The students have understood an agreed on not using cellphones in the classroom. Incidentally, lpapi, what does this mean? Have they understood a ruling and agreed on its application? One can't 'understand... not using'. I'm surprised that nobody else has picked this up. However, in the middle of the class a phone rang. The student answered it
    and spoke freely xout loudx for about two minutes. When he hung up, I reminded him xthe studentx that cellphones are not allowed. I expected an apology or a least xnotx an answer. Instead, the student tossed his phone on the floor and started yelling at me, saying that the school is stupid, the class sucks, he was not learning, and he wanted his money back.
    He kept on going for about five minutes. Some students tried to come to my defense, telling me not to listen to him.
    This was unexpected. This was the first time that has happened to me. I tried to remain calm, but the situation was getting out of control. I felt the flush in my face.
    What do you do? How can you handle the situation? What is the best thing to do?

    And yes, it happened to me.

    Replies appreciated xitx.
    Were you the teacher or a student?

    If you were a student, you should complain to the teacher and the school administration.
    Maybe both.

    I don't see why you changed all the 2nd persons to first. It's a device, admittedly, and one that I seldom find persuasive. But the writer obviously meant to use it. Changing all the 'you's to 'I's makes the penultimate sentence redundant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    If you were the teacher, you should have asked the student to leave the room immediately, marked him as absent, put his outburst into his record, and reported him to your supervisor. If he refused to leave the room, you should have gotten assistance from whatever security people you have.

    I don't understand why he was allowed to talk on the phone at all. If you were a student, why didn't you raise your hand and ask the teacher to stop him? If you were the teacher, why didn't you stop him yourself?

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]
    All this finger-pointing and judgmental stuff isn't helping someone who I suspect is a student teacher. I have vivid memories of the time when someone didn't come to class, and I was told - in the class - that "Natasha's in the cafeteria. She said she's not coming because Bob's a crap teacher"; being a student teacher is no fun.

    I expect the last line explains your somewhat low tolerance threshold.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Feb-2009 at 15:26. Reason: Added marron question


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    #5

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    You could just leave the classroom and let the other students hang him. Its easy to be defiant to a single person much more difficult when its everyone around you.


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    #6

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Oh dear, poor you, how awful for you. I think we've all had the odd nasty student in a class but this one sounds like the absolute limit.

    I honestly don't know what I would have done. I hope I would have told him to leave the classroom immediately and not to return until he had apologized; but I suspect your student would have refused; in which case I hope I would have told him it was him or me; I think though that that wouldn't have worked either. If he still refused, I hope I would have walked out and gone to complain to the Head.

    And if the Head hadn't been available at the time, I wouldn't have returned to the classroom that day but would have gone to see the Head as soon as possible.

    As the previous member suggested, the other students would probably have made it very difficult for him.

    Anyway, you have all our sympathy. Don't let it detract from your self image as a teacher. We all have the odd abominable student who tries to make us feel inadequate as a teacher. Remember, there's something wrong with him, not with you!

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I don't see why you changed all the 2nd persons to first.

    b
    Hi, Bob!

    Because it didn't happen to me. There was also a shift in tense, which I brought into line.

    The questions posted here are not about artistic decisions, but about use of standard English. Once people master that and don't need us anymore, they can get fancy.

    But it's just judgement call, and as I usually point out, I'm not a teacher, I just do a lot of editing. (And I don't spend time with people who smash their cell phones on the floor. But it doesn't seem healthy or productive to put up with it.)

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    There are a lot of unknown factors here. How old is the student? Is he living away from home? Lonely? A loner? Was the agreement about phones made in a language he was not strong in? Does he have a history of bad or violent behaviour...

    In any event, the priorities are to ensure the physical safety of yourself and your other students; not to accelerate the situation by threatening the student at the time; remain calm. I think you did the right thing by letting him rave for 5 minutes (unless you are physically bigger, stronger and smarter than him). In any case, I see you are in the US, so he could well have a gun or a knife and be prepared to use them. (You would know him well enough to assess the level of real danger).

    When all is calm, someone needs to sit him down and help him work out his priorities. He needs to apologise, and give an undertaking to comply with the phone rule if he is staying. He may or may not really be discontented with the education he is getting. Perhaps he would be happier elsewhere. If he is expelled, or leaves the school voluntarily, Security must be aware of a short term danger. Again, you know him better than I do.

    I think you handled it the right way - unless you are sure what you are doing, I wouldn't do anything to escalate an event like this. You can handle it more appropriately when the anger has subsided and you have regained your own composure.

  6. Newbie
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    #9

    Angry Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    I don't get it.

    Were you the teacher or a student?

    If you were a student, you should complain to the teacher and the school administration.

    If you were the teacher, you should have asked the student to leave the room immediately, marked him as absent, put his outburst into his record, and reported him to your supervisor. If he refused to leave the room, you should have gotten assistance from whatever security people you have.

    I don't understand why he was allowed to talk on the phone at all. If you were a student, why didn't you raise your hand and ask the teacher to stop him? If you were the teacher, why didn't you stop him yourself?

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]





    I appreciate your comments, but I just don't understand why you edited my paragraph, I did not ask for correctness I just asked for advice of how to handle this situation.

  7. Newbie
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    #10

    Cool Re: Verbally abused in the classroom

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Maybe both.

    I don't see why you changed all the 2nd persons to first. It's a device, admittedly, and one that I seldom find persuasive. But the writer obviously meant to use it. Changing all the 'you's to 'I's makes the penultimate sentence redundant.


    All this finger-pointing and judgmental stuff isn't helping someone who I suspect is a student teacher. I have vivid memories of the time when someone didn't come to class, and I was told - in the class - that "Natasha's in the cafeteria. She said she's not coming because Bob's a crap teacher"; being a student teacher is no fun.

    I expect the last line explains your somewhat low tolerance threshold.

    b


    First off, I don't know what makes you suspect that I am a student teacher. I am an English Teacher, I've been one for the last 6 years.
    I understand that a have to improve my writing skills, but one thing I know for sure is that I am good at what I do.

    The ultimate goal of en English teacher is to make their students able to communicate properly with other people.

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