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Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Greyfalcon1, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    Hey all,

    I have observed a number of colleagues across the school recently mainly focusing on behaviour management. It just seems like I am doing something wrong because I fail to achieve a calm and settled classroom. This is becoming increasingly worrying as we have an imminent ofsted inspection. It may just be that my routines aren't being followed and that the pupils have got away with complying.

    On the whole behaviour management seems to causing me a few issues even with the advice - it seems like the pupils perception of me may also be the issue.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    .....with not complying .......
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    1. Some students will do something if you can ask them to. Others may need you to tell them to do it. Don't ask them to be 'calm and
    settled'. Tell them that's what you expect of them.
    2. Make sure that your expectations are applied across the board without favouritism.
    3. Students that do not meet the required standard of behaviour should be removed, or at least reported, depending on how you work it in your school.
    4. How the students see you is definitely important. If they think they can treat you differently to the other staff then they will do exactly that. You need to let them know that your standards are no less than those expected by your colleagues.
    5. I was never one of those teachers that get loads of Xmas cards or Thank You cards when the students left. That never bothered me, because I was more concerned with making sure they did what they needed to do, to get the qualification. If your students like you, that's a bonus, but you are not being paid to be likeable, you are being paid to achieve results.
    6. Tell them you expect respect, not for who you are, but for what you are attempting to do for them. Remind them that outside of their circle of family and friends there are very few people in this world who actually care what happens to them. They should respect you for that.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Behaviour management is one of the key issues for many teachers - it can take up a disheartening amount of time and energy but there are ways to improve it. You need to believe in yourself, be consistent and maintain high expectations. Easy to say I know.

    What advice have you been given so far? Why do you think it isn't working? Are you being consistent? Are you following the school's procedures?

    Your start of class routines are very important. I would recommend (perhaps you already try?) having students line up silently outside your room before the lesson. Wait until they are silent before they are allowed in. You should have a do now/starter activity on the board and explain that they must take their seat, put their bag under the table, find their book and get started on the activity without talking. Insist on this. Stand by the door and greet pupils by name/with good morning etc. Be calm and positive but insistent on the silence. Send anyone out to try again if they talk. Make use of HoD or HoY etc. Working first on starting the class with quiet and with students doing something rather than waiting for you to start the class (when you're trying to do the register, find a powerpoint/lost student book/board rubber) can have a really positive impact.

    Don't fear the Ofsted. Believe you can change things but do it because it will make your job more pleasant. You don't need any extra pressure.

    Make your rules simple and clear. Convey them calmly - perhaps display them or have the students write them down. You could choose to discuss them but this only works with certain classes. I have on occasion allowed students to also tell me what they expect of me and this can work well. You'll know whether your students are mature enough to be sensible and enjoy that sense of reciprocity. Of course respect goes two ways and you should explain that you treat them with respect therefore should receive it back.

    Then start phoning home when the rules are not followed. Give a concrete example of the rule and how it was broken. Explain that the student is wasting their own time and that of other students. Tell the student you are calling and why, and then make sure you do it. This often has an impact, especially if followed by a positive phone call home when they have a good lesson.

    Really focus on the first 10 minutes of each lesson and then let us know how you're doing and we can help with other suggestions.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Great advice already given to you and I would add the following regarding students' perceptions.

    Even if you do not feel confident, act confidently. Act like you know you are the leader of the class and you expect students to follow your instructions. Be pleasant, but firm.

    Dress smartly. It does not have tombs a designer suit, but ensure you are looking smart.

    Practice speaking confidently and standing confidently. Do it in front of a mirror.

    Practice the tone in your voice. Your facial expressions.

    All these are important in communicating confidence.
  6. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

  7. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    Firstly thank you Sarah and everyone else for their excellent advice and support.

    In all honesty I think Ive hit a brick wall with behaviour management - it just seems like I have to spend a considerable amount of MOST lessons improving attitude to learning and I am certainly feeling the affects. It just seems like I am constantly being challenged and no matter what routines I put in place the pupils continue to challenge them. I dont really want to be dealing with poor behaviour and attitude to learning every lesson as it is mentally draining but it seems the pupils aren't affected by sanctions etc.

    I am trying to be more firm but the poor ATL continues.

    Maybe a new school may be the way forward for me.

    Any support would be great

    pepper5 likes this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have been a supply teacher for eight years and through the last couple of years, I have noticed it is getting more difficult to manage the behaviour in classes. Part of this is because of the large class sizes and partly because students are not taught at home basic manners, but this has been discussed hundreds of times before on these threads. Of course those are not the only two factors and the reasons are complex.

    I find it takes more and more energy and effort to settle a class and keep them on track - I just don't see why I should have to work so hard to get a class to settle quickly and follow basic instructions.

    Perhaps another school might be better but I have been in many schools and in my area and they are basically more or less the same in connection with behaviour apart from two schools. There are two schools where I live where the behaviour of the students is good; the other schools have a range from o.k. through to the truly horrendous - never to set foot in the place again.
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I would add:
    Stand tall (as tall as you can, anyway: I remember a 5 foot-nothing DH telling a hulk of a Y11 to "behave yourself, little boy" and achieving the desired aim)
    Watch what you do with your hands and arms as body language
    Don't shelter behind your desk: the whole of the room is your territory, and you should occupy it; don't be afraid to teach from behind the class
    Don't raise your voice if you can avoid it. The colleague I remember who most terrified the misbehaving Y11s got quieter and quieter until they were finally demolished in a virtual whisper!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    I think it's always worth trying another school. Of course there are problems everywhere and @pepper5 touches on some of the social attitudes that seem to be prevalent at the moment. There's some more discussion of that here...

    However, some schools are better than others.

    Would I be right to think the alternative to another school might end up being leaving teaching? If so, I would definitely try another school first before we lose another committed teacher! The more experience you have, the more you will feel confident judging whether a school might be right for you. Unfortunately the interview process is so ridiculous and daunting, it puts people off moving! It's hard to know what behaviour is truly like on a one day visit but be brave and ask the difficult questions during an interview. Try to feel in a position of strength as a qualified professional so ask robust questions about the school's behaviour policy, their sanctions and how they deal with persistent poor behaviour. If you don't feel satisfied, turn the job down and look elsewhere.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The really naughty people in the school are usually the SLT, not the pupils.

    Much of the advice in previous posts worked to some degree twenty years ago but to be honest, most students in the schools I’ve worked at recently know there’s nothing you can do about behaviour or to them, and they’re largely right. Unless the school has a rock solid SLT and Behaviour Policy, and teachers and SLT have the energy and time to implement it amongst all the other things they have to do in their 12 hour day, you are wasting your time. Move schools but try to visit before interviews and ask staff discretely about behaviour, SLT, time-out rooms, how they feel SLT are doing etc. The situation with behaviour is generally worlds apart in grammar and independent schools so look for jobs there if you want to teach rather than crowd control.

    When I first moved to a Grammar school, I couldn’t understand how I was able to teach 3 or 4 times what I taught in a state school in a lesson, simply because behaviour wasn’t the disruptive energy sapping, disheartening drain it was in a state school.
    sebedina, pepper5 and Happyregardless like this.
  12. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    @binaryhex That's really interesting about Grammar schools. What a shame for general secondaries - how can they get it right?

    What's the key difference in your experience then? Can it really be all about ability and suitability of, and therefore engagement with, the curriculum on offer?
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I also did a stint in a grammar school. There was virtually no behaviour issues whatsoever. The class was polite, respectful and complaint with 100% focus on the class work. it was amazing to be able to really teach and not constantly be stopping to address behaviour. It the difference between night and day.

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