Confession (a bit serious please help)

Billy

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Jan 26, 2006
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As a teacher I pride myself on my honesty and integrity.

Yesterday I sent a student out and when I spoke to him I accidentally said 'shit' in my sentence. It was in the context of referring to his behaviour, not directed at him, and I wasn't shouting just talking calmly to him. He completely exploded, stormed back into the room swearing, calling me a 'f***ing b***' and a number of other profanities. He walked away continuing to shout and swear at me.

Other teachers came to my aid and in the heat of the moment in my panic I lied and said I had said 'stuff' instead of that word.

He has been sanctioned for the language he used. This student is only year 7 and has already been excluded and has 50 behaviour points already. He constantly uses swear words in class and towards teachers.

The other students (none of whom heard me swear) had to write witness statements, they all wrote reports of how calm I am, how I never shout or swear, and hows this student constantly disrupts thier learning. They were completely lovely towards me asking if I was ok.

I feel absolutely terrible about lying and am ashamed of my use of a word like that, how unprofessional it is. Those of you know I lost Dobbs last week and have had an appalling week at work, with incidents in my classes and problems with staff. No excuse really, but I am really struggling with deciding what to do.

I will 'get away with it ' because it is completely out of character for me, I have never sworn at anyone or shown the slightest loss of control of my emotions. But I am not sure if my conscience will let me relax if I don't fess up. However I am really scared about getting in trouble and hate the thought of the looks on everyone's faces when they realise I did use the word.

Any support or advice?

Xx
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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i think everyone could do that, it is so easy when pushed to the limit by a pupil who knows their rights, and how to manipulate. If it had been a pupil that is usually not in trouble then it would be different - sorry it shouldn't make a difference but it does in the real world.

Oh dear, I can't advise, if you confess it is probably going to bring a punishment to you which is out of all proportion to the 'crime' you committed when trying to be very calm and dealing with a troublesome pupil.

If you can, I would forgive yourself and keep quiet. If you feel you can't then I would take advice from a lawyer or your union before you do anything as I have no idea what the repercussions would be for you.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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You've confessed to all on here, so hopefully you now feel better and can stop stressing over it. Better out than in. Now put it behind you. Try to forget about it and move on.
 

LindaAd

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Oh dear. I think, given your reputation and the other pupils' statements, which are perfectly true, maybe it would be better to confess. After all, 'shit' isn't that bad a word, and shouldn't have been enough for the pupil to react as he did - on the other hand, maybe it's not fair to him if the truth isn't known. Is there a senior teacher you can trust to deal with it fairly if you confess?
 

Dark Storm

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Jan 4, 2009
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I've got to hand it to you, I think you teachers must have nerves of steel to cope with what some of these students do and say. I certainly couldn't do the job your doing.
Put a line under this and move on, it's only because your passionate about your work and that it's not something you would normally do that this is troubling your conscious and you know it wouldn't happen again, you wouldn't allow it.
 

Cortrasna

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Aug 5, 2009
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What a very difficult position to find yourself in, and completely understandable how easily you could have slipped up and used a minor swear word at this point in time, in particular with such an unpleasant sounding pupil.:devil:

I am also inclined to think that if you do fess up, the repercussions and out of proportion response you might get from those in authority over you, could well lead to a very unpleasant situation for you, that IMO, is really not deserved.

The fact that you have such a guilty conscience and you are wrestling with yourself over the right course of action just tells me that you are a good teach, with integrity who has made a very, very minor slip up.

I know that in practice what you have done is wrong to some extent, but in reality is very minor especially as the pupil in question does sound like a complete little s***t!! How tragic to blight your previously blameless career (I am certain of that fact without knowing you, based purely on your struggle with what to do for the best!) because he was so shocked when someone actually spoke to him in language he obviously uses and is more than familiar with!:wink:

Whatever your decision, I would also get advice from your union before you do anything further.
 

candyflosspot

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Sep 7, 2010
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Personally I would draw a line under it & just carry on. The pupils reaction was extreme to say the least & it sounds like he would have gone off his rocker if you had swore or not. It sounds like it was a one off incident. Everyone has their limits & it sounds like you reached yours ( and no wonder with a trouble maker pupil).
 

polly101

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Sep 25, 2009
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Oh dear, sorry about your dilema.

If it were me i dont think i would own up.

This is your career that you no doubt worked hard for, at the end of the day I wouldnt risk blemishing my name, which may effect you in the future.

Were as I dont think it would affect this pupils future in any way.
 

Mary Poppins

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Forget about it and move on. The pupils response just shows what a difficult and horrible pupil that he must be, and what he said to you is far worse than what you said to him. Anyway, he can't be 100% certain about what you said anyway. Shift and stuff sound very similar and he may well have thought that he made the mistake.

Don't risk your reputation and lots of hassle over this. It's just not worth it. Everyone makes mistakes and you won't make this one again. Stop beating yourself up. In the whole swing of things it's not that big a deal.
 

eml

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I would be inclined to talk to someone at school, are you sure you even said it not just thought it though as it seem odd that none of the other pupils heard?

I do feel sorry for teachers having to cope with this sort of disruptive pupil but I think it better you say what really happened ( or you fear may have slipped out) rather than the pupil stating that you swore at them.
 

Gattino

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I'd leave it and move on, I know it is hard as I am the same feel guilty if I am not always honest.

You accidently said a word you wouldn't usually use in front of kids, but you did not say it in anger or call him a little s*** or anything.

He completely went ott in his reaction and sounds like he was looking for an excuse to completely kick off.

Kids can be very challenging and these days some have such little respect for their teachers.

You sound like you were very calm and it just slipped out. Don't be so hard on yourself. I admire teachers a lot, especially in secondary schools when can be a lot harder.

I work in a primary school in a role similar to what a special needs TA would be in the UK and know I would not be able to work in a seconday would find it too tough and all the kids would probably be bigger than me :giggle: which I'd find intimidating if they had difficult behaviour.

You've had a really tough, horrible week, put this incident in the past and take care of yourself and mind yourself.
 

Tina2011

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Forget it and move on, you are human not a saint.

So what if you did say 's..t' anyway, its hardly swearing at all these days imo.

I think you should give yourself a break, kids are enough to try anyones patience at the best of times, never mind when you have had up sets of your own.

The child sounds like he is deranged imo. In my day, teachers would have given him a good wack on the backside and probably shouted a few un savoury words at the same time.....

Really...give yourself a break and treat yourself to something nice:smile:
 

Billy

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Jan 26, 2006
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Thanks everyone for responding, it has really helped to hear outside perspectives on it.

I will decide on Monday but I think I will leave it lie.

Thanks again. It has been such an awful week!!
 

popularfurball

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Jul 18, 2005
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I guess you have to weigh up what happens/what the consequences may be?

Being honest could really improve your relationship with the kid as it may make him respect you for being honest - but you may be reprimanded for swearing (though I hope they would understand the situation and take your usual character into account).

Equally letting it lie may make your relationship worse with the kid (he may just stay a pain either way!) but it seems "quite trivial" in the grand scheme of teacher offences! And so silly to get yourself into trouble when the consequences with the pupil(s) are no different either way?
 
P

pinkheather

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My advice for what's its worth, stick to your story. He obviously is a little shit that's needs a good doing. I know I am a dinosaur from a background where violence was and is employed a little too quickly but for by all that I and my kind never swore or abused our teachers or any woman, his upbringing must come into question. I am in awe of your patience and understanding I would have lost it with the bugger and kicked his arse till his nose bled. Put it behind you and forget it after all you have the same human emotions as every one else and sound like a dedicated teacher better than the ones I had who beat education into me.
 
I thought I would tell you about something similar that happened to me that may help you make up your mind.

I work on the trains as a guard. On one occasion I was despatching my train and a man was stood in the doorway preventing them from closing and talking to his girlfriend. I called to him several times to get off so the doors could close but he just sneered at me and carried on talking. I walked up to him and told him again and he got off but then towered over me and followed me up the platform in an intimidating way. For some stupid reason as I hurried away I called him an "ugly ****". I quickly jumped on the train and shut my crew door, leaving him shouting and gesticulating at me from the platform.

A short while later I had a telephone call from my supervisor saying that this man had called the police and I was to be picked up at my destination to be questioned. A police officer met me and asked for my version of events. I told him what occured but as soon as I admitted to calling him an "ugly ****" he put down his pen and said that I had to come to the station to make a formal statement.

To cut a long story short, after a very worrying few weeks, the CPS eventually decided not to proceed with a prosecution. I think I was charged with assault or something similar. I was very fortunate that the individual concerned had a criminal record and had even been to prison. He was also an extremely unpleasant man and well known to the police. However, when they told me that it wasn't going any further the police officer also said that I should have "denied everything". As soon as I had admitted swearing they had no choice but to continue.
 

Billy

Member
Jan 26, 2006
573
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High Wycombe
I thought I would tell you about something similar that happened to me that may help you make up your mind.

I work on the trains as a guard. On one occasion I was despatching my train and a man was stood in the doorway preventing them from closing and talking to his girlfriend. I called to him several times to get off so the doors could close but he just sneered at me and carried on talking. I walked up to him and told him again and he got off but then towered over me and followed me up the platform in an intimidating way. For some stupid reason as I hurried away I called him an "ugly ****". I quickly jumped on the train and shut my crew door, leaving him shouting and gesticulating at me from the platform.

A short while later I had a telephone call from my supervisor saying that this man had called the police and I was to be picked up at my destination to be questioned. A police officer met me and asked for my version of events. I told him what occured but as soon as I admitted to calling him an "ugly ****" he put down his pen and said that I had to come to the station to make a formal statement.

To cut a long story short, after a very worrying few weeks, the CPS eventually decided not to proceed with a prosecution. I think I was charged with assault or something similar. I was very fortunate that the individual concerned had a criminal record and had even been to prison. He was also an extremely unpleasant man and well known to the police. However, when they told me that it wasn't going any further the police officer also said that I should have "denied everything". As soon as I had admitted swearing they had no choice but to continue.

That sounds awful. I think that's why I am hesitating so much, if I admit it then it opens floodgates apparently his mum is a nightmare.

I suppose my really anxiety comes from him only being a kid, and he has a lot of issues that explain his behaviour. I should never have sworn. He is in so much trouble generally I am ashamed I have made it all worse.

On the other hand I dont see why teachers should have to accept abusive and aggressive behaviour from anyone, even from young people.

It has been reassuring to here from everyone here, just helps to have it seen from outsiders.
 

candyflosspot

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That sounds awful. I think that's why I am hesitating so much, if I admit it then it opens floodgates apparently his mum is a nightmare.



I suppose my really anxiety comes from him only being a kid, and he has a lot of issues that explain his behaviour. I should never have sworn. He is in so much trouble generally I am ashamed I have made it all worse.



On the other hand I dont see why teachers should have to accept abusive and aggressive behaviour from anyone, even from young people.



It has been reassuring to here from everyone here, just helps to have it seen from outsiders.


I don't t think you have made it worse - he has. From his own behaviour. I certainly would NEVER have effed & geffed at a school teacher and I doubt I would have even told my parents about a swear word so to be honest I doubt anything will come of this from the asbo pupil side. It is your own feelings on the matter which will play a part in consequences (if you decide to admit swearing)
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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This kid isn't worth putting your career on the line for. Not that it's OK not to help problem children, but you're not going to be able to help anyone if you lose your job (not that that's likely either.) I have massive respect for teachers - my best friend is head of sixth form - it seems like a thankless job sometimes. But really, whether you said 'shit' or 'stuff' is immaterial in the scheme of things. It sounds like the kid was trying to make this all about you in order to distract attention away from himself, and he's the one with social and behavioural problems that need addressing, not you.
 

LindaAd

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Yes, I've been reading the comments and thinking a lot about this (I'm a teacher too) and I've come to think that probably you're best to leave it alone. After all whatever you said it doesn't merit his reaction, and confessing wouldn't really help him at all. Good luck, whatever you do.
 
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