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Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Greyfalcon1, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    After spending time in a school in special measures, I have come to the conclusion that some pupils just dont take well to certain teachers and choose to misbehave. In essence the teacher is blamed for lack of progress made by pupils but in reality the pupils should take more responsibility for their own learning.

    I have probably got to admit the pupils just dont want to work for me in my current school,

    But the question is how do so many teachers get it right and get pupils on board?

    What strategies are used to measure progress in a very challenging and demanding school?

    After a crazy Friday - some of these thoughts still bewilder me!
  2. gravell

    gravell New commenter

    An accumulation of lots of small steps. Small wins grow to becomes, bigger wins which then mean that slowly but surely you get them where you want them behaving and working, if you are new. You can't fight on every single front at the same time, if you do, you will lose. If they are an established member of staff it is precedent which is even more powerful
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    One of the useful things about staying in a school for a number of years is seeing the students grow. Teaching them aged 11 makes it much easier to get them on board if you have them in your class again at 15/16. Having taught their older sibling etc. These things add to a reputation and an expectation that you are not the teacher to mess with.

    Obviously, it takes more than just staying in a school but it definitely helps.

    You're raising a range of issues in your post.

    1. Absolutely the students need to take more responsibility. It's frustrating for many teachers that we are expected to teach other people's children how to be decent, polite, responsible, kind, hard working etc alongside their actual subject. Of course, it can also be a very rewarding part of teaching - the sort of student for whom you might make more of a difference than just getting a well supported child a good GCSE grade. It is so tough to accommodate children who respond aggressively because they see aggression at home, alongside a committed student aiming for grade 9s. But this is the job isn't it! Teaching is a reflection of the whole of society - good and bad.

    It's important to keep trying but also to use school systems to remove students where necessary because you have a responsibility for the whole class and can't deal with pastoral issues at the same moment of doing your subject teaching.

    2. Your pupils don't work for you.
    How long have you been at the school? Do you see any little improvements in certain classes? Are there any children that are being more positive with you? Try to focus on those.

    Do you try to greet your classes at the door, use their names, get to know something about their interests and use that in lessons? I know this sounds trite but over time, it helps. When you can make a reference to something they like or ask about something they planned to do over the weekend, you improve the relationship a tiny bit. Added to making phone calls home for positive reasons, and using clear sanctions for poor behaviour, continuing to offer relevant work and focusing on helping those doing the work, you can over time find a way.

    There will always be personality clashes and 'types' of kids you get on better with and you shouldn't feel bad about that. Ask for help from your colleagues with this. I've in the past, swapped a 'difficult' girl for another 'difficult girl' with a colleague and we've all got on better. Seek help from heads of year, subject leaders etc. Being confident to ask for other staff to come into your classroom is a game changer. You are not being judged on the behaviour of the kids but the way that you respond to it. Stay calm, follow procedure and be consistent. It's not your fault if they misbehave so don't be embarrassed about asking senior teachers in - it shows you have support and puts the responsibility back on the kids.

    3. What strategies are used to measure progress?
    You will usually still be expected to make progress with your classes and this will ultimately be a percentage game against the progress markers (progress 8, 4 levels of progress etc) but...there is usually in challenging schools the opportunity to "justify" your results. This is something you do need to think about now if you have a year 11 class. Make a spreadsheet showing what you are doing to support any children that won't make the progress. This can be things like "mark their work weekly, ask 3 questions per lesson, offer break/lunch/registration time intervention (whatever your department can accommodate), phone call home, send revision materials home, invite parents in." Share this spreadsheet with your HoD and ensure that you update it as the term progresses. I don't want it to sound like giving up on kids but it is important to be able to show that you offered all the help you could and they didn't take it. Covering yourself in this way, keeping SLT and parents informed means you are doing your job and if they don't make the required progress, then these are the reasons why not. You can use this information in appraisals etc.

    The main thing is communication. Try not to feel it is your fault. Being open about what is happening in your classroom is a real relief and the first step towards improvements.

    I hope this helps, Good luck

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Well, whats that got to do with it?

    People in hell want ice water. So what? You teacher - them pupils. They have a choice? I don't think so.

    You can approach teaching like a popularity contest, or you can approach it like an admin task. You set the work. They do the work. If they don't do the work, what happens? Bad things.

    My advice would be - don't knock yourself out creating lessons which are hard to deliver. Keep it simple and clear, with 90% of the work on the students. If they don't complete it, they don't leave the classroom. You set them homework. If they don't hand it in, they don't leave the classroom.

    Pick your three laziest students. Ring home and give the parents grief for having such miserable offspring.

    Balance this with lots of rewards and encouragement for those that DO toe the line. Show them that if they have a choice between being on your good side, or your bad side, they should always choose the good.

    Yes, I've known teachers who can charm students, and I've known students work themselves into the ground for a particular member of staff. But I've known a lot more hand in work because they knew that if they didn't, they would catch hell for it.

    Let's kill off this myth that they can pick who they work well for!

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