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idk777's avatar

Please help me?

Asked by idk777 (16points) April 13th, 2014

I am a 16-year-old British female attending a British high school (it is not a boarding school)
I have a bad feeling about my Spanish teacher and am genuinely in a predicament. Everything I describe below is pure documentation; none of my statements have been altered or exaggerated. My teacher is also British and I would say she is in her thirties. She stares at me all the time almost like she is trying to steal my soul or stare me out or read what i am thinking, there is something just not right about her, and if I look back she smirks at me. I once confronted her face to face about her behavior, and she stared at me for 30 seconds as if she was trying to figure me out then she turned everything around on me saying that my behavior in class is bad. she then demanded an apology off me so we could have a “functioning relationship”. Also she has said to me that i have taken up loads of her lesson planning time by correcting my work even though i said to her not to focus her attention on me. She has also implied that i am mentally inept before as i once got a question wrong and her response was “do you even know your own name” with a giant smirk on her face.
I am not the perfect student—I am a fairly strong character and outspoken if I believe an injustice is going on. I didn’t used to do much work either and I would stick up for myself against her and she didn’t like this. We have not always got on well as she is terribly sarcastic which really aggravated me. She also said comments to me in class in front of my friends that “I just come to class and flick my hair around like a drama queen” I thought that comment was rather uncalled for.
I have apologized for my behavior in the past to try a fresh start. She was nice to me for a bit and even started to call me “love”, which I thought nothing of at the time, but then her behavior just changes all the time. She once made a remark about me and my family not getting on when she knows nothing about my family and then she mocked my name. On another occasion she started using foul language. She has also said to me that, “I have alienated myself from a potential ally and I want you to think about that”, which I found rather odd.
In the past she has accused me of bullying her and of thinking that I am better than her (which is just ridiculous). She said to a friend who sits next to me that I am a bad influence on her. However when I asked to drop her Spanish class, she said, “No you are more than capable because you help your friend next to you,” so she totally contradicted herself.
Me and a friend from another class once confronted her about her behavior towards us and she would not less us in the room at the same time which was weird. When i went in she twisted everything around on me and said that i was getting self satisfaction out of the situation and that my behavior in class was bad and then she said she was going to report me to the head of year. I always feel like she is trying to manipulate me.
I have to ask her many times before she will mark my work. When I ask her to mark essay work during lesson time, she makes me bring it to her at dinnertime because she knows I’m terrible at Spanish. On one occasion, she sat on top of the table with a fairly short skirt on overlooking me and this made me feel uncomfortable. Then she said one of the words I used was sexual when it clearly was not.Also on another occasion during class i was just helping another student on their computer and she actually physically grabbed my hand and removed my hand from the mouse which i think is not acceptable. I think she knows she makes me feel uncomfortable.I know for a fact that other people who have her as a teacher have complained about her, also she used to work in a private school but left for reasons which i do not know.
Once when I approached her with my friend to collect my work, I said, “I have come for my paragraphs” and she responded with, “Oooh have you” and then just walked off. Today she said she would mark my paragraphs at dinnertime but when I went to pick them up, although I asked politely, she shouted at me saying, “Look at me, look at me!” Then she said she was sick of me asking her to mark my essays and asked why I can’t be normal and mark them myself (these essays are for my GCSE).
People who have come with me to see her have commented on how poorly she treats me. I asked another one of my teachers for their take on the situation. The other teacher suggested that maybe our personalities are very similar. She has said to me before “that i think the world owes me a living” when i don’t and i have had to work very hard this year to get my grades up as i used to be a trouble causer in year 9 and 10 but i am very well behaved now. Once I just walked into the classroom and said it was really warm and smelt a tad strange in there to my friend and the teacher interrupted our conversation and went “yes it’s from sweaty teenagers” i don’t know what she was trying to imply there.On another occasion i was just working with my friend on some work in class and she went “what are you doing?” an i just said “ooh we were just helping each other” and then she went “so you are refusing to do your work then ” and i said “no we were just helping each other” and then after that she said that all i do when i walk into her lessons is flick my hair around and act like a drama queen ? She has also told a girl in my class before that her work was rubbish and that her nails like like hooker nails?
I told my parents about my concerns but they think I’m overreacting. I also told my head of year. He held a meeting with me and this teacher which was extremely awkward. She lied to him and then said she has only ever tried to help me. She ended by staring at me and saying, “You have said some very interesting things.” Then she recommended that I attend after school sessions with a massive grin on her face. The head of year just brushed it aside. I also found out that she is on a one year contract so that could be why she is getting away with her behavior because she knows she can do what she wants and then just leave at the end of the year at not look back. She normally just gives us a text book and she just tells us to do anything out of it even though we have not covered it.If anyone asks for her help she will just say figure it out yourself, I just said i do not really understand much in this book and she replied with ” well it would be a good idea to start at the from then wouldn’t it” in a very sarcastic manor Then i just asked my friends for help and she then moved my friends to other tables so that i was on my own. So i went to there table to get help and when i was talking to them a friend from across the room told me that the teacher was glaring at me like really angrily.
i don’t really understand her motives. One minute she is happy to help me(and finds things that i say amusing) the next she wants me out of her sight as soon as possible.Also non of my other teachers that i have never have a problem with me,they all say my work is exceptional and that i am pleasant to teach. I told my science teacher what had been going on and she agreed that this woman’s behavior is strange.I have tried numerous times to drop this subject but apparently i am capable. I just want to know what possible explanations there could be to her behavior ? my parents have tried complaining to the school but they have simply brushed it off and the day after they complained this teacher was even more hostile to me than usual. So i am really limited as to what i can do now. She has caused me so many problems and i have been so tempted to actually hit her before.

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6 Answers

filmfann's avatar

She is a teacher, and she has many students, not just you.
If she seems to be focusing on you and your work, get another class. That will help you both.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Do the work & move on. When you engage people like that, you’re open to their idiocy. A good life lesson.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Obviously you’re not getting along with her, and obviously, too, unless you’ve been totally carried away by your imagination – and I’ll assume for the sake of this discussion that you haven’t been (but still allow for the possibility that “maybe you have, just a little bit”) – she has some definite issues that relate specifically to you. It seems that she may be somewhat hung up on you. (I won’t say “fixated upon” or “in love with” or even “determined to beat”, but those might apply – maybe.)

The best you can do is to keep your head down, do the work, don’t challenge her in her classroom, and absolutely do not lose your temper with her, strike her in any way, insult her to her face or in front of others or return to her the attitude that you think she projects onto you. (Consider that you have some responsibility in every relationship with everyone you meet, and act accordingly. Take that responsibility.)

Feel free to document specific instances (not collections of instances, such as you have attempted to do here – the run-on nature of this complaint makes it nearly impossible to read, and I’m not often daunted by long explanations) and present them to the school management, and by all means attempt to avoid being alone with her. As “the teacher” in most one-on-one interactions, unless you can corroborate exactly what was said and done, her word will usually win out over yours, in part because she’s more practiced, polished and experienced.

Keep telling yourself that it’s only one class out of many, and it will all be over soon.

Definitely don’t ask her to sign your yearbook.

GloPro's avatar

Does this teacher teach all of the Spanish classes? Does Spanish I transition into Spanish II, then III, and so on? If yes then you do have a bigger issue to deal with. If no, then take this in a more global sense. You will meet and have to interact with people you do not get along with your entire life. Do your studies, try your best, earn your grade on paper, and work hard to learn a life lesson in tolerance from the rest. She is your superior, in a sense, and you have to just grin and bear it.

If she is the teacher responsible for all future Spanish classes let me know and I will give that feedback as well.
I had similar issues with my Spanish teacher in high school. I had to take classes from him for 4 semesters.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Two questions are posted here. What can you do and what might be the cause for her behavior.

What can you do? I agree with @CWOTUS‘s response. In addition, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. There cannot be much left of the school year…Keep your nose down and ask for Spanish assistance elsewhere. Don’t rise to her sharp tongue and demeaning treatment. If you stay silent, the perspective of those around you will be that the teacher is being unkind and not of two similar personalities battling it out.

It sounds as if you have pursued some of the proper channels, such as going to your parents and the head of year. I suspect that your comments, while not observable to you, are being documented. Your record in other classes may be taken into consideration.

If you are the only student providing feedback though, it may be chalked up by the administration as a one-off. The more students that speak up, either on their behalf or on yours, the more likely her behavior will get attention. Unfortunately, it needs to come from them and not on your urging. The more you complain about the treatment to those that have no power in addressing the situation, the less attention it will get.

What might be the cause of her behavior? It sounds as if you aren’t afraid of confrontation (not a derogatory trait if delivered politely and in private). The problem may be that she is insecure or, being in her first year of teaching there, may feel the need to control the students. Look at it from her perspective. It’s often tough starting as a teacher at a new school. This may be her way of exerting control, albeit a bad one. Sarcasm is a terrible way to treat someone, particularly if that person is in a leadership role.

Another factor may be that she only wants to teach students who excel. I had a high school teacher like that. He wasn’t condescending, but he was clearly miserable by not invoking the passion for his subject to all students.

There is always the possibility that she is mentally imbalanced. This is purely speculation and should not be implied by you.

My heart goes out to you. Please keep us posted on what happens.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher was mean to me sometimes. I was very little, and things were not always what they seemed to such a little girl. It sure felt like my teacher didn’t like me.
Years later, I found out that I was a target for her. She wanted to be my dad’s girlfriend when they were in high school, and he had many interests, none of them her.
There are LOTS of teachers in this world, every last one of them human beings. Most of them are devoted to teaching, and really want to make a difference. Some of them suck at it. A few excel. However good they are, or are not, they have a job to do, and rules to follow.
I live in the US, so I don’t know the dynamics of your school authority system. There should be someone you could appeal to. If you do indeed try very hard to be a good student, then you shouldn’t mind asking whether someone could be spared for a few days to sit in your class with her to observe. As I said, I have no idea how your schools are set up. My closest clue there is watching Willey Wonka, or Pink Floyd’s movie The Wall. That’s little help for a real life situation.
Perhaps you are being a little more the instigator than you care to admit. Maybe not. It is possible she has personal issues. Perhaps she has mental illness which has not surfaced until recently. Maybe you could go to someone in authority and tell them you have concerns that she may need some help keeping herself on solid ground.
It may be possible she is attracted to you, and fears you have/may figured it out.
Grown ups take positions of authority. Grown ups teach. Grown ups take responsibility for many things. Grown ups are not perfect, and sometimes need help. High school is like another world. Young, and strong, teens feel invincible. There is a lifetime ahead, and lots of time to fill doing what feels best. Yet,each teen feels vulnerable, confused, afraid people will find out. Some teens are afraid people will find out they used to wet the bed. Some are afraid people wil find out their mom drinks every day and isn’t often aware she has kids. Some teens are afraid people will find out they can’t read. There are a thousand other things teens are afraid people will know about them. It is a strange existence, for sure. Sometimes teens believe adults don’t know much, and just like to be bossy. Sometimes teens want adults to know everything, and become upset if they don’t. Adults are people too. They aren’t teens any more, and high school is over, but stuff is far from perfect.
Maybe your teacher needs to be confronted, maybe she needs help. Maybe she needs strength. Maybe she needs to be reassured. Maybe she needs a friend in her corner.
I know you insist you have written unbiased facts here, but take a new look. Be sure, be really, quite sure, not for us, but for yourself. Walk through a fantasy where you have finished school, have a teaching degree, and will face a classroom full of teen students. None of them especially want you there.
If your teacher wrote a question here, claiming she had a student she wants to see do well is just floating along, and letting herself down, here’s what I would tell her; “Give your class to this girl for a day. Tell her it is her class for the day, and she can spend that time amusing her friends, or trying to show what she can really do.”
If your teacher did that, what would you want to see her doing while she sits in your seat?
Good luck. I hope things get worked out best for all involved.

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