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Any advice on how to deal with this ...

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by MableStarr, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. I have a couple of difficult groups this year but one group in particular is getting me down. I've had an inadequate obs with them already as they didn't make any progress in the lesson, and a couple of parents have complained as their kids aren't learning anything and that other naughy kids in the class preventing their kids from learning. The class is a Y10 group of 30 students targeted C grades.
    Anyhow things have improved, HOD has been supporting me, their behaviour is improving slightly.
    In their last lesson I had a few slides on the board with key bits of info for them to re-write in their own words, there was a video clip with questions to answer afterwards and a short practical.
    At the end of the lesson one girl said 'this lesson was boring all we do is copy off the board'. So I told her that if she fels my next lesson is boring she can plan and deliver the next lesson. To this I got well you're the teacher you should do it. But as she left the room she did say can I really plan the lesson?
    Later in the day I was speaking to my HOD and said what had happened at the end of the lesson. I was then informed that this particular student has been to see the head teacher to 'complain' about my lessons - I haven't been told exactly what she's complained about but based on the comments she's given me at the end of the lesson it is probably to do with my lessons being boring.
    Anyway what I'm asking really is how would you deal with this? In their next lesson I have another observation, so the lesson will hopefully not come accross as boring. But I was thinking of asking the student to stay behind for a minute and ask her for some feedback.
    And if she claims it was boring them I would have a pack of information ready to give her about the topic covered in the next lesson and I'd tell her she could plan the 1st 20 mins of the lesson and that she was welcome to see me after school if she needed any help.
    And if she said it was ok then I would somehow say to her that I don't want to hear her badmouthing my lessons again.
    I just have no confidence left with this group, I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle with them and that I have to cover my own back all the time with parents and students continually contacting the head teacher.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. x
     
  2. I have a couple of difficult groups this year but one group in particular is getting me down. I've had an inadequate obs with them already as they didn't make any progress in the lesson, and a couple of parents have complained as their kids aren't learning anything and that other naughy kids in the class preventing their kids from learning. The class is a Y10 group of 30 students targeted C grades.
    Anyhow things have improved, HOD has been supporting me, their behaviour is improving slightly.
    In their last lesson I had a few slides on the board with key bits of info for them to re-write in their own words, there was a video clip with questions to answer afterwards and a short practical.
    At the end of the lesson one girl said 'this lesson was boring all we do is copy off the board'. So I told her that if she fels my next lesson is boring she can plan and deliver the next lesson. To this I got well you're the teacher you should do it. But as she left the room she did say can I really plan the lesson?
    Later in the day I was speaking to my HOD and said what had happened at the end of the lesson. I was then informed that this particular student has been to see the head teacher to 'complain' about my lessons - I haven't been told exactly what she's complained about but based on the comments she's given me at the end of the lesson it is probably to do with my lessons being boring.
    Anyway what I'm asking really is how would you deal with this? In their next lesson I have another observation, so the lesson will hopefully not come accross as boring. But I was thinking of asking the student to stay behind for a minute and ask her for some feedback.
    And if she claims it was boring them I would have a pack of information ready to give her about the topic covered in the next lesson and I'd tell her she could plan the 1st 20 mins of the lesson and that she was welcome to see me after school if she needed any help.
    And if she said it was ok then I would somehow say to her that I don't want to hear her badmouthing my lessons again.
    I just have no confidence left with this group, I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle with them and that I have to cover my own back all the time with parents and students continually contacting the head teacher.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. x
     
  3. Starstellar77

    Starstellar77 New commenter

    Hi Mable,
    It doesn't sound as if your lesson content is the problem. Do not allow yourself to lose confidence because a student says your lesson is boring. As long as you have several short activities and some learning points in there you are doing the right thing.
    My advice for your observation would be to put the focus back on the students after some input by giving them an activity they have to get into. Make it diffrentiated so all can access it but with progression that can be achieved by any brighter ones. From the tone of your message you are probably getting yourself really stressed and putting even more pressure on yourself. Don't do it. Teach them but the pressure is on them to learn...
    Do not pander to this student, she will sense your uncertainty and use it. Smile brightly at negative comments or completely ignore them.
    I have been there, every teacher has at some point. But don't let it get to you! Hope the reply at least helps.
    S
     
  4. Thanks for your reply starstellar, and you're right I shouldn't pander to this student.
    As for getting stressed - that is exactly where I am at now. After inadequate lesson obs and what feels like a billion negative comments and criticisms I'm feeling very low. I just want it to go ok in the next obs.
    x

     
  5. Starstellar is absolutely right. We all get those sort of comments at one time or another and it really is hard keeping everyone happy all of the time! Hope all goes well on the lesson ob.
     
  6. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    I'm constantly told my lessons are boring, asked what the point of my subject is... I tell them that every job has boring bits and that learning to cope with this is part of growing up!
    Good luck with the obs. Try and do something nice tomorrow so that you're not spending all the day worrying and working. And remember, it's not the be all and end all. Your lessons sound like a nice balanced mix; this girl is just trying to push your buttons.
     
  7. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Ignore this lovely young lady. What on Earth gives her the right to say whether:
    a) a lesson is boring or not
    b) It matters if it is?
    Sometimes learning IS boring. Nothing to be done about it. Life is hard; work is hard; quality results require dedication and effort that are often less than inspiring. If she suspects that anything worth doing will be scintillating, then I suspect she'll be in for somewhat of a shock when she finds it isn't. You, on the other hand, probably have a degree, life experience, and some kind of post-graduate qualification. You are the expert in the room, working hard and delivering a free education to someone who doesn't realise that our current level of democracy, luxury and social justice has taken thousands of years to achieve, and is therefore worthless. She is a young girl with a big mouth and poor manners.
    Explain the difference to her, through the international language of detention, next time she calls your lesson boring. Don't say, 'You do it then,' because she's not supposed to. She's supposed to try hard and learn. If she can't do that, then teach her the error of her ways.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.
     
  8. I think I would take a different tack. Getting kids to teach each other is a brilliant way of not only getting them to learn, but also getting them to understand how it is not quite a simple as they think.
    Challenge them, in groups, to come up with a 10 minute activity, then give them 20 minutes to plan it. Tell them it has to be fun, and that everyone has to learn something by the end of it.
    Stroll around the tables asking them how they are going to test to make sure people understand the work, and how they can get their peers to learn it.
    Some of my most successful lessons have been based around students teaching others a skill, or a list of spellings etc. You could use this as your observed lesson. Getting THEM doing the work is far harder than it seems!
    Good luck.
     
  9. Thanks everyone for your comments and advice. I'm much calmer today (but not for much longer seing as the sunday evening blues will soon kick in!) so I plan to see how it goes on Tuesday before deciding what to do next - but I do like coolasacucumbers suggestion of getting the students to come up with some activites to do in the clas. This might be less confrontational than asking said student to plan part of the lesson on her own.
    xxx
     
  10. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    My only advice would be to make sure that you are not making the lesson too teacher centred. If they are a difficult class it is tempting to lock down most of the lesson and keep it directly under your control. This can lead to lessons that are much harder work for you and, due to the lack of change in activity, one dimensional for the children.
    That said, there are times in every subject where you need to get a large amount of information across to them in a short period of time. Don't allow criticism by students about what you are doing put you off - you are the trained professional and you know how to deliver your subject. Trust in yourself.
     

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