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Are you having trouble with behaviour?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by dylan83, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. I thought we'd feel better knowing we're not the only NQTs struggling with behaviour irrespective of whether we teach in primary or secondary.
    Post here if it applies to you! What's the biggest problem you're having? What support are you getting? Is there anything you regret doing / not doing? Do you have any top tips?
  2. For me, I'm having issues with lower sets, mostly because they're weak and don't want to try. There are a few kids with ADHD whose behaviour I just wasn't prepared for, and they're frequently being removed by SLT, which of course makes me self-conscious that my name's being mentioned as someone who can't cope with behaviour :/ Generally I thought I was good at behaviour management but having not really encountered anything too difficult during my PGCE year I wasn't really prepared for "real" teaching. Trouble is, I started the year off being too nice, and with some groups this has backfired because now they won't take me seriously when I issue sanctions.
    *sigh*. I had two kids taken out today and then had a conversation with SLT about another kid who's being a bit rude and disrespectful, only to find they'd been sat in the coridoor about ten feet away from my room the whole time :( Not sure what they heard or how much, but I'm preparing myself for some backlash.
  3. ela86

    ela86 New commenter

    oh i started being off too nice too, managed to turn it around with some classes but not others. I find low level disruption the worst, I can't apply the usual sanctions because essentially they aren't doing anything "big" enough to constitute a sanction but yet they are disrupting the class? How do others deal with low level disruption?
    I am a secondary NQT at the moment although I trained in primar, that hasn't help as a lot of my strategies aren't useful with this age group, they don't respond well to stickers and don't seem to care about rewards in general!
  4. I know how you feel. If you read my other post on here I started in January on a maternity cover and as everyone keeps telling me starting half way through the year when people know you are temporary has been a nightmare. To make matters worse the teacher I took over from was strict.
    I too was in the same position as Dylan - never encountered too difficult on PGCE year and totally unprepared for "real" teaching. And yes I was too nice as well.
    I have found that targeting the ringleaders helps somewhat but I think I take this too far as the other kids think I am unfair. I have hit them heavily with sanctions and and some of them now behave but inevitably the others don't care. I asked for help had an oservation where of course the kids behave only to play up again later.
    If anything I would say be firm but fair and consistent - something which I haven't been. I am lucky as year heads and my HoD are very supportive but as other NQTs and myself feel we need actual coaching in behaviour management. Is this even posiible?
    Good Luck.
  5. ela86

    ela86 New commenter

    sorry I said secondary, but really I teach in a college where detention doesn't exist and the students come and go as they please.
  6. I am in Secondary and have issues with my Y12 class at times - they too have 'opted' to be there, so I take the stance that I can opt to ask them to leave the lesson if they do not take part! I did it once to the two most frequent culprits - now all I need to give is a warning.
    ( I did check with my HOD first as wasn't sure if I could ask/tell them to leave!)
  7. Is that college as in, further education establishment where the students don't have to be there? Because if they're disrupting in a class like that ... Well, my A Level teachers would kick people out with a, "You don't have to be here, so I'm marking you as absent and you can sort your own exam syllabus out!"

    Possibly not legal (anymore?) but something to talk to your HoD about.

  8. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

    It's more the lack of support that's the problem. I used to take a Yr 10 class where every member was on the SEN register. It was acknowledeged I had the 'sink' set. My support? None. The Year Head backed me writing to the SENCO, Head etc. No support from Dept.
    Top tips? Do not be as understanding and reticent as I was. If you can demonstrate you're not getting the support you need FIGHT for it.
  9. Yes, it helps loads knowing you are not the only NQT that is struggling with behaviour. It became so frustrating when struggling with managing some pupils behaviour. I spoke to a fellow teacher about the issues I had been having and they advised me to try this free app called class charts. I have found a massive difference since using this, I now reward pupils according to their behaviour, either positively or negatively and at the end of each lesson a report can be created, which I use to evaluate either the whole class or individual pupils behaviour. Hope this helps other NQT struggling with behaviour management,

    Best of luck
  10. Nimstar

    Nimstar New commenter

    Your post could have been written by me!

    I feel like I am the only one having issues (I'm sure I'm not) and like you question my confidence. Then I get great observations and other staff complementing my teaching and it helps. I also look back on how the classes were at the start of the year and have to admit they may not be perfect, but they are much better.

    I wasn't so much too nice at the start as not as pro-active with sanctions as I should have been. I did detentions, sending outs, referral, reports etc but I wish I had made more contact home in the early days. I tended to be so exhausted by the end of the day I only made a fractions of the calls I intended to.

    What also hasn't helped (and not something I can impact) is that we have small schools with different SLTs, and they are completely contrasting in their efficiency and response when I ask for help. Having 6 out of 7 classes being bottom set "sink" classes was difficult too. On the plus side, next year will be easier - right???

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