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behaviour advice please

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by happy_monkey, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. I am currently on supply for a reasonably long term amount of time with a primary 7 class. I have had quite a lot of experience with P7 and also with noisy classes and disruptive classes, however I have so far found I struggle to quieten this class down. They're not 'bad' just very very chatty and also are quite a large class so there are plenty of them to make noise.
    The class are more than aware of how they are expected to behave but almost can't seem to help themselves from talking when they shouldn't. I'm aware that this is the most difficult term with P7 since they hardly have any time left at primary school and I've been told by various other teachers that they are a naturally noisy class but as I'm going to be with them for quite a while I don't want to spend all my time fighting to be heard. Other than the noise factor they are a nice class so if anybody has any advice on getting the noise level down I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance :)
  2. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Please could you describe what you've tried so far?
  3. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    What does 'naturally chatty' mean? In my experience it means that they've been allowed to chat before because the teachers before you didn't want to deal with it. On the other hand, there are some kids who are raised to believe that the world is simply constipated with anticipation to hear whatever thought butterflies into their heads. Put a few of them together and you might have a bit of a chatty class.
    Same rules apply for you as for any permanent teacher: they'll act in the way that you let them. If you think, 'Oh, they're bound to be noisy at this stage in their school careers,' then that's what will happen, because you'll tacitly, possibly subconsciously move your own goalposts of acceptability about what you will/ won't put up with.
    If they're too noisy for you then they're too noisy; as the teacher, you set the agenda in the classroom, not them. So make it quite clear to them that you won't accept the levels of noise you're experiencing. If, as you say, they're too loud, then they're too loud to learn, and that's the point of them being there; not daycare, not to have fun, not to do as they please; to learn.
    Whenever any of them fail to impress you sufficiently with their behaviour, then simply keep them in during break, or with you at lunch, or after school. Call parents. Rearrange seating plans to separate pals. Withdraw privileges. Do whatever it takes to get through to these kids that you need them to behave better, otherwise they'll face the consequences of their actions.
    They deserve a safe space to learn; you deserve a reasonably peaceful working environment where you don't have to scream your lungs out to be heard. Give everyone what they deserve- and it won't happen until you make it happen.
    Good luck
  4. Well I've only had them for a day and a half so far, have tried a few things. In class they have an individual points system and have tried handing out points when they are behaving as I expect and also some praise towards those who are paying attention. I ave also tried warnings and then removal of golden time for a few but this has no impact whatsoever as they just don't seem to be remotely bothered at the prospect of losing this. I've also tried a timer to see how long it takes them to quieten down, them removing that time from their break. I've even tried the promise of a small reward at the end of the day if they behave properly.
    When I mentioned to their normal teacher that they were quite noisy she seemed to think that this was pretty much expected.
    It took me this period to learn their names as well, although there were a few I knew by the end of the first hour and I find it's harder to get their attention when you don't know who is disrupting things.
  5. I think to be honest I've been worried about making sure I got through the work that had been set for this first couple of days and so maybe haven't spent as much time making sure behaviour is totally up to scratch. I've been able to plan for myself for next week so I'll feel more comfortable with taking time to make sure there isn't the constant low level noise.
    I was also unsure about moving seats as I only have the class for part of the week but I will have a word with the other teacher about this as there are quite a few pupils who don't seem to be able to sit next to each other without having a carry on. I've tried moving certain pupils away from the others altogether a couple of times but as there are so many of them in the class there's nowhere I can really seat them that they are a decent distance away from anyone else.
    From what I've seen of them so far they aren't even remotely bothered by the idea of any sort of punishment; removal of golden time, staying in at break/lunch, going to see the head. They're also completely uninterested in any sort of rewards.
  6. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    I think you're being a bit hard on yourself; rewards and sanctions don't transorm a whole class instantly, and behaviour management takes time. You need to keep sanctioning and frewarding, consistently, fairly and without exception, until they've learned your rules. This might take a while. There are no short cuts to the behaviour you want- it takes grit and time, but you'll get there IF you keep up your rules and boundaries with them. They might not seem interested in rewards or punishments, but you've hardly started with this class, and their behaviour right now isn't indicative of where you can get them. It's a question of degrees; you get them a sliver at a time, sometimes..
    Also, get them into whatever seating pattern you want. Your room, your rules. Believe me, they can do it if they want to.
    Good luck
  7. That's great, thanks for your advice. Very much appreciated. I'll just keep going with them, have never had any behaviour management issues with any other classes so hopefully they're just testing the 'new teacher' and I'll be able to get them a bit calmer so we can get through some work.
  8. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    It took me six months to get my difficult year 9 (then year 8) class to a point where their behaviour was tolerable. I still have to work pretty hard to keep them in line.

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