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Advice on how to prevent running around the classroom and pencil throwing!!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by charliemouse99, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Dear Tom
    I have recently started in a challenging school and I am having some issues with specific behaviour problems. Most of the classes are noisy but Im working through different strategies with this. What I am tearing my hair out with is not being able to control them running around the art room and the constant throwing of pencils, rubbers, paper, food etc! I realise that the key to behaviour is planning lessons that are engaging but its tricky as I cant control them with dry materials I dread to think what would happen with paint or clay.
    Ive tried to have them lined up and only ready to enter when they are calm and ready but this lead to disturbing other classes in the corridor. I am trying out new seating plans each week (this weeks was such a disaster one girl was crying because of who she was sat next to). I am calling home, keeping them after school, moving them inside the classroom. I tried shouting early on and that was completely counter productive.
    Im also encountering a lot of defiance, where a pupil simply wont sit down in their seat. Once they win I lose the whole class and its hard to regain any control after that.
    Im also aware that starting part way through the year is tricky as theyve already gotten used to one teachers way of teaching. Im open to any suggestions and I know it doesnt happen instantly, it takes weeks, months and even years to get them all on your side.
    A very tired and worn out NQT
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    No, you're totally wrong.

    A key to engaging lessons is behaviour. Not the other way round.

    If you want the kids to sit in silence for the whole period of the lesson watching the clock go round lesson, they should do it. There are no ifs and buts about this.

    The fact that anyone thinks there are, is a symptom of them not understanding, not you.

    What are the consequences for them of this direct refusal to follow a reasonable instruction?

    If the answer is "nothing", well, what does anyone expect?
  3. Hello Not Tom! Ive spoken with the HoD (who has been helpful but has a heavy timetable classes of their own to manage) and SLT are of the 'I need to sort it out myself approach.' I think they only go on report if they have been excluded but I will investigate that further. Theres other things going on at the moment and my naughty classes are the least of the overall worries. The HoD can take some pupils but I have more than 1 per lesson so its not practical! Id end up sending half the class out! Thanks for the advice and support!!
  4. A friend of mine told me that they got better results when they did the fun things, I can see that boredom is causing some of the behaviour but I feel I need to have control before I start getting paint out.
    I completely agree, one class hasnt had a proper lesson in weeks, I stopped one of their lessons and we wrote out the behaviour guidelines in their books and I kept the major players behind after school until they explained which rules they were breaking and what they were going to do about it. The following week it was like it never happened!
    Some of the classes are quite happy to copy out in pencil the same images as they cant handle anything else! But that cant go on. Im considering trialing fun things for those who are behaving and leaving the naughty ones with boring things but its tricky to contain them all in one room.
  5. The biggest problem is with one group and everyone who can remove pupils is teaching so no one can come and remove them and when they are refusing to move its just me. I have asked other subjects about seating plans and what they do but some of the answers have been confusing and because of the subject not practical.
    I know I need to take control, Im just feel like Im fighting a losing battle on my own. Ive spoken with the HoD and they dont teach this group. They teach the same year group at the same time so its tricky to move them into their room.
  6. What are the consequences for them of this direct refusal to follow a reasonable instruction?

    If the answer is "nothing", well, what does anyone expect?

    I keep them behind for the 20 mins and ring home. As I mentioned before, the faculty all teach at that time so no one can come and remove them. Its very tricky and I dread this class each week. Unsurprisingly most of the numbers for the worst pupils dont work so I cant speak to parents!
  7. All this advice is very sound and much appreciated!! I thought I was replying to indiviuals but apparently not!
  8. Hey!

    I think it´s soooo unfair that SLT won´t help you!! They should be there for you, as they´re the ones that should enforce the rules if students are not following them for teachers -what else is there for you to do otherwise?? call the police?- and they should also show they care! I understand your HoD must be very busy.. I don´t know, with mine she would remove specific students, but just if they were really disruptive, and just one at each time. However, she was so strict and scary she could certainly cope with having some of my really naughty kids in her class, they would just sit there in silence..
    What is other members of staff´s view about SLT´s involvement?
  9. It is completely unacceptable for any teacher, whether an NQT or experienced, to be denied support with behaviour management. No doubt your senior managers will say that you need to develop your skills, but leaving you to do it by yourself is an abdication of their responsibility.
    What is behaviour like in the school generally? If it's poor, then you're wasting your time trying to improve it with the strategies you've employed so far and are giving yourself extra work. Even in a school with spineless senior management who allow bad bahaviour to go unpunished, there will be some teachers for whom the pupils behave. Find them and ask for their help (without bitching about anyone else).
  10. Generally as a whole school its not great. I do pass some classrooms and wonder why its only my lessons that they are screaming and running around in.
    Ive asked a few about seating plans, the general consenus seems to be the longer you stay the more likely they will behave for you. Most of the classes Ive asked about everyonejust says that they are a 'hard' group anyway. Not particularly helpful,

  11. When I first started teaching at my school (12 years ago now) I met a very helpful teacher. He wasn't part of my department but he overheard me grumbling to another new teacher about a particular class. He offered me a lifeline that I have offered to others since. It was rarely used, in fact if my memory serves me correctly I believe I only ever used it twice. He told me that if I felt that a child was going to be a real problem, (let's face it you usually know the minute they walk through the door), just send them to him saying that Mrs**** has sent me for a stapler. He promised that if any child arrived with that message he would keep them with him for the rest of the lesson.
    The reason it worked was that there was no confrontation, the child believed they had been given the responsibility of running an errand. The child eventually returned (with the stapler) a minute before the end of the lesson, with apologies from the other teacher for keeping them so long. I gratefully returned the stapler to his pigeon-hole in the staffroom.
    The reason I believe this worked and I used it so rarely, was because I went into my lessons more relaxed, knowing that I had a way out if I needed to use it. The key is to find a way of lowering your stress levels. Kids smell it and there will always be those that go in for the kill.
    Remember, your motivation for being there is that you have a passion for your subject and wish to impart this to others. Their reason for being there is to see who can wind the teacher up quickest!
    Good luck, chin up and don't let the ********** get you down. It does get better but not if you feel alone.
  12. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    Check out Rob Plevin
    He has some brilliant ideas on classroom management.
    Scroll down the page and on the RHS there is the option to sign up for a classroom management mini course. This will be emailed to you free of charge over a few days. It's really worth having a look at.
    Good luck (and maybe start looking for a job in a more supportive school)

  13. carolinebarry

    carolinebarry New commenter

    Hello Charliemouse, I have just started at a new school this January and inherited a class from hell who howled with laughter everytime I tried to discipline them! Tried everything until one girl stayed behind at the end of one lesson and said that she had been trying to work so could she have an acheivement point. I realised that I had been ignoring the few that were not taking part in the circus behaviour and so decided to focus on the good ones for a change. So, during the next lesson I just stood in front of the class with a list of their names blu-tacked to the board and everytime I gave a task I looked for those few students who got on with the job. Two good behaviour ticks got them an acheivement point and four a postcard home. The attention seeking loud mouths were SO jealous at not having their names on the board for a change they were very quick to catch on. I got more work out of the class that last lesson than the whole half term before!
  14. It's all too common to hear of spineless SLTs who won't/can't deal with behaviour and so blame it on individual teachers. Too many NQTs are just being hung out to dry. If you send a pupil out of your class for bad behaviour, that pupil should be sh**ting themselves about the consequences. Instead they just see it as a joke.
  15. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The HOD should, either temporarily or permanently, swap classes with you when you are teaching the same year group at the same time.
    You can't do 'fun ' things if the pupils won't even sit down and desist from running around and throwing things when they enter the room. They'll ignore you trying to do a presentation of a fun activity in the same way that they do a supposedly boring activity.
    Have you contacted the form tuturs of the worst pupils? It's usually form tuturs who put pupils on report.
  16. Sort of, there are only about 6 girls in the classes so its not really possible. I set detentions but they never come, so I ring home and they still dont come, I pass it on to SLT (as per the system) and they dont chase up.
    The answer for everything is "ring home".
  17. Biolojolly, that is such a good idea! Sadly I dont know anyone who would happily do that! Probably because I have about 3 of these problem pupils per class, so it wouldnt really work to send all 3 to look for a stapler!
    Ive just taken to sending them to wait outside while I get the rest of the class on task and actually get to teach. Not really what I should be doing but it makes my life easier.
  18. Yes! I dont have my own form group so I use that time to go and remind them of detentions and generally fill them in on how they are behaving in my lesson, but honestly theres about 5 pupils in each group who should be on report by any normal behaviour standards.

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