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Behaviour management help needed please!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by laura5899, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I am coming to the end of my second placement and have managed to get a job sorted for next year and I am really looking forward to it. My behaviour management in most of my classes is good and I can get the children settled quickly and engage in the lesson.However, there is one class that I am still really struggling with....bottom set Year 9 and I just feel like I am getting no where with them after 10 weeks.

    Last week I had a lesson with them and no matter what strategies I tried I couldnt get them to a) listen to me, b) follow instructions and c) do the work. I am teaching them Unit 4 from the ICT OCR Nationals programme and they are all creating a multimedia presentation on an area they are interested in so the task is engaging and something they ultimately enjoying doing. However, after every lesson I feel like banging my head against a wall. I got asked by two of them if the other teacher wasnt teaching them because 'I am too stupid and need to improve'. I dread the lesson every week because I know what it is going to be like.

    I follow the school behaviour system but I am just wondering if you have any strategies you use with your most 'difficult class'.
  2. Hi Laura
    If they are misbehaving doing the task you describe then forget multimedia presentations and go back to 'old fashioned' ways. Make them work on boring worksheets for the foreseeable lessons. In silence. Its much easier to spot ringleaders that way. When you've got the ringleaders in place you're sorted.
    In short - change your activities to make it easier for you to manage behaviour. Then do the presentations stuff when you have nailed the culprits.

    Good luck!
  3. ...Behaviour management comes first and foremost as a teacher. Activities second.
  4. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    Don't feel bad! Behaviour management is MUCH harder for students than for qualified established teachers. You don't have a reputation or track record, and for bottom set Y9 who have little to lose, it's more fun baiting you than doing the work.
    The advice from other posters is good, but no need to beat yourself up if they never quite get the hang of it.
  5. 'no need to beat yourself up if they never quite get the hang of it.'
    Quite. It's a problem for the school, their parents and society. Not your problem. But of course you have to pass your 'assessment' or whatever it's called now. All I can say is, keep trying; if you get an intelligent assessor, you'll be ok. If you don't, well, even Pestalozzi probably wouldn't pass.
  6. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I have taught my bottom set year 9 since they were year 8. It took me months to get them to behave in a way that I was happy with most of the time.
    They still have appalling lessons occasionally (like today when I had to send 2 to on call and keep another 8 behind in a class of 17).
    10 weeks is a very short space of time in teaching and you would be doing extremely well if you could get a difficult bottom set to behave in 10 weeks as an NQT.
  7. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    As people have said, there are several factors that conspire here to make success difficult, instantly:
    • Year 9- a cauldron of simmering emotions, notions and hormones, one foot in childhood, one foot (or so they percieve) in the adult world.
    • The brevity of your relationship- you are still very much the new teacher to them; these relationships take time, and two and a half months is a heartbeat to some classes.
    • The nature of the task- multimedia presentations are a playground to some, and the capacity of such activities to entertain 'off task' behaviour is enormous. As you have seen.
    • Bottom set- whether by conspiracy or accident, many such groups percieve themselves to be unacademic- and proud. Many resist attempts to be taught because they believe that they can't be taught. Sad, but hardly your fault.
    In fact, none of these things are your fault; these are the factors you fence against. If I failed to scale Canary Wharf wearing flippers and a frog suit, I could hardly be accused of poor climbing skills. So see your efforts in context. If you are evaluated, then a good assessor will observe that misbehaviour is occurring, but be more interested in how you respond to it; if you use the school policy, and never deviate, then you cannot be faulted by an external eye- or at least, you shouldn't be. We aren;t expected to get them behaving perfectly; what we are expected to do is carry out responses that encourage better behaviour in the future; sanctions, rewards, communication, etc.
    Oh, and the next time someone says you're a rubbish teacher, drop them in a bear pit. Or at least, push for some time out in the cooler.
    Good luck.

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