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Are teachers becoming the scapegoats for pupils’ bad behaviour?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    It would be interesting to get your thoughts on this issue:

    ‘Some schools are responding to pupil misbehaviour with a "blame-the-teacher culture", a union leader has warned.

    Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, reflected on the organisation's annual conference in Belfast in a Tes video.’

    Do you think schools are doing enough to manage bad behaviour? Do you feel the pressure to keep pupils’ behaviour in check? Do you feel supported by your school when dealing with pupils' challenging behaviour?

    agathamorse and FormosaRed like this.
  2. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    "Becoming"? I can't remember a time when this didn't happen.
    bertiehamster, Jamvic, TCSC47 and 6 others like this.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I taught post-16, rather than in schools, but this was commonplace there, and contributed to my decision to call it a day. That was 6 years ago. I dread to think what it must be like today.

    They shouldn't have to manage it. They shouldn't have to suffer it in the first place.

    Again, that should be down to the pupils themselves, rather than having to rely on teachers wasting their time continually firefighting their way through lessons.

    In my last observation, the things I was picked up for were all related to student behaviour. If I had been given a pound for each time I'd told those same students off for those same actions I was picked up on, I could have retired early.

    Accountability and Authority are meant to go hand in hand. In my experience they don't. You are simply held accountable, without any authority to actually do anything to address the core problem.
    TCSC47, tonymars, Catgirl1964 and 3 others like this.
  4. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    elder_cat how did you do that? Or is it my eyes?
    yodaami2 likes this.
  5. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    you mean the font colour ?
    yodaami2 likes this.
  6. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    It probably always has been the case, at least for a long time but as Chris Keates points out, two things compounding the issue at present are the ever increasing class sizes and the large numbers of SEND students in mainstream school with no support.

    I can manage a couple of tricky characters in a class of 25 but I now have situations which I simply can't deal with - for example 32 mixed ability students, including 9 with a statement for SEN and no TA. The idea that I can teach a differentiated lesson catering adequately for the brightest, whilst providing support for the least able, on top of dealing with frequent low level behaviour issues (which are obviously not exclusively caused by the SEN students) in a practical subject is ridiculous.

    Basically this is about funding. If the class sizes were manageable (say no more than 25 for practical subjects) and SEN students had adequate support I would have a fighting chance of success.
    vegetable78, TCSC47, tonymars and 6 others like this.
  7. janerain72

    janerain72 New commenter

    "Basically this is about funding. If the class sizes were manageable (say no more than 25 for practical subjects) and SEN students had adequate support I would have a fighting chance of success."
    Yes, 100% agree. The consequences of the funding cuts have been devastating for this generation of children. Everyone - teachers, Tas, pupils including Send pupils - is struggling due to the impact of the cuts. And yes, there's definitely an element of 'blame the teacher' as that's a lot easier than tackling the real cause of unruly behaviour. Until there's more money available, nothing will improve.
    TCSC47, tonymars and agathamorse like this.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    We have lost a lot of experienced and time-served professionals. Newer, younger entrants will not have the experience to draw on when they have to deal with more challenging pupils and will struggle.

    Management probably have few options now when dealing with challenging pupils as exclusions need to be kept down.

    Teachers will therefore be under more pressure to accommodate difficult pupils. And that's a pressure they get on top of being inexperienced and trying to deal with those pupils without being able to draw on their own or others experience. It's all rather inevitable. This is no doubt fuelling the rise in zero tolerance policies, which do no one any favours in the long run.
    TCSC47, tonymars, Catgirl1964 and 2 others like this.
  9. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    It is not a funding issue. It is cultural. Rather than fix behaviour the first prong of SMT is blame the teacher. It is as if the teacher swore/hit/failed to follow the class code.
  10. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Ah!!! It's changed! When I first looked at it, it was black text but kind of highlighted with a pinky colour.
    Maybe it really is my eyes.....
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I think you can choose lots of colours
  12. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Ofsted already blame and judge teachers for the behaviour of children in the uk. Teachers are now viewed as child minders by many in uk society. Even the govt fines schools for excluding poorly behaved students.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "We have lost a lot of experienced and time-served professionals. Newer, younger entrants will not have the experience to draw on when they have to deal with more challenging pupils and will struggle."

    And also, when I was going into schools on supply, the younger teachers had some serious flaws, generally speaking. Poor English was rampant in younger teachers, as was a complete addiction to their own mobile phones. It seems to be ingrained in the DNA of any teacher under thirty now, to have their phone out on their desk or to constantly feel the need to take it out of their pocket and look at it during lessons. They seem to ignore all school rules for pupils on mobiles in school and to not have a single bit of understanding why mobiles damage learning in classrooms 99% of the time.
    tonymars likes this.
  14. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I used to have mine in classes but only to keep track of time, as I've never liked wearing a wristwatch, and none of the classrooms had clocks in them.
  15. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    A key and often unstated role of schools is to socialise the children. Most youngsters need a fair investment into behaviour training. Good parenting sorts out a lot of it before they even get to school - but even the most socialised kids need the experience of school.
    In a well run school responsibility is shared, and everyone takes their part with low amounts of blaming. When things don't work so well it's harder. Most teachers need some back up at various times with particularly difficult kids. Some teachers really struggle and need more support.
    Sometimes it's a matter of perception. Time was when I was given a variety of interesting classes with whom I had a range of ups and downs, but usually got to the end of my time with them without too many catastrophes.
    Then management and cultures changed - all of a sudden my approach wasn't what they wanted and suddenly I was considered more of a liability. It was a shame, but I've found a place where my approach is what they want. I'm happy. They find recruitment difficult at times.
    TCSC47, tonymars and agathamorse like this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    My sundial doesn't work in North facing rooms!
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Has anyone worked in a school where if you don't complain about really poor behaviour you are considered a great teacher? And isn' there a problem with this approach?
    vegetable78, drek and TCSC47 like this.
  18. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Yes frequently whilst on supply. And obviously. yes.
  19. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    This is not a new phenomenon btw.

    vegetable78, tenpast7, drek and 4 others like this.
  20. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

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