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Bullied by pupils

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by grantgust, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Gosh it's many years back now, but as someone starts to notice you ask them what you think you'll draw next. It ends up with drawing the mouth and hopefully by the time you do that you can draw a 'smiley face' because the class is now prepared for the lesson. (So you have to add lots of extra detail until you've got that.;))
    We spent a bit of time discussing why the face was significant and how important it was that they were prepared to learn in the lessons for their own benefit.

    Here's a link to an article from the Guardian, bit dated now but suggestions and thoughts are relevant.

    Read a few books, There used to be one called, Getting the B******* to Behave' by Sue Cowley which I read, but there must be loads more out now.
    pepper5 and grantgust like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Is it every group? No. So that's a plus.
    Are you the only one? No. :D:D:D:p:p:p Bless you. No.

    "I'm declaring this FAQs lesson. If you have a question then I shall be here."

    But make "here" a desk at the back. It just unsettles them a bit if you're behind them.
    sabrinakat and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Yes anything which unsettles their routine is good.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just wandering round and peering at their mobiles or eavesdropping will unnerve them too.

    "Don't let me interrupt you. I'm just here to let you know that I am available for work-consultation for those who may need the grades for UCAS etc."
    sabrinakat, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Done all of the above, including having a word with ringleaders. No effect. My problem is I care too much about the ones who want to work.
    Plus, if I refused to attempt to teach them, the manipulative little madams would run to SLT crying 'she refused to teach us, we're going to fail and it's all her fault.'
    tonymars and pepper5 like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Could you try having two "zones". Divide the class into a zone where the work is teacher led and the other side is zoned off for students who want to work independently ? in the zone where students are working on their own, they would be working out of workbooks or pre-set tasks. Still no mobile phones or eating, but working without too much teacher input. They each could have different areas that they have chosen for improvement: punctuation, sentence structure, paragraphing, analysing language or other skills they need for passing their exam.

    The other zone, led by you could be more directed.

    You have given everyone a choice. At some point, they have to be allowed to make their choices and experience the consequences of those actions.

    You have ALL my sympathy and more since you are in an almost impossible situation not of your own making. I am outraged that colleges allow this, but I know what you write is true since I have experienced it myself and I see it in secondary schools: the entitlement attitude. It is all about ME, ME, ME and what I WANT. WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE LIKE AND EVERYONE WILL KNOW IT IS YOUR FAULT IF WE FAIL. Ha, Ha. Funny! We chased seven English teachers away last year and didn't we do well?? LOL. Aren't we just the best???

    "If our behaviour is atrocious, teachers leave. We just can't understand. No one loves us, cares for us, does anything for us."

    Sorry you have had to experience this saluki but reading your story makes me understand I am not losing my mind and it isn't just me.
    tonymars, Lara mfl 05, saluki and 2 others like this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    There has always been a rump or an individual or two. It just seems more widespread now.

    Partly they do it because they can.
    Partly they do it because I think there is so much pressure these days and they are frightened to try. In case they fail.

    Mostly I blame "society" but the ones who could actually DO something are our colleagues in senior roles. Exclude. Get rid. Find alternative provision. Make an example. But they don't. Because they're scared of OFSTED and have to pretend everything is OK.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Such true words spoken. By pepper and gdw.

    There is an 'element of fear' in so many schools now. 'Ordinary' staff of SLT and then SLT and Heads of inspections and losing their jobs.

    You're right it's the 'ME, ME' society today where anything is always someone else's fault. I grew up when if one did wrong, one expected to suffer consequences. One 'owned up' - even knowing one would be punished.It was the honourable thing to do.

    How different is it in society today.:(
  9. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I am sorry you are having to go through this. I have not been there with a KS4 class, but I have been there with a horrid Y9 class in my first year of teaching. In the end my HoD swapped classes with me, as I had them for French and German, so he took them for French and I took his class instead. His class were much harder in terms of ability, but having that break from that class meant that I could concentrate on building a better relationship with them in the German class.

    The problem now of course is you dread every lesson. So there will be a level of anxiety and anticipation at the start of each lesson, which the kids will know. I am not blaming you by the way....this is natural, when you feel like you cannot get anywhere with them. Please remember that this is not a reflection on you as a teacher or a person.

    If your HoD cannot help you by taking this class off you for some of the time, then I think splitting the class into two sections as mentioned above is a great idea. I had to do this last year with a Y8 class who were pretty out of control (across the whole school!), so I had one section who I knew wanted to do well and worked and the other section of people who needed to be monitored non-stop (I didn't make it obvious that that's what I did, some just thought they were sitting with their friends!). I started rewarding the section who worked well and then rewarding those in the naughty section for completing minor tasks. I removed those who needed to, I called home, emailed tutors, reported incidents when needed. In the end it got a little easier, but the lessons were never a picnic, but I didn't dread them as much as I used to.

    Document what you can. Log behaviour in lessons and support provided / learning conversations, so that if there are any complaints you can show that you have been doing your bit, but the student hasn't. See if you can visit these kids in other lessons, how do other teachers deal with them? Call home, send emails home (you can set up an automatic email for repeat offenders!).

    The other thing, which I know you might loathed to do is find out what they are each interested in and see if there any ways you can incorporate some of these interests into lessons, or as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with them. You'd be surprised how a horrid Y9 kid can turn into the most pleasant young man, when he gets to do something about cars in your lesson!
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    At the end of my tether with a Y6 class once, I asked those who wanted to join in the lesson to bring their chairs and sit round the board; those who didn't could stay in their seats and do whatever, as long as they didn't disturb us.
    I can't say it was a great success, but it made my life easier, and enabled those who wished to have the opportunity of learning uninterrupted.
  11. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Some good advice already given... so I am just going to offer a story. I had a class similar to this. They were so awful and I cried lots (after the lesson!). One day, I had enough. So, I decided to kill them with kindness. It was bloody hard work but I would spend every lesson going around every student asking them if they needed help as they hadn't written the answer yet etc. I was so nice, all the time! But, it slowly worked, as they knew they were getting no reaction apart from tons of reassuring comments about how I thought they could do the work and if they couldn't, I would help them... it was hard going, really hard but worth it as I never raised my voice again, never cried again and more importantly, my anxiety went away.
  12. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I'm sorry to have hijacked Op's thread. There are reasons why I cannot do many of the things suggested on here. I may have a good rant and reveal the reasons at the end of June.
    Basically, I have no support from the students' vocational area and there are other members of staff undermining me too. I think I am beginning to get a bit of support now but not sure. There are also reasons why I cannot have the full support which I need. The teacher who is off with stress begged for support and none was forthcoming.
    Meanwhile, may I offer the OP my best wishes. I'm sure your hands are not tied like mine are. Do everything in your power to get support.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi saluki

    We understand. There are things many people would like to say on here, but they can't for fear of being identified.

    The Government may need to rethink its policy on forcing maths and English resits since it clearly is not working. Why force these students to attend classes they clearly have no interest in. It is destined for failure. Provide opportunities for the onres whom choose to resit. The end result will be the same.
    Lara mfl 05 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Sadlythis situation is all to familiar. I have just emerged from the same thing. You are not alone. For me I had to behave with them in a way that was totally out of my character:
    Strict seating plan
    Stick to school rules re 100% listening, not leaving the classroom for the toilet.
    Write names on the board when they are disruptive
    I have used a method where by for each disruption, I put a mark on the board that represents 1 minute. I say nothing, they ask what are you doing, you say, for each disruption, each mark represents a minutes detention, I can keep you in for 15 to 20 mins after school without prior notice - a rule in the area that I work in.(parents sign up to it) I prefer break or lunchtime detentions as they have more of an impact - sadly.

    One thing that really worked for me was when I was fortunate to have a group before break, I kept the challenging ones in for breaktime detention and called home in front of them. The support from parents was amazing and dispite what the students said, their parents did not expect them to behave as they were.

    I agree with everyone else, utilise the school behaviour policy and inform the HOD.

    Unfortunately, this avenue is sometimes limited as it can be perceived that it is you that is causing the problem (I am not saying that it is) as, as already mentioned, pack behavioiur does happen in school and there seems to be a growing pedogogy of' The child is always right.'

    You are not alone
    You can do this.
  15. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Interestingly, we still have mandatory military service here and the attitudes of the youth are infinitely better than those of the British.
    saluki and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. CladdaghClassrooms

    CladdaghClassrooms New commenter

    I have a class just like yours. It is frustrating and you feel like the worst teacher once a lesson has finished. I have recently started wellness colouring with my class. This sounds quite like primary school teaching but I have had some positive results. I printed off 6 different colouring designs and gave students a choice of 2 each. Before each lesson I would lay out their sheets and colours ask them to come into lesson and colour in silence. At first it took some time but I explained the concept and now at the start of each lesson we have 5 minutes of calm wellness time. As they colour I explain the lessons objectives and I set up their next task. I find now I get about 30 mins teaching done out of a 45 mins lesson. Prior to this I would only get 15 due to managing the behaviour. Those that want to work I work with them and those who continue on their endeavours of trying to get under my skin i simply ignore, they eventually give up.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  17. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Trouble is that the management would be overwhelmed and couldn't cope. They manage now by pretending it doesn't exist.[/QUOTE]
    Very true - then if you ACTUALLY voice what everybody else has been saying to you in private, in staffroom discussions, but is too scared to say to them, it's turned around on you as if you are the problem.
    saluki likes this.

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