I think I have been blooded as a teacher, if such a thing is possible. Metaphorically speaking, of course, though I would’t have minded spilling some blood.
Having quiet a pleasant lesson with my year 7 class on Friday, when one student announces that a student absent that day has created an online chatroom titled that the subject “sucks” (no doubt spelt sux, knowing the particular student, a twelve year old, girl). By extension I therefore sucked.
Another student replies, “Did you see my comment?” Followed by three of the loveliest girls in the class declaring “I deleted it instantly”. I didn’t make a fuss, merely carried on working as it is best not to make an issue and give the matter legs.
Afterwards, I forward it to the Bodies That Be, and asked them to have a conversation with said student about the decisions she was making and the consequences of her own behaviour.
IT followed it up, students were pulled from class for assistance in passwords and access and it appears that the chat room has had it name changed and been shut down.
No doubt, the absent leader of the pack was alerted, and I hope will suffer a long anxious weekend waiting for Monday to arrive and her return to class.
This type of thing happens to many teachers at some stage. It is so easy these days when parents don’t instil the right values in their children. What puzzles me though, the girl in question is not one I have really had issues with. In fact, I have gone out of my way to assist her with technology issues throughout the term. Yes, she can’t handle simple things like remembering her password, but she can set up a chat room! I guess, I must have taught her something!
There are boys in the class who are almost uncontrollable, and other subject teachers are having the same problems as I, so it is not really my teaching or pedagogy in particular. I can only surmise that she is trying to fit in, or be Queen Bee.
I am not angry, I am more disappointed than anything. We have had a major problem with bullying in years 7-9 this year. I think because helicopter parents have created narcissistic kids with no moral compass. When the school approaches parents to try to work with them and the student, the parents push back and try to bully the school! Students continually attempt to bully teachers, and are ruining lives in the process.
I also feel so sorry for those students, who do the right thing, have that moral compass, for they get short shifted because of the time and energy directed towards the difficult students.
So Little Queen Bee, will be welcomed warmly back into my class next week, and we may just have an entire lesson on cyber bullying, with a very fine example of chat room bullying and “mean” girls.