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Behaviour in your school?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by WaltWhite, May 21, 2019.

  1. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Hi all,

    Just had a double lesson with year 10 boys who were very chatty, argumentative. I am a good teacher - not perfect though and not someone who automatically commands respect as I enter a room. But I plan my lessons to hold the student's interest, I have good subject knowledge, and I help the students with whatever they need. However if there is a behaviour issue my school has a discipline policy where we are not allowed to keep students back after lessons. During lessons we are not allowed to send students to work in another classroom (where they would still be supervised). If we want to call home we have to ask permission from the students form tutor and this can sometimes be refused. Parents are at times defensive when I have called home about behaviour. We can issue a lunchtime detention but this can be days after the event so loses its effectiveness. Class size around 25 pupils. Single sex classes.

    As a newbie to the independent sector is this behaviour and discipline policy the norm?
  2. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    That's not been the norm in schools where I have worked. However, I do think that independents often have two issues which can make dealing with poor behaviour more challenging:
    - generally very good behaviour, such that there aren't really any systems for dealing with bad behaviour when it does occur.
    - a fear of upsetting parents, especially in smaller or struggling schools where parents have a great deal of power (and know it).
  3. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Yes there is a real fear of contacting parents here from staff. Most parents I have spoken to are supportive though and appreciate being kept informed.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Thats terrible. Of course you are not going to get acceptable behaviour in those circumstances. how pathetic. Whats the point?
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Not in my experience. In all three HMC schools in which I worked before retirement, discipline was a priority. Poor behaviour inevitably resulted in a school detention, supervised by the deputy head. Parents were informed by letter (probably by email these days) and the names of offenders being detained were read out in assembly. Repeated detentions would result in expulsion.

    Is it, as dts wondered, that the school is struggling to survive and therefore fearful of upsetting parents?
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    No it’s not struggling it’s oversubscribed. Has a reputation for being a very caring school with a liberal attitude to sanctions. Parents in local area that send kids to state school are often complaining about the detentions their children receive, so mayb a different behaviour policy is my School’s “USP”. Had a difficult lesson again today
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I think I would have a word with the Chair of the Common Room about your concerns. That would probably be better than going directly to the Head, who may take the line that you are not suited to the particular ethos of the school. The Chair of the Common Room is likely to know if others have expressed concerns, and whether it is worth taking the matter to the SMT or Chair of Governors.
  8. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Hello OP,
    Having only worked in state schools where behaviour is on a range from mildly disruptive to extreme beyond words, I would suggest you find out whether these students' behaviour is the same in other lessons or whether other teachers can give guidance of how to engage them and gain the credibility you, at present, appear to not have.
    I have often considered working at an Indie but largely put off with what you have outlined here, although florian's experiences gives hope. I think it is a case for safeguarding - you - as a teacher who is on the receiving end of quite unpleasant sounding year 10s and that the school has a responsibility to sanction the boys and provide open support for you. Perhaps your head of department can come into the lesson to observe the behaviour/student/teacher relationship (with a view to improving the dynamics of the class elevating you as being the one that should be respected), and/or offer constructive and productive advice, for moving forward? I notice that no where in your write up is there a mention of HOD being involved?
    Maybe you observing other teachers with these boys may help give you strategies to try when you teach them. Document everything and join a union, simply to get added support and guidance. NEU is a good starting point.
    Good Luck.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Behaviour at the independent I'm working at is ridiculously better than the 2 state schools I worked at. It's basically a different job.

    There's lots of reasons for it such as smaller class sizes, kids from a better/more supportive parental background, fairly high standards from SLT etc

    But I honestly couldn't do a day at my previous schools now after working here. It's actually a disgrace the behaviour that goes on in a lot of state schools. And more reprehensible is the SLT attitude to it.
  10. manc

    manc New commenter

    Permission from the form tutor for addresses. How ridiculous. The teacher should be king in his own classroom and not subject to silly rules like not sending kids out. It’s about time the teaching staff grew a pair and challenged these ‘rules’.
    jarndyce likes this.

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