if i hear one more student swearing, i swear i am going to go crazy.
i feel like i am fighting a losing battle.
why do teenagers feel the need to swear so much?
this issue has been bugging me for a while now, because if you let the standards slip, then swearing gradually creeps into your classroom without you realising it. the students know i have a "thing" about swearing. of course, most teachers do but it's also a personal thing. i mean, what if i end up repeating some of the things that come out of their mouths :(
it's got to the stage now where one lesson i said "there is only one rule for this lesson, no swearing" and they still couldn't manage it. scary. i don't know what frightens me more, the fact that they are not capable of doing it, or the fact that they don't think there is anything wrong with it. some comments include:
"they're just words, they don't mean anything" (erm.. yes they do, if you want to get into the etymology of it)
"we looked at swearing in that poem, didn't we? how is that different" (er.. because it is about context)
"everyone else does it. even teachers do it" (erm.. have you ever heard me swear? this was greeted with "he he imagine hema swearing" hee--y)
the main problems i am having are with "that" class (and those of you who teach will know what i mean, because everyone has "that class") and to be fair on them, they do it in what they see as informal stages of the lesson, eg at the start before i have "started" the lesson and that is just how they talk to each other, eg
"did you see that *** film yesterday, it was ***** fantastic."
but more recently:
me: "why did you walk out of janet's lesson?
student: because she is a **** *****
(why do my student's think they can talk like that in front of me?)
me: ok, you wouldn't use those words at home so don't use them in front of me"
student: are you kidding me, you should see some of the words my mum uses if you think that's bad.
ouch (really?) maybe that's my problem. am i imposing my own personal velues on the students?
but i'm not telling them to stop swearing. i don't think anyone could ever do that. just not in front of me. and these kids need to know when it is not acceptable not to use these words. isn't that one of the things that education is supposed to be about? giving them access to language they can use in different circumstances. what if one of them "accidentally" swore in an interview situation?
at least noone has ever sworn at me, because i have heard of horror stories of that happening. although to see things from the students perspective (because i always try to do that) they only really swear at teachers if they are embarrassed in front of the class and have to "redeem" themselves in front of their peers.
one of the only two times i have thrown a student out of my class this year was when i told him not to swear and he answered:
"what's your ****** problem with my ***** swearing".
(i think he was trying to be funny)
so, am i being too uptight with this? or should i stubbornly persevere with my one man (so it seems!) battle to stop all 17 year olds from swearing?