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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rutherfordchidi, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. rutherfordchidi

    rutherfordchidi New commenter

    The signs of rudeness:
    Disobeying orders,
    Raising of voice,
    Disrespectful look or arrogant stare, etc.
    How should I handle a student that does all of the above?
  2. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I'd focus on the disobeying orders bit and try not to rise to the rest of it too much (easier said than done!).

    A calm "stuck record approach" can be effective.

    "I've asked you to be silent."
    "Yeah, but I was just..."
    "This is a clear instruction from a member of staff. I've asked you to be silent."
    "Oh my god you're so annoying."
    "I'm just giving you an instruction. I've asked you to be silent."

    Either they realise you can be just as irritating as they can, and give up. Or they blow up completely and you can boot them out of your lesson until they're prepared to behave appropriately.
  3. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    Use the behaviour system to the max. Make it clear to the whole class that it's 3 strikes and you are out (or whatever the policy is in your school).
    Every time this student disobeys an instruction or shouts, make a note on a piece of paper on your desk. Don't use the board - don't give them centre stage!
    Then calmly have them removed for constant low-level disruption. Don't get angry, remain calm. The calmer you act, the calmer you will feel.
    Make sure consequences are carried out and that you ring home every time and make a note of the calls. Parents will soon get sick of you calling and will hopefully put a rocket up their beloved child to behave better just to avoid calls.
    Make sure every incident is written up as per school policy. Keep your HoD in the loop. Talk to other teachers - is this a school-wide issue with this student?
    Use detentions etc as a chance to talk to the student. Try to talk with them to find ou if there is a problem that you can help them address. Having worked for many years in a very challenging school I found that honest, supportive chats worked a hundred times better than detentions for reducing bad behaviour.
    I hope some of this helps!
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    Watch this video from 6.00 in. Do that!

    This series is really great btw if you haven't seen it.....
    pepper5 and blueskydreaming like this.
  5. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    .....I don't do that Craig! :D
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  6. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    You give orders in your class?

    Try working with the kids, not above them.
    Pomz and grumpydogwoman like this.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Keep calm.
    Focus on the disobedience, unless the voice is raised aggressively in which case you respond to that.
    Follow the school disciplinary procedures.
    Focus on what they should do unless they are putting others in danger. "I have asked to to start the learning task...", "I notice you haven't started the learning assignment, what do you need to enable you to start" (I know it's a kick up the btm, but you can't do that).
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I agree. If you go in there like you're a Sergeant-Major it can easily wind some of them up. This isn't Dotheboys Hall you work in, is it?

    You want them to be civil? Don't go round issuing orders. Say what you need them to do and ask them to do it.

    The days when you could get away with, "Sit down now and no talking until the end of the lesson," are long gone.

    "Please settle as quickly as you can as we've got limited time and a lot to do." Thank the ones who are especially prompt.

    "I'm going to try to keep this short and make it interesting but I've got about 5 minutes of fairly boring stuff to tell you about so hush up and we'll get it done."

    And smile.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    If you're going to challenge pupils on rudeness and volume you need to have been polite in the way you addressed them. Their first line of defence is always going to be that you have been loud and rude so why is there a different rule for them. I always start quietly and with please and thank you so that I'm modelling the basic courtesy I expect from them.
    I think all you can do is follow the school behaviour policy. Myrtle's advice is good.
    pepper5 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  10. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    What matters to you? Presumably, that the student begins the assigned task and gets on with some work. He/she may do it with an eye roll, an arrogant stare or muttering under the breath, but annoying as it is, it's secondary behaviour. If he/she is doing what you've asked, I wouldn't worry about the 'how' of it.

    I agree completely with GDW and Flere. Modelling the behaviour, tone of voice and speech you expect is always a positive thing to do. You cannot control behaviour, but you can manage it. And thank the students when they do what you've asked them to.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If the teacher comes with a confrontational attitude then there's bound to be a student who'll take that as a challenge. Works both ways.

    If you're the kind of person though who is quite happy to have your HT/SLT come and bark orders (your word) at you and expect you to jump to it without question? Then forget I spoke. You just carry on. But most people would take exception to that kind of treatment. I wouldn't expect a student to take it on the chin either.

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter

    These are the school rules. I didn't make them but basically, I agree with them, And you know what? So do most of your class.

    These rules have consequences attached to them. I didn't make those either, but they look fair to me.

    You are choosing to break these rules. That means you are choosing to accept the consequences of doing that. If that's your choice, that's your choice. I won't hold it against you and the next time you are in my lesson we can start afresh. But it's my job to enforce those rules, and I will.

    I'll give you a minute to think about that. Then let me know what you've decided.
    pepper5 and sparklepig2002 like this.
  13. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Yes..... you do work with the kids, but.....you are the teacher, you are the person in charge, you do give orders and instructions that have to be followed. The young people need to learn to do as they are asked without being rude.Check the school behavioural policy and follow that.
  14. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    Maybe orders is a bit of an old-fashioned word, but surely we all give instructions and expect pupils to follow them?

    Telling (not asking) a pupil to do something is not the same as "barking orders." You can give a firm instruction (aka order) in a calm and polite manner.
  15. FormosaRed

    FormosaRed Occasional commenter

    My advice:
    1. Avoid the to and fro confrontation across the classroom and when everyone (except the one) settles, go over and speak to him/her quietly, reinforcing your expectations. Suggest you will return in three minutes to check that they have understood.
    2. Ask them to remind you about the school rule on following instructions -puts the responsibility back on them.
    3.TRY and find something to like about them and tell them...Once, the only thing I could find to like about the gobby teenager before me was their shoes. so when I'd finished steps 1 and 2, spoken with an icy, edgy smile and a slightly too sugary tone, I stood up straight as if to walk off, then half turned, pointed and said "Cool shoes, by the way. Jealous." They did smile and then gave in and did what I'd asked.

    It doesn't always work, but anything's worth a try to diffuse the conflict.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I do think a lot of teachers find this sort of "insubordination" very vexing.

    Most teachers seem to have enjoyed school and been diligent students. They have high ideals and respect the value of learning. They simply don't understand why children can't conform. It's for their own good!

    But lots of us (OK, a minority) are naturally argumentative and questioning. I never could just go along with the status quo. I had to know why. Doing as I was told (just because) never sat well with me. Which, I think, made me good with my SEN and EBD kids. I like being challenged. I like being interrogated. It keeps me on my mettle. Why is this important? Is it really important? How important? Is this the only way?
    sabrinakat and secretteacher2357 like this.
  17. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    There's a difference between "barking orders" and being an authority figure in the room who wants a calm environment because it helps students learn.

    I don't buy the 'there there, I'm sorry I have to tell you subject knowledge. I'll be as quick as possible so you can get back to group work' stuff.

    I like the broken record technique. Behaving in a respectful and courteous manner isn't a negotiation.
  18. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I'm much like @grumpydogwoman as I like 'to know why' and could be very argumentative in school....university....graduate school....aargh. As a teacher, I will explain why once - no more, if you don't like it, I am more than happy to discuss at break or lunch or through your parents, form tutor or deputy head. ;)
    purplecarrot likes this.
  19. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Hee hee. I once said to one of my students 'ooh you've got a Radley watch. I love Radley watches - look I've got one too' She never attended my lesson ever again. So much for building a rapport.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  20. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I'm also more than happy to explain once if it helps somebody, but it's not an invitation to kill lesson time discussing the merits of my decision. Like you, I'll explain it once and then that's it.

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