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Challenging Y9 class

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by tsallinia, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. tsallinia

    tsallinia New commenter

    Today I started working at a school in a deprived area; the OFSTED reports state that it's inadequate and it needs improvement.
    Also as a teacher I have mostly worked at Primary Schools, where behaviour management requires a different approach.
    Anyway, today when I entered the classroom and tried to introduce myself and set the expectations and goals, the whole class (well, let's say 90% of them) went berserk. They talked with each other, shouted, cursed, walked etc. I was tempted to shout but then I remembered that that's one of the worst things a teacher can do... So I said in a clear, calm voice that I am going to count to 3 and after this I expect everyone to seat quietly waiting for further instructions. 1,2,3 I went and all of them talked again. So I started following the behaviour policy giving verbal warnings, warnings in planners etc. In the end almost half the class had sanctions but nothing happened as far as their behaviour concerned.

    So please help me. What should I do next time if there is a collective rise up right from the beginning of the lesson?

    Thank you
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. vickybarns

    vickybarns New commenter

    I have had this issue before and I personally have found that in a school with pupils who are from deprived areas etc they are more testing than most. They will push as man buttons as possible to see if you are worth their trust. I'd say keep following the behaviour policy, ring parents, if it continues then get your HOD/SLT to come in and give them all hell.
    A big thing I'd say is talk to the teachers who also teach them. Ask to observe if possible and see how they are in those lessons. Keep your word and stick to all sanctions you set. Don't let up. I'm sorry I can give practical advice as in my experience different classes need different tactics.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    If this is recent and this was your first day with them, the behaviour doesn't surprise me at all. Year 9s are notoriously difficult. vickybarns offers sound advice, especially as you are new (and the school is probably very happy to have you), but never forget that working with other staff / using support etc. can sometimes backfire and you can be scapegoated.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Sanz1981

    Sanz1981 Occasional commenter

    Yes. Yr9 was my year. Used the lessons to sweet talk girls. They probz doing the same thing!! Though they are not good as I.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The HOD or HOY need to be there at the start of the lesson. If the class misbehaves, then they need to be sent out, made to line up, and enter the class in an orderly manner in silence. Then you put them in a boy girl boy girl seating plan. Ask them to stand behind their chairs until you invite them to sit down.

    Imcan guarantee you 100% that you won't win this one on your own: it has to be a team effort with all the adults showing a united front. There are certain things people don't do or are not allowed to do in a class and they need to learn basic manners and procedures. Perhaps you will have to start from scratch and teach them how to enter and leave a room. How to follow instructions.

    You may find that in the end, the effort is too much and especially if no support from SLT is forthcoming. Keep your eyes posted for better schools if no support is forthcoming.

    I am very sorry you are in this dilemma and I know exactly how you feel. Last year, on supply, I encountered a group of year 9s that acted like they were as you say berserk. I had never seen anything like it and it was totally uncalled for. These students are not small children and are 14 years o!d. They should know better, but are allowed by the school to do whatever they want. Actually, I was quite shocked even after eight years of observing many classes.
    henrypm0, CheeseMongler and freckle06 like this.
  6. tsallinia

    tsallinia New commenter

    Thank you very much for your comments. I feel much better now to be honest... Today was a much better day and by using my teacher's stare and my loud voice (I know...) I have managed to keep it under control (well, compared to the first day). I feel much more positive than the first day...
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. tsallinia

    tsallinia New commenter

    Vicky you are right; they do try to push all my buttons :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. briancant

    briancant New commenter

    I've done a lot of supply and have been confronted with the same situation many times. The only advice I could give is don't blame yourself. You are having to deal with the product of what has gone before. If you aren't supported and it doesn't get better move to another school, it is not good for a persons well being to be confronted by such behaviour every day.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. maralex86

    maralex86 New commenter

    I am in the same situation than you... my year 9 is awful and it has been like that since September. I am NQT and I can't stop thinking that I am doing something wrong.... the level of disrespect amazed me and I feel disheartened.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I have replied to you on another thread, but just wanted to repeat it isn't you and please don't feel disheartened.

    I hope some of my suggestions help. I have found that it is a whole school approach which helps with behaviour.

    In many schools whole departments are on the brink because they can't recruit or keep teachers because of the truly appalling behavior.
  11. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Senior commenter

    Definitely not you; we all face it. One thing I have found that is an important factor in some schools is that the students suffer from abandonment issues. Especially with tough/inadequate/demanding schools where there is a high staff turnover. You may be the sixth teacher to have taught them (eg) English since September. Why would they care what you think of them when they don't expect to see you after Christmas?
    I really struggled with my behavior management when I started in my current school, not because I was doing anything wrong, just because the students didn't think I would be staying. After a term though, things became far easier just because the students had begun to trust me and know me.
    Of course, I am not suggesting that you just batten down hatches until they cooperate. Pepper5 has given some key advice to follow; in my opinion, the most important part is;
    pepper5 likes this.

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