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Abusive, shouty teachers in my new school. What to do?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by alice67, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. I have just started working in a school as a support teacher( primary) I have been incredibly shocked by the verbal brutality (this is not an exaggeration) meted out to the children- not to mention the outstanding ineptitude of some of them to teach anything meaningful or interesting. I realise I may have been spoilt by my experience in my previous school where every last adult had the children's interests at heart but the children seem to either be repressed or labellled as SEN when they don't obey! The head came in over a year ago to sort it out but now seems to be distant and ostrich like. I haven't approached her yet with my concerns because I am concerned about the repercussions. Am two weeks into my new job and struggling :-(
     
  2. I have just started working in a school as a support teacher( primary) I have been incredibly shocked by the verbal brutality (this is not an exaggeration) meted out to the children- not to mention the outstanding ineptitude of some of them to teach anything meaningful or interesting. I realise I may have been spoilt by my experience in my previous school where every last adult had the children's interests at heart but the children seem to either be repressed or labellled as SEN when they don't obey! The head came in over a year ago to sort it out but now seems to be distant and ostrich like. I haven't approached her yet with my concerns because I am concerned about the repercussions. Am two weeks into my new job and struggling :-(
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Is a support teacher like a TA? Never heard of one before.

    You post does come across as extremely arrogant, before you even think of going to the HT, you will need to think of a much more sensitive way of explaining what you think is going on.

    After two weeks it is unlikely that you can possibly make an informed judgement, and to judge teaching and teachers behaviour management is hugely controversial. Unless you have been employed to improve teaching, it is absolutely not your role to judge, especially so soon.
     
  4. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    [​IMG]
     
  5. I don't see that people on this thread are in a position either to condemn teachers in this school, or to call alice67's post "extremely arrogant", unless they have been in this school and know what happens there.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    the OP is the only poster that has.
    To use the label ' the outstanding ineptitude of some of them to teach anything meaningful or interesting' from someone who only arrived a week or two ago is arrogant in the extreme. I don't need to be in the school to see that.
     
  7. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I agree that the OP sounds judgemental and arrogant.

    However, I can't help thinking that if he / she had complained that
    within two weeks she'd noticed teachers pandering to the children and
    letting them away with unacceptable behaviour because of their
    liberal mindset and addiction to new teaching "fads", she would have been applauded for her fantastic
    insight. [​IMG]
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL possibly, but not from me!

    I'd still say 'How on earth do you know what is really going on? Are you a teacher in the school who really knows the children and their needs? How do you know that nothing is being done?'
     
  9. I am supporting children who speak English as an additional language. Yes I am an actual teacher. I have 10 years experience of being a classteacher in a inner city school with a similar (toughish) intake to the school I am now in. I know all about managing behaviour and provide firm boundaries to the children in my care and have been praised for providing a calm classroom environment. In this school, some (but not all) teachers are frankly, bullies who are constantly negative and in some instances, abusive to their classes. We cannot expect children to repect themselves, each other and the adults around them unless we model respectful behaviour. I am not addicted to "new teaching fads" but thought our proffession had moved on from making children sit still, shut up and copy things off the board.
     
  10. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi
    'Support teacher'- is that a supply teacher or a TA? Whatever it is, if you have a serious concern about the welfare or the safety of the children in the school, you need to address it in some way.
    1. Talk to the teachers themselves; share your concerns with them in a polite way and see if there are any perspectives that can clarify why things are as they are.
    2. Talk to line management and see if they can offer any solutions or perspectives on your concerns. You may find that that all parties learn by the experience.
    What you can't do is ignore your concerns. But what you can do is to try to understand the difficulties of teaching challenging classes. Personally I abhor shouting at kids except in exceptional circumstances of child safety etc, but your view of what constitutes brutality might be seen by others as being blunt, or authoritative. It's impossible for a third party to say. You say the Head is distant and ostrich like- yet you haven't approached her either, and distance only exists as a space between two parties. Why would you approach the Head in the first instance? Surely line management would be a more appropriate route?
    Tread softly, and try to understand the concerns of all parties.

    Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.
     
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    WOW! Don't feel the need to change my opinion that the posts seem hugely arrogant in tone and you would be wise not to use anything like the same one if you speak to the HT.

    It is entirely possible that this school has, through long experience of their children, decided that this sort of lesson for the first month or so of the school year enables children to see who is in charge and what is what. Most teachers are sterner and crosser in the first few weeks than they ideally like in order to make it clear that they are the ones who call the shots in the classroom. It could well be that this is what you are seeing and that these teachers are managing behaviour in this way with good reason and will relax as and when they feel the class is settled enough to still work and behave without the need for such strict boundaries.

    It is very hard to support children in lessons when you are actually a trained teacher. It is all too easy to think 'I wouldn't do this or that' and to criticise. But if children are behaving, working and learning then it is more than in some schools, so you may need to be a little more open minded. Or find alternative employment.
     
  12. Thanks for that. I felt very upset when I posted my original message as I feel very strongly that some children in this school are being treated badly. As I said, I was a classteacher myself until recently, I have been there. In terms of my line manager, it appears he is good friends with the teachers concerned, having been there for many years. I have been advised by another teacher, I have confided in, that he is likely to take the teachers' side and I will end up finding it impossible to work with the teachers. Another new teacher has spoken to me about the same concerns and has said she will back me if I go to the head. I intend to tread carefully, but I will have to do something as I feel guilty sitting back and letting it all happen.
     
  13. There are quite a few out of class support teachers in this school. You may ask why this is necessary...
     
  14. I agree with Alice. I do not believe there is anything to be gained by shouting at children. I too have worked in very challenging London comps where if you shouted at the students they would just shout back at you or swear - and why shouldn't they?

    I believe the question every teacher should constantly ask is; "would I be speakingto behaving towards this pupil if his mum and dad were watching?
     
  15. '... where if you shouted at the students they would just shout back at you or swear - and why shouldn't they?'
    Maybe because they're responsible for the behaviour which elicited the shouting on the part of the teacher?
    '...I believe the question every teacher should constantly ask is; "would I be speakingto behaving towards this pupil if his mum and dad were watching?...'
    Or JUST MAYBE, the question every teacher should constantly ask is: 'Why aren't these kids' parents teaching them how to behave socially, so that people don't have to shout at them to get them to follow simple rules?
    JUST MAYBE; reflective practice shouldn't be confined to teachers, but should also incorporate parents, SMT & the students themselves?
    JUST MAYBE...

     
  16. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    <font size="2">It may indeed just may be that the pupils' parents need to teach their children social skills. However, the overriding consideration for us should be how we behave as professionals. If shouting at pupils means they get aggressive and shout back, then obviously we should make the professional decision not to shout in the first place, rather than childishly whingeing that it was all their fault in the first place.</font>
     
  17. I would suggest that your post is rather arrogant in tone, somewhat offensive, and also contains the not very thinly veiled threat that if the OP 'dares' to speak to the head about her concerns, she will be ostracised and may even have to find alternative employment.
    Why? She has a genuine concern - I suppose you are trying to put her in her place. Are you seriously suggesting that a trained professional cannot form sound judgements about the type of culture that exists in a school over the course of several weeks working there?
    In my role as parent I have spent a lot of time looking around prospective schools. In a very short space of time you can learn an enormous amount about the school.
    The most important aspect to note is the interaction between pupils and teachers. Verbal abuse by teachers is a huge red flag.

     
  18. We'd need to hear a bit more about the children in this school before we could say anything, really, wouldn't we? Why are these nasty unprofessional types shouting at the poor little dears?
     
  19. They are CHILDREN of primary age and nothing they do or are justifies teacher's shouting and emotionally abusing them. We have all had difficult classes that wear you down because so many of the children have "issues" but it is simply counter-productive to try to control them by making them afraid of us. Many children are controlled by fear at home or have very little structure or boundaries. Should we as intelligent proffessionals be reinforcing in our pupils that the only way to get someone to do what you want is to put the fear of God into them? Or should we try to find ways to engage them with exciting lessons, firm, fair boundaries and positive behaviour strategies?
     
  20. Because they are nasty, unprofessional types? They do exist, you know, even though they are a minority
    Funny how there's such an.... assemblage? .. clump? pride? Wht's the collective noun for 'nasty, unprofessional people?..... of them all together in this school?
    Could we have some info on the CHILDREN in this school too? As well? Also?
     

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