Question Detail

I am a 30 year old female and look much younger and am not and have never been married. I know this is something students will ask me. A student asks, why aren't you married? Why didn't you ever get married? Why do you have a problem with getting married? Anything of that nature. What would your response be as a teacher of secondary education?

Nov 11, 2015 4:53pm

I need opinions on a classroom management issue. I am in Classroom Management in a Master's in Teaching program and have an assignment coming up where we have an issue that we plan to address. The issue I have chosen is when students ask a personal question.

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    • Nov 12, 2015 11:46am

      Well said Tom because the class is not about you or your personal life which they are not going to get tested on. You're trying not to be dismissive and at the same time be the role model that being single is not unusual.

      • Nov 12, 2015 6:51pm

        I'm 32 and look younger, as well. I teach Middle School and you're absolutely right, they are GOING to ask. But you know what? That's good--it means they are interested in your life and building a relationship with you. Students don't learn from people they don't like, as we all know. Therefore, if you get all prickly and shut a kid down, the message you have just sent it "Don't ask me questions" even if YOU think the message you were sending was "please don't inquire about my personal life because I am here to professionally teach you this subject and we need to focus on that." I agree with Tom that you can find a gentle way to refocus the group by giving a soft answer and moving them back to the classwork. However, I will tell you that I also go one step further. On Day One of my class, I do a "getting to know you" exercise with all of my students to help me know more about them and to make them more comfortable with one another. At the very end of that class, I tell them that I appreciate them so much for sharing parts of who they are with me and that because we are all in this learning boat together, I want to help them get to know me, too. I BRIEFLY tell them about myself, focusing on why I teach the subject that I teach as well as my credentials and interests. I then set a timer for three minutes and tell them they have exactly that amount of time to ask me any school appropriate questions they would like. They have a blast with it, it removes the mystery so I never worry about those weird personal questions popping up mid-lecture later in the semester, and it's a really simple way to build up relationships with my kiddos from Day One. Sorry this is so long...

        • Nov 13, 2015 8:46am

          I started teaching when I was 23 and students asked me often if I had a boyfriend and were very interested in my social life. I was always open with them but not overly personal. The key is not to engage in these questions - a quick response to answer the question so they don't keep nagging and then move on and let them know it is not the time or place for these discussion. I like what Tom said: "now let's get back to work!"

          • Nov 13, 2015 10:53am

            It amuses me when students ask this just to get you off track and before you know it, you're behind in your learning plan and your students are talking about anything but the material.