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6th form boys making me uncomfortable

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by gr00vycarly, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. gr00vycarly

    gr00vycarly New commenter


    I am moving onto my second placement after half term, the school is a huge contrast to where I am currently placed, It is an inner city school with a high EAL percentage. I recently went for a day to see which classes I would be observing and teaching, and I am expected to teach a year 12 resit GCSE maths class on my own, with no mentor or other teacher in the room. I don't mind this, however from what i have been told, and what I gathered when i observed the lesson, none of the students are interested in the class, and do not care whether they pass or fail. This is one problem which is challenging enough, however when I was in the class a group of the boys started wolf whistling and sneering. I totally ignored this behaviour but i am almost 100% sure this was directed at me. I am worried about being the class alone and how to deal with it if they continue to comment and make remarks of this nature.

    Any advice will help!!

    Thank you
  2. You need to make sure your mentor is aware this is going on, and you need to be very firm in not tolerating it. They might not want to be in that class but it will be compulsory for them to stay in the school, I'm sure. Find out what the behaviour options are for sixth form and use them relentlessly. Be a good idea to let someone from your provider know, too. I doubt they would be impressed with you being left to it this early in the year with a challenging group.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    You shouldn't be left in the room alone.

    Speak to your provider. Know your rights.

    How can you be expected to learn how to teach when you're by yourself? You may as well wing it on supply as an unqualified teacher...
    pepper5 and blueskydreaming like this.
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    That's what happens on the salaried SD or the Teach First training programmes though...
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I run a uni PGCE and we have a blanket rule that no trainee is left unsupervised and is instead supervised by a qualified teacher. Whilst as it gets closer to the end of the course the trainee might agree with their mentor for the mentor to be in next door's office (should an incident occur), this is only with the trainee's agreement and the university's permission.

    I would not be happy with one of my partner schools if I found out this was happening. I send people into schools on QA visits to ensure this very thing isn't happening.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. gr00vycarly

    gr00vycarly New commenter

    Thanks for your responses everyone. I am on a non-salaried SCITT however the trainee who I am taking over from at this 2nd placement is on the same course, but is salaried, so he is doing more independent teaching than I am. I also have to teach a year 8 group on my own, which i feel confident enough to do, Its just the first experience i had with this class wasn't very positive.

    I think I might see how the first lesson goes and then express my concerns if anything carries on. But i'm worried about being "trapped" in the class with them for 75 minutes if the lesson goes wrong from the off!
  7. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    You're on a different style of course to them.

    You're paying 9k for support and guidance throughout, they're getting paid to learn from their independent mistakes.
    MrMedia and pepper5 like this.
  8. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    This. You aren't getting any support and guidance, you are being used as an unpaid unqualified teacher. You need to refer to your training provider, this is appalling (although not uncommon) practice.
    MrMedia and pepper5 like this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Whatever you do, DO NOT agree to teach the Year 12 group unsupervised. Ensure there is a qualified teacher in the room with you at all times. It simply isn't safe nor good practice to be left by yourself.A class like the one you describe would be a challenge for the most experienced teachers let alone someone with little experience.

    The behaviour of a group like that is totally unpredictable and be no doubt about it, they will be planning and plotting what other tricks they can get up to to make your life miserable.

    I agree it is appalling and a disgrace.
    les25paul and MrMedia like this.
  10. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Absolutely. SCITTS will have policies about this and it will say quite explicitly supervision. I would suggest you check with the SCITT for their policy. It does sound to me like an untrained mentor. The mentor should be trained by the SCITT on processes and policies.
    les25paul likes this.
  11. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    What did the class teacher do when this happened?

    If, despite all the advice above, you do have to deal with this, try to redirect. Avoid saying "stop whistling at me" as that will lead to denials and confrontations. Give positive instructions instead - Be quiet and listen, please!
    les25paul and pepper5 like this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Good practical advice Flere- the class may well settle down after the OP sets up some routines and gets to know the group. I have seen groups of Year 11s like this and usually they have sat and done almost nothing for years. They are experts at creating disruption and trying to get teaches to either cry or run away.

    For the OP, I repeat, under no circumstances, take this class on your own unsupervised without the support of a qualified and experienced teacher.

    There are a whole host of scenarios and problems that could occur.

    What will be interesting is how the teacher supporting you helps you to put some systems in place to support such a group.

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