Need a quick answer to a career or personal dilemma? Career and life coach Marielys Camacho-Reyes will answer your concerns in her column “Ask the Coach.”
I am a high school teacher and even when I love what I do, lately I have been regretting going to work. I love all my students but unfortunately, one of them is making my life miserable in the classroom. She is lazy, chatty, and disrespectful and in many occasions has gotten in arguments with me in front of the class. She does not like me telling her what to do and when I call her on it, she becomes aggressive and rude toward me and toward other students. I have done everything I can to try to help her achieve her goals, but she just does not want to help herself. I tried calling her parents to see if together we can do something to help this young lady succeed, but they are worse than her. I really do not want to make things worse for her, but if she does not get her act together soon, my last resort would be to talk to the school director and see if she can either transfer this student to a different class or to give her some type of punishment for her behavior. Any ideas on how to deal with this student without getting her in more trouble than what she is already?
The Concerned Teacher
Dear Concerned Teacher,
I am afraid to tell you that if you really want this student to change her ways, you may have to “allow” her to face the consequences of her acts. If you do not do that, she probably will never learn. The fact that her parents do not think that she is doing something worse makes things more complicated for you because without her parents’ support, things will never change for her. I will say, give her another opportunity to do the right thing and see how that goes. If after giving her the opportunity to get her act together, she continues with her old ways, then I guess it will be time for you to do what you think is right under the circumstances, and if that includes letting her get in trouble, then I guess you will have to do that. The truth is that people do not learn from other people’s mistakes; they learn from dealing with the consequences of their own mistakes, and if letting her face the consequences of her mistakes will help her on getting her act together, then, go ahead and do it.
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