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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. Gosh this argument has lasted long.
     
  2. Fine it doesn't change the fact that you tried to dodge the issue at hand by commenting on an irrelevant part of the article.
    You know full well that no-one publishes the sort of information you are asking for. What we do know is.
    • A significant number of teachers leave the profession after only a handful of years.
    • In teacher surveys poor student behaviour is frequently flagged as a common cause of stress and a reason why teachers are considering leaving the profession.
    • Thousands of books for teachers that focus on student behaviour are sold every year.
    • Hundreds, if not thousands, of teachers log onto this discussion board to talk about their students poor behaviour.
    Are you seriously telling me that, despite all of the above, you don't think there is a significant problem with student behaviour in a large number of schools in this country. And by the way even if a large percentage of a student body is generally well behaved that still doesn't mean it is untypical for teachers to experience appalling behaviour every time they go to work.
    Also it is quite hypocritical for you to start demanding detailed statistical evidence when you refuse to say what rewards you give students use or name just one of the dozens of amazing resources you say render discipline systems practically redundant.
    Ridiculous. Even if this teacher called those students names it doesn't cause them to behave in the way described in the article - the students behaved like that because they chose to. You are dehumanising these children by suggesting they are incapable of acting with dignity even in the face of provocation - this betrays a far greater arrogance than the teacher in the article.
    I frequently argue with people who have similar opinions to yours. I always wonder why not believing in your common fantasy about the British education system means I am a rubbish teacher who should quit the profession.
     
  3. No? You think not? How would you react if your child came home and said that the teacher told you in front of your friends and while he was trying to keep you in detention that he could do so because your mum wasn't going to bingo until 7.30?
    Ah - so you think teachers should be judged by the same criteria as 14 year old children? I've always thought of myself as the mature one in the classroom.
     
  4. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    More insults - oh goody! Slimy? LOL - what makes you say that? You can't answer my point about why you seem to think teachers should have to deal with criminal behaviour (eg that a shopkeeper wouldn't have to), so ignore it and insult instead?
    So you keep repeating. So why did you answer post 146:
    "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. "
    the way you did (in post 148)? Ie:
    "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."
    You appeared to say that taunts, abuse, assaults, theft of personal property and damage to personal property is 'misbehaviour'. I've asked you to clarify but you've ignored those parts of my posts. I'll ask again - if you accept a shopkeeper shouldn't accept that behaviour, why didn't you say it shouldn't happen to a teacher, instead of saying teachers have profesional training to deal with this 'disruption'. (For disruption read crimes).
    One comment about your mother doesn't have to leave home yet as bingo doesn't start until 7:00pm (snide - only arguably) versus being called a fuc***g wan**r (abusive - definitely). Which is more indefensible? Actually, I don't think insulting pupils is acceptable, but in the context of the conversation end of school (about 3:30) compared with 7:00 - the specific time is relevent. Also, if teachers shouldn't be abused, why no mention at all about the teacher being swore at by the pupil?
    I didn't high-handedly pronounce anything. Read post 170 again. Given that much of what you've said is the line taken by the TDA, or PGCE lecturers, ie total denial that some schools are as bad as they are, downplaying the severity of teachers' working conditions. We didn't know anything about our experiences - I wasn't even sure that you'd seen the inside of a classroom for years - so I told you what my experience was, so you could gauge where my opinions come from. That's all. If I knew what your experiences were then we could better understand each other, I thought.
    I suppose your reply wasn't condescending, patronising or insulting in any way (post 171):
    "Congratulations, Gary - not many people rack up less than 50% of my experience. Well done on lasting so long..."
    Length of experience is irrelevent - I just wondered if you were giving your views as a teacher, as I explained. I have never rubbished the views of people based on their experience as a teacher (unless they have literally none, which happens). Many come onto the behaviour forum for support and advice, telling of horrific experiences in schools. Many of those feel relief that other teachers (new and experienced) are going through the same horrors. Its not just them. I have never been rude to posters, I've been posting long enough (since 2001) so anyone who disagrees can say so.

     
  5. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Oops - posted too quickly.
    Now you're just being silly! I haven't said that at all, it's your imagination.
    Chickened out - not another little dig, was it? The fact is that there are half a million teachers who are qualified, but do not want to teach in schools today. About 50% of new recruits to teaching quit after a few years. Why? I think its because the working conditions, the abuse, assaults they face are so appalling they quit. Are all those people 'chickens' too? This suggests there is a big problem in schools, a lot of posters on TES have experiences that consolidate this view. All I am saying is that teachers should not have to work in these conditions - you are denying these conditions even exist. If things aren't so bad how come so many teachers permanently quit every year?
    Or are they the wrong sort of people for teaching, not being able to 'take it'.
    I had great relationships with my classes, got 'Good' grades from SMT and OFSTED observations, got promotion to CPS+2, was successful. You think its good that a teacher like this leaves the profession. Why? Because you don't like me? Because I disagree with your views? FWIW I am glad we've got long-serving, experienced teachers like yourself still in schools. You are intelligent and like the job you do. (As I did for a time - ignoring the teachers leaving in droves in distress).
    Why am I an idiot? A graduate, not intimidated by your bluster, a good teacher dismayed by worsening conditions. Why resort to meaningless insults - if I've said something wrong explain why - don't just insult me.



    P.S. If I'm an idiot, why can't you answer :



    Why did you answer post 146:
    "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. "
    the way you did (in post 148)? Ie:
    "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."
    You appeared to say that taunts, abuse, assaults, theft of personal property and damage to personal property is 'misbehaviour'.
     
  6. Of course I can answer this, and have done perfectly adequately.
    Read it properly. I do NOT say teachers are trained and paid to ACCEPT misbehaviour - of whatever severity - and never have. I said they are trained and paid to DEAL with it. Can you not understand the difference?
    All this is covered in my posts which you prefer to wilfully misrepresent.
     
  7. Simple typo. As, no doubt, was your incorrect use of an exclamation mark before ellipsis!...
     
  8. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Thank you for getting back on topic and not just being rude and insulting. I'm not being snide and ironic - that's a genuine thank you.
    Okay. Now we both agree that the shopkeeper should not have to deal with being the victim of crimes (harassment, assaults, theft of property, criminal damage to property), why should new teachers have to deal with behaviour that would have the perpetrator locked up if it happened outside school?
    You are still saying this criminal behaviour is 'misbehaviour' - but now saying
    So teachers are paid to DEAL WITH severe misbehaviour (or crimes).
    You still haven't said why this is acceptable, or do you dispute thinking:
    I did correct myself - and apologise - for this minor difference. I still think teachers shouldn't have to deal with criminal behaviour only for it to be dismissed as 'misbehaviour'. I think that's where our opinions mostly differ.
     
  9. Gary, you really are a trouble-maker, aren't you? Were you so disappointed that your previous obsessive ranting had finally been ignored, that you had to try to revive it after five days had passed?
    Is there possibly a forum on police work where you could engage your debating talents on discussion around your current occupation, rather than trouble those of us involved in education? (And if I were your employer, I would be less than comfortable to see you engaged in these public displays of aggression, by the way.)
     
  10. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    JamesTES,
    do you think working conditions for teachers in all schools are acceptable?
    Do you think it significant that about 50% of all new entrants into teaching consistently leave afetr a few years?
     
  11. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I am embarrassed with my conduct on this thread. I have been trying to reason with minivan, take his/ her comments seriously yet Raymond has admitted on another thread the 'minivan' character was invented just to be nasty, rude and argue with people. (I think).
    Minivan's a troll - unreasonable, dishonest and best ignored like all trolls. I've been posting long enough that I should have realised. There were too many unnecessary insults, too much stretching of credibility.
    The clues were there.
    (LOL - total fabrication of post 170).
    Chickened out? Lovely.
    All this whilst totally ignoring any points I made. (Why are crimes dismissed as misbehaviour? Why do 50% of new teachers leave after a few years - citing working conditions as the reason for leaving).

    My apologies for taking up TES space arguing - I should have known better.
    Hopefully this thread, ruined by a troll, will drop, disappear and be forgotten.
     
  12. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    "minivan" was not a troll - it was a name I used before I was invited on to the TES Advisory Panel for English which requires me to (a) declare who I am publicly and (b) advise. "Trolls" are multiple personalities posting contemporaneously in the same thread. I have never done that, other than one error to which I was honest about and this explanatory post.
    Your views expressed in this thread were thoroughly obnoxious, gary, and "minvan" responded to that in kind. I believe if you take an honest look at it, you will see that it is, in fact, extremely difficult to find who cast the first stone.
    However, given my new role, minivan is essentially no more. I will simply treat any similar obnoxious views you express with silence.
    I wish you well in your alternative career.
     
  13. '...... the line taken by the TDA, or PGCE lecturers, ie total denial that some schools are as bad as they are, downplaying the severity of teachers' working conditions.....'
    Nothing's changed, then, in teacher training? Back in the day, behaviour issues were always turned back onto the student: it was always something s/he wasn't doing, or was doing wrong. Many of us came out from consultations with tutors feeling, as one colleague put it once, 'quite desperate', because of the snow job that would result from any attempt to bring a bit of reality into the academic discourse. But when we started teaching, we did hope that the other staff, including Management (although that term didn't become prevalent until the 80s) would support us, and quite often they did---- or at least, you could expect a hearing. However, as the managerialist culture took over, more and more members of 'management teams' became like the tutors: in denial. And the easiest way to stay there was, and is, to scapegoat the teacher, which became easier as the unions lost their bite.
    I remember a tutor asking us what we thought of the film 'To Sir With Love' (Yes, I'm that ancient!) --- how did Sydney Poitier manage to get the Bad Boy on side? I responded: 'He hit him'. Apparently this wasn't the correct answer; we were supposed to say something like: 'He found common ground with him' .... or some such. But in fact, the teacher in the film was a big guy who, as far as I can remember, impressed the little thug with his boxing skills. In other words, the thug knew the guy could make mincemeat of him, if it came to a punch-up...... not much help to the rest of us, who aren't Sydney Poitier. There's a more realistic film, an American one called something like '99', (?) with Samuel Jackson. The violence is a bit extreme, but at least, it gives a more realistic picture of a sincere, earnest teacher trying to get through to out-of-control youths, with no back-up from society or his so-called 'management'.

     
  14. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I disagree Raymond - 'minivan' was far, far ruder than I. When I genuinely asked of your experience (as many non-teachers without a clue post on here) on post 170, I gave mine because people are afraid of being open and honest on anonymous forums. How is that high-handed?
    I didn't personally insult anyone. I thought 'who the hell do you think you are' was arrogant - which it is - and said so. Yet I was called 'arrogant', 'slimy', a 'hypocrite', an 'idiot' (all without explanation) who 'chickened out' of teaching. (There was more rudeness but I'm sure you get the idea). I have not said anything like this. I have expressed my views strongly, disagreed with you and asked hard questions. That is not being obnoxious IMO.
    I have re-looked at this thread and tried to objectively look at the obnoxiousness of my posts - compared with minivans abuse and insults. You'll have to point this out to me - via PM if you prefer as not to clog up debating threads.




    Okay Raymond, now the rudeness has ended I'd like to continue what I think is an important discussion on classroom behaviour in schools. A couple of questions:
    1. It is the case that teachers have to deal with behaviour that would get the perpetrator arrested if repeated (eg) in a shop. I don't believe that because teachers are trained to deal with misbehaviour this should be the case. I don't think it helps the pupils if there is a 'double-standard' of reactions to behaviour. Why should crimes that occur in schools not be treated as crimes?
    2. Working conditions for some new teachers are abysmal IMO. The retention figures for new entrants into teaching indicate this - about 50% leave after a few years. Why is this not highlighted more? Unfortunately its been shown with the Angela Mason case that anyone honestly showing hopw bad schools are will lose their job!
     
  15. If this is the case then why are you still arguing back? [​IMG]
     
  16. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I'm not arguing back, Bodegabuttons. I'm asking a couple of questions relevent to the OP.
    I think the important message of the OP got lost in the silly disagreements somewhere (not helped by me, admittedly). My 2 questions on the previous page intrigue me - I've never seen a response that explains why things are the way they are in some schools - as described accurately by the OP. I agree this is not the case in all schools - that it is in some should not be the case IMO.
    My two questions are influenced by the following in the OP:
     
  17. 1. Simple answer is that a classroom is not a public place. The 'crimes' would externally result in a police caution or a small fine. But if your facing such 'crimes' repeatingly then it would only be a matter of time before serious health issues resulted esp in an environment where positive correction does seem to be occurring.
    2. Self-interest by those not on the recieving end, day in day out.
    I am sure such environments are in the minority but its not that small a %. Check out 'On The Edge by Charlie Carroll, a recent publication that probably does the best survey albeit under particular circumstances.
    All I can suggest, as before, is report such incidents to an MP. And just keep on reporting them. Perhaps in time something meant be done.

    For what it's worth. I think you and another did an good job of holding onto your tempers and pinning Mr TES down on exactly what they were saying - hence the insults.
    Whatever, it sure didn't do TES's reputation much good to ahve such a representive.

    There is clearly misbehaviour occurring that teachers are not taught to deal nor such be expected to deal with on a regular basis in some schools; nothing nationally is being done about it. The issue should come under H&S at work but doesn't.
    Perhaps the time has come for classrooms to be definited as public places. In which case classrooms would become more subject to law enforcement. Perhaps teachers should have law enforcement abilties and the right to execute the law within limited ranges. As children are becoming more culturally adultised then this maybe the missing link and the correction needed in poor working environments.
    I know that most teachers wouldn't approve of such a suggesting but perhaps they should have more empathy with those on the receiving end.
     
  18. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Thanks. Fortunately I have had the experience of working in secondary schools so am used to having to have infinite patience and thick skin against unfair insults. (The sort of incidents/ situations that Ray/ minivan is denying exists).
    Doesn't make any difference. Assaults, harassment, theft and criminal damage are as arrestable as offences when done in public or private places. I've arrested people accused of the above when they occurred in their own homes, and thefts, assaults and harassment when at work (private offices, so not public places).
    Agreed. There is this strange culture of denial in schools, where if a teacher gets repeatedly abused, etc its their fault. They've had training to deal with misbehaviour, apparently, so incidents that should be considered criminal are seen by too many as part of the job.
    There have been books, articles and tv programmes that highlight the extent of th eproblem - but th epublic quickly forget them. Plus th eAngela Mason case showed what happens if you whistle-blow and expose the truth........
     
  19. 'For what it's worth. I think you and another did an good job of holding onto your tempers and pinning Mr TES down on exactly what they were saying - hence the insults.'
    Ditto.
     
  20. Afraid it makes a big difference as far as the law is concerned, and more important as far as the police are concerned.
    Take the example of a children going on a strop within the family home and cursing and swearing at their parent, and no doubt throwing a few things around etc etc.
    Would you expect the police to express an interest?
    However if the same thing happen outwith the home in a public environment, the police would have every right to intervene. To use an old-fashioned term, the incident would be 'distributing the piece'.
    Problem is that within a school environment the teacher has the authority of the parent. So in essence the environment is considered the child's 'home'. Ofc nowadays a teacher has nothing like the authority of the parent in practice and certainly not where the children and parents are concerned, yet the law carries on treating the classroom as the home.
    This means that a child could push the boat away out in terms of behaviour without much in the way of comeback. Now most children would never do this, but in the right environments such may become common acceptable practice. Once this tipping point is reached then really I can't see what any individual teacher can do atm, except get another job in another school where the tipping point has not been reached.
    Frankly designating classrooms as public places would balance the considerable reduction in teacher authority over the last decades. Once the children realised that school is not the home, then the tipping point should be raised. Practicallity of implementing this would be difficult ofc.
    But take the simple act of swearing at a teacher, few child would be fast off the mark doing this to a policemen, yet what exactly is the comeback in school atm, a long talking too and detection, if common practice zip all.
    To drive home the point, there is a big difference between swearing at a policemen in a public place and swearing at a policemen within your own home IF you did't invite them in. If you think there is little difference ask a policemen.
     

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