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A call to action against poor behaviour in schools and the prevalence of useless "policies" preventing teachers doing their job

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by angry jedi, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. exactly Kids get the only academic qualifications matter vibe. Why is it that certain subject already being taught in schools, such as Citizenship, PSHE, R.E. etc are not being taken seriously by pupils and their behaviour worsens as a result? Simply they are not full examination subjects.

    Trawling through these boards over the last few months I have noticed that a lot of complaints of bad behaviour in schools stems from secondary teachers who do NOT teach the traditional academic subjects, e.g. maths, English, etc etc .....

    This needs to change, hey lets be really ironic here lets start a campaign to teach non-academic skills based subjects in the name of Inclusion for those pupils who do not wish to, or simply cannot achieve the magic A* to C grades.
  2. I teach a traditional subject. I get over 75% return on homework in year 7, about 50% in year 8, less than 25% in year 9 and about 5% in year 10..don't bother to set homework for year 11s and the consultant working with me didn't bat an eyelid about that...When i was teaching 10 years ago in a similarly 'tough' school, non return of homework was the EXCEPTION not the rule...when do i telephone the dozens of parents who need to be told their darlings aren't doing any work??? or write??? or try again??? going to get incoherent now....

    basically, it's not the subject that matters...I mean all maths, science, english teachers are so aware of how much responsibility they have in terms of whole school reputation that there is TOO much bending over backwards with after school, holiday and saturday school 'clubs' 'teaching' kids what should be taught and attended to on the days they are IN SCHOOL......

    sorry...getting off the point in a way...

    those of you getting out..what are you up to? plans? decisions?
  3. Hello Melkdown,
    From your figures it would seem the increase in non return of homework is a direct result of non action against those in year 7 .
    As the co-operative pupils see that there are no consequences they too don't bother to hand in work.

    Until even the ones who genuinely would like to succeed at GCSE think it is a waste of time or don't want to appear as 'swots' to their peers.

    How simple it would be if all that was needed was to get tough with year 7's and maintain that throughout their schooling.

    In Primary the behaviour can be seen to begin to deteriorate in year 6 when a number of the boys start to swagger around, full of their own importance. Perhaps it's because they are the oldest ones in the school?

  4. Melkdown wow!! Like I say I am a withdrawing PGCE student so my comments about traditional subjects vis-a-vis RE/PSHE etc, were based more on Lesson obs and seeing that kids seemed to automatically behave better, in traditional subjects without being told to do so.

    For me it looks like retail as a career I hate office work..so.

    Does anyone else here have any constructive comments or insights to offer on the problem of behaviour, why we have reached this point, whether that be in-school, our external factors?

    I am interested to know, I still care about education, I still care about kids,teaching is just wrong for me. I do view my withdrawal from the course as a positive decision and I still admire those that chose to stick it out, so I would be interested to hear what positive experiences teahcers have had.
  5. Presently temping. (****)

    Have applied for jobs on magazines, working in an audio studio for a video game company and to work as a "specialist" in a certain fruit-based computer company's new local store. I'd be happy doing any of them.

    Anything but teaching. Or, as I've discovered, typing letters on behalf of other people who argue about tree roots and desiccated soil.
  6. .... I am SERIOUSLY considering writing a long letter/article to the Education Minister and sending copies to serious newspapers.
  7. Likewise. I have already written to my MP (a slightly expanded version of my original post) and I am considering copying it to newspapers and others.
  8. AJ

    You MUST do that. It's about time somebody took the lid off the festering can and exposed what is really going on in schools. Send your document to the BBC and Horizon as well.
  9. AJ

    Add this to your dossier. Just unbelievable.

    1 | Posted by: Simple_minds at 08 Nov 2006 21:22

    I was attacked the other day by a pupil with a stool. I have had on going problems with this child and have dealt with them in a calm and firm manner. However, the other day I caught him signing his own report card (he has just come out of the unit) and I took it off him.

    I told him to come back at the end of school to discuss the matter; he failed to turn up. The next day I found out where he was and went to see him to issue an hours detention. I was calm, did not raise my voice and did not physically touch him in any way. He exploded with rage and grabbed a stool off the table and tried to smash me over the head, swearing obscenities as he did so.

    Anyway, I managed to get the stool off him without touching him and he fled. I went to see my HOD who instructed me to write a report, which I did. She took one to the HOY and discussed the matter.

    I was informed that this individual has just been released from the unit for another serious offence and would be excluded to await a meeting. However, when I went into school the next day there was the child happily in lessons like nothing had happened.

    I went balistic and went straight to my HOD then the Deputy head in charge of such matters. I made it very clear that I was not happy and wanted something done. Later that day he was excluded. I have to now wait and see what happens.

    Has anyone got any advice as to what I should do if the matter is not resolved to my satisfaction. My worry is that the school is setting a bad example by allowing violent individuals back into school after such an incident. It tells other pupils that it is ok to attack teacher etc.

    Am i over reacting? What does anyone else think?

    Apologies for the length of this post!

    Topic: Getting attacked!!! We don't get paid enough!
    (1 messages)
  10. Compiling a "dossier" is a great idea, dydx - and I think I'll do it. I'll need the help of other people who feel the same though.

    If you're interested in doing something about this, please email me on angry_jedi(at)hotmail.co.uk with details of incidents that have happened to you, ineffective management or misapplication of useless "policies". Please indicate clearly whether or not you would like your real name/school name included in your account. Please also tell me the area, town or LEA where you are teaching.

    Once I have collected a suitable number of accounts from different people on different subjects, I will compile these together into a full-on document and send it to anyone who will listen.

    Something HAS to be done, and I'm feeling oddly inspired to do something about it myself now that I'm out of the profession.
  11. eha


    Just wanted to express my admiration for those of you who've had the get-up-and-go to start some form of action. And also to say to dydx and others who ask if they're 'over-reacting', by going ballistic over the things that have happened to them. NO YOU ARE NOT. A physical attack is something that the whole institution has to take seriously. If they don't, you're entitled to make as much fuss as necessary to get SOMEONE to listen. (Don't hit the bstrds though; that way, YOU'll end up being prosecuted. Until we have protection from all forms of abuse --including verbal and psychological--- in the workplace, NO WAY are we 'over-reacting' when we demand a decent work environment. Godammit, we're just asking for what used to be regarded as normal: it's not as if we were asking for red carpets, comfy armchairs in the staffroom, kids and parents to enter our presence in a supplicatory posture.
    Come to think of it, though...
  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Totally agree with the OP. I'm a NQT and today I've been verbally abused, had pupils backchat and call me names, and also been called a racist because a game decision in hockey went against a black pupil (it was his white friend who called me a racist. A pupil today also decided to leave the lesson 2 mins early and climbed out of the window, and proceeded to kick up a fuss when he saw that this had ripped his trousers. I also told another pupil that we would have to have a little chat after he kept playing with his mobile phone despite repeated instructions, to which he replied 'I'm not that sort of guy Sir'.

    I came into teaching, and this school, to help kids and provide a good start in life. I have filled in forms of concern etc, but I did that last week and the kids are still tunring up to my lessons acting in the same way. I've had to call behaviour support 3 times for one pupil today. I don't know what behaviour support do to them, sometimes I think they give them some tea and biscuits and have a chin wag.

    The PGCE tells you that behaviour is in your hands, OFSTED will make it out that good teaching + good behaviour. But they all miss the underlying issues.

    I have always believed that there should be a sort of students union in schools, like at Uni. This Union would encapsulate PE, Citizenship and other activities. Pupils would have so many hours each week for these activities. We need to draw a fine line between academic work and personal development.

    Priorities for pupils these days is friendship. They are at the age of trying to find themselves in this world, and faced with the prospect of doing homework or going out to make friends,they will choose the later.

    Schools are being ruined by idiots, some of whom have idiot parents. I went through secondary school in classes with idiots and it has a massive effect on you. I look at pupils in my classes and my heart bleeds, these pupils have so much potential yet these prats are holding them back.

    As a NQT I am thinking whether this is for me. I am also a school sports coordinator and I have massive concerns over PE. After working in primary schools I can see how these issues can snowball. PE and other activities can play a major part in any school. Once kids have an activity they are engaged in a purposeful activity and they are making friends.
  13. Am I the only teacher who enjoys her job and actually LIKES working with young people, even in a tough school?

    If I didn't like it, I would get another job.

  14. eha


    Oh, I like WORKING with young people, when I'm given a chance to do so. The stories on this, and other threads, though, are nothing to do with teachers' work; they're to do with the breakdown of social mores. Since when has teaching been defined as forcing knowledge on young people who are simply not yet socialized, even at quite advanced ages? And that's what most of us have to do these days. I DO NOT consider it 'part of the job' to force kids to attend school; to control violence-- both physical and psychological; to deal with mixed groups of people with various sociopsychological problems bureaucratically herded together without any attention to the consequences---- this isn't what teaching is about. Or if it is, then we need a new paradigm--- and new training. Crowd control and karate should take care of it; forget Bruner: think Bruce Lee.
  15. Agree with the original post. Often poor behaviour is tolerated by Heads who have no idea how to discipline the kids. There needs to be a strong person at the helm-someone that the kids would never wish to be sent to. My last Head (Ive retired early as I couldnt stand it any longer)used to take the naughty kids out of class and give them tea and biscuits. When staff rang for support, the kids would say "I hope its Mr B as he gives us biscuits."
    I think its time the Government were made aware of what really goes on in school
  16. I DO like working with young people! I left my PGCE because quite frankly, I did not want spend the rest of my working life fighting an uphill battle. It did not take me very long to realise that I would extremely frustrated teaching within a school,it was not the right environment for ME. I am not anti-inclusion in principle, to re-iterate I certainly do not want to return to the dark ages of dyslexic children in special ed, I am not anti-teacher, I am now, after seeing what schools are really like, deeply concerned for our youth. I would also say I am definetly not pro-corporal punishment either, but something needs to change dramatically, in order to do this we really need to understand what inclusion should meand versus what it actually means in practice.

    1) As have said before, class sizes are too big, far too big to make inclusion viable... again a doctor with 30 patients and one hour ... not possible, so why should teachers be expected to fulfill that role.

    2) Education in the British psyche is firmly rooted in the idea that the ONLY place education takes place is within schools !! Inclusion is about individuals and yet inclusion as practised means that every child must fit into the same environment .... yeah exactly they dont match do they? School is not and never has been right for everyone, we need to think about that. we need not just as educators but as a nation to seriously debate what education is for and where education really takes place.
  17. The 'tough' school I work at prides itself in the forums it provides for input from students and parents. Management plead with us to sell these to the kids and to their parents. Meanwhile, if teachers want to say anything in the one, ten minute, whole-staff briefing in a working week they have to put in their request in advance the week before!!! THAT is our forum.

    Most schools I have worked in before, so-called 'tough' or otherwise, recognised that their most valuable resources are teachers and I have always felt free enough to speak out.

    Over a month ago a colleague was pushed by a KS3 student. Despite this being brought to the attention of management and the boy in question spoken to, NO ACTION has been taken. Every day, some kid or other will stick their head in my classroom while I 'm teaching and shout at someone or tell me to **** off. They will run away knowing that I have no idea who they are.

    I work up to 12 hours a day in school. Much of that time is spent chasing up disciplinary matters in order to attempt to be consistent and to show kids that there are consequences. (However, senior colleagues undermine these attempts my cutting detention times down to suit them...)This 'work' cuts into planning and marking time. This, in turn, is affecting the quality of my teaching which, of course, means that classroom management is made tougher...

    I could go on about ways in which the system works against us, senior management intimidates/ bullies us and we undermine each other...it is sad and, despite trying to give teaching ONE MORE GO...I know I must get out. I love working with kids. I love my subject. However, I am increasingly school phobic!!!

    RESPECT to those of you who just get on with it...RESPECT to those of you who decide you just can't get on with it any more...
  18. chaucer73

    chaucer73 New commenter


    what you describe is a physical assault

    you must notify and involve your union rep
    it is actually a health and safety matter, a member of your school SMT will be responsible for staff welfare, a risk assessment could/should be carried out on that pupil
    do not settle for no action, your union will back you
    good luck
  19. Tiggs, Not all tough schools are the same. I've only been teaching 2 years but have taught in 2 different 'tough' schools. I enjoyed the first one-kids did swear(though not dierctly at me); they did mess about in lessons; they did need lots of input to get them to engage in lessons; they did have fights etc. BUT senior staff were supportive, kids inappropriate behaviour was followed up, there were exclusions, kids did (despite very visible behaviour) have some respect for staff and when treated fairly would at least try to cooperate. I liked working there a lot (maybe not loved as it was such hard work).
    Now in another 'tough' school. Kids swear at me and other staff, attempt to disrupt every lesson (that are so carefully planned), they bully other pupils, they run in and out of classrooms etc. AND they are not excluded and school policy is be positive - break time/lunch time detentions are not encouraged and have to be done by class teacher. I hate my job and feel so sad for all the kids (well behaved or not) whose needs are not been met. Feel completely torn now, I feel I've made a commitment to the school and kids and so should persevere (and no jobs around here) but also I hate my job right now. Its not so easy to just leave - or is it?

    OP-thanks for OP. I'll be writing.
  20. re

    re New commenter

    I am in two minds about this. I would be quite happy to agree with the OP except for the rubbish s/he talks about the past. I started teaching in 1980 at a low achieving secondary modern and behaviour/respect have got BETTER NOT WORSE. One of the problems that we face is that a lot of teahcers are reasonably high achievers themselves (I know it doesn't feel like it when we get the pay check) - we all have a minimum of 5 A - C, including English and Maths at GCSE, therefore were never in the bottom sets at school, or even, not at the school where these sink kids were.

    On corporal punishment - read the research, angry Jedi. Or answer this question - if it worked, why did people get repeatedly caned?

    Yes kids are bad. Yes some are backed up by their parents. Yes kids skive off. And are encouraged to do so by their parents. Yes kids are rude/swear/are lazy/ shiow disrespect etc. BUT THESE ARE IN THE MINORITY.

    And we have always had them.

    As an experiment - write down the name of the worst class you taught/teach. Name the ringleaders. I would guess that there are only a handful at most. My favourite quote about teaching is that the ideal class size is three less than you have at the moment- as long as you can pick the three.

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