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Behaviour, parents & leaving

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lucyjo1991, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. lucyjo1991

    lucyjo1991 New commenter

    Hi there,
    A couple of months ago I posted in career clinic about leaving teaching. I've got another job in the corporate world starting in July and will be handing in my notice soon. One of the things that has made me lose my spark and passion for teaching is pupil behaviour. I find it very difficult to manage some classes. Anyway, I've been having a problem with one class in particular and just before the Christmas holiday I had some mentoring from a member of SLT. The class improved for a short while but have now gone back to where they were before. I struggle to be assertive, lose confidence and then am even less assertive. Basically I'm not in the right place myself to be teaching. I've recently been told that well behaved students from this class have been talking with members of staff about how bad I am and what the behaviour is like in my lessons and I'm told that probably quite soon parents will be getting in touch to say I'm rubbish too. I'm getting very stressed about this and in turn it's making me feel very demotivated and burnt out. I'm worried I might be put on capability before I even get the chance to leave or ask for a reference! I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for from respondents, perhaps tips on how to get my passion for teaching back or on behaviour management, or perhaps advice on dealing with senior leaders!
  2. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    I'm sure you are wrong, and are suffering, as we all do, from a bad case of lost confidence. I can empathise. I've just quit the classroom for good, and am developing other non school based things. Woohoo.
    You have a new job. Just resign. You wont be put on capability, but I don't think they can mention it if you have already quit, even if you were.

    Well done on the new job by the way. :)
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes choose to expend your energy on the future and save the space in your head for your onwards and upwards move.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    hi lucyjo

    Congratulations on your new job. At least you have something new to look forward to.

    Regarding your classes, try this:

    Have three simple rules for your class:

    Follow instructions first time
    Stay on Task
    Work without disturbing others.

    Explain to the class that these are YOUR rules and ensure you make a display of them and put them on every wall. Explain that you are now creating a class where everyone has the right to learn. Don't let them argue. Don't negotiate.

    Use levels of sanctions:

    1. Verbal warning
    2. Written warning in planner or in a notebook
    3. Third warning results in leaving the class to go somewhere else with other sanctions to follow

    When you see someone breaking the rules or about to break them, gently point to the poster and remind them of your expectations.

    You should not be having to run rings around unruly and out of control students. Do not play the names on the board game with ticks and so forth since that simply entertains the misbehaving students and makes you the centre attraction; they are seeing how far they can push you before you explode.

    You don't have to be mean and nasty to be assertive. Just tell them the rules and explain they are there for the benefit of everyone. School is for learning. It is not like going to the cinema or to the beach. Yesterday, I was honest with a student and told him that he wasn't the only one in the room and I had other students to attend help. If there are students in your class who are misbehaving because of pastoral issues that you can't resolve, tell your HoD or SLT and arrange help for the student if at all possible.

    Don't waste another day of your life worrying about the misbehaviour in your class. Everyone has a choice: they can either choose to remain in your lesson, or they choose to continue to misbehave. You don't have to shout, lose your temper, or get stressed. Simply, when you see anyone breaking those 3 rules, warn them, tell them the behaviour you want to see, and if they don't make the right choice, then they have to leave your room. It is fair for everyone.

    Of course you are not in the right place to be teaching. This class has exhausted you. For the next few weeks, try to take charge of this class and let them know who is in charge: YOU!

    If you take these steps, you will see the class turn around since they will start to understand that you are going to do what you say.

    Try to get some rest over the weekend and go in fresh on Monday.

    You might be getting a new job, but one day you may wish to return to the classroom, so use these last few weeks/months to practice you classroom management skills. We all do it. You are not alone as there are thousands of teachers facing identical problems to yours each day in schools all over this country. Go back to your mentor with your plan and get their support as teachers need to support each other; that is the only way teachers can continue to work in the challenging conditions they face each day.
  5. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Firstly, it annoys me that you have such unsupportive colleagues. They should not be saying that 'the well behaved pupils are saying you're rubbish and soon parents will be calling.' Why don't they help you out! Another sign that a once supportive profession has turned into a dog eat dog world.

    As for the class itself - I would just get them on 'lockdown.' Stuff any all singing all dancing activities and or practicals for now. Get them answering questions out of a book in silence if possible. If you have a HoD who is supportive, state that you are aware of the poor behaviour and ask if they can help you out by, say, having somewhere to send a disruptive child to if necessary. HoDs tend to respect teachers more who admit there are BM issues than those who try to pretend everything behind the classroom door is rosy when the reality is the kids are hanging from the chandeliers and adorning everything in sight with phallic symbols...........

    And it may sound like insanity but keep repeating to yourself, in a non-sarcastic way 'I am in charge and I am going to have a good lesson' before the worst class arrive! I know this is SO easier said than done and you will think that within about 7 seconds such an expectation will be shattered by Chantelle telling Callum to **** off while they line up but this is a bit like braces on teeth, keep doing it and they will slowly but surely bend into shape and likewise your worst group may become tolerable!
  6. lucyjo1991

    lucyjo1991 New commenter

    Thank you for all your advice. I'm going to keep a positive mindset and make the most of the next few months, knowing in the back of my mind that I don't have to do it forever!
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You might also like to try (as well as the excellent advice above by @pepper5 ) buying a book from Amazon.

    Put "Bill Rogers behaviour" in the search box on Amazon and see if there is anything that looks useful.

    Best wishes

  8. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    All super advice! Just take it 1 day at a time, cross out each day on the calendar and soon it'll all be over.

    Just out if curiosity...how have you managed to secure a job for July when it's only end of Feb? :)
  9. lucyjo1991

    lucyjo1991 New commenter

    It's for a graduate scheme where you can defer for up to a year.
    JRiley1 likes this.
  10. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    If you're genuinely worried about capability processes, then you can hand your notice in now for the summer- they're not going to worry about the time and effort for something like that if you're leaving, particularly leaving teaching.

    Otherwise I'd just try your best to look for the positives and go out with that. Focus on what works well with that difficult class and do more of it. If it's a particular type of lesson/task, then look at how you can do this more often.

    That being said, the next person in your situation is going to have the same issues, so SLT should definitely be supporting you. Do you have a good head of year? In my experience, good heads of year/houses can work wonders. Otherwise, just another colleague who is free when you have this nightmare class, that can just pop in and check that 'everything's alright?' or perhaps to threaten that some can go and work with them?

    Big hugs and congrats on the new job by the way!
  11. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    I've rarely bee criticized for being a bad teacher - but I have nonetheless. It does suck. But my other classes and classes before then have been good so I think you have nothing to fear. Do not put yourself under unnecessary stress. It isn't our jobs to raise children to make sure they act how they should in your classroom.

    Being assertive is sometimes a thing you have or don't have. If students do not respect you from the get go, they are the problem not you! I've always been a demanding and authoritative person, so I've never dealt with being a little reserved.

    At the end of the day hon, if you have other classes (I assume you're secondary) that are great with their performance and behaviour, then you honestly have nothing to worry about. As HoD, that's how I would support my team member.

    But, your wise to get out while you still can. Congrats on your new job!

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