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A really difficult Year 9 class

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by lCatherinel, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. I have a bottom set (level 4c-6c) maths class and am in my second year of teaching. This class are causing me so much stress and I really have no idea what to do. I can't even do my job anymore because their behaviour is so bad. I can write out reports on their behaviour yet nothing ever seems to change. They are all in detention at least once a week but still they come in and won't settle down to work. There are 28 of them and any nice activities I do back fire when they throw the resources around or just sit there and look at them. I have resorted to textbook work as it results in the least cleaning up for me afterwards and I still have equipment.

    I hate to say bad things about the children I teach but they are just not very nice people. They insult each other constantly, they argue constantly, they make personal comments about each other and occasionally me and when they get bad marks on their exams they blame me for not teaching.

    I just don't know how I can make them listen, pay attention and let me teach!

    Any ideas? I have tried asking my department and all they say is that this is a bad year group.
     
  2. I have a bottom set (level 4c-6c) maths class and am in my second year of teaching. This class are causing me so much stress and I really have no idea what to do. I can't even do my job anymore because their behaviour is so bad. I can write out reports on their behaviour yet nothing ever seems to change. They are all in detention at least once a week but still they come in and won't settle down to work. There are 28 of them and any nice activities I do back fire when they throw the resources around or just sit there and look at them. I have resorted to textbook work as it results in the least cleaning up for me afterwards and I still have equipment.

    I hate to say bad things about the children I teach but they are just not very nice people. They insult each other constantly, they argue constantly, they make personal comments about each other and occasionally me and when they get bad marks on their exams they blame me for not teaching.

    I just don't know how I can make them listen, pay attention and let me teach!

    Any ideas? I have tried asking my department and all they say is that this is a bad year group.
     
  3. Ring home. Write the names down of each student who is messing about and ring every parent. I know it may seem a little tiring and daunting having to contact parents but if its really getting you down then you need to take matters into your own.
    At the end of the day, when them students leave your class they don't have one thought of u until the next lesson, whilst you are left stressed out, angry and de-moralised. One thing I have learned is to never take it to heart because you will end up ill. I know my kids don't think of me at all once they step out of the class room so why should I? ( In terms of personally, not academically!)
    I have 25 classes as I teach RE so I only see my students once a week, and some of them are a nightmare, I have a year 8 class last lesson on a Friday which really stress me out at times, but I have had no other choice but to ring home.
    Or ask a senior member of staff to pop in during ur lesson too. How does the discipline system work in your school?
     
  4. This sounds very similar to a situation I'm having with a low ability year 9 class. They are rude to each other, shout disgusting things at each other and target certain students. Putting them in detention does nothing, even if they don't turn up and I chase them down they simply do not turn up to the next one.
    In the past with loud and disruptive year 7 groups I've had relaxing, calming music and which works well in getting them to get into the room calmly and during independent work.
    This however made my year 9 group become louder and louder. eeeek, I'm willing to try anything but they just don't care.
     
  5. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    Sorry if you have done any or all of this before but it's always worth re-setting out your stall if you can.

    Redo your seating plan. I know these are never perfect but it stamps your control on the room. If possible get someone senior to come in whilst you reseat them then insist that they sit there every lesson - don't even be tempted to let a nice one sit next to a friend - explain that if you allow one person to move then it isn't fair on the rest. Tell them that they are here to work so it's no big deal if they don't sit next to a friend - they will be less likely to talk. If they come in and refuse to sit there, then tell them they either sit where they are asked or wait outside until you speak to them. Now what you do if they still refuse I can't really advise you on without knowing the procedures at your school, but you need to check this with your line manager and not be fobbed off by the sort of defeatist nonsense they are giving you.

    Explain that you have had enough of their rudeness and poor behaviour and from now on you will be contacting parents with details of what they are doing/saying. Get yourself a notebook. Start a new page for every lesson - write the date at the top and keep it open on your desk (where they can't get at it). Then when you write their names down, leave a couple of lines between each one. Write codes next to them for the sorts of behaviour - I have things like:-

    toot = talking out of turn
    oop = out of place
    twit = talking while teacher is talking
    so = shouting out
    tar = talking across room
    bot = banging on table
    you will probably think of lots of your own

    At some point someone will ask what you are writing - at which you explain that you need to have detailed information to give to their parents when you ring and to their Head of Year (or whatever) - they will probably not understand what your codes are - don't tell them, just say they are your confidential codes.

    Eventually someone will say something really bad or swear. You write this down in proper words - if you can, make rather a production of checking carefully with other students "Did he say stupid cow or *** Stephanie?" "Now was it **** or w n k r?" The person concerned will want to know why you are making notes and what you are going to do with them". You repeat that you need accurate information for parents and senior staff and possibly governors - say this in a matter of fact way and then immediately go on either with the lesson or re-checking "Now just let me make a note - apparently Justin thinks it's OK to say he has just banged one out and to call Chloe a - what was it c n t, Right OK - now to get on"

    Then you ring parents. You won't be able to ring every parent of every child who has said one thing - but you can ring the worst, say 10. It is really powerful to tell a parent the exact date that Wayne stood on the table, threw Lily's bag in the bin, called Jimmy an ****** p r !ck and sang who let the dogs out while you were doing a test".

    They will never be perfect but some of the hangers on may well be frightened by your casual reference to governors and senior teachers (depending on how good your SLT is) - and you have all those important notes to refer to in asked for specifics. I found myself that unless I did this I just ended up with a vague memory of how dreadful the lesson was and how bad I felt but forgot that Jason danced around with Susie's gloves on his ears and invited me to kiss his **** (well maybe I wouldn't forget that exactly but you see what I mean).

    You say that you have set them a lot of detentions and they have attended (well that's good - mine frequently don't and I have to phone parents again). Have you written these down - dates etc in an ex book or something? If you can prove that you are doing your part by following procedures then really procedures should be escalated and SLT should be supporting you here - get it in writing. When I send emails etc out to Heads of year etc what I now try to do is to say specifically what I would like them to do at the end of the email and ask them to let me know. Then if I don't hear before the next lesson, I go and ask them. I have noticed that when I don't do this, things get forgotten - you have to be a bit pushy sometimes.

    Above all don't let the little ***s grind you down - you aren't paid to be worrying about their behaviour at say 10 o'clock at night so don't take it personally and don't feel bad - I have been teaching for donkeys years and still have some nightmare lessons.

    Sorry this is so long
     
  6. Really liking the idea of the codes!
     
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Kittylion

    Thank you for posting your advice. You are righ about noting the misbehaviours down: if you have evidence then it is easier to argue your case. Also in a lesson if I don' write it down, I will forget it and as you say will only have a vague memory of what happened.
     

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