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Appeasement as a behaviour management strategy

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by lovejoy_antiques, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I am seeing more and more appeasement in schools as time goes on. Didn't we learn anything from Neville Chamberlain's experience? It seems asking for any help at all with behaviour is simply giving an appeaser the chance to be popular and casting yourself as the bad guy!

    Last week I sent a student out for filling up balloons with water in an IT suite. An appeaser came along and suggested the student should be given a second chance. The kid came back in, filled another balloon and pierced it spraying water everywhere!

    In another lesson I sent two lads out, after trying to split them up from where they were sitting as they were constantly talking over me. As they refused to move to separate desks I used the school system (S1, S2, S3 etc) and sent them outside. SLT member arrives to inform me: "you can't just send them out into the corridor" (it's almost like non compliance is not seen as a thing anymore!).

    I explained what had happened and was told to give them a second chance in their original seats. Hence two now very smug pupils re-entered the lesson safe in the knowledge that they could do what they like in my lesson. As supply I thought it best not to argue the point (see my previous posts on abrupt endings) and just kept my head down and thought of the money!
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    This "technique" was used a lot by the previous management of my current school - it was a way they could seem to be doing something while taking no responsibility for the woeful behaviour within the school.

    But they are all gone now and it is no longer "in vogue"

    It doesn't work.
  3. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Restorative justice seems to be the thing in some schools. See Pivotal for info on it.
    pepper5 and lovejoy_antiques like this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Clearly SLT don't want the horrible pupils cluttering up their offices/work areas so they've got to dump them in someone else's classroom. If that fails they have to be restored to the original classroom and so any cobblers will do to make that okay.

    I can't see any solution to this other than don't work there anymore. I can manage to do the social networking to get some favouritism out of the system but if SLT are already abusing the system then it's a lost cause for supply.
  5. abwdSTEM

    abwdSTEM Occasional commenter

    A few years ago (about 10) I was working in a pretty decent school but one where a certain proportion of the kids would not remove outer coats for lessons. It was a whole school issue not just my lessons but one battle I thought I could do without since there were many kids wanting to learn and my time was better spent with them.

    Anyway with an Ofsted inspection due soon the HT thought something should be done about it and during one staff briefing asked staff to insist coats were removed during lessons. As expected one of the main culprits I taught wasn't going to comply with this and refused to remove his coat. As per school policy after two refusals I gave him a lunchtime detention and carried on with the lesson without further delay (logged in his planner should any member of SLT pass by).

    No surprise he didn't turn up so again as per policy I gave him a second chance followed by a letter home informing his parents their little "treasure" had earnt himself an after school detention. Of course he still didn't show so I asked SLT what they would like me to do next. Their response was a second letter home with a second chance to attend an after school det. Of all of this took time away from valuable teaching and by now the initial "coat " offence was two weeks old,
  6. sharon7482

    sharon7482 New commenter

    It is everywhere and I don't really have anything more.to say about it. I could.list a hundred stories.of where I was determined to wait a child out, calmly insisting on the rules until they comply, as any psychologist will tell you, only to be overruled by management who said well look they are kicking off now just let them do what they want.

    It is beyond comprehension what goes on in some schools and really a tradegy of our times. What are we preparing these children for?
  7. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I think ultimately we're preparing them for a life of disappointment. The real world simply doesn't bend to the whims of the belligerent!
    agathamorse, pepper5 and tonymars like this.
  8. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I've seen this one before. It's where you and the student, overseen by slt, sit down as equals to discuss how them calling you a "f****** t***" made you feel. These tend to make the student more vitriolic and don't exactly elicit any contrition whatsoever!
    agathamorse, pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  9. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I wish places would be straight with you when you first walk through the door. I'd love an honest conversation where someone in authority gave me the inside track, i.e. "these are the rules, you may get the good kids to adhere to them and even turn up to the odd detention but all the troublemakers expect complete impunity, plus don't send a stream of behaviour incidents our way as we have enough to do".

    I am experienced enough at this job to be able to look after eggs just as well as I can make omlettes. Where I struggle is when you're expected to do both!

    I don't exactly have high expectations as a long term supply teacher. But I do expect to be allowed to have two uninterrupted minutes of the one hour lesson to be able to take a register and explain the task to the students. However unfortunately by many of todays students this is seen as being too strict!
    HS65, agathamorse, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  10. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I hate it when the powers that be trick you into thinking they actually want to improve things (and importantly are prepared to provide meaningful back up and sanctions for non compliance). I think they all want things to improve (results, behaviour etc) but want this to happen by magic, without too much work from them!

    I'm always amazed how many people I've met in management that don't actually want to manage anything. Least of all a difficult child with equally awkward parents!

    I did a two week placement a while back and I was determined not to get in to any tiresome arguments with kids over coats/hoodies/phones etc. After all I thought, if I was on the same bus as these kids would the hoodies/phones bother me? I looked on my two weeks placement as a similar casual acquaintanceship with these kids as I would have with fellow bus or rail passengers.

    For two weeks it did not seem worth the hassle of being Mr strict. I decided to just go for 90% compliance. So at the start of every lesson I'd say: "Can we have everyone ready for school, coats off, hoodies off, phones away etcetera etcetera". If one or two awkward kids didn't comply I'd ignore it. If anyone important came in and noticed I'd let them play the policeman. If there was any come back on me (never was) I could say "they we're clearly told at the start of the lesson but chose not to cooperate (now over to you deputy headmaster)".

    This worked so well the school kept asking me to come back!
  11. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Spot on lovejoy. If only schools would be honest with you from the off.
    I'm out of permanent for a couple of years now, but I'm surprised to hear that league tables/results still matter. I thought the whole point of this was to push though academisation and destroy the unions.
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I've been out of permanent for 3 years this Christmas. Its not been easy but I've not missed a meal or a mortgage payment yet! Let's see what the new year brings. Have a good one tonymars and anyone else who follows the trials and tribulations contained in my posts. This place has really helped over 2018 xx
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Supply gig earlier in the year. Difficult kids (actually impossible). Anyway, lower schoolassembly and the HT is telling the kids that if they are asked to move seats by the teacher then they should comply immediately without fuss. Period 1 and a yr 7 kid who should be at the front of the class according to the regular teacher's plan goes straight to the back and stats banging the desk as hard as he can. I ask him to move to his seat without him taking any notice or stopping the banging. Who should walk past but the HT. So I called him in, explained the problem. The HT tells the kid to move. Kid tells HT to f*** off. 30 minutes later and the HT still hasn't managed to get the kid out of his seat. Eventually he grabs the kid's arm and drags him out. Next lesson the kid was back and sitting where he pleased. I didn't bother to ask him to move.
  14. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    'Appeasement' still exists in an insidious form in schools...

    What has happened is that in order to put a child in say an after school detention has been deliberately designed to be a nightmare....lots of logging details on the school system, quite possibly having to phone home to the parents and justify yourself, if the kid doesnt turn up then the teacher has to go through a whole load more logging of stuff.... etc

    I've heard so many times from teachers in schools that its not worth the enormous admin grief putting pupils in DT, so they 'manage' the child as best they can in class.

    The SLT can now stand back and claim they have a 'strong behaviour management strategy' in place when in reality what they have done is put the entire admin responsibility on the teacher...... heaven forbid the SLT actually do anything except teach a 0.2 TT and drink coffee....:rolleyes:
  15. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I can remember as an nqt diligently logging things on the system as told. Then being amazed to see that the data seemed to show that the majority of students only ever misbehaved in my lessons. Then being called into the heads office as I had a high number of incidents which must be down to a failing of my teaching!

    This was at a school with a permanently on site police officer! The penny then dropped as to why so many other staff swallowed their own smoke and pretended the anarchy wasn't happening. I still log things now when possible, as I'd hate for another new teacher to have it implied to them that the issue was with them and not the students behaviour or management's victim blaming approach.
  16. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Ah yes lovejoy. I did the same, at first and was also pulled up. Took me a while to get the bigger picture.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. sharon7482

    sharon7482 New commenter

    No wonder this is a career with the participants heading in one direction.
  18. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    The red pill moment of my nqt year!
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    After becoming an academy, the new SMT at my last school did two things that served to undermine completely teachers' authority in the classroom. The Heads of Year were replaced by non-teachers, one of the roles of whom was to act as 'advocates for the students', and a system of 'restorative justice' was adopted. All a student had to do was to go whining to their HoY, who them presided over a 'restorative justice' meeting between the teacher, the student, and sometimes a member of the SMT. The usual outcome of this was a 'compromise' solution, in which the teacher had to back down, and to be seen to do so in front of the student. At these meetings, it was the teacher who was 'in the dock' over their 'inappropriate management' of the student's behaviour, rather then the student being called to account for their inappropriate behaviour!

    From an SMT's point of view, 'appeasement' has two advantages: it keeps stoppy parents of its back, and gives it yet another stick with which to beat the teaching staff. Why go to go to finding a the real culprit, or addressing the root problem, when you can blame the complainant, who is standing in front of you?

    Deflection management! :mad:
  20. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    ..the 'success' of which it justifies by the drastic reduction in the number of incidents logged by teachers. What a surprise!
    JohnJCazorla likes this.

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