Be realistic about...cussing

9th May 2003 at 01:00
This is a difficult one. There is almost certainly a rule against it and almost certainly the rule is applied haphazardly. So how do you deal with it? The odd "f***in' hell" used to be met effectively with: "I hope so, because that's where I'm going", but the General Teaching Council for England has deemed such badinage an unprofessional and punishable offence.

Don't try the old argument that swearing is a sign of a limited vocabulary, as it just doesn't add up. If you haven't got words in your vocabulary, your vocabulary lacks words. If you have, it has increased. This is a mathematical fact, as all children know, especially since the numeracy hour.

Much depends on your attitude to swearing. I suspect that if you have a pathological loathing of cussing (and litter), teaching is not the job for you. Others are oblivious to it. Intent is probably the key. Some children happily utter meaningless expletives as fillers between words. They barely notice it and it probably warrants only a mild reaction. With other pupils, cussing can show considerable wit and verbal dexterity. Where it is malicious, though, it should certainly be challenged. Consider the following: were you meant to hear it? Can you deal with it humorously? Was it nasty, aggressive harassment? If the instance is a serious one, report it and don't let your senior management team belittle it.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now