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Bad teaching = bad behaviour. Is this really the case?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by DollyD, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. I have been asked to contribute to a personalised learning working party at my school where it was very clearly stated (along with sage nods from colleagues) in a meeting that SMT feels that lack of differentiation = bad teaching= bad behaviour.
    Whilst I obviously acknowledge that one lesson does not fit all and differentiation is important, I feel distinctly uncomfortable with the idea that lack of all singing/ all dancing/ personalised lessons for each pupils equals bad teaching and thus we are totally at fault for a class' behaviour.
    For example, I see one bottom set year 9 class 3 times a week, the first lesson of which is first thing in the morning. They are calm and I can get quite a bit out of them with not too much stress. By Thursday afternoon full of FIZZY POP and sweets- they proudly tell me how much they have consumed during lunch and it's a wonder they have any teeth left between them (!) - they are a nightmare and getting them to stay in their seats is a nightmare, never mind getting any work out of them!
    My teaching is consistent and therefore I am unsure how the chaos on a thursday can be all my fault. I just wondered how other people felt about this?
     
  2. I have been asked to contribute to a personalised learning working party at my school where it was very clearly stated (along with sage nods from colleagues) in a meeting that SMT feels that lack of differentiation = bad teaching= bad behaviour.
    Whilst I obviously acknowledge that one lesson does not fit all and differentiation is important, I feel distinctly uncomfortable with the idea that lack of all singing/ all dancing/ personalised lessons for each pupils equals bad teaching and thus we are totally at fault for a class' behaviour.
    For example, I see one bottom set year 9 class 3 times a week, the first lesson of which is first thing in the morning. They are calm and I can get quite a bit out of them with not too much stress. By Thursday afternoon full of FIZZY POP and sweets- they proudly tell me how much they have consumed during lunch and it's a wonder they have any teeth left between them (!) - they are a nightmare and getting them to stay in their seats is a nightmare, never mind getting any work out of them!
    My teaching is consistent and therefore I am unsure how the chaos on a thursday can be all my fault. I just wondered how other people felt about this?
     
  3. My feeling is that this is used by managers and Ofsted to avoid having to confront an uncomfortable truth. Yes, of course it is the case that bored and frustrated kids might be more likely to kick off. But like you I can cite lots of instances where they kick off because they are going to kick off.
    I personally wish I had been given a pound for every time I've heard someone who has the luxury of having escaped the classroom say smugly, 'Oh they'll never misbehave if the work is interesting....'
    I think the only real solution is to have these geezers actually show us by teaching these classes day inday out exactly where we are going wrong, so we might learn from their superior teaching skills.
    C'mon down!
     
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    This is a common call, usually by people who have no idea how classrooms work. Good behaviour is completely prior to fun, exciting differentiated lessons. Until you have control in a room, all the bells and whistles won't help. And it will ruin your self esteem to watch all your hard work dashed against the cliffs of their indifference.
    I read a good line on a poster about decisions made by committees of managers. It read, 'Meetings- because all of us are dumber than one of us.'
    That sums it up for me. Meetings generate this kind of well meaning rubbish. Once they're under control then you can focus on the T&L. It can be done simultaneously, but T&L is never prior to good behaviour. Never.
    Tell them that from me. Indeed, I suggest that you advise them to put it in their pipes and smoke it. Or say, 'How d'ya like THEM apples.' :)
    Good luck.
     
  5. as a new HOD I am now getting a bit fed up of this sort of belief. I will go to a Head of Year about an issue in a lesson, and the first thing that i am asked to judge is whether the lessons are are any good.

    Why is the onus on the teacher ... they are not misbehaving, not listening etc. It seems like members of our own profession want to blame us almost for poor behavior of pupils.
    Ho hum... am sure that i am preaching to the converted...

     
  6. Thanks for that, guys. Thankfully, those year 9s were OK today. OK - as in not running around the room trying to wrestle each other to the ground!! - I guess you could say I differentiated my lesson according to the time of day and mood of kids :) I'm hoping I'm getting somewhere - didn't have to confiscate any pop today so maybe they're getting the message!!
    You are right though, Tom, until the behaviour is sorted T & L as I'd like it aint going to happen - even if the lessons has bells on (previous teacher was crucified by ofsted a few months ago for failing to control kids so clearly the all singing/all dancing lessons won't work either). I'm going to plod on and hope I get there!! Whilst doing that I'll continue to writhe in my seat at these meetings and try to summon up the courage to tell them they're wrong. Luckily my HOD is amazing and shares my views on this which is obviously v. handy :)
     
  7. I do supply, by choice, in primary schools. Yesterday the majority of the Y6 class had absolutely no intention of listening. How can I teach under those circumstances? If they choose not to listen, they choose to talk, they choose to throw things round the room, they choose to completly ignore me - what am I supposed to do?
    In the end, I took the few who were patienltly waiting onto the carpet, gave them a fun art lesson activity, then gave the rest handwriting practise. Any who settled down to that were allowed to join the art group. But still I had about a dozen complaining loudly about why they weren't allowed to do art. I was just glad PE hadn't been timetabled - there is no way I would take that class for PE!

     
  8. It's basically bad bonkers science that I'd hope any decent Year 7 could spot.
    Putting ice into a soft drink makes it cold.
    My drink is cold therefore it must have ice in it!
    Er not if the drink is just taken out of the fridge!

    Now bad lessons can lead to bad behaviour but bad behaviour does not, in any way shape or form, only occur when there is a bad lesson!


     
  9. Absolute tosh. I taught a bottom set Year 9 class last year and due to the timetabling, only every saw them last thing in the day - every day bar one in the week. There were 19 kids in the class, 4 with statements, 1 TA, the rest in there because of behavioural issues.
    I tried: videos, worksheets, copying, group work, paired work, teacher-led notes, listening to CDs/readings, reading out loud, storyboards, making posters, writing on IWB, Powerpoint presentations, kinaesthetic learning (moving around room, 'expert' groups, writing on board, arranging cut-up sheets etc), cutting and pasting, silent (!) work, 5 minute exercises, 2 minute exercises, 20 minute exercises. This is but a small selection of techniques I tried, and every single lesson failed spectacularly. The class wouldn't listen, sit still, stay seated, remember a pain...they were rude, belligerent and occasionally intimidating. One lad fell asleep a lot. One of the others used to play with a toy tractor making "brum brum" noises and had a right old paddy when I took it away.
    I hugely resented the 'well, try increasing the pace" and "have you tried X Y Z" responses from SLT. I felt like saying "no, I haven't tried anything different - what a brilliant idea!" Grr.
     
  10. Yes and no really. Yes repeatedly bad teaching will cause kids to get bored/lose confidence in your abilities and then, maybe, depending on the school, place it's in etc might cause everyone to kick off. On the other hand the best teaching could make little difference to those kids if they have decided they're not playing ball. Some kids will be so well behaved that you coulkd give them terrible lessons for ever but they would behave - not many though! If all children received excellent teaching from day one all through their school lives I do believe that 90/95% would be well behaved (except on windy/snowy days/when a wasp comes in the classroom etc) but that's not going to happen.When children walk into your class it isn't a vacuum, they bring their baggage with them, the older they are the more they have and the less difference good teaching can make to their behaviour. It nearly always makes some though - over a period and probably not, as above, if you only see them last lesson of a crappy day.
     
  11. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Yes, exactly, so how can you hope to show them that your lesson can be interesting and fun when they have decided already what they will or won't do?
    I agree with the other posters. 'Fun', interactive lessons can only work when the class is under control and working sensibly; if that's not in place nothing else can be. I think I proved that this week to my Y9s who I posted about (well I hope so anyway, I see them in the afternoons on Weds, THurs and Fri this coming week [​IMG]- if they go back to old way's there are some grammar exercises in the textbook...)
    I have had a number of well-planned lessons ruined before they've started by poor behaviour, and it breaks my heart to see the quiet, well-behaved students sitting patiently waiting for some help, instructions, activities and so on while some over-indulged brat (or the opposite, but the effect is the same) kicks off for his/her own amusement. Yesterday in Y7 I had a class who 90% came in sensibly and quietly and got ready to start, while two of their number did the following: play loud R&B on a phone- constantly-; sit somewhere other than where I wanted them to sit; refuse to move, remove coats; start a fight on and around another boy, who had to move so that he could at least sit in peace, unmolested; shout and swear; chase each other around the room; declare what they planned to do ("well I ain't doing no work then"). All this happened within about 12 minutes of the alleged start of the lesson. By the time one of them had been removed, the rest of the class had about half the time they should've, and were in a state of high excitement.
     
  12. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    ways [​IMG]
     
  13. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    Post #9 asserts:

    "If all children received excellent teaching from day one all through their school lives I do believe that 90/95% would be well behaved" yet less than 2 lines later asserts "(children) bring their baggage with them (to the classroom)"

    The second true assertion highlights the total unreality, not to say fantasy, of the first.
     
  14. Just thought I'd add my thoughts. I was an AST at a previous school and bahaviour was definitely my strength and considering the school I was at it was a blinking marvel. Anyway I never forget being asked to support two NQTs who between them taught the whole of year 9-11 in PSHE.The deputyhead (who was responsible for T and L) had informed them at the start they were supposed to make sure their lessons were all singing and dancing; if they did this their lessons would go well and there would be no behaviour issues. What total bull s h i t! The kids at this school are totally mad (well a significant proportion were anyway) and they made the NQTs lives hell for a whole term.
    I was called in to support and witnessed lessons which were so well planned, so differentiated and so interesting yet they all failed. Why? Because the NQTS hadn't got a grasp on stamping their authority on the kids from day one. Neither were strong disciplinarians and just thought that year 10 boys would "magically" behave if the lesson was interesting. When I explained you can't teach unless you can get the little devils to behave first they were agog as this had never been said to them before either at uni or by their NQT mentor!
    Anyway the point of my rant? Why don't institutions and (more importantly) SLT ensure that young teachers are prepared for the classroom? By all means teach differentiation, exciting lesson planning and weridly entertaining activities but teach young teachers that behaviour has to happen first before learning can. AAAGGGHH!!!!
    On that note I am off to plan some wonderful(!) lessons LOL!

     
  15. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Absolutely. They should also say that sometimes, what's needed isn't seeking to understand this child's need to disrupt (are they very bright and bored, have they had breakfast, etc etc) but give a roasting at the first sign of disruption. Then you can do all the understanding stuff after you have established who is in charge in your classroom.
     
  16. interesting discussion [​IMG]
    bad teaching CAN lead to bad behaviour, but as others say, excellent teaching can only happen when behaviour is dealt with properly.
    I had a kid in my class, a pain in other lessons, fine with me in Drama. One lesson I handed out sheets with lines on for an activity and I foolishly gave this kid the sheet first - I had totally forgotten how poor his reading was. He (unsurprisingly) kicked off, which is what he does when he doesn't understand his work - and as he could barely read, he could not understand it...So, I caused that problem, and when I rang home to talk to his mum, I told her that too. Next lesson, (he was too angry to talk to me at the end of the disasterous one) I talked to him about it, and how I had made a mistake and then talked to him about better ways for him to respond when he didn't get the work. So, despite my bad teaching on that occasion causing his bad behaviour, we both got something out of this - and the next time he didn't understand, he still went nuts, but was able to talk to me about it rather than chucking things around.
    This is not the norm. Children need to be told clearly and explicitly what the rules are, and what will happen if they are broken. I am there to give children the benefit of my knowledge and experience, and ultimately, to help them get grades. I spend LOTS of time training my classes to behave, slipping in those 'shock n awe' lessons early on so they can see what they can expect if they are good. If you do not have a school wide policy, where all staff insist on all rules being adhered to, you are stuck, coz you battle not only the kids in your lesson, but also the behaviour in other lessons 'miss x lets me wear my coat/listen to my ipod/ring my mates'
    The first school I taught was v keen on blaming teachers for poor behaviour 'if your lessons are interesting, kids will behave' hmmm. We had awful behaviour across the school until BfL was used, and then funnily enough, with all teachers using the same sanctions for the same behaviours, and the support of SLT, the kids began to realise we were serious, and behaviour improved - and so we could make lessons more interesting...so behaviour improved etc etc

     
  17. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    What is more 'good' interactive 'interesting' lessons can make things worse if authority is not established.

    If the children have little self discipline it is hard for them to behave when every lesson is challenging and exciting - someone has to provide a calm classroom sometimes, and especially after lunch, but one person's calm is another's boring!
     
  18. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    The sad sad sad sad sad comments in the text below, copied from post #15 tell us more about teaching in English secondary schools today than a myriad of Ofsted reports or a wilderness of experts all talking simultaneously could ever hope to.

    "I had a kid in my class, a pain in other lessons, fine with me in Drama. One lesson I handed out sheets with lines on for an activity and I foolishly gave this kid the sheet first - I had totally forgotten how poor his reading was. He (unsurprisingly) kicked off, which is what he does when he doesn't understand his work - and as he could barely read, he could not understand it...So, I caused that problem, and when I rang home to talk to his mum, I told her that too. Next lesson, (he was too angry to talk to me at the end of the disasterous one) I talked to him about it, and how I had made a mistake and then talked to him about better ways for him to respond when he didn't get the work. So, despite my bad teaching on that occasion causing his bad behaviour..."
    The single word "unsurprisingly" really does my head in, as they say in the local patois.


    This poor teacher self-flagellates over bad teaching, apologises to the mother on the phone and repeats the apoplogy to the pupil because s/he had <strike>kneed the pupil in the goolies;</strike>


    ...no sorry (this time it&acute;s my turn to apologise)

    s/he handed him out the worksheet FIRST!

    Pass the sick bag, Alice.


    No, better make that the cyanide capsules.
     

  19. This discussion is quite interesting while thinking of the challenges that teachers nowadays face in the classroom. I have to say that the problem in today's classroom is due to need that the teacher have to constanty challenge the student's understanding as to try and keep them motivated and enhacing their behaviour even during the worst of their behaviour.
    Students ever increasing challenging and bad behaviours in todays classroom can result due to the fact for the students learning is a 'big game' which can be 'turned off' easily from a result of fear of failure. Thus it is importan i think that teachers will be able to insert fun in their teaching so that our students will be able to rediscover hope, energy, excitment and fun in the learning process and hopefully they will be less challenging and more motivated to learn rather than distracting the rest of the class..
    Goodluck :)

     
  20. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    So it is my fault when they behave badly- I didn't keep them motivated and enhance their behaviour during the worst of their behaviour(??).
    Did you read all the previous posts which outlined why the behaviour has to come first?
     

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