So some parent complained that I chew gum in my class

That I chew gum in my class.

My nervous-Nancy coteacher asked me to stay 20 minutes past quitting time because she had something she needed to discuss with me. I hung around to find out that her “urgent” message was that some idiot complained that I chewed gum in my class.

I’m not smacking or blowing bubbles. My gum-chewing isn’t a distraction (in fact the kids can’t even see me chewing it since I’m wearing a mask). The only reason they even notice is because I pull out the bag of gum and pull the mask down to pop it in.

In any case, I calmly told the coteacher that I don’t think that it’s any of the parents’ business, and that my gum-chewing would continue.

I’ll add that the reason for my habitual gum habit is that I’m a smoker. I smoke at break and typically chew gum afterward.

I’m not sure what to expect tomorrow, but judging by the extreme micromanagement I’ve experienced here so far, my manager may ask me to stop.
Am I in the wrong here? It doesn’t interfere with my teaching at all, and, as I previously stated, you can’t even tell because I’m wearing a mask.

This is just my feeling, maybe others will disagree. It’s kind of seen as a negative behavior here that people don’t want their kids to do, so I can see how it would be a problem. Oddly if you were to go with hard candy say, I don’t think it would be an issue.


You should neither smoke nor chew gum during work hours IMO.


I’m not full-time and it’s an unpaid break, so I don’t consider it working hours.


So you don’t chew gum when you’re not on break?

They won’t let me drink a gin and tonic while teaching. Political correctness gone mad!


Not a teacher/not in education but I think it’s a reasonable expectation that teachers would model the kind of behavior that students are expected to exhibit. So unless students are allowed to chew gum in class, why should the teacher chew gum?

Also, what’s up with the disdain for everyone around you? Do you have a favorable opinion of anyone you deal with professionally?


Not necessarily. As one example, students aren’t allowed to drink coffee, but I can drink coffee. Teachers can reasonably use some such personal items that students can’t.


What are you babbling about?
I said there’s a high amount of micromanagement, I did NOT make mention of their qualities as people. I find the majority of them pleasant.

Secondly, as long as they’re not being disruptive, I’d have no problems with students chewing gum. They eat a snack in the classroom at break, and many of them bring a snack from home.

My nervous-Nancy coteacher asked me to stay 20 minutes past quitting time because she had something she needed to discuss with me. I hung around to find out that her “urgent” message was that some idiot complained that I chewed gum in my class.



Personally, I would find your coffee breath more offensive than the minty-fresh odor from my gum. Still, I think it’s entirely reasonable that you drink coffee on the job. You’re an adult, and you’re not expected to jump through hoops whenever some busybody parent gets an urge to voice their moronic opinion on what you should/shouldn’t do.
It’s unreasonable…

  1. She is quite jumpy.
  2. It’s an idiotic complaint.
  3. My disdain for you is steadily increasing :wink:
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Many things are not about what we personally find offensive. You did ask for thoughts, did you simply expect everyone to agree with you on everything? :slight_smile:


Doesn’t seem to take much. Seems I have a lot of company! :wink:



Fair enough. To be honest, I did expect more support on this one, but it is what is.
It’s not even about the gum, it’s about treating something so minor and ridiculous as if it’s relevant…


Truer words were never spoken.

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Chalk this one up to experience! Some things in teaching make no sense in one context, but are 100% fine in another. If it really bothers you, quit. If it doesn’t, then don’t fight this battle. It’s probably not worth fighting. In this game, we have to choose our battles wisely.

I get the frustration. It would irritate me as well if someone complained about that (or, rather, that the kid complained to the parent who complained to the school who complained to the co-teacher, blah blah blah) and thought they had the right to decide whether I chew gum or not (or anything similarly silly that doesn’t interfere with the task at hand).

That said, it would irritate me in general to have a boss and have to do what they say, which is why I haven’t been willing to have one for the last 6 years haha. I also don’t think you’re going to get very far with this battle, so it probably depends on how important chewing gum and the job are to you.


You originally said in class


If they force the issue, and you want to keep your job, why not just switch to those sugar-free breath mints?

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