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Cannot get a handle on behaviour

Discussion in 'Primary' started by blundellgirl43, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. blundellgirl43

    blundellgirl43 New commenter

    I am an experienced teacher who has worked in a variety of primary schools within a variety of different catchment areas and a number of behaviour problems. Previously I have managed behaviour well, only raising my voice on a few occasions. However I started at a new school and am experiencing problems I never have before, I raise my voice every day, I have tried the schools reward and sanction system but nothing is working. I have to say it's only the same 4 children.
    I hate shouting, I don't think it serves a purpose (except to get attention).
    The type of behaviour I am getting is things that I don't normally get riled about, things like screwing up sheets that have been given out because 'you won't help me', refusal to work with partner that I have assigned, talking whilst on the carpet, contratidicting me. Silly things really that i would usually ignore, remind children how to behave and move on.
    I suppose I really want advice into how I can break the cycle and get back to how I used to be.
     
  2. blundellgirl43

    blundellgirl43 New commenter

    I am an experienced teacher who has worked in a variety of primary schools within a variety of different catchment areas and a number of behaviour problems. Previously I have managed behaviour well, only raising my voice on a few occasions. However I started at a new school and am experiencing problems I never have before, I raise my voice every day, I have tried the schools reward and sanction system but nothing is working. I have to say it's only the same 4 children.
    I hate shouting, I don't think it serves a purpose (except to get attention).
    The type of behaviour I am getting is things that I don't normally get riled about, things like screwing up sheets that have been given out because 'you won't help me', refusal to work with partner that I have assigned, talking whilst on the carpet, contratidicting me. Silly things really that i would usually ignore, remind children how to behave and move on.
    I suppose I really want advice into how I can break the cycle and get back to how I used to be.
     
  3. One of the very few things that has stuck with me from my PGCE all those years ago is the phrase 'Make it pay to be good'. Shouting is definitely not going to make them stop misbehaving, and it's only going to make you feel stressed out and miserable. It sounds like those kids are attention seeking, and it's working at the moment if they are getting you riled up. Negative attention is better than nothing. What do these four kids love to do at school? How are you going to make it worth their while to be good?

    What year group are we talking about? What strategies do you have in place already? Have you got the parents on board?
     
  4. Chezz

    Chezz New commenter

    Are the sanctions recorded anywhere and monitored by SLT/CLT?
    You don't say what age the children are, but I have also worked with some very challenging behaviours - I try to talk 1:1 with the children and encourage honesty to find out if there is anything in school that is causing the behaviour. I have also set targets with the child which they can tick off on a chart. This is time measured - e.g. at the end of morning, day, week depending on the child/circumstances and if the child has met these targets a personalised reward is given (this is agreed at the beginning of the process - could be 10 min on computer, drawing, book corner etc). Like the others posts have stated, it's also important to find out what makes them tick, what they like/dislike etc. I once revamped a class reward system as a group of boys were causing mayhem in a class I was took over. The whole class were footie mad so the reward system allowed them to score goals, groups renamed themselves after fave football teams etc. I also kept a league table and the team at the top of the league at the end of the 'season' received a trophy. It was also agreed that I was the ref - and no one argues with the ref! This was set up through a PSHE lesson and was agreed by all involved. It made a huge difference and helped to further build relationships, we often had honest discussions about behaviour, attitudes etc
    I'm not suggesting that you implement something like this but it does illustrate how getting them on board can make life a little easier!
     
  5. I've been in a very similar position this year. I too have always had a good handle on behaviour and I work in challenging schools.
    From what you've said I'm assuming the children are upper KS2? If so, I've had very similar problems. The root of them were significant self esteem problems and their behaviour was self preservation. I looked into their history and as a class had had a raw deal year after year.
    The talking/arguing with me was partly challenging my authority, but more subtly was a tactic to slow the lesson down as they couldn't actually do the work or had negative associations with working.
    The screwing up "you won't help me!" classic was easier for them to do rather than face the fact that it's too hard for them. They really want to shout "help!"
    It took months for me to get through this with them, but my whole class were like it not 4.
    I would do lots of self esteem building, even an outward bound trip out where they have to face a fear. Also I had regular assemblies about learning, facing difficulties is great because you learn etc. I also talked relentlessly about aiming high, challenging yourself etc. Finally the best tactic i used was to get the majority onside so that their peer influence can help. If you use the language enough, you'll hear the person next to the child screwing up their work repeat something you've said. They'll listen to their peers much more than us!
     
  6. In a similar situation with a Yr 6 class l made individual tokens - I gave 1 per child per lesson so each child had a max of 20/25 a week. Each had to have min of 10 to begin with, then 12 then 15 near end. Token earnt by being on task most of lesson and no serious incident during lesson. (This was chair throwing level of children!) 5 tokens above threshold entitled them to take a friend.
    When they got a token they put in pot with initials on - Every Friday they were counted, non qualifying children put theirs back in pot to roll over for next week. Qualifying could either keep indiv total or pool and average tokens. Each token got 1min football time outside.
    Roll over children could see others enjoying but knew they would have enough next week if they upped game. I got 20 mins free of some of most disruptive pupils on a Friday afternoon. Kids that had earnt the reward knew what they had to do to get it the next week.
    I was very clear on what was needed and why any token was not being given. By the end the kids told me if they had or had not got one. Gradually it worked and by the end of the year they didn't even need the tokens. All class went out for usual reward time and they lost minutes for serious stuff individually same as rest of class.
    This year l never needed anything on the same level but would use it again if l needed to.
    Might be worth trying - This worked in a tough school with all boy group.
    PM
     
  7. blundellgirl43

    blundellgirl43 New commenter

    If the whole class were like that it would send me over the edge, sounds like you had an uphill struggle first.
    I think some of it is because I am not happy with some aspects of the phase group behaviour management.
    When I first came, the children did not have to go out to break if they didn't want to, consequently I often had children in the classroom who were choosing to stay in alongside others that had obtained a sanction. Then it was decided that all the children had to go out, so now I am having difficulties making children go out who previously were allowed to stay in, so keeping them in is what they want!
    The children are also have had no rules about how to move in the corridor, it is a 2 form entry and both year groups are in a small space. Also there is a TA who has a tendency to counter-mand what I have just said so I think part of the problem is that the children are receiving mixed messages!
    Don't get me wrong I am not for absolute silence, however a sense of order calms children (I think).
    Anyway I am determined to go in tomorrow with renewed energy and smiling.
    Thanks to all for the suggestions, will certainly employ some of them.
     
  8. If there is not a school behaviour code why not introduce your own class code of behaviour?
    Make it very clear and simple -5 dos and 5 don'ts perhaps. Make your TA very aware of it and make it clear it applies to everybody. The token idea is great- I have done something similar in the past but link it to a very set of expectations.
     
  9. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I had some serial stroppers in my class last year. I gave them a little book with 3 targets in that they could review with me using smiley faces at the end if each lesson. One of the targets was Positive Mental Attitude. I referred a lot to pma with them!! It didn't take too long to get through to them - they were very needy Y5s. Whoever wrote about self esteem had it spot on. I was only with them for a term - and was really sad when it was time to go, because they were really (sorry, repeating myself!!) getting the hang of the idea that I was rooting for them, and that it was my job to make sure they didn't spend all their time in a haze of confusion! Good luck.
     

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