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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. Actually I think the problem is extremely difficult to resolve - although as suggested above I doubt teaching unions have been of much help in this area over the last few decades.
    The key problem is a considerable reduction in adult authority within society that is reflected in an assoicated decline in teacher authority.
    No union can't really be expected to deal with this, al;though their refusal to even counter is a disgrace. But if it's societies problem don't hide it away thru professional BSing, report to society's police force.
    If the powers-that-be give children adult rights then really there must be adult discipline. Society has to understand that,
    Gove's changes are not going to work, all that will happen is that teachers will become 'little policemen' which although it makes a change from 'little social workers' is still going to fail.
    The real problem is the dilution of adult authority. If we're all adults now, fair enough, but no 'special cases' please.....
  2. I am sure you list of effective charactistics is spot on. However you probably forgot about the most important feature of an effective schools, selection, whether direct or indirect.
    I suspect most of the stories recounted here come for schools that can't be as selective as your own hence why the management appears so ineffective.
  3. Most sensible thing I've read in this thread.
  4. In post 152 you said....
    Not relying on punishment surely means that you can confidently say that said resource is so inspirational the vast majority of secondary school students would, given the choice of doing anything they wanted to, choose to engage with the activities and resources on offer.
    I've never seen such a resource and from what I can gather so far neither have you.
    I am also confused by your statements about rules/rewards/sanctions. Firstly rules do not make up one third of the system - the system is that you are rewarded for following the rules and punished for breaking them.
    Secondly I don't like it when people make attempts to quantify the proportion of rewards and punishments that should be given and suggest that a behaviour system that hands out a larger proportion of rewards is a good system. Surely rewards and punishment are meant to be deserved - the second we start thinking that we are obliged to reward two students because we have punished another we begin to lower expectations and the system breaks down. If you have a good discipline system it shouldn't matter how many punishments or rewards you give as long as they are justly given.

  5. I think you should apologise for the stereotypical farrago of the whole story.
  6. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Why? That accurately portrays the behaviour, attitude and demeanour of pupils towards teachers in many school, and the manner of 'support' from SMT with regards to bad behaviour. Is it stereotypical because it is so common? Or has this sort of situation not arisen in your experience?
  7. Mmmm... I wonder how "typical" a description like this is?
    "What the teacher noticed most, however, was the Head’s hair, perfectly trimmed and blowdried, but quite obviously dyed as he sought, no doubt, to convey the impression, not so much of a Headteacher of a council estate comprehensive school, as of a young CEO of a vibrant, dynamic, trendy specialist academy.
    Not even the teeth had escaped the makeover: crowns and dental whitening added the final touches to his handsome, striking appearance."

    That's not an accurate description, gary, that's Mills and Boon. You really ought to be able to separate fact from patently obvious fiction at your age, you know.
  8. I have had a desk thrown at me - as well as other objects - and on one occasion told the head I couldn't carry on working there and walked out.
    The head was nothing like the one in your story: the disciplinary action taken was that the boy concerned had to spend one week in isolation, sitting at a desk in the corridor outside the head's room.
    I didn't feel safe in that particular school. I have heard of a teacher somewhere else being punched by a pupil, drawing blood. He was then asked to continue teaching him.

  9. The point isn't that every useless heads has had their hair and teeth done. The point is that all useless heads have got where they are by giving a false impression of their abilities and past accomplishments. This heads appearance is all part and parcel of his particular brand of self promotion and ********.
    Anyway Gary wasn't talking about this part of the article and you know it.
    The issue at hand is the behaviour of the pupil and the heads reaction to that behaviour.

  10. 'that's Mills and Boon...'
    Well, no, more like Tom Wolfe, or some other rather good satirist of managerialist image-manipulation.....
  11. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    In my experience the behaviour and attitude of the children to the teacher is typical - in fact very common in some schools. Do you not believe this? As is the manner of 'support' (ie not properly addressing the seriousness of the behaviour towards the teacher), as I said. Are you doubting this - or are you going to focus on the non-behaviour, non-lack-of-support part of the description, ignoring the behaviour of the kid and HT.
    What part of post 159 do you think is unrealistic?
    Do you think pupils wouldn't ever try to barge past a teacher at the end of the lesson when he's asked them to stay behind? I've known that happen to many colleagues - SMT advice is almost always 'let them go'.
    Pupils screaming in the face of teachers. You think this never happens? I know it does.
    What else. Pupils swearing at teachers. I'm afraid pupils in some schools do use very crude, offensive, abusive language against teachers. You disagree? Really?
    Throwing furniture over. Again, I've known it happen (admittedly only once to me, by I've known it happen to other teachers - kids throwing chairs in a classroom).
    Throwing things at teachers. I've had heavy text books thrown at me. Loads of teachers have been assaulted in this way. It happens. Do you really not believe this?
    SMT completely unsupportive of teachers with discipline.......

  12. Totally agree with Gc. Actually, I quite enjoyed Ralphiedunn's anecdote: surely, the intention was to employ a touch of satire to alleviate the grim reality which is all too common in secondary school classrooms. Perhaps minivan took exception because he is a member of a SMT made of the same (Hugo Boss) cloth as the HT in question!
  13. Congratulations, Gary - not many people rack up less than 50% of my experience. Well done on lasting so long...
    See, once again you attempt to redefine the question in order to bolster the weakness of your position. Let's get this straight. I have not said any of these situations are "unrealistic", and nor did I say that they never happen - I said they were not TYPICAL. I feel you may again have to apologise to me for getting the wrong end of the stick. Yes these things happen - but are they TYPICAL? I think not...
    My main gripe with the story is that it is written in a way that is absolutely propagandist. Notice the description of the pupil and the SMT member: even before they open their mouths, the narrator sets them up as the villains of the piece, with snide references to the "adjoining housing estate" (whoopee, he lives in nice bungalow!), the quite frankly astonishing insult about the child's mother going to bingo, and the aforementioned description of the HT.
    Note too how perfect the narrator presents the teacher. Of course he's done everything by the book; of course he's sent out the detention slip; of course he speaks to the child in a reasonable way. Although, to be honest, if anyone ever spoke about my mother the way the teacher does, I'd have punched him - wouldn't you?!
    So, gary, do these things ever happen? A teacher tries to detain a pupil having not followed detention procedure properly? A teacher speaks to a child angrily, insultingly, rather than soooo reasonably? And hey, why does this teacher physically restrain the pupil from leaving the room? Surely the sensible thing would be to let him go and rack it up as another discipline matter, perhaps to be dealt with by calling in the mother - obviously at a time when she's not at "bingo".
    And does this ever happen, Gary? That a child does EXACTLY what it is asked to do? That an HT supports a teacher absolutely appropriately? Do those things ever happen, gary? And if they do, are THEY not actually the "typical" things that go on in schools? I don't know about your 15 years experience, gary, but in my 32 years' experience, for every child who disobeyed me, there were 30 others who did exactly what they were told, and for every time I was unhappy with how SMT handled a situation, there were dozens of occasions when they got it right - and even in those situations where I was unhappy, they had their perfectly valid reasons for ding as they did, because their job is NOIT to do exactly what I WANT them to do.
    So, gary, if you think that a wee story that has its heroes and villains drawn to baldly and so cynically is "typical" of life in school, then I suggest you stop at 15 years experience and get another job you feel more positively about.
  14. I thought the only thing you said wasn't typical was the appearance of the head teacher. You avoided making any comment about the behaviour of the student and the head teachers attitude towards said behaviour.
    In tough schools said behaviour is very typical. A large cohort of badly behaved pupils and weak leadership are why those schools are tough in the first place.
  15. I couldn't give a toss what you thought.
    Give me the figures. Show me that such behaviour is "typical". Take the number of children in schools in this country - even in "tough schools" - and show me that this behaviour is statistcally "typical" of those children. If you can't, then shut up.
    And this behaviour is caused by "badly behaved pupils" and "weak leadership"? Tell me, could any of it be caused by arrogant *** like the teacher in the story, who look down on children for coming from the "adjacent estate" and who gratuitously insult their pupils' mothers for going to the bingo?
    My advice to you is the same: if you feel so negatively about the job that you think this is "typical" of behaviour in schools, then get the hell out of the job. Better people than you can do it instead.
  16. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I fear this attempt at irony is lost on the subject matter, as due to the awful working conditions many teachers typically face daily about 50% of new teachers quit for good after a few years. Teacher retention is abysmal - I blame the fact that teachers have to face being abused, assaulted, belittled and demeaned by pupils on a daily basis when they start in some schools. A situation you've not acknowledged or denied - I situation I care a lot about but many are in denial about. This shouldn't happen in schools - and there should be serious repurcussions when they do. The fact is - the point is - teachers are treated appallingly in some schools by some pupils daily, nothing is done, the teacher can't do anything, no one cares. That is the case and shouldn't be!
    I think so. There are loads of people on TES who say that teachers in their school get swore at on a daily basis. Teachers get abused and assaulted daily in some schools. Happy to agree to disagree on this point.
    I feel my position is very strong, and much of the bluster about 'typical ' behaviour in school shows your position (whatever it is - things are okay in schools?) to be very weak.
    Yes and yes, and in my experience any teacher behaving in this way will be in a lot of trouble - have to apologise to the pupil in question and be severely warned about their conduct. Which is as it should be. So? Not all teachers are perfect, some do bad things, some act unprofessionally occasionally. SMT in my experience don't tolerate this from staff, nor should they. I have never suggested otherwise.
    Okay - your arguement about what is 'typical' in school......
    So, your position is that because most pupils in schools do as they should, and behave appropriately then its okay that teachers are abused or assaulted every day because its not really 'typical' - as most pupils don't contribute to the abuse or assaults? Just because most of the time things are okay it doesn't matter when they aren't, as its not typical? Oh dear.
    By that logic a burglar I know isn't really a problem if he only burgles 1 or 2 houses a week, as most of the time he isn't burgling! Typically he doesn't really burgle that much - in fact most of the time he isn't burgling at all! Similarly because most pupils are not abusing teachers it doesn't matter when the very obvious minority are because that's not typical of all the kids in the school. And that's not a weak position to take?
    Ah. That old chestnut about 'if you don't like being the victim of crime in school, being assaulted and abused without recourse because you are a teacher - leave'. This misses the point about how bad conditions are for some teachers in some schools, and avoiding the question of 'why?' For the record I did leave, I'm now a PCSO in one of the most dangerous, volatile areas of the West Midlands. I am unarmed, unable to defend myself here in Handsworth yet safer than I was as a teacher in some secondary schools!
    I still post as I care about my friends who can't afford to leave teaching as I did, so are financially trapped in a job that means they get assaulted and abused. I want schools to be better places than they are now for my children.
  17. You really are exceptionally bad at this debate thing, aren't you gary? I have NEVER said it is "okay" for teachers to be assaulted or abused - NEVER, and you are a bare-faced liar trying desperately to cover your own incompetence by suggesting I have. I have said good behavior is typical in schools - that is all.
    Do you know, you are so illogical and childish ("woe is me, no-one cares!"), I really don't think you are worth spending any more time on - especially as
    Instead of throwing the old "who the hell do you think you are" jibe at you - I'll just say, "Thank goodness!"

  18. PHEW!!! I wonder what it would be like having to teach minivan's children!!!
  19. Oh dear! Sounds as if minivan would have fitted in well with Jamie and his mates!!
  20. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I'm good enough to realise that when someone attacks a poster as opposed to their posts, and doesn't point out why they are wrong, or even why they disagree that usually indicates they know they've 'lost' a debate.
    My experiences mirror many who post on TES. I got tired of seeing new colleagues abused, taunted assaulted and belittled by classes just because they were new. I was considered a 'good' teacher - never had a less than 'satifsactory' observation. I got worn down by constantly having to re-win battles with classes just to teach. That's why I left.
    Not explicitly, but you very strongly implied that it was to be expected that teachers would have to deal with being assaulted; abused; having their personal property stolen or damaged. (Post 148).
    I said : "If the owner of a small corner shop was taunted, abused, had things thrown at him, had stock stolen or purposefully damaged, was threatened by up to 30 teenagers I know the police would not get away with dismissing it as 'not personal', it would be seen as criminal behaviour, not the fault of the shop keeper."
    Your reply said it all - you didn't say this wasn't acceptable behaviour towards teachers, you said : "A teacher is not a shopkeeper. A shopkeeper doesn't have a degree or professional training. A shopkeeper doesn't have a range of strategies available to him to deal with disruption in the shop. A shopkeeper doesn't have other dediacted specialists to deal woth the problem. A shopkeeper isn't paid to deal with misbehaviour."
    If that isn't expecting this 'misbehaviour' as part of the job, what did you mean by this?
    In some school - yes. I have agreed with this. In some schools it is expected that teachers will be abused daily, being swore at goes unpunished in any way. Enough posters on TES have this view of their current school. You haven't said whether you agree with this or not, but its true. I care that this happens. I don't think its acceptable that a lot of teachers go to work each day knowing they will be abused and assaulted, and that the pupils in their lessons will have their education disrupted. It matters to me.
    I'm not intimidated and won't be scared off by insults like this. As I said before I see it as evidence that you've run out of arguements, ie you can't say why I am wrong. Why am I illogical? Why is it childish to care about what I see as unfair treatment of my colleagues and friends still teaching in schools. Do you not care that many lessons are destroyed by criminal behaviour that goes unpunished?
    So you have refused to discuss my points, don't want to accept or even discuss conditions for kids and teachers in somne schools (I'm alright Jack?) and think I'm childish for caring that 50% of new teachers quit due to working conditions in a few years? Now instead of admitting I may have a point (as I have for you), or even addressing anything I've said you're flouncing off.....
    Who the hell do I think I am? LOL - a slightly arrogant thing to say to someone who disagrees with you isn't it?
    Why "thank goodness"? That's not an immature little dig, is it? So I'm a statistic. A good teacher who's decided enough is enough. One of about half a million qualified teachers who doesn't want to teach in a school. Similar to the 50% of teachers who leave for good after a few years because of the conditions I described. You think I'm 'immature' for thinking something is wrong here? For caring about the state of some schools? Why?
    A good, hard-working, successful, caring, supportive teacher decides to leave, why do you say 'thank goodness'? Genuine question.

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