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Busting the Persistent Whistler

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jhagan99, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Does anyone have any advice how to catch the persistent whistler I have in one of my classes? The class on the whole is ok but there's just this one who thinks it's funny to be making this noise all the time. And the problem is I can't work out who's doing it. So far I've largely ignored it as accusing and punishing the wrong student would no doubt alienate the class and make life difficult, but I think some of the kids are wondering why I don't sort it out, which makes me look weak. I have once or twice asked who it is and some of the dafter boys will of course try to get each other in to trouble for a laugh so I am none the wiser. It's not a massive issue but I believe it could be if I were to be landed in a less good-natured class with the same problem. Any ideas? Im quite new to supply and don't want to seem like a push-over. Many thanks
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have been working as supply teacher for a LONG time - starting my ninth year in January and wish I knew the answer. I had this the other day with someone playing music on a mobile; and as you say, you cannot punish the entire class nor the wrong person. You could, however, try to isolate it to an area of the room. You could also ask some other teachers and show them the class list and see who they think it may be since usually "characters" will have a history of doing similar things in other classes - it will be "the joker".

    Stay calm like you have been doing and don't let them see you are annoyed or rattled.
  3. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Thank you pepper5. It's good to know it happens to everyone and I'm not just doing it all wrong. I keep thinking I should be able to work out who the culprit is. Will keep wandering around, listening and maybe have a word with some of the other teachers.
    pepper5, gingerhobo48 and agathamorse like this.
  4. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Finding the culprit could be a fun exercise! What about getting students to work in small groups in order to contain the sound in one area of the classroom? (obviously needs a big classroom).
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  5. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    An updated version of this story?
    here once was an isolated village tucked away high up in the hills.
    One morning, there was a bubbling of commotion from each of the small houses.
    “Have you seen my gold bracelet?”
    “My grandmother’s ring is gone!”
    “My money’s been stolen!”

    The angry villagers crowded in the square complaining and lamenting their stolen treasures. Everyone clamoured to see the village chief.

    The head of the village examined each villager in turn and asked them to line up. He announced, “This village is so isolated, that we have had no sign of outsiders for months. Furthermore, all the valuables were stolen from secret places within each house that only an insider who has entered each home and observed the daily lives of our people could know where they were hidden. I regret to conclude that the thief is one of us”

    “Chief, how do you plan to root out the thief? I have lost over ninety gold coins!” exclaimed one of the village men.

    “Be patient my friend, we will find out in due course.”

    The chief brought out a palm-sized statue of an ancient god. Over the head of the statue, he sprinkled soot from an old fire. He showed it to the villagers and instructed, “Each villager is to go inside my home. They are to squeeze this statue with all their might. If they are innocent, the statue will remain silent. If the person is guilty, the statue will scream a deafening cry.”

    The people were sceptical about black magic and surprised that the level headed village chief would suggest such a foolish act, but desperate to have their valuables returned, they agreed.

    One by one, the villagers entered the house to squeeze the little statue. Everyone outside listened, waiting for an ear-splitting shriek, but none came.

    When the last person had entered, squeezed the statue and emerged without so much as a peep, the square burst into an angry racket.

    The chief was calm and again called for order. He invited all the villagers to stand in a large circle and hold out their hands in front of them.

    As he made his way round the circle, he spoke,

    “The statue was squeezed, but it did not make a sound. This is because statues do not and cannot scream or shriek.

    People who are innocent, have nothing to lose by squeezing an inanimate object. But the guilty are wary and careful. They don’t want to get caught. So the guilty party did not squeeze the statue for fear that it would scream.

    But in doing so, he gave himself away for he is the only person in this village circle who has clean hands. And that is you my friend.”

    The man who had complained about the loss of his ninety gold coins looked down at his hands in horror, then up at the wise chief. He had no choice but to confess to being the thief.
  6. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I would mention it to the H of Y and arrange for him or her to speak to the class and inform them the class that if no one owns up, they the whole class would be held responsible for the behaviour of the one student. That may work, depending on how supportive the H of Y is.
  7. pwtin

    pwtin Star commenter

    In my experience if you do not react they will get bored of doing it, they are only doing it to get a reaction.
  8. supply287

    supply287 New commenter

    Perhaps it's more important for it to stop? With younger ones I have offered the class something like go out 1 minute early if there is no -insert your own annoying behaviour etc. It took a short time to stop because others cause grief to eg whistler.
    Just depends on whether you can offer something. If it's a valued thing (for them) makes class feel better, too. Harder with older ones, I imagine, but there will be those on here who know what might be traded.
  9. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Christmas is coming up...in your last lesson with the group organise a quiz with one round to be whistling tunes...perhaps that will help eliminate some possible culprits and then if you're not sure still, do a new seating plan for January with the most likely candidates in separate corners until you can catch them at it :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. NIHistoryTeacher

    NIHistoryTeacher New commenter

    Are you lucky enough to have them just before break or lunch? Just slowing them up by a minute with a little speech etc. so that everyone is back of the lines for canteen etc. A few times of that should hopefully see some 'peer discipline' kicking in.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Excellent idea NIHistoryTeacher.
  12. jhagan99

    jhagan99 New commenter

    Great ideas. Many thanks.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. patternandsurface

    patternandsurface Occasional commenter

    Yes, ignoring it and giving no reaction will lead to the whistler being bored and trying something else for attention.

    Alternative is to join in ;)
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. andorian

    andorian New commenter

    Have you tried the language of choice? 'You know I can't stop you whistling; only you can. And I'm asking you to choose to stop it and that's the right choice for you to make, because it's very silly and it's stopping you from concentrating on your work.' You should get three more face-saving whistles and then it will stop. Well, it just might;-)
    pepper5 likes this.

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