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A boy who will do nothing....

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by mizzybie, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Hi, I have been teaching 10 years and this is only the second time I have ever encountered a student with this issue. I have a boy in my year 9 English class who will do nothing. I have differentiated the work and looked through his "best work" folder so I know he can do the work but he just will do nothing in lessons. i have tried sanctions - he doesn't turn up to detentions so it then gets escalated out of my control. I have phoned mum to no avail. I have him removed from lessons at least once a week due to his refusal to do work. And the frustrating thing is he doesn't think he is doing anything wrong because he's not entering into the overt "naughty" behaviour. To even get the date written in his book I have to stand over him and prompt him about 5-6 times which I don't have the time to do as the rest of the class are low ability and have behaviour problems. His book is an embarrassment. The HOD is despairing at me because I keep referring him to her. I have only ever met one other student for whom nothing worked. I have spoken to his Head of year but apparently I'm the only on with a problem with him (which isn't true as I've spoken to his other teachers and seen his behaviour record) and is denying all responsibility and refusing to put him on report. I have asked for strategies but am getting nothing back except "yeah, he's a lazy toad in my lesson too". I am new to the school and I am getting frustrated by my high expectations of work not being supported and low expectations students have of themselves not being challenged - but that's a different (although linked) issue.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions? I am going to get a 4 in that class if OFSTED (or anyone) sees it - and it would be thoroughly deserved because I don't have a handle on the behaviour - partly because I am spending so much time on this boy.
  2. Sucks that senior management aren't supporting you. Could you get teachers who have him to email you their opinions on him. Remove their names and print off before showing to ensure teachers are anonymous if they are worried about being tarnished. Print off the SIMS behaviour log. Send an email to HoY requesting a meeting to discuss the student. Then go to the HoY with this evidence. Ensure notes are made and emailed to you. If possible email the evidence with them to ensure there is a paper trail. More to cover yourself, but it might make sure they get involved. Could you put him on subject report?

    You mentioned a 'best work' folder. Who did this work with him? Could they offer ideas?

    When you spoke with parents, what was their attitude?

    As a suggestion, I had a bottom set last year, and found it really difficult to motivate most students. They really didn't like listening for more than about 2 minutes, and needed a lot of cajoling to get anything done. Could you give him a list of tasks to complete. If you do 1, 2, 3 you are fine. If you do not do this by the end of the lesson you get a detention. If you get onto task 4, 5, 6 you get a merit/reward? Possibly make it a competition? Possibly structured sheets, with objective a series of tasks? Traffic light at start and end to show progress. something you can give a minimum to easily, and he can do out of the room where necessary. more work prep-wise, but it may free up time in lessons away from forcing him to work.
  3. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I have to say I'm a little concerned that your problem with this child is to do with your own Ofsted grading... rather then why the boy as stopped working.

    His behaviour is essentially attention seeking... and usually children seek attention because they actually need it.

    Find a lesson where it is followed by break or lunch time and keep him behind... Give him a piece of paper with sentence starters on and ask him to complete the sentences.

    Sentence starters should be something like:

    When I'm at home my favourite thing to do is...

    When I'm at school my favourite thing to do is....

    When I leave school I want to be...

    If I could do anything in the world I would...

    The best thing about my life is...

    The worst thing about my life is...

    If he still refuses to write ask him the questions, you've tried telling him off so try another approach. Most importantly listen to his answers and then ask him why he doesn't like participating in your lessons, and be prepared for him to be brutal... but more likely you will discover that it has nothing to do with you.

    Children going through problems will often want to seek help but have no idea how to ask... the fact that he has chosen not to work in your lesson could indicate that he actually likes and trusts you and is waiting for you to notice he needs help... taking a little time to talk to him about him, rather then his work, may just turn the corner for you both.

    The key to engaging children to work is always to get them to want to work for you and that requires relationship building.
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    The thing that stood out here for me was 'it then gets escalated out of my control'. What actually happens? If a student fails to turn up to a detention, then they need to get an escalated sanction, sure- usually a longer detention or an alternative method. If a student repeatedly does this, then the escalation should continue up to and including exclusion. If you have genuinely tried every method available to you as a teacher, then your support should kick in, and the HoD or HoL has a responsibility to give you solutions and alternatives, such as alternative provision for this boy elsewhere if he's upsetting your lessons.

    So don't just see the escalation as 'beyond your control'. You are part of that process, and you remain part of it until the boy leaves your class. So demand to know what's being done above your head, and then persist in asking when he persists in not working.

    Good luck

  5. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    One of my colleague used to tell me: "pick the battle when you can win".

    I normally am persistent with kids and wear them down eventually but there will always be one or two cases that even I can't win. I just put them in the corner of the room, ignore them and move on. They have one chance in life with school, if they mess it up, it is their choice and their problem. If every child matters then I'm sure the rest of the class deserve your time more.

    You never know how he will react when being ignored.

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