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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. Umm, I work in a school that is considered challenging, but I do not get the **** you are describing here. Surely if you find something unacceptable, you deal with it immediately, involving the parents, and therefore the student in question knows "pissing about" just isn't" worth it.

    I don't think kids have changed, I think some teachers think they shouldn't have to do the work to establish good classroom management.
  2. Re. post 78 "I wish someone would do a major expose(e)? of UK schools and what teachers are subjected to in the classroom."

    Read Frank Chalk's book 'It's Your Time You're Wasting' Every awful classroom scenario is visited in gruesome detail. It is spot on in its descriptions of what really goes on in today's **** schools. If Tony Blair read it he might actually do something.
  3. "you deal with it immediately, involving the parents, and therefore the student in question knows "pissing about" just isn't" worth it."

    Well some school discipline systems don't allow for 'immediately' ( cough)

    What happens when the parents don't give a sh*t ??? Half of the really badly behaved kids i saw came from the kind of homes where parents were more likely to be worried where their next fix/bottle of vodka was coming from. !!

    This yob culture is the problem, but the central cause of this is often overlooked. 25 years ago half these kids would NOT have been left with a jumkie /alcoholic for a parent, they would have been removed from that environment by social services.

    Do you know why so many teachers complain about 'being a social worker'? Well it is because during the 1980's somethng dramatic happened to Social services in this country ( i have friend who is a social worker and can testify to this) Social service stopped being a preventative service and became an emergency service and their budgets are so low as to be ridiculous. Do you think 28 thousand pounds a year is enough money for a social workers case load? court costs, barristers, etc etc no.

    Social workers are tied up in the same BS as teachers, keeping families together is considered better than anything else! HUH ? when a child spends 15 years of their lives with alcoholic parents, no wonder they are a little sh*t in the classroom.

    I was listening to Radio 4 last week and their was a story about legal aid and how woman X who had been a junkie for 10 years and had now cleaned up was being damaged by the fact that she couldn't get her kids back for care and how social services were going to take here baby away. The voice over was giving the usual bleeding heart cr"p about how this was affecting woman X and how it could turn here back to drugs..o she was also in an abusive relationship too..*** !! Not ONCE was the welfare of the children mentioned .... For heavens sake.

    We wonder why we have a yob culture? it is the environment these kids are being ALLOWED to grow up in by society. Teachers are putting up with **** in the classroom because teachers are the only ones left in the 'frontline' , blame the teachers for bad schools, no, blame a society that allows children, it's FUTURE to grow up in households with abusive adults drunks and junkies .......think about it politicians talk about too much drinking, too many drugs ...
  4. oh and one more thing relating to social services. when my children were small at the age of 3 years that had a developmental visit by the Health Visitor to check they were developing properly (language, movement etc etc) and that their home lives were satisfactory, guess what that doesn't happen any more so for the 1st 4 years of a childs life there can and often is no contact with a professional health/social worker.

    So that first point of conatct at 4 or 4 and a half is a teacher..GRHHH

    the problem isn't teaching it isn't schools and teachers need to say that too. Its a society that allows that to happen. BTW 'blaming the parents' gets a lot of parents backs up the good parents who care about their kids education etc etc. We need to accept that people have kids, who quit efrankly shouldn't have kids and as a society it is about time we accepted that idea. It would make teachers lives a lot better and the kids too.

  5. Ok Dodat, I understand your frustration and I accept without question the situation within the Social Services.

    However, in my school a lot of poor behaviour in the classroom is not dealt with appropriately by the teacher, there seems to be a "what's the point" culture developing. The point is, yes these kids lack boundries and unfortunately I falls to us to clearly define them. If a teacher does this leg work the kids appreciate the guidance and fall into line. I'm not special, anyone can do this, some teachers seem not want to.
  6. I agree with Dodat - the source of classroom behaviour problems are often outside the classroom, and no matter what we try to do, we won't win.

    I also agree with Acid Tongue - some teachers seem not to want to try with these pupils. I'm one of those teachers. Of course my role as a teacher should involve the expectance of good discipline so that I can get on with teaching, but when gangs of pupils simply refuse to accept that, and realise that the "system" works to hinder the teacher, then I'm not going to spend time that should be spent doing my job, trying to get these children to show some self-discipline.
  7. So after school detentions are a major part of my school's discipline policy. I have to spend most evenings in afternoon detention. I can't bring too many in together or even certain kids in together because that results in mayhem. If they don't turn up (which they often don't) then the next step is double detentions which they may or may not turn up to. I have to run around the school trying to find their form group teachers to ensure that they are escorted to detention after school. This can be adifficult and time consuming task. These detentions don't really have any effect.

    So I am told that this is the process which I must follow AND YET I AM NOT PAID FOR THIS TIME! Hours and hours on end that I am obliged to follow and for which I am not paid. Believe me I follow it to the letter but we have kids that are seriously out of control.

    It is true that many children have parents who have all sorts of problems - alcoholism, drug abuse, etc, so calling the parents is just a complete waste of time. Other parents have simply no control either. You go through the school's behaviour policy quickly and repeatedly with them but the problem is that when they get to a certain level the policy falls apart and is completely ineffective. They will do anything rather than permanently exclude. These few day external exclusions have no effect whatsoever.

    So it is back down to the first level - to us teachers to go through the whole ridiculous process again and again with the same ones. Trying to get a lesson out through their appalling behaviour. Oh and it is all my fault because MY lessons which I work my **** off to get as interesting as possible are not interesting enough or not differentiated enough or not accessible enough. NEVER EVER to do with the fact that these kids have decided that they are there to perform for, and gain kudos with their peers, and to cause as much mayhem as possible. My fault.

    Billocam - there's chaallenging and there's challenging. All I can say is lucky you that you have some kind of raw material that you can actually deal with at some level.
  8. Sorry - correction, I didn't mean the last part to be to Billocam, it should have been to Acid tongue.
  9. angryjedi- your post succintly sums up why I am leaving teaching this year. Have no idea what I will do and am worried I might be jumping from the fire into the frying pan but I just made a decision, that this is it, I've had enough.
    Instead of standing up and fighting, I think we should all just walk out en masse. The government was smart though- they've recruited so heavily in the last decade, there would be more than enough willing recruits to take our place - until they finally had enough, too!

    Just spot on what you wrote- exactly how I feel and glad to know I'm not alone.
  10. Turquoise sea, you're not alone - I too am going to leave teaching, because there are so many barriers stopping me doing the job. In fact, I sent one application off yesterday. I'm fortunate in that I have previous industrial experience, my wife works full time, I can make a few pounds as a self-employed musician, and our mortgage is manageable. God help those who can't get out. I'm in my early forties, and another worry is that if I stay in for a few more years, I'll be too old to move.
  11. Solutions:

    1. I have always believed (since being at school) that the reintroduction of corporal punishment is needed to control those pupils who don't care (and whose families don't care) about any other sanctions.

    2. For teachers - either get a different job, or try to move to an independent school. Things are not perfect, but generally vastly better. Far fewer pupils are any sort of nuisance at all, and those that are are not in the same league. Any serious bad behaviour can be dealt with by expulsion, and is very rare indeed. I can leave most of my classes on their own for 5 minutes, and at worst they will be a bit noisy. If I left £20 on my desk it would still be there when I came back. There is far less, if any, unnecessary paperwork, and typically a no-nonsense approach to things. I can see why people would want to teach in the state sector, for the benefit of pupils who want to learn, and whose parents cannot afford a private eduction. I would be quite happy to do this, if the state sector enabled me to do that - teach pupils whose behaviour merited it (i.e. most of them), but unfortunately far too often this is not possible because of the atrocious behaviour of a minority. I teach at a Saturday school in the East End voluntarily on Saturdays, for pupils from poor areas, who are motivated, but really struggling in their schools as they are dragged back by the behaviour of classmates.

    OR give up teaching and get a different job. So many people seem to stick with it regardless of how miserable the job makes them. If people in most other jobs had to put up with a fraction of the hassle many teachers get they would leave within days. It's not like the pay or hours sufficiently fantastic to compensate for it.

    I know it's not always going to be so straightforward, but if a load of teachers in the schools that have to suffer the worst pupil behaviour all moved school, or moved job, the government might be forced to do something serious about it.
  12. I haven't read all the posts. Got a headache from crying over poor behaviour and complete lack of support.

    Teach 8-9 year olds. Some recent behaviour from one individual: answering back with 'whatever', 'am I bovvered' or 'up yours' (or all 3); responds with 'do I give a ****?' when told he will be losing golden time for his constant shouting out; continual insults towards other pupils - 'you thicko' and worse- actually called me a 'thick c**t' (under breath but audible to another pupil who informed me, though wasn't sure what it meant - i declined to explain); hits, kicks and tries to strangle other children at break and in lessons; shouts at dinner staff and when asked to stand by wall says 'make me'.

    I could go on, but fear I may end up even more depressed and finish this bottle of wine and that will make tomorrow even worse. And yes, he will be there because all the head does when I send him out so I can actually try to do my job (I say try as there are at least 5 others who display similar defiant behaviour) is let him go and play in another class or watch her at the computer. What happened to exclusion?
  13. So what I meant to say was I agree with Angry Jedi, something needs to be done before there is a max exodus of teachers who realise there's more to life than dreading going to work to face such behaviour coupled with a lack of support in dealing with it.
  14. Psycho Jo, that's really bad and I think that we tend to accept hearing about this sort of behaviour in sec schools but it's still common enough in Primary.

    You need to give yourself a goal, if possible. SAY to yourself, "just keep hanging on in there 'til summer" At that point, leave. There are nice schools out there and other careers where you'd never have to put up with it. Just try and keep calm, and plan your escape.
  15. Thanks for the kind words.
    My escape is planned for summer (moving to completely different part of country!) but it can't come soon enough.
    Have spent evening (once I calmed down!) composing letter to head about what I want from her in terms of support. It shouldn't be my job to tell her what to do!
  16. psycho jo - no you shouldn't have to do that.

    If the head doesn't know then there's no point telling her.

    This whole thread makes such depressing reading but the comment about 'where the hell do the yobs go during the day' really made me laugh.

    I often think when I see those kids on the telly, "some poor sod has to try and teach that little shît Maths"!!
  17. GelPen

    GelPen New commenter

    I teach 5 year olds and I can tell you that I can see the seeds of this already. I am not in a "tough" school as such but there is a real mixture of backgrounds. The behaviour is atrocious considering their age, they have no respect for me at all and I refuse to believe it is my classroom management - I use everything available to me and have sought advice about it, but it is just too much.

    The range of abilities (oh sorry I'm not allowed to call it ability am i because that would mean I am setting ceilings for them and damaging their self esteem) is FAR TOO GREAT. I only have a few hours support (not much at this age) and I have too many needs to meet in the time available. I teach about four different lessons simulateneously. A good chunk of the children need one to one support as far as I am concerned, but I am left to juggle with 30.

    Not only this but I have to deal with many issues re: welfare and feel that I need to add social worker to my job description with all the forms I have to fill in.

    I am not for exclusion but think that so many children are included where they should not be (at least not all the time) or at least I should not have to teach so many children. I agree with the doctor thing, how could he treat 30 patients at once? I reckon I will do this job for no more than a couple of years as I am disillusioned, stressed and frustrated. I am sick of doing all this and running myself ragged then being blamed for the children's lack of respect or my inability to "support their needs" when it is humanly impossible to split myself in to ten.

    I feel for all of you who told stories of kids throwing stuff etc. in secondary - if this is how 5 year olds make me feel then I think you should all quit today! Good luck to all.

  18. Well, I had a sh!te end to the day with my second bottom set of S2 (12/13 year-olds). I've got two with ADHD and 4 others who are just 'disaffected' (in other words they're lazy ******* who'll do whatever they can as long as it isn't work). I've tried everything I can think of with them - separating them, shouting at them, praising them, punishment exercises, detentions and so on. Every time I see them I end up feeling so sorry for the other 18/20 in the class who actually want to learn - unfortunately with the 6 numpties in there what I have to do is more like crowd control than anything else...
  19. I wasnt going to post this because if my head reads this he will know exactly who I am.

    I was teaching a sixth form class today. In comes another 6th former who isnt in my class. When I asked him why he felt it was OK to walk into my class while I was teaching he became verbally aggressive and I asked him to leave. On the way out he called me a "Scottish cun*". My whole class heard him.

    I reported the matter to the HOY, as procedure required. I got an email today from a deputy head saying the boy in question is not being excluded, as would be normal, as his mum is ill. He will be in school tomorrow. He is to receive no form of sanction.

    I have just got back from cubs, I have a pile of marking to do, I have a sore throat and the student who called me a "Scottish cun*" will be there tomorrow when I get in.

    I have been pondering a move abroad for a while now. Personal circumstances now mean I cant go abroad. But I have been reading about independent schools ..... Time to leave the state system to its inevitable bitter end I think.
  20. psycho-jo, it'll soon be christmas hols - this thought keeps me going, that and the majority of kids in the class who always seem pleased to see me and do their best to get the most out of my lessons, which are usually disrupted by behaviour of the few. I could have written your post, my class sounds so similar - one extreme behaviour and others who are easily unsettled and end up disrupting too. I am so feeling the lack of support in school. Today he punched another child twice (after he'd been calling out, crawling under desks etc). At this point I sent for support. HT came and took him for 1/2 an hour. Returned him to class. He danced around tables and when this was ignored he pushed a child off their chair. Sent for head again. Out he went again for another 1/2 hour. Returned and after standing on a chair shouting for a couple of minutes, left and messed about in corridor til hometime. Meanwhile flow of lesson completely messed up and I really struggled to settle rest of class. Feel very isolated at school even though other teachers say supportive things I'm the only one having such difficulties with a class.
    Everyday I tell myself its not the end of the world and its not worth crying about but often just can't stop those tears the minute I open my front door. Think I'll be gone by easter. I loved the 2 years I worked in a different school and although there was some very challenging behaviour I really felt the whole school supported each other. I feel I can be a great teacher but not in this school.
    Sorry to go on so long. If you're still reading psycho, hope you get the support you need.

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