Handling Students’ Complaints and Not-so-sincere Questions: 5 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
“But I wasn’t talking!” “Why do we have to take notes?” “How come I got in trouble and Daniel didn’t?” These types of questions came at me hard and fast my first year teaching, and to be honest, I really didn’t know how to handle them.
As a rookie teacher, I made the mistake of entertaining way too many of these types of complaints. I consistently allowed a few middle schoolers to stay after class and question why I hadn’t reprimanded another student, why I had certain rules, or why I was supposedly was picking on them. I thought that I was being sympathetic by listening to their concern when, in reality, my bumbling attempts to defend my actions were actually undermining my own authority.