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Advice please on a yr8 who can't be controlled

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by IndianaJ97, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. IndianaJ97

    IndianaJ97 New commenter

    Hi all,
    A boy in one of my classes (top set for what it's worth), is beyond control and I feel like I'm failing every time I teach his class.
    I follow the behaviour policy but nothing has any effect. I've tried constantly challenging his behaviour to no effect, I've tried moving him to work on his own - equally hopeless. I think he just revels in the attention so I tried to let small, attention seeking actions go and focussed on bigger disruptive actions. Still no good.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I'm approaching breaking point with this. SMT have said that I'm doing the right things but I need a more constructive solution than the pitched battle that this is turning into.
  2. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It's exhausting dealing with this, isn't it? We must three or four like this in all of our year 8, 9 and some year 10 classes.

    Get the parents in with the little **** and make sure they are completely aware of the situation, so they can't say they didn't know. Have a member of SLT / SEN with you. Agree beforehand the next steps, time scales, expectations, including exclusion from class, and make it clear to parents that is what will happen, in writing. Make sure clear lines of communication are set up.

    Realistically, look for a job abroad, or in a grammar school or selective independent because the reality is, nothing will change, the above won't help and SLT will be as much good as a far t in a wetsuit.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Indian ajay

    Have a meeting with this student, his parents, Head of Year or Head of Department - the higher the better.

    Discuss with him and his parents how his behaviour is affecting the learning of others. Be specific when describing what he is doing. Stay calm when speaking about his behaviour and if there is any one thing you can praise him for, bring that up.

    Next, agree on what action he is going to take to put things right. Further, it may help him concentrate his mind to get him involved in helping in the school so he can learn to help people and be positive rather than making trouble. He could listen to year 7s read in the library, help in an after school club, or help do other things around the school.

    Set some targets for him and agree to meet the parents again in two weeks to discuss the progress.

    Punishment won't change this student' motivation, so don't turn it into a battle.

    Check with the pastoral team first to see if they know of any issues at home you may need to be aware of. It may be there is something going on at home that may be affecting his behaviour.

    When you see this student try not to show that you are at the end of your tether although you may want to go screaming from the room.

    Please let us know if you do find a solution since almost everyone comes across this problem sooner or later and it is helpful to share our knowledge and practice.
  4. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Good advice already given here. I agree that a parent/carer meeting (after getting information about him from form tutor etc if you haven’t already) with whichever staff you can get is the urgent way forward.

    - Remember that it’s not you personally and that it’s important to separate the behaviour from the child. You are dealing with his actions because they are preventing you from doing your job. Try anything you can to take the emotion out of it – we all know how hard that can be when you feel infuriated and exhausted!

    - You’ve followed classroom procedures and take a clearly laid out behaviour policy showing these steps to the meeting to explain (again) to the child and to the parents. Make sure they understand that you are now in a position where this heads to more senior staff members and more serious consequences. Reiterate the warnings and opportunities to change his behaviour that have been given.

    - Discuss this first with SLT so you know (and ideally have in writing) the next steps. Once targets are agreed, be specific about what will happen if they are not met. Is the school prepared to internally exclude him/can SLT attend a lesson to show the pupil they are aware and watching etc?

    - Equally what positive things can happen if his targets are met and he continues to improve and participate?

    - Find out as much as you can about the student – what does he want to do when he is older, what subjects does he enjoy etc (ask other teachers how he is in their lessons – ignore those who say he isn’t a problem and just focus on any useful responses about strategies that work with him or activity types he engages with). This doesn’t always work of course but can sometimes allow you to have a dialogue about what he wants to get out of his education to get away from the him Vs you battle.

    Pepper5 has said something useful here: ‘Punishment won't change this student' motivation, so don't turn it into a battle.’

    Anything that can be done to make it more positive is helpful. As always, he needs to recognise that you are there to support him in his choices and not for your own benefit. Is the student generally engaged with school life and if not, are there ways that he could be encouraged in this direction either within your own department or another faculty? These ideas should all be discussed with him in front of SLT and his parents. You are not alone with his behaviour and should be supported (or at least show that you expect to have that support.)

    Set targets during this meeting and ensure the possible sanctions are understood. Then make a follow up meeting for an agreed time later. Ask parents how they wish to be contacted and try to keep them informed on the positive as well as the negative comments.

    It’s a frustrating amount of extra work but you shouldn’t have to feel the way you do currently after those lessons so I hope things improve for you.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. circuskevin

    circuskevin Occasional commenter

    or ...

    you could teach him to unicycle!

    Something I've long done with kids in the neighbourhood.

    Even a teacher learnt as part of a year 6 leavers fun day in the summer.

    I really found the effectiveness of unicycling when I banned crime in my street some years ago.

    I invited the local hooligans to learn to unicycle instead. They would knock on my door, tell me their crimes and show me the tags on their ankles before having a go.

    Crime stopped immediately. No more more police cars turning up!

    Many have respectable jobs now.

    One lad whose dad was in jail for gun crime is a landscape gardener.

    Another lad who left school at 14 after an 'altercation with a teacher' as he described it is a personal trainer in a gymnasium.

    A more recent success is a lad who was on 1:1 tuition in local libraries instead of his final year at school. Apparently used a lot of bad language.

    I've never heard him swear. He learnt to unicycle. Now in his second year at college on a motor mechanics course.

    Kevin the Clown
    ViolaClef and pepper5 like this.
  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Occasional commenter

    Behaviour policies work for the majority.

    It is good to have something up your sleeve for those kids with extra energy.

    Any teacher is welcome to knock at my door and I will teach them how to unicycle!

    pepper5 likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Kevin

    I am really not in a position to learn how to unicycle at the moment, but on a scale of 1 to ten, 1 being the hardest and 10 the easiest, where would you pu the difficulty of learning how to do it? Also, how long does it take to learn? Approximately, since of course everyone is different.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I wouldn't bother battling with him. He either complies or is out of the room.
    One reminder of the rules (for any action, however small, that stops the lesson going ahead) and then he is out. Done and dusted.

    It's a power struggle and you have all the power, don't give it away to him.

    Once he knows he has lost the war with you, you can build a relationship and work on the positive meaning he wants to behave and achieve in your lesson.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. circuskevin

    circuskevin Occasional commenter

    Hi @pepper5 ,

    Nice of you to take an interest.

    From experience, a 'misbehaving hooligan' takes a minimum of 20 minutes to reach the challenge of 5 metres I give them.

    The teacher in the summer took about 30 - 40 minutes.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give unicycling a '5' if you have the physical attributes.

    To learn to unicycle you have to fall off a lot. The first thing I teach is how to fall correctly. You must fall forwards to avoid a chance of hurting yourself. Just sitting on a unicycle and falling forwards without completing any distance is the first step. You land on your feet and the unicycle shoots backwards out of harms way.

    Once you can do 5 metres then you can progress rapidly to riding around.

    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Thanks for that Kevin.
  11. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    Hard to advise without knowing the kid but...

    Relationship is key.

    Meetings, targets and paperwork mean nothing to these kids.

    Make an effort to know this kid, show that you care about him. That doesn't mean favour him over the rest, but there are little ways in which you can make him feel a bit special. Praise his work, reward him, bit of TLC. Give him jobs. Even show a bit of humour. You can accommodate his personality and even embrace it.

    At the same time, assert your authority. Don't be afraid to give him an absolute full-on bollocking if required. Apply sanctions ruthlessly and don't let him get away with anything that disrupts his own or the others' learning. But always be prepared to switch back to positive immediately if he responds.

    This sounds like a mixed-message approach, but it isn't. With a bit of skill and trusting your own instincts, this can be extremely effective. In the lad's eyes, he has a teacher there who is a bit human, does like him, cares about him, but also insists that his learning is important and he has to do it. What is happening is that the boundaries he needs are firmly being put in place.

    It takes time and effort of course. It also takes a teacher with a strong personality and thick skin.

    And if he is an extreme case where he is too far gone for any of this, then he needs a different type of school.
    123Vanilla and pepper5 like this.
  12. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I used to do obedience and agility training with dogs. Many of them with behavioural problems and 'excess energy'. Whitestag's advice is exactly like dog training. Rewards and praise for doing the right thing and putting firmly in place for doing the wrong thing. Let them know who is boss and make them want to please the boss.
    Circus Kevin's advice meets the burning off excess energy criteria and getting them to concentrate on what is important.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. Deedles3

    Deedles3 New commenter

    I use a positive behaviour management approach. At the moment I'm using a program called LiveSchool (https://app.liveschoolinc.com/). In the app you set up a points system where students get points for different types of behaviours, e.g. improved effort, great result, helping others, etc. You can assign different points values for different behaviours. Right now I'm trying to promote helping others, so that behaviour is worth 3 points. Students can then use their points to 'buy' rewards. Personally, I don't believe in giving food rewards (both the junk food aspect and the cost to me), so my rewards are simple: choose where you sit (I have a seating plan), class DJ, listen to own music during independent learning, be called "Your Majesty" for a lesson, positive email home, etc.

    When I was researching around the idea I found a lot of primary-based similar ideas, but most of the rewards they offered involved students helping out the teacher - this would not work in my classroom, so I came up with these other ones. The impact has been amazing. Students are much better behaved in class and as a result I'm a much happier teacher who looks forward to going to lessons because I know it will be productive and stress-free.
  14. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Just keep going. Be consistent. Don't let it get personal and show there's a clean slate and a chance for a positive relationship every day.

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