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Advice for Young Female Teachers in All Boys School

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by sarah_louise_hughes100, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. sarah_louise_hughes100

    sarah_louise_hughes100 New commenter


    In my school there are a few of us who are PGCE student teachers and NQTs, a lot of whom are female. There seems to be a few issues particularly in behaviour management with the year 10 class. I was wondering if anyone else has had any experience with all boys of this age that could give us some advice.

    Thanks in advanced.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I did one of my PGCE placements in a boys' selective grammar.

    Use the gender stereotypes to your advantage - encourage competition in your lessons. It depends on the class size and subject as to how you do that. With a small Y10 class I did a starter every lesson where they got points, and I recorded them on a scoreboard over the half term, with prizes at the end. The school used a points system for homework, lesson contributions etc. too, and they responded to that. I observed a larger group where students generally completed individual instead of paired or group tasks, and always tried to out do each other with their contributions - I think they were encouraged to do so.

    Boys generally prefer active tasks (according to the research!) - can you adapt the tasks you do in order to account for that?

    Ask for advice on individuals and classes from their form tutors, head of year, and older female teachers especially. Go and observe an older female teacher teaching them, see what they do.

    Be tough. Don't put up with any you know what. Do not teach until you get silence from all. If they are rude, phone home. Comments in planners. Emails to year head. Change the seating plan.

    Show them you know what you're talking about in lessons, so make sure your knowledge of the GCSE and topics is sound.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Ensure you dress conservatively and that does not mean dresses to your ankles. A suit may give you an aura of authority. There is not a big age range between you and your students, but that should not matter. You are their teacher not one of their mates, and they have to understand that.

    Follow the school's behaviour policy. If they are making inappropriate comments or not following your reasonable instructions then follow the school's policy for dealing with them.

    Remain calm and you can even use scripts to know what to say. Use a firm and assured tone of voice to tell them what you need them to do. I can recommend Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix.

    Year 10 boys will of course think all the misbehaviour is a performance for a stage show and the main attraction will be to see how far they can push you before you either explode or run away crying. So, you have to be wise to their antics, and above allmdo not let them see you are nervous or at all rattled. If you have to correct them, do it privately so they don't have their mates as an audience.

    You are new, young, and female, so they think they can run rings around you: it is the tail wagging the dog.

    Have three rules:

    Follow instructions fast
    Stay on task
    Work without disturbing others

    Those three rules cover everything. There is nothing to debate. Have scripts for giving warnings when someone breaks the rules.

    Give appropriate praise. In this context, perhaps a post card home or note in a planner.

    Things will improve once you get more experience of speaking to your class and correcting them. They will get to know you are in charge and know what to do when the class is off task.
    sabrinakat and emerald52 like this.
  4. cork227

    cork227 New commenter

    A big thing with boys as well can be showing them that you like/respect them, if they feel you don't like them, you've lost them, so it's really important to build personal relationships with them. I don't mean you need to become their 'friend', do be firm, but make sure to treat them with the same respect you want them to treat you with, especially with the little things like saying a friendly hello/goodbye etc, saying please/thank you instead of always just giving orders, and taking an interest in their extra curricular activities/personal interests can work wonders. Overall boys can be great to teach, I really like teaching them, so don't give up yet!
    emerald52 and pepper5 like this.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    The same as for any other behaviour management problems. Be consistent, follow school policy, don't accept disrespect in any form. Show off your mastery of your subject so that they see value in you as a teacher.
    emerald52 and pepper5 like this.
  6. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I spent over 30 years in a boys comprehensive. Agree they love doing things and are competitive. Some won't speak out in case they are wrong so ask them directly or work in pairs or groups. They don't bear grudges so won't hate you if told off. Find out their football team and ask how they did. Follow a team yourself so you can join in. Be very careful with instructions so they are clear. You can work round their tendency to forget their homework by setting learning for a class test or exam answer. Dress appropriately; I wore trouser suits. I loved teaching them.
    install and pepper5 like this.
  7. angrypixie

    angrypixie New commenter

    I worked in a boy's school when I was young and hated it. They either fancied me or did not respect me because of my gender. I then taught girls which I loved. My school has recently gone co-ed. behaviour has got considerably worse. I'm leaving.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Fizzbobble

    Fizzbobble Occasional commenter

    I, too, loved teaching in an all-boys school. Behaviour isn't an issue unless you let it. Be very firm, stand no messing and do lots of practical activity if your subject allows. Boys seem less good at dealing with pent-up energy than girls, so let them expend it. The older lads like to test you, especially in a selective school. This is to see if you know your onions; it isn't personal. It takes about a week to prove your worth, and I always made it clear that I knew they were doing that and I expected them to prove their worth as learners to me.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    My most important piece of advice would be don't use your real name as your user name in online forums.

    I hope you haven't, if you have contact admin to change it *immediately*!!!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Wear trousers if possible - don't bend over in a short skirt.
    FrankWolley and pepper5 like this.
  11. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    From way back I remember an all-boys school appointing their first woman teacher since the war-time temporary appointments had left. She asked the Head what the boys should call her. "Sir," he said, "they won't know any better!"
  12. bkingsnorth

    bkingsnorth New commenter

    I used to work in an all boys secondary school with several young female teachers and they had an absolute Zero tolerance approach with the boys and any comments. Often a quick phone call home to their mothers worked a treat! Also be consistent and don't accept any lack of respect!

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