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Observations as a teacher


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  #1  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:00 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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In the debate about whether homosexuality is natural or not I happened to mention that I work with young children and I have come across a few that I have a feeling may be gay.

Some thought that this was a horrible observation and that I am wrong for thinking that. I don't see anything wrong with that because I certainly don't see anything wrong with being gay.

I think that teachers are always making observations about their students. This is the way that teachers find ways to reach the individuals that they are responsible for every day. I have constantly observed different things about children that effect the way that I teach them.

I live in an area that is very low income and has a high teenage pregnancy rate. Many of the students come from single parent families or are being raised by someone other than a parent. Too many of them have parents who are in jail.

There are certain students who I can tell are probably headed for a life of crime if a drastic change isn't made in their lives. When it comes to these children I try even harder to be a positive force in their lives. I try to remind them of their strengths and help to accentuate the positive in their lives. I let them know that I believe in them and that I want them to believe in themselves.

I don't see anything wrong with making observations about students. It helps me to be a better teacher. I hope that I am wrong about some of these students but I'm not sure I want to take that chance.

Do you think it's wrong for a teacher to observe a child's mannerisms, background, and behavior in order to teach them accordingly?
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  #2  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:13 PM
ahixon
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I have no problem with it, but I would if you said something to the child about it. I think it is only natural to think that at times, I know I have seen children and thought different things about them.
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  #3  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:14 PM
*Aspen*
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No.

Good for you for encouraging students who may not be getting the encouragement from home. I make observations with my nephew. Unless drastic changes are taken with him, he will probably end up in jail like my brother and like my father was. It breaks my heart.
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  #4  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:24 PM
Caeden'sMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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As long as you're keeping your observations to yourself, then no... i don't see the problem. I think you're right, it's natural and GOOD for you to be paying attention to your students that much.
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  #5  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:27 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
No.

Good for you for encouraging students who may not be getting the encouragement from home. I make observations with my nephew. Unless drastic changes are taken with him, he will probably end up in jail like my brother and like my father was. It breaks my heart.[/b]

See that's how I see some of the kids at school. I grew up here so I went to school with many of their parents who are in jail. I can see the same traits in them that I remember their parents having at that age. It makes me so sad that a child sees such limitations in their life. I want to help them see beyond that. I want them to know that they don't have to follow in the footsteps of their parents and that going to jail is not something that is cool.

Oh and I don't share my observations with the kids or even with their parents (unless it is necessary). For me it is just a tool to use in order to be a better teacher.
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  #6  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:28 PM
CJMOM209
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No. I observe the same things myself. Some teachers spend more time with the kids than the parents themselves. As far as keeping your observations to yourself, I think it's okay to speak with other teachers about the child especially if you share students like I do as a jr. high teacher.
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  #7  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:52 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
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I think it's OK, as long as you're not writing a student off as XYZ or not encouraging them to look at different avenues. KWIM? Nothing worse than a teacher who gives up on a kid because she thinks the kid will just be a junkie anyway. I'm not implying that's what you're doing, BTW.
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  #8  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:57 PM
M4NE's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm a teacher too, and I do the same things. You have to in order to be a good teacher. Especially if you have younger students. You never know if the words of encouragement they hear from you may be the ones that turn them around. I teach 6th grade and I have kids who were traveling down a difficult road who have come to me and thanked me for believing in them. The positive words they hear from you may be the only ones they hear. Good for you!!
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  #9  
May 23rd, 2007, 07:13 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Quote:
In the debate about whether homosexuality is natural or not I happened to mention that I work with young children and I have come across a few that I have a feeling may be gay.

Some thought that this was a horrible observation and that I am wrong for thinking that. I don't see anything wrong with that because I certainly don't see anything wrong with being gay.[/b]
Interesting assumption about what I said. I said I thought you figuring which kids would end up being gay was sad. Nowhere did I say it was wrong for you to think that because you can think whatever you want. Simply that it is sad because, to me, it is putting a 6 or 7 year old in a box and I don't like boxes. I also don't like the idea that the assumptions you make about a kid helps you teach a child accordingly. How does figuring a kid is gay change how you'd teach them?
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  #10  
May 23rd, 2007, 09:46 PM
LaceyMommy2B
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Quote:
How does figuring a kid is gay change how you'd teach them?[/b]


thats what i was wondering.

that, and what makes you think these kids are gay? what actions, or personality traits make u think that?

i do think that at a young age is a lil early to be making assumptions about their sexuality IMO.. i dont think i ACTED straight when i was a kid, i think i acted like a kid! i mostly hung out with girls and thought boys were nasty 1 week.. the next week i wanted to rough it with the boys n play football on the playground. my hubby grew up with 4 sisters.. when he was little, he was a lil momma's boy n wouldnt get outside n get dirty with the boys...hes def not gay though! it wasnt til he was about 10-12 that he started playing outside n doing more boyish things...

i also know from working with kids that age and older, that they are pretty confused as kids. even straight kids. before puberty, i noticed, that a lot of kids were confused about who they loved. i had 3 yr old boys who told me that they were "boyfriends".. because they knew that you were "boyfriend/girlfriend" with ppl that you LOVE.. these were their best friends.. they "loved them" so they thought it was the same thing. also with a lot preteens i worked with.. they were so confused about sexuality, they didnt know WHAT they were from one day to the next.
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  #11  
May 24th, 2007, 05:34 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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Not only do I think there's nothing wrong with it... I wish there were MORE teachers who paid attention to their kids like you do. God bless you, and all teachers like you, for making a difference in the lives of these kids.
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  #12  
May 24th, 2007, 06:26 AM
jodi16ss's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Not only do I think there's nothing wrong with it... I wish there were MORE teachers who paid attention to their kids like you do. God bless you, and all teachers like you, for making a difference in the lives of these kids.[/b]
I agree!
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  #13  
May 24th, 2007, 09:52 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
I think it's OK, as long as you're not writing a student off as XYZ or not encouraging them to look at different avenues. KWIM? Nothing worse than a teacher who gives up on a kid because she thinks the kid will just be a junkie anyway. I'm not implying that's what you're doing, BTW.[/b]

Actually, if anything it makes me work that much harder to help that child. I just can't ever write off a child. Some of them have already been written off by their families. They need someone who believes in them and helps to guide them towards a positive future.

I truly believe that my job is more than just teaching the basic subjects. I think my most important job as a teacher is to teach my students about the power of love and respect for themselves and for others.


Quote:
Quote:
In the debate about whether homosexuality is natural or not I happened to mention that I work with young children and I have come across a few that I have a feeling may be gay.

Some thought that this was a horrible observation and that I am wrong for thinking that. I don't see anything wrong with that because I certainly don't see anything wrong with being gay.[/b]
Interesting assumption about what I said. I said I thought you figuring which kids would end up being gay was sad. Nowhere did I say it was wrong for you to think that because you can think whatever you want. Simply that it is sad because, to me, it is putting a 6 or 7 year old in a box and I don't like boxes. I also don't like the idea that the assumptions you make about a kid helps you teach a child accordingly. How does figuring a kid is gay change how you'd teach them?
[/b]

This post wasn't about being gay. I only mentioned that because your comment in the other thread is what made me start thinking about all of the observations that I make about students. Even if I thought a child was gay that doesn't affect the way I would teach him or her. I just simply stated that because I don't see being gay as a problem I don't see making that observation as a problem. It doesn't give me any negative feelings for the child.

Making "assumptions" as you call them most certainly does help the way that a teacher is able to teach a child. I do not teach to a group of children. I teach to each individual child! I try to figure out their needs and how they learn best. That is my job as a teacher. I don't look at a class and see them all as being the same. I see individuals! They each have differences, they have come from different backgrounds and lifestyles.

Maybe you would just lump them all together but that is not my style. I enjoy the diversity in my classroom and I will continue to observe my students for ways to better educate them!

Quote:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
Quote:
How does figuring a kid is gay change how you'd teach them?[/b]


thats what i was wondering.

that, and what makes you think these kids are gay? what actions, or personality traits make u think that?

i do think that at a young age is a lil early to be making assumptions about their sexuality IMO.. i dont think i ACTED straight when i was a kid, i think i acted like a kid! i mostly hung out with girls and thought boys were nasty 1 week.. the next week i wanted to rough it with the boys n play football on the playground. my hubby grew up with 4 sisters.. when he was little, he was a lil momma's boy n wouldnt get outside n get dirty with the boys...hes def not gay though! it wasnt til he was about 10-12 that he started playing outside n doing more boyish things...

i also know from working with kids that age and older, that they are pretty confused as kids. even straight kids. before puberty, i noticed, that a lot of kids were confused about who they loved. i had 3 yr old boys who told me that they were "boyfriends".. because they knew that you were "boyfriend/girlfriend" with ppl that you LOVE.. these were their best friends.. they "loved them" so they thought it was the same thing. also with a lot preteens i worked with.. they were so confused about sexuality, they didnt know WHAT they were from one day to the next.
[/b][/quote]


Quote:
Not only do I think there's nothing wrong with it... I wish there were MORE teachers who paid attention to their kids like you do. God bless you, and all teachers like you, for making a difference in the lives of these kids.[/b]

Thank you ladies!
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  #14  
May 24th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Quote:
This post wasn't about being gay. I only mentioned that because your comment in the other thread is what made me start thinking about all of the observations that I make about students. Even if I thought a child was gay that doesn't affect the way I would teach him or her. I just simply stated that because I don't see being gay as a problem I don't see making that observation as a problem. It doesn't give me any negative feelings for the child.[/b]
So why'd you twist my words and say I thought you were wrong for making assumptions about a child's sexuality?

I teach to individual children myself. I'm actually feeling pretty glad right now that my kids won't be subject to some school teacher making judgements about them.
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  #15  
May 24th, 2007, 10:47 AM
CJMOM209
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Quote:
Quote:
This post wasn't about being gay. I only mentioned that because your comment in the other thread is what made me start thinking about all of the observations that I make about students. Even if I thought a child was gay that doesn't affect the way I would teach him or her. I just simply stated that because I don't see being gay as a problem I don't see making that observation as a problem. It doesn't give me any negative feelings for the child.[/b]
So why'd you twist my words and say I thought you were wrong for making assumptions about a child's sexuality?

I teach to individual children myself. I'm actually feeling pretty glad right now that my kids won't be subject to some school teacher making judgements about them.
[/b]

I feel as though you are being a tad bit harsh to her, she was not making judgements. I don't think she said "I think this kid is gay, so I'm going to treat him different". It is very important as a school teacher to know each individual child...if you call that a judgement, so be it, however, judgements are not always negative. If you are able to judge that a child is going to struggle in a certain area, either acadmically, socially, or emotionally, then it is
possible that you, as a teacher, can step in and intervine in a positive way.

You sound like a very caring teaching sbwolfer and I would want a teacher like you to be teaching my child someday....
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  #16  
May 24th, 2007, 10:58 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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Quote:
I have no problem with it, but I would if you said something to the child about it. I think it is only natural to think that at times, I know I have seen children and thought different things about them.[/b]
Ditto.
Quote:
Not only do I think there's nothing wrong with it... I wish there were MORE teachers who paid attention to their kids like you do.[/b]
And Ditto.
Quote:
Actually, if anything it makes me work that much harder to help that child. I just can't ever write off a child. Some of them have already been written off by their families. They need someone who believes in them and helps to guide them towards a positive future.

I truly believe that my job is more than just teaching the basic subjects. I think my most important job as a teacher is to teach my students about the power of love and respect for themselves and for others.[/b]
You sound like a great teacher.
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  #17  
May 24th, 2007, 11:04 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
This post wasn't about being gay. I only mentioned that because your comment in the other thread is what made me start thinking about all of the observations that I make about students. Even if I thought a child was gay that doesn't affect the way I would teach him or her. I just simply stated that because I don't see being gay as a problem I don't see making that observation as a problem. It doesn't give me any negative feelings for the child.[/b]
So why'd you twist my words and say I thought you were wrong for making assumptions about a child's sexuality?

I teach to individual children myself. I'm actually feeling pretty glad right now that my kids won't be subject to some school teacher making judgements about them.
[/b]

I feel as though you are being a tad bit harsh to her, she was not making judgements. I don't think she said "I think this kid is gay, so I'm going to treat him different". It is very important as a school teacher to know each individual child...if you call that a judgement, so be it, however, judgements are not always negative. If you are able to judge that a child is going to struggle in a certain area, either acadmically, socially, or emotionally, then it is
possible that you, as a teacher, can step in and intervine in a positive way.

You sound like a very caring teaching sbwolfer and I would want a teacher like you to be teaching my child someday....
[/b]
Thank you! That really means a lot!

To Butterball, I didn't twist your words around. You insinuated that it is wrong of me to think that a child may be gay. Why is it wrong to think a child may be gay. I don't think there is anything wrong with being gay. It doesn't give me negative thoughts about that child. It is just part of who they are.

I think it's sad that you don't realize that teachers try to "figure out" their students in order to teach in a meaningful way. Not all children learn the same way. I try to find the best way to reach each child. I can see though that you homeschool so I wouldn't really expect you to understand. That isn't an insult about homeschooling. It is just a very different style so obviously you aren't going to understand what it is like. You are teaching your own children so you already know them and their background. I sometimes have 25 kids with 25 different personalities and 25 different learning styles and abilities.

I would be doing those students a great disservice if I didn't try to figure how to teach them in the most suitable way for their particular learning style.
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  #18  
May 24th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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I think if you are observant you can't help noticing traits in a child and wondering about what kind of person they may turn out to be, whether that be thinking a creative child might be an artist, a pushy child might be a bully, or an effeminate boy might be gay. As long as you don't stereotype the child or treat them badly because of that, or if it does chnage how you treat them that is is a constructive change - such as helping a withdrawn child come out of their shell so they don't end up too much a loner.
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  #19  
May 24th, 2007, 11:36 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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First, I've never been one to say making a judgement is necessarily a bad thing. I'm still glad teachers, who do NOT know my child's background the way I do, will not be making judgements about them but I can't explain exactly why without really insulting teachers and government school in general so I won't. Second, nowhere did I insinuate that it was wrong of you to think a child is gay. I said it is sad. That is all I said. To me, it is boxing them at a very early age. You assumed (and still are assuming) that I think it is wrong and started a thread that really sounds like a "tell me I'm a good teacher for this" sort of thing. Third, I do realize teachers try to figure out their students. But, honestly, thinking one is gay really has nothing to do with teaching a 6 year old IMO. But, it is clear that you are completely right including in twisting my words so I shall bow out now.

ETA: And as far as not understand different learning styles because I homeschool, you have GOT to be kidding. I have one visual learner and one kinesthetic learner that learn extremely differently (and, since I homeschool, I can completely cater to their styles). The way kids learn is a rather common topic of discussion amongst homeschoolers actually.
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  #20  
May 24th, 2007, 11:40 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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I don't see anything wrong with it. I think it is curious, though, that you mention specifically your ability to pick out the gays and the criminals.
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