SOLSC Day 15: Case of the Meanies

I have to start by saying that I absolutely LOVE teaching 5th grade. I love the age group and how much I able to do with them. They are still “kids”, but they are coming into their own, and finding out what they are good at, what they like, and they’re just FUN to talk too. We talk movies, sports, and just things going on in the news and world. However, with this age group, sometimes part of my job is also dealing with the “meanness”. This was part of what I had to deal with this morning.

Right at the start of my day, I had three of my students come to me before the bell rang to tell me that another student in my room was being really mean through text and snapchat. Calling one girl fat and ugly, and teasing one of her other “friends” for hanging out with two other friends because of the color of their skin and telling her she needs to choice, us or them.

Ugh. I hate this. I hate that I try so hard to teach my students to be kind, consideratea nd respectful to their peers. We discuss bullying and prejudice and racism. Our class motto is “treat others the way you would want to be treated, yet sometimes it’s just not enough. It’s so disappointing to hear (and see) that one of my students is being really mean and intentionally hurting the feelings of others. The other part that is really tough as an educator as the teasing and bullying is usually done through their cell phones, out of school. This makes it hard for us to deal with it directly in school as we didn’t witness it ourselves.

So, I took 45 minutes of my morning to hold a classroom discussion about being mean,and how we can’t take back the words we say or what we write, even if it disappears after a few seconds, or we delete it, the damage has been done. I STILL remember the times I was teased as a kid and the mean things that were said to me, and I really wish they could all understand that and realize how much their words could affect someone.

I love my job usually and overall I have a class of great kids, but I can’t help that today I’m seeing one of them a “little” differently. I am feeling disappointment and quite honestly, a bit of disgust with her. I am an educator but I’m also a human being, and seeing a girl in tears and seeing the words that were sent to her phone by a friend” broke my heart, and it’s hard to not hope, just a little bit, that this “mean girl” might soon get a taste of her own medicine. “What comes around goes around.”

 

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7 thoughts on “SOLSC Day 15: Case of the Meanies

  1. This has to be one of the toughest parts of our job, especially as it gets harder and harder to keep up with social media. I often think back to the things and people that hurt me as a kid and I honestly don’t know how I would survive now. Even though we love all of our students, it’s so difficult sometimes to love them unconditionally when they hurt one another. I hope that your student realizes that she’s made a huge and hurtful mistake and learns something from it!

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  2. Big, big sighs. I’m not a teacher, but I’m a parent of a fourth grade girl, and I hope that I’m doing all that I can on the homefront to prevent her from being one of the mean ones and also arm her with a bit of toughness and resiliences for those meanies in her life. She ran across one in third grade, and I know that girl wasn’t the last. Keep up the good work!

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  3. I totally understand this. Sometimes it feels like they are not listening to anything you are discussing in class, or at least not putting it into practise. I have one student who is an active participant in discussions and activities we do about empathy and kindness but still gets regular cases of the meanies!

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  4. I am sorry this happened. I teach 6th grade and know this, too. It seems to happen once a year, and you have to have that bullying talk, even with nice classes. I hope tomorrow is better.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this story that we all have to deal with from time to time. I think it’s great that you took precious time out of your day to have this discussion and hope something resonates.

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