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Posted on March 10, 2015 3:14 pm
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Candace
Candace
Reps: 106
Talking like a white girl
I work at an inner-city school and I am the only white person in the classroom. Whenever I have a behavior issue with a student, I follow our school guidelines. When discussing it with my mentor teacher and team leader, they always respond that I need to quit talking to my students like a white girl. They inform me that my students come from the ghetto and sometimes it is necessary to be loud and "ghetto" to get respect from students. I don't agree with this. Any suggestions of how to get respect from my students and have them follow the rules of the classroom?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted March 10, 2015 5:18 pm

Getube
Getube
Reps: 104
I have been in your situation before. I don't think this has anything to do with being a "white girl", but more to do with the tone of your voice. I don't think you need to be "ghetto", but stern. In their culture they are use to their parents being very hard on them. I think that if you have a more stern tone and don't back down when they sass you back this should help. I think once you are able to show your authority in the classroom they will respect you. Also, remember that if you send them to another teacher or adult that tells them that you can't handle them and you "give up".
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ymuXyg
ymuXyg
Reps: 100
I agree that the teacher must reflect an authoritative demeanor. Once that's established, students will drop the "talk like a white girl" gimmick and respect you as you are.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 3:48 pm

Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
I never thought about sending students to other teachers as a sign of "giving up". That is great insight and I will keep that in mind for the future.
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 3:48 pm

WeDyje
WeDyje
Reps: 100
I agree and think this is a fabulous solution
  Posted on: July 6, 2018 11:28 pm

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Solution 2
Posted March 10, 2015 5:31 pm

Robyn Jones
Robyn Jones
Reps: 104
Well I'm an African American teacher, but I'm very small AND I look like I could be one of my students.Students initially thought they would be able to run all over me because of my size. I was one that never liked to raise my voice at my students, but what I have realized is that it took about two times for me to actually drop to my students level and tell them that they didn't know who they were talking to like that, and once I showed them I wasn't about to let them treat me any type of way, it really helped. I'm not saying get "ghetto" with them because then they will take you for a joke, but sometimes you have to show them that you aren't going to let them disrespect you.
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Candace
Candace
Reps: 106
Thank you!! This seems more like something I would do and want to do. I don't believe in yelling and I push for positive reinforcement. Thank you so much.
  Posted on: March 10, 2015 6:55 pm

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Solution 3
Posted March 10, 2015 5:33 pm

yPyhaN
yPyhaN
Reps: 103
I think they mean that you should be using a more stern and down to business tone of voice. As a teacher in a setting that is unlike you grew up in, it can be easy to become a pushover. If you tell the kids they will be disciplined if they act a certain way you need to follow through. Otherwise, the students will think they can get away with anything.
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Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
Follow through is so important! Good note.
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 3:50 pm

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Solution 4
Posted March 14, 2015 7:37 pm

yTenyV
yTenyV
Reps: 104
I have been in this situation and what I found out is that you don't have to change how you talk but more so the way you say things. I have found the best way to reinforce rules/expectations is to just be very matter of fact. I don't yell, I don't roll my eyes or anything disrespectful, but I'd simply say things like, "Well, the expectation is X, and you did Y, so Z happens. I'm so, so sorry," and it has really worked. It sends out the message that everyone gets the same exact treatment, so the question of fairness is never tried. Yes, I have seen African-American teachers talk to their students as if they were their own children, which I feel isn't my character, so I chose to be dry instead. I have also found that by saying please and thank you helps and addressing students by "ladies and gentlemen" rather than "girls and boys" is also effective with a difficult population. Also- the quieter and more calmly I speak, the more surprised the kid seems to be, since I think that a lot of the times behavior issues tend to want to get a rise out of teachers for humor, and they usually chill. I do get joked on for "being white-ish" by some students, but as the year progressed, they have responded quite positively to my "uniqueness".
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Solution 5
Posted October 4, 2015 11:41 pm

eDuMez
eDuMez
Reps: 100
I would implement a behavior system with STRICT consequences. I know what you are talking about and unfortunately some students need that alpha authority. I was in an all African American school and several teachers quit because the kids did not respect them. There was one teacher that had all the control, he was a zero-tolerance kind of person and was very firm...and loud. Good luck
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Solution 6
Posted March 13, 2015 7:42 pm

qaGuqy
qaGuqy
Reps: 129
I am so sorry but it is a very hard subject to touch. I understand where they think you should get to "their" level but you can have a manageable classroom without doing that. You have to find what interest them and what does get their attention. Ask them for their opinion on their learning and how you can make your classroom environment different.
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ezyHes
ezyHes
Reps: 101
Good idea.
  Posted on: March 7, 2016 1:28 am

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Solution 7
Posted October 18, 2015 6:30 pm

runyJu
runyJu
Reps: 76
I am in a similar situation, and it does really help if I "get on their level." You have to dish whatever they dish to you right back at them, and they quickly get the point. I sometimes throw in a rapper name to use in a sentence example and they love it. Little things like that go a long way to make them respect you too. It has a greater effect because they know you go out of your way to listen to it just for them....I clearly don't like rap and they know it.
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Solution 8
Posted March 10, 2015 5:32 pm

Robyn Jones
Robyn Jones
Reps: 104
Well I'm an African American teacher, but I'm very small AND I look like I could be one of my students.Students initially thought they would be able to run all over me because of my size. I was one that never liked to raise my voice at my students, but what I have realized is that it took about two times for me to actually drop to my students level and tell them that they didn't know who they were talking to like that, and once I showed them I wasn't about to let them treat me any type of way, it really helped. I'm not saying get "ghetto" with them because then they will take you for a joke, but sometimes you have to show them that you aren't going to let them disrespect you.
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ezyHes
ezyHes
Reps: 101
This was already posted in # 2.
  Posted on: March 7, 2016 1:26 am

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Solution 9
Posted October 19, 2015 12:42 am

yDaNyn
yDaNyn
Reps: 75
There is no need to get "ghetto" the students are just looking for you to be firm with them.
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Solution 10
Posted February 23, 2017 4:32 am

beTyze
beTyze
Reps: 211
I also don't agree with this. One way to get your student to respect you and your race is to show them that we are all the same. whether we talk different, have different colored skin we are all people with feelings and deserve respect. If you show you really care I feel they will give you their respect.
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Solution 11
Posted October 16, 2015 6:40 pm

Hudyja
Hudyja
Reps: 84
Make sure you talk correctly because we want to be a model for our students. We really work on making the kids talk in complete sentences at all times in our school, and it really helps their writing.
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Solution 12
Posted February 26, 2017 1:14 am

uWuXyj
uWuXyj
Reps: 232
Your team leader and mentor are only showing you the way that they see it working. You can try different things as a teacher, thats how you learn and become better. I volunteer in a situation almost the exact same as yours and I have seen how my teacher and mentors work with the class and I have made my own way of doing things with my students. I love them dearly, but because I am soft spoken and very kind, they think that they can walk over me. Lately I have made it clear in a nice caring way that this is not okay. I sat them down and had a one on one. I told them them that even though I am only here a few days a week, does not mean I don't deserve the respect that my teachers get. I told them gently that I am not playing with them anymore and if they can't respect me, then they will have to be punished. Ever since then, my kids have been nothing but good when I am around. Sometimes students in this situation need to understand that you love them, but they cannot do bad things, because it is simply not okay.
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Solution 13
Posted February 25, 2016 10:44 pm

BeMyDu
BeMyDu
Reps: 200
I do not think it is necessary to stop talking like a white girl. That does not mean that you shouldn't try to relate to your students and their culture. There are other ways to do that, such as incorporating things from their culture into your classroom. I also think that setting expectations is key to good classroom management, and getting the students to also help set the rules, expectations and consequences will allow the students to feel more responsible for following these.
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Solution 14
Posted February 24, 2017 4:45 pm

nick morse
nick morse
Reps: 200
Watch the movie "Freedom Writers"
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Solution 15
Posted October 3, 2016 8:16 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
This is hard to think about
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