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Advice for teaching a challenging class

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jmassey1, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. I am in my last year of a 3year course. I am currently on my prelim visits to the school i have been placed in for my last placement and i will start to teach the 31st of Jan. However, it has come to my attention that the class is very demanding in a number of ways. The children come to school lacking energy and enthusiasm and find it hard to concentrate. If they are facing you and listening it is very rare for them to be listening and learning what your teaching! Even after giving the children the answers to questions, they still look lost. They are very much 'in there own worlds' and are happy to sit and do nothing all day. Behaviour is another issue. Many of the children prefer to walk around the class instead of working at their table. One boy insists on sitting in the bin and shouting abuse at everyone. It would come as no surprise if i was to tell you now that they are not at their expected levels of achievement. In fact, they are at an average level of a reception class. They are still learning phonics-set 1 words- and struggle to blend and spell. It is surprising also, if i get just one line of writing out of them in an hours lessons. A constant reminder to 'keep working' 'what are you doing' is needed for them to wake up and get on with the work.
    I know there is a lot here to consider, but i was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how i could motivate these children, keep their attention for longer than two minutes or even gain their attention in the first place.
    I am thinking of ensuring there is time to read a class story with books that are mutlimodal so as to allow children to get involved with the telling of the book which will in turn develop their vocabulary and speaking skills. Also, i am planning to create a role play area (estate agents) that can be used in literacy lessons and general play to motivate and interest them. However, any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. If you are on teaching placement with a challenging class I would strongly recommend sticking to the boundaries and routines/expectations that have been set by the class teacher. You sound very keen to change things but you may not be successful and it could make for a very stressful or even unsuccessful teaching placement.
    In my previous school I had student teachers who wanted to come in and try to change the class, ignoring my advice to stick firmly to the behaviour routines already in place. Needless to say the class fell to pieces, behaviour detoriated and the students had a real battle to get anything done in the class.
  3. Thank you for your response,
    I understand what you mean and i don't wish to change any routines especially as two of the children in the class are autistic however, I think part of the reason they are the way they are is because there is a lack of behaviour management or the promise of 'you'll get a sweet if you do this' is never carried through; the children recognise this and then don't see the point in working hard. I do not wish to put down the teacher i am with because she is a great teacher, with a lot of patience! But, they do not respond to the behaviour management sanctions in place, even with her. The TA's and the teacher herself have turned around to me and said that i can try things to see if they work and they too have tried many ideas which have failed to be successful. I am concerned about changing the routines too much, for reason like you said though which has left me in this uncertainty

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