Monday, December 28, 2015

The Things I Learn

I don't like to admit it, but I've been very naive.

I used to believe that every teacher (except for those couple everyone knows about at every school) generally does what I do--planned out lessons weeks in advance, prepared for them, taught to the best of their ability, assessed fairly, etc.  But then I thought about all the examples I know of where teachers don't do that, and I thought that perhaps I shouldn't write that post!  I'm not interested in having someone drum up accusations of "unprofessional conduct" against me for writing about all the things I know about!

So I'll just write about the one I heard about today, on the Facebook.

A former student of mine posted the following from Tumbler:
I'd never heard of this term "shipping" before, but as you can see, the context makes it pretty clear that it involves teachers' playing matchmaker for students.

Anyway, here's part of our exchange (yes, she gave me permission to post this):
I don't want to know anything about my students' sex lives.  As far as I'm concerned, they don't have any.  I don't see how any good can come from my having such knowledge or being involved in any way.  I want to stay as far away from that as I possibly can.  But others don't, so much so that not only are there different types of involvement, but there is a term, "shipping", to describe this particular type of involvement.

What the heck?!


Jamie said...

I've not heard the term 'shipping' either. As a general rule, once I find out a pair of my students in the same class period is dating I tend to deliberately seat them away from each other. Mostly because I expect an angry break up to follow and having to sit next to the one who did you wrong would be very uncomfortable indeed.

Anonymous said...

At my kids' school, one coach/teacher made public comments that the team goals was to find a significant other for one kid.

Anonymous said...

Sidenote from the student quoted- i had an english teacher bound and determined to set up my friend and i. Everytime we were both missing or absent from class she would apparently make comments about us cutting class to be together and my mom had to confront her to explain how uncomfortable that made both him and i, and how it causes issues in my actual relationship and in the church group we were both involved in. I had another English teacher find out about my rough break up from another student and first spent two months trying to get us back together- group projects, close seating, tutoring sessions together... finally she switched directions and asked my class to set me up with a prom date because she thought i was sad being alone... again my mom had to get involved to defend my decision to be single. I guess some teachers find students lives entertaining? -J.

Darren said...

As I said in our Facebook conversation: Ew! SO inappropriate.

BT said...

"Shipping" is a term the young'uns use, almost exclusively with fictional characters as in "I ship Hermione and Harry Potter, I hope she dumps Ron and starts dating Harry in the next book" I've never heard it used with real people before... so that makes me wonder, do these teachers see their students as real people or just as characters in the daily soap opera before them? The facebook post mentions "Female teachers do this all the time" Anonymous's comment above lists two separate female English teachers getting overly involved in a student's love life. Is this a gender thing? A departmental thing? A teacher needs to get their own life thing? I've never met a teacher who's done this... and maybe I'm naive... but considering some of the other wildly inappropriate things I've seen some teachers do, I'll admit this isn't unexpected.

This harkens back to a post you made months ago about teachers getting involved in students' personal lives. Perhaps too many inspirational teacher movies have been made but to remind these teachers - your job is to impart knowledge to students, not to be their friend, their mother or their matchmaker.

Anonymous said...

EWWW times 100! I taught beside a teacher who knew everything about her students, including who used condoms and who didn't! Glad she is GONE. I daily wondered how she had the time to know all this when there was so much that the kids needed to learn. When I got them the next year, I found out that not much teaching/learning was going on. I cringed when I went past her room and saw students lying on the floor, on their cell phones, and gathered around her desk talking. They hated me for the first month or so and it took a lot of effort to withstand their attempts to get me to engage on that level with them. So NOT interested in their love (lust) lives and drama!