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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. The trouble is that I would change MINORITY to MAJORITY at least in my school your bog standard comprehensive.
  2. I have had some nasty experiences with behaviour whilst i have been on placements. Last year I had a horrible class who never listened to me or followed orders. To be honest i think the presence of the class teacher made things worse. He told me to strictly stick to the schools behaviour policy which was one verbal warning then a punishment exercise. Unfortunately, he stated that since I was only a student teacher I was not allowed to issue punishment exercises but had to get him to do it. During one lesson I struggled my way through the chatter and general defiance of the pupils. They were really badly behaved and it did not help when the class teacher just left the classroom just as they were about to kick off. Anyway one very stressful 20 minutes later and i had gathered 4 pupils whose atrocious behaviour merited a punishment exercise. When i told the class teacher that i needed 4 exercises issued, he realised he did not have the punnie forms. He went to speak to the four offending pupils who i had kept behind, I laughed and joked with them in a 'you're lucky today' type way and let them go with no punishment I felt so undermined. grrrrrrrrr
  3. *he laughed and joked

    not I oops
  4. Well since being on placement for two weeks in this time I have witnessesd three violent attacks on teachers. The students were punished by being suspended but one of them continued to threaten the teacher by leaving notes on her car! One of these pupils were even in year 7! to be honest I think its going to get to the point where teachers are afraid to turn up at their own job, I know on some days I feel like this! We are not given support needed to protect us from these voiolent and disrespectful pupils. Some thing extreme needs to be done to protect teachers and also protect those pupils who have the right to an education. I think that parents should be directly proscuted if their child does not behave correctly in the classroom, maybe then we could all get on with our job!
  5. Haven't read all the posts in this thread, so apologies if I am covering old ground. An effective vehicle to get recognition of the behaviour problem SHOULD be the teaching unions. Unfortunately from the 1970s onward the unions boarded the left wing liberal politically correct bandwagon with the education college lecturers, 'researchers', psychologists and other bullsh*tters who did not have to cope with bad behaviour. Teachers need to reclaim their unions and make them concentrate on
    teachers' conditions, rights and safety rather than irrelevant political issues. The effects of behaviour on health and safety at work are probably a route to get action. Maybe then the politicians will take notice.
  6. This is something which I have never understood.

    If a job is dangerous, i.e. it adversely affects the health of those doing the job, the employer and the health and safety executive have a legal obligation to take steps to ensure the employee is protected. Teaching is not exempt from these laws. If classroom behaviour adversely affects the health of a teacher, senior management have a legal obligation to rectify the situation.
    Two of my colleagues have recently been long term sick due to stress. One of them is never setting foot in a school again.

    Why dont our unions have the balls to take one set of senior management in one particularly bad school to court over neglecting their health and safety of their employees? All it would take is one set of management to be closely examined in the full light of the accompanying publicity to make the others take the issue seriously. Fear of litigation and publicity will motivate senior management far more effectively than simply relying on their humanity.

    Secondly, I would call on every teacher in every school to report all acts of violence and intimidation to the police. By all means report them to the school management as well. You watch how quickly senior management take action against violence.

    My short time as a teacher has taught me that school management is on the whole incompetent beyond belief. They are not motivated in the slightest by the suffering of teachers. Teacher unions are pathetic, inactive and passive shadows of what a union is supposed to be. They should be hanging their heads in shame.

    In my small corner of the universe I will be seeking to take back control of my classroom. I hate politics but I now realise it is the ONLY effective way to get things to change. I fully realise I will probably get fired.

  7. chaucer73

    chaucer73 New commenter

    yes physical assault IS a health & safety issue

    see my post 57

    you can have a risk assessment conducted on a pupil to ascertain whether there is a health & safety issue with them!

    also, teacher's welfare comes under this umbrella.
    get into action, do not put up with violence whether actual or threatened!
  8. Re #59

    "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."

    I beg to differ on that point. In the four different schools I taught in across the year of my PGCE and my three years as a full-time teacher, I did not have one single class where I did not have to stop at least once to deal with some sort of unacceptable behaviour - and I'm not just talking about talking out of turn, I'm talking about violence, disrespect, swearing, storming out, refusing to work.

    In the more extreme classes, it was literally impossible to do a piece of practical work because there were so many unpleasant children messing around in potentially dangerous ways in many cases.

    Whether or not there are only "a handful" of children in classes causing problems, and whether or not they ARE in the minority (which, as I say, I do not believe) the fact is that they SHOULDN'T be doing this sort of thing IN THE FIRST PLACE. Teachers are powerless to stop them, thanks to "inclusion" and the "victim mentality" aimed at children - i.e. the "They're only children! What could they possibly do wrong?" approach - coupled with the lack of any truly deterring consequences to their actions.

    It only takes one disruptive child to ruin a lesson - and in some cases, more than half the class can be disruptive in this way. I thought of my worst class as you suggested and I named thirteen people who were regular troublemakers. That's hardly "a handful".
  9. I am totally fed up with the c*ap that is currently going on in my school. What a load of pathetic nonsense: circle time, school council, class council, PSHCE ABC DEF and so on....where on Earth is the British Education system heading?!
  10. Angry Jedi. I couldn't agree more with your post- I've been driven up the wall with nightmare pupils doing what they like and getting absolutely no backup when they swear at me, cause mayhem in the classroom don't turn up for detention etc. You should get together with Frank Chalk- he's always writing about stuff like this on his blog and if I remember rightly, he was trying to get an MP to bring this up in parliament.

  11. I am in the process of writing a book, actually, Dave. I have plenty of stories to tell about teaching - both good and bad - enough that I think it will make interesting reading for a variety of eye-opening reasons.
  12. AJ...further evidence of the unacceptable working conditions that teachers have to tolerate:

    | Posted by: eddiev at 17 Nov 2006 14:46

    I have just walked out of my lesson and refused to go back into the room. The class is unteachable, and I have just had something thrown at my head. Earlier in the week I had a condom thrown at me, and on Wedneday another member of the department had a bottle thrown at her head. She has been off since then.
    Earlier in the year I was assaulted by a student in the same class, and was signed off for 2 weeks as a result.
    I have already resigned, and have another job for January. I just don't think I can stand it here any longer. I cry every morning when I wake up as I don't want to come to work. What can I do?

  13. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    I expect (hope) someone will go the H&S route at some time, then the **** really will hit the fan.

    The above story (71) is not atypical, sadly, and in the real world, you either have to be protected from this or, alternatively, trained to handle it. Just ignoring it isn't an option.

    One post baffles me and that is the one saying Secondary Modern schools were worse in the 1970s.

    I used to live in EBD schools in the 1970s (not as a pupil) and my memory is that *they* were better than many modern High Schools !
  14. re

    re New commenter

    But that was ebd, with small classes and a much lower pupil teacher ratio. I started my working life in a sec. mod. and it was awful, despite what thety say on the telly.
  15. You are so right, Angry Jedi. The situation is untenable.

    The reason why it is so poor is because teachers are prepared to put up with it, and our unions are prepared to let us put up with it.

    We should have regular and systematic strikes until inclusion at all costs is abolished. We - and our unions - should DEMAND instant expelsion for any pupil who physically assaults a teacher.

    And the idealogues and waffle-merchants at the universities should be taken out the picture, and the whole Special Needs gravy train abolished.

    Children are behaving like untrained animals because they can. And they do. Punishment - and acceptance of punishment by the system - must return. For far too long, education has been run by a sheltered liberal elite with no real experience, and no real idea of what chalkface teachers put up with.
  16. I find it tragic that there is this huge focus on yob culture and youths out in the streets at night making neighbourhoods a misery, etc. WHERE THE HELL DOES EVERYONE THINK THEY GO IN THE DAYTIME! We have to bloody try to TEACH them! Sorry - bad day today.
  17. I think that the only way this problem is ever going to be addressed is when teachers start taking their employers to court over these conditions. Law suits or the threat of a sea of them is the only thing that will actually cause them (the LEAs and in turn the Dept for Education) to sit up and take notice. Why do we not hear about teachers doing this? God knows they have good reason. How many lawsuits have been brought against employers by teachers regarding stress and poor health brought on by a sustained exposure to abuse in their working environment?

    Where else are employees subjected to such an unacceptable working environment? Surely this exposure to abuse over long terms is against EU regulations? How many teachers suffer from severe stress and other medical conditions brought on by their working environment? As an NQT, I know as an absolute fact that whether or not I get a reasonable observation is directly linked to whether I get a good or a bad class, and that which class I am observed with is a lottery, hence whether my obs is good or bad is a lottery. It is out of my hands and I know that. I would not have a hope in hell with some classes which are half full of kids who are completely out of control across the board. Then I could be told that MY lesson is sub standard because of MY skills - nothing to do with the pupils - all down to me. I question that whole premise. I could do the exact same lesson with another group and get an uutstanding. From fail to outstanding with the same set of skills on my part. It is farcical.

    I am sitting up late, stressed to the eyeballs and I can't sleep with the day I've had and the abuse I've had. And I have to smile and go back for more on Monday.

    Also, it breaks my heart to see the ones who want to learn straining to pick out the lesson through the appalling performances of these atrociously behaved pupils. And why? Oh yes, I need to look at my teaching practice - that is the problem. Nothing at all to do with the behaviour of the pupils. We do value added with the schools but we bloody well don't when assessing the teachers observations in relation to the pupils they are actually working with. Rant over.

  18. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    OFSTED, DfES, LEAs etc will *always* blame the teacher more or less entirely.

    The alternative, to blame the pupils to some extent, opens an enormous can of worms ; they simply don't want to go there.
  19. But that IS the problem. They can introduce all the new policies they like but until that issue is properly addressed then it is simply a complete farce. For the first time I am seriously questioning whether I want to subject myself to this profession.

    autismuk - please elaborate. I think the can of worms should be blown wide open. I wish someone would do a major expose(e)? of UK schools and what teachers are subjected to in the classroom. The UK public are shocked if smeone home videos a yob having a go at them in the street. It bloody well makes national news! How do they think that yob behaves in school? How apathetic that we teachers on the whole just take it and do nothing. We accept it as our lot. It is just depressing.
  20. I think pupils should be blamed, and made to take responsibility for their own actions. I do not accept this pious rubbish that 'they are misbehaving and swearing at you because your lessons are not interesting enough to stimulate them'. At some time, pupils WILL have to work - life is not one long entertainment, and expecting school to be one is pointless.

    I am completely against this school of thought - epitomised in the victimisation of some teachers by the armchair liberal clowns at the GTC - that the teacher is to blame at all costs.

    As far as I am concerned, if some thick little guttersnipe lout swears at me, the wrongdoing rests with him. Full stop. I reject the premise that I got sworn at because I am not interesting, lively, trendy or inspiring enough to inpire the liking of the thick little guttershipe lout in the first place.

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