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Behaviour expectations in the KS2 classroom

Discussion in 'Primary' started by TheOneTonBun, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. TheOneTonBun

    TheOneTonBun New commenter

    Merry Christmas TESers,

    I was just after some advice about what is normal behaviour to expect in a Primary school from kids? I just finished my first term's PGCE placement in KS2 and feel pretty ragged. On reflection it felt like much of the term was spent responding to poor, disruptive, or non attentive behaviour.

    This seemed to be theme throughout the school. In the classroom: kids talking over teachers, throwing things around the room (pens, gluesticks), laughing when they got told off. No real culture of respect for adults. Still just about young enough to look sorry for themselves when they got sent out or (very rarely) given a breaktime detention, but nothing that would make any difference when they came back the next day, or even the next lesson.

    Outside the classroom, when you were away from the main corridor it was all kids running, banging doors, and sometimes fighting so it seemed to be a culture in the school. The teachers I saw who did keep order seemed to do so by being very cross and grumpy the moment they saw a child, and one or two of them went off with stress with no ETA for returning.

    I'm a bit bemused really. This isn't what I thought Primary would be like.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It isn't what many primary classrooms/schools are like.
    Watch those who manage behaviour effectively and use some of their strategies. It may not be what you idealistically would like, but sometimes you have to be a different kind of teacher to make the difference needed. Once you have the class on side, then you can relax.
    Isobeleh, Lara mfl 05, Pomza and 2 others like this.
  3. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    the big message is to make sure that you pick a good school for your first job. As described above is not normal and will do you no favours as a new teacher. As you are moving into what is fast becoming a shortage occupation, take you r time to pick a school where you can learn and thrive. Most of all you need to work for a decent head teacher who will get off their butt and enforce high standards from both children and adults.
    and regrading being grumpy.... sometimes you will have to be, but really try hard to focus on being positive when you can be and with the children who deserve it. As you get to know the more difficult ones you will find out their back story and might feel some sympathy but at the end of the day they don't have the right to destroy your career or the learning of their peers.
    Lara mfl 05, becky70 and lardylegs like this.
  4. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    This isn't normal primary school behaviour. Hopefully you are moving on to a different school next term. Re: the teachers who did keep order - they may seem grumpy but they are the ones who will actually be giving those pupils an education.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps you would enjoy teaching in China, TheOneTonBun. Mrs Hippopotamus and I were in the Middle KIngdom for five years and we really enjoyed it. Chinese students are quiet, hard-working, respectful and (most of them) are sweet and adorable.

    I agree with hammie that the SLT in your school are just not doing their jobs. They are meant to provide "leadership", but actually they are totally useless. I have to disagree with caterpillartobutterly because it is going to be difficult (almost impossible) to have your class "on side" if the school has a culture of yobbery.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Except for the fact the OP says there are teachers in the school which manage it...if they can, then the OP can. I agree it will be difficult, but no one ever said teaching was easy. Different schools have different challenges, but it's never easy. (A lot of fun, and the best job in the world, don't get me wrong, but easy it isn't.)

    I don't think it is at all sensible, or realistic, to tell a trainee after one term, that they will find it almost impossible to get a class on side. We do not know the school in any detail, nor do we know the strengths of the trainee. There are always pockets of excellent teaching, even in the worst schools. The OP may well prove to be able to provide that next term.
    Lara mfl 05 and Stiltskin like this.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, I hope you are right, caterpillartobutterfly! Yes, experienced teachers can cope fairly well, even in a school where there clearly are some serious behaviour issues.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    I'm presuming you've finished you're placement there and will be going somewhere else next?

    Things that work for me: Read the schools behaviour policy before you go there and follow it. Be clear with your expectations of the children, and be consistent with your approach (in line with the policy). If you start to let things go for one child then it'll snowball as others will try to see what they can get away with or frustrated at why others get away with things they get punished for. That said don't try and reason with emotionally charged children, but be clear that it will be dealt with in the future. If you do give out consequences explain the reason, so they understand. Show you're detached from it (e.g. You did X which means I have to do Y because that's our class rules) so they don't consider it a personal thing. Try not to do it whilst the whole class is listening/watching if possible, go close to them or call them to one side.

    Where possible though deal with things before they happen and be factual to reduce potential problems (e.g. Rather than ask why they are out their seat chatting to XYZ, say ABC you're out your seat chatting. I need you to be back at your seat working otherwise thank you).

    Good luck with the rest of the course!
  9. TheOneTonBun

    TheOneTonBun New commenter

    Thanks for your replies everyone, I am scheduled to go back there but I have another placement in the meantime. Hopefully that will give me some more context!

    My natural style is to be very strict at the beginning with little things on the assumption that everything will go easier after that. I.e. I assume if you drop the hammer and anvil on a kid throwing glue sticks and water bottles around today, then you won't have to deal with them throwing chairs around next week. But the class teacher said she thought I was too strict with things like this and to just use verbal warnings, which led to me not really knowing what to do. I think the kids really exploited that too (obviously they knew I was a trainee).

    I found how much got turned a blind eye to quite hard to deal with. but maybe that's just me.
  10. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    I can see the main point has been made. No, it's not normal. They shouldn't be doing talking over the teacher, laughing when punished or throwing glue sticks. And if they are doing things, then detentions should not be rare!

    have you considered posting about this on the behaviour forum, by the way?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. MissKitCat

    MissKitCat New commenter

    Hi, as others have said this behaviour is not the norm. I just wanted to say that as a PGCE student some children will push boundaries and it is harder to implement strategies,however you have been able to learn from this experience. Behaviour management can be challenging - I know when I was a new teacher this was something I had to develop- but you are clearly reflective and I hope that you have a succesful new placement where behaviour issues are less of a focus. As stated in post 8 read the behaviour policy before starting, consistency with the class teacher is important. Good luck with the rest of the course.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and have you rung parents, for both good and bad reasons?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. Marshall

    Marshall Lead commenter

    What did your mentor say/do?
    What does the behaviour policy say?

    Sounds out of control to me.
    hammie likes this.

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