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Classroom behaviour management ideas

Discussion in 'Vocational' started by cliffgalea, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. cliffgalea

    cliffgalea New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I am a new teacher and have a very unruly class. There are 12 students ages 15-18 years old. I am new to this age group as I am used to teach students with disabilities. I tried to establish ground rules but went all wrong during second lesson. Does anyone have suggestions on managing their behaviour. common problems: using phones in class, coming late, using inappropriate language and an "i don't want to be here attitude"

    Thanks in advance for all the help
     
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Since you posted this in the Vocational Forum, I take it that you are teaching in further education college. Try the following:

    1. Get the college's behaviour policy and read it thoroughly so you know the systems in place for sanctioning inappropriate behaviour.

    2. Get a copy of the book Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix and sign up for behaviour management tips at the Pivotal Education web site.

    3. Explain to the class that you are there to help them, and for the sake of the group there has to be certain rules. You have an advantage as there are only 12 students in your class. If they start using a phone, are off task, disturbing the lesson, or any other inappropriate behaviour, give them a couple of warnings in a calm manner and use the school's policy for either having them removed from your lesson or phoning the parents. You may need to discuss this with your HoD.

    Paul Dix suggests using three simple rules and I use these as a supply teacher and they do work:

    1. Follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on task
    3. Work without disturbing others

    Get to know what your students' aspirations and fears are. Is this a class that has been left to drift? Perhaps they feel no one cares and they are failures. Expect the best of them and let them know you expect them to work hard because you care and their success is important to you.

    They basically will try to push your buttons in order to see how far they can go before you explode or start crying. Don't get caught out: learn how to remain calm and use measured and controlled tones in your voice. Once they see younare going to stand your ground no matter what and you don't get angry, they will turn around.

    It won't be easy, but if you mix compassion with firmnes and try to see some of the reasons why they are misbehaving, then it might help you turn things around.
     
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Unfortunately there seem to be lots of classes like this. There's lots of money thrown at education, but no focus on getting and retaining good teachers. You tend to find the worst problems-regardless of the area/age etc -are where there's a high staff turn-over.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. saluki

    saluki Established commenter

    Phones - my personal bete noire. Find out the college policy. You could try phone boxes - 2 warnings then student has to place phone in box for duration of lesson. If they refuse they have to leave class - followed by C4C or whatever to HOD. As a reward for good behavior students are allowed a texting break. Only the teacher is allowed to decide when the texting break happens, not the students. Phones can also be used as an educational tool - googling etc. Some vocational areas make students hand phones in at the beginning of the lesson. You must know the department/college policy. We introduced a 'no phone' policy last year but several teachers refused to enforce it. Making it difficult for others to enforce. I think the reason they didn't enforce it was because they were afraid of confrontation.
    Language - could try a swear box - similar to above. Boys love a swear box. Excessive language results in name going in to swear box. 3 swear boxes = sanctions, referral to HOD parents involved. Name can be removed from swear box if student puts in extra effort, answers questions etc. Getting out of the swear box becomes a bit of a game. You need the class on side to do this.
    Most importantly you need the backing of the college to carry out your sanctions. If the college and other teachers don't back you and don't tackle behavior you are flogging a dead horse.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Just to tell anyone who may be interested, the Behaviour Forum has a new peer advisor available from next week to answer queries about behaviour issues.

    Excellent post about using the school policy.
     
  6. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Lead commenter

    Things MUST have changed since I taught in FE. Students came because they wanted to come and if they didn't want to study, then out they went and someone else took their place. It isn't compulsory to attend Colleges of FE, so why come if you don't want to behave well? Students are being prepared for the world of work where you are simply sacked if you don't come up to form. Do the same and turn them out. I've never had to do this but I think it could work.
     
  7. saluki

    saluki Established commenter

    JosieWhitehead you are way behind the times. Students now have to stay in education until the age of 18, whether they want to or not. They have to study English and Maths GCSE whether they want to or not. This is compulsory.
    The top 60% of society get 5 GCSEs and stay on at school sixth form to study A levels, Btecs or re-take GCSEs. Theses tend to be the students with good behavior and motivation.
    The bottom 40% of society - those lacking motivation and good behavior- choose FE because of the more lenient approach towards study. They tend to be those from the bottom sets at school who have become totally disillusioned with education. The schools say 'oh X is not academic. Therefore X will be suited to animal care, motor mechanic, hairdresser, plumber, whatever.' X often has behavioural problems, sometimes anger management or mental health problems. Once X arrives in Fe they find that they have actually got to work, even worse, study English and maths - which they hate. They can't cope and decide to kick off big time and do everything they can to make the teacher's life a misery.
     
    jarndyce, gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    For some students what going to FE colleges means is that they have another two years at the tax payers expense to do nothing but make everyone else's life miserable. Just as the post above describes in accurate detail.
     
  9. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman New commenter

    Are you in secondary or FE?
     
  10. kajalsengupta

    kajalsengupta New commenter

    This more or less sums up the situation and it is so frustrating for the teacher to face such a situation. I agree that with out the support of the authority it is becomes doubly difficult. Many in the admin have an attitude that if students are not listening to you it means that there is something wrong with your approach.Having said so , I would never give up trying some ways to strike a chord with them It is true it needs a lot of patience and determination to do so. I am always reminded of the book "To Sir with Love".
     
  11. philgchild1

    philgchild1 New commenter

    i work in FE with the same age group, i to have a mix of students, some want to attend, some attend because they have to ( parent pressure, expelled form other FE centres ech ) Discipline is a daily challenge.
    i start with site and ground rules, and use them if necessary on a three strikes -sanction, 4 strikes warning 3 warning remove, as per site policy,
    However i have rarely do use as i find if you take a interest in the learner, talk and discuss behaviour and their aspirations, then help them develop their communication and behaviour to help them succeed, even completing small tasks and gaining praise helps reduce disruption.
    its not easy but i think you have to be positive, firm but fair and consider the whole class to achieve lesson aims is important.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Lead commenter

    Yes, I could well, luckily, be behind the times. I'm glad I taught when things were different. The difference comes from making education compulsory instead of optional. When it is a "privilege" to be given a place in a classroom and you've chosen to be there because you have chosen to work for an examination, then you will see a big difference in how students behave - naturally. Turn back the clocks p l e a s e!
     

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