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"Cool" teachers letting us down?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by ILoveTeaching, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Sorry for long post, but I have to get this off my chest?.

    Although new to teaching (just finished NQT) I am quite sure that the behaviour problems at my school are made much worse by the inconsistent way that teachers apply the school's behaviour system.

    I am "hated" and "too strict" because I use the system as it was meant to be used. I do now have good working relationships with lots of pupils in my classes, but not at first. They really do not like teachers that follow the rules properly.

    If I see a phone I always take it and the pupil gets the standard consequences. There is no middle ground. The rules are there to be used, not picked at an applied in different ways on different days!!! If a pupil is late without a valid reason they always get the consequence as stated in the school rules. My pupils know not to be late. Consistent application of the rules is the way forward, but does not make you popular with the kids and some staff seem confused by it too. I have had one member of staff say I was ?on a power trip? when I confiscated a phone once. She walked past the pupil and did nothing, while I spoke to them and explained the rules and took the phone. Not a power trip, simply me doing my job.

    Other teachers seem to want to be cool and don't give consequences as stated in the school rules. I know that there are some exceptional circumstances when following school rules like a robot teacher is not the right thing to do, but for everyday bread and butter classroom/corridor management if we all did the same thing I think the pupils would quickly get the message and the situation would vastly improve. I know it would not solve all problems, I am just thinking of ways to improve things.

    Example 1

    At my school you get an after school detention if you turn up to lessons without the correct equipment. You must have pens, pencils, planner, books, etc. At the start of the year, every day a whole stream of pupils turn up to my lessons with no pen, no pencil, no planner, no ruler and a ?so what? attitude about it. I always from day 1 have followed the school rules and given an after school for this. As a result the pupils rip into me with verbal abuse: ?to strict?, ?you are pathetic?, and much worse. Kids do bring things to my lessons now, but they hate me for being so ?picky? about it.

    In every room around school there will be teachers turning a blind eye to this lack of basic equipment, which does make me appear too strict. Many teachers just ?lend? out pens in class. Despite SMT stating that this should not happen. This inconsistent approach is ****! If we all followed school rules regarding lack of equipment I am sure it would not take long before the kids got the idea.

    Now take this to the next level and think about how it could work if all school rules were consistently applied by all teachers. I know it is utopian, but I am ?mid-rant?, so bear with me?

    example 2

    If we see a mobile phone turned on in school at any time we are supposed to confiscate it and give an after school DT. Then why do I appear to be one of the few teachers that actually has the balls to do this? The number of teachers that seem happy to just walk past whole groups of KS4 kids on phones is beyond a joke. ?It is too much hassle, they will kick off?. If we all had the balls to follow the school rules the problem would be far less common. Yes there would be a period of unsettled adjustment from a whole school of shocked pupils that just realised they can?t just do what they want anymore! Good!

    These are just examples of relatively trivial rules that teachers do not apply, there is plenty of serious and anti-social behaviour at my school that also seems to go unchecked.

    I just wish all my colleagues would go for it and properly challenge the unacceptable behaviour we have and use the school rules properly. I think it would transform my school.

    Too many teachers seem to want to be popular or just take the less confrontational approach of pretending not to see rule breaking stuff. I have even seen staff walk up to kids and complement them on their new phone have a look at it and hand it back to them. This is sending out the message that teachers that apply the rules are b**tards.

    Would it work if we all went for it and applied the rules? Do all schools have the ?cool? teachers that turn a blind eye to little rules and give the rest of us a bad name? Should I turn a blind eye take the easy route and stop applying the little rules?

    Rant over. Comments welcome?go easy on me I am touchy on this topic.
     
  2. Sorry for long post, but I have to get this off my chest?.

    Although new to teaching (just finished NQT) I am quite sure that the behaviour problems at my school are made much worse by the inconsistent way that teachers apply the school's behaviour system.

    I am "hated" and "too strict" because I use the system as it was meant to be used. I do now have good working relationships with lots of pupils in my classes, but not at first. They really do not like teachers that follow the rules properly.

    If I see a phone I always take it and the pupil gets the standard consequences. There is no middle ground. The rules are there to be used, not picked at an applied in different ways on different days!!! If a pupil is late without a valid reason they always get the consequence as stated in the school rules. My pupils know not to be late. Consistent application of the rules is the way forward, but does not make you popular with the kids and some staff seem confused by it too. I have had one member of staff say I was ?on a power trip? when I confiscated a phone once. She walked past the pupil and did nothing, while I spoke to them and explained the rules and took the phone. Not a power trip, simply me doing my job.

    Other teachers seem to want to be cool and don't give consequences as stated in the school rules. I know that there are some exceptional circumstances when following school rules like a robot teacher is not the right thing to do, but for everyday bread and butter classroom/corridor management if we all did the same thing I think the pupils would quickly get the message and the situation would vastly improve. I know it would not solve all problems, I am just thinking of ways to improve things.

    Example 1

    At my school you get an after school detention if you turn up to lessons without the correct equipment. You must have pens, pencils, planner, books, etc. At the start of the year, every day a whole stream of pupils turn up to my lessons with no pen, no pencil, no planner, no ruler and a ?so what? attitude about it. I always from day 1 have followed the school rules and given an after school for this. As a result the pupils rip into me with verbal abuse: ?to strict?, ?you are pathetic?, and much worse. Kids do bring things to my lessons now, but they hate me for being so ?picky? about it.

    In every room around school there will be teachers turning a blind eye to this lack of basic equipment, which does make me appear too strict. Many teachers just ?lend? out pens in class. Despite SMT stating that this should not happen. This inconsistent approach is ****! If we all followed school rules regarding lack of equipment I am sure it would not take long before the kids got the idea.

    Now take this to the next level and think about how it could work if all school rules were consistently applied by all teachers. I know it is utopian, but I am ?mid-rant?, so bear with me?

    example 2

    If we see a mobile phone turned on in school at any time we are supposed to confiscate it and give an after school DT. Then why do I appear to be one of the few teachers that actually has the balls to do this? The number of teachers that seem happy to just walk past whole groups of KS4 kids on phones is beyond a joke. ?It is too much hassle, they will kick off?. If we all had the balls to follow the school rules the problem would be far less common. Yes there would be a period of unsettled adjustment from a whole school of shocked pupils that just realised they can?t just do what they want anymore! Good!

    These are just examples of relatively trivial rules that teachers do not apply, there is plenty of serious and anti-social behaviour at my school that also seems to go unchecked.

    I just wish all my colleagues would go for it and properly challenge the unacceptable behaviour we have and use the school rules properly. I think it would transform my school.

    Too many teachers seem to want to be popular or just take the less confrontational approach of pretending not to see rule breaking stuff. I have even seen staff walk up to kids and complement them on their new phone have a look at it and hand it back to them. This is sending out the message that teachers that apply the rules are b**tards.

    Would it work if we all went for it and applied the rules? Do all schools have the ?cool? teachers that turn a blind eye to little rules and give the rest of us a bad name? Should I turn a blind eye take the easy route and stop applying the little rules?

    Rant over. Comments welcome?go easy on me I am touchy on this topic.
     
  3. I agree 100%. I had about £300 worth of PSP and mobile phones lined up on my desk after confiscating them from yr 9's today. they **** themselves when i looked at the ratings of the games in them (they all have a BBFC rating - 18) and threatened to hand the wares over to the local police for their parents to pick up.

    The kids worked well in the lesson, so i handed the psp's over to the H-O-Y who will hold them pending parent pickup - in september when school reopens ;-)
     
  4. I wish all teachers were like you. I'm sometimes appalled and mystified by teachers who accept bad behaviour and breaking of the rules. If rules are applied consistently there will be much less aggro in the long run. More power to your elbow. If you were at my boys' school you would be my favourite teacher. I have no respect for teachers who let pupils get away with misbehaving, and nor do their pupils. Teachers aren't there to be friends with their pupils. I agree, most of the problems with behaviour stem from letting children get away with it. i can't think of much worse than making a rule and allowing it to be broken. there, I've had a rant now too. I'm glad to know there's someone out there who thinks like I do.
     
  5. Also, in primary school my son was given homework which was supposed to be in on Friday, with consequences if it wasn't. There were never any consequences so he got the idea homework was optional. This caused him major problems when he went to secondary school. If only his primary had stuck to the rule they'd made he wouldn't have had this problem. By being lax with him they made life very difficult.
     
  6. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    agree 100%

    When we get kids referred to our Special School, they usually go through a test ing out phase to see if we really mean it when we tell them rules and consequences. We do!
     
  7. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Anyone noticed gender difference, btw?
     
  8. I completely agree that the school's behaviour policy should be implemented at all times with no exceptions. This way children learn to take responsibility for their equipment and for their actions.

    The only thing I am uncertain of is the fact Pardus says that the confiscated items will remain in school until September when the parents are able too collect them.

    I agree that the items should have been confiscated, but not that they should be kept at school throughout the summer holiday, surely this is theft?

    We had a similar situation in a high school near me recently. The children whose items were confiscated and were to remain at school over the holiday, contacted the police. They stated that although the teacher was in the right to confiscate the items, they were not allowed to keep them over the holiday because they were denying these items to the children and as the children were the legal owners, i.e. they/parents had purchased them, keeping them over a holiday was seen as theft and the teacher holding them could be charged.
     
  9. totally agree with you !!!!
    i confiscated four mobile phones a few weeks ago, year9, gave them to the deputy head because he could put them away in the safe....anyway, at the end of the day this same deputyhead gave the phones back to these 4 year nine students...!!!I was so annoyed...I think parents should be called and asked to come and collect phone at end of week......

     
  10. and I often find senior member of staff far too lenient, always praising kids for something, like it has become second nature to them to say something positive whatever the situation...i know praise is good, important, but surely many pupils deserve to be told off as well for not working hard enough etc....well no, it s more like " oh well done, I can see everybody s working really hard, am really pleased, bla bla bla,,,,," and they re not even actually checking books or asking what are they doing and what are they supposed to be doing ???
    sorry about the ranting.......

    if so many teachers have enough of :

    the lack of rules and discipline...
    the lack of expectations...
    the big joke of coursework done mostly by teachers...
    the assessment/ levels that don't mean a thing...

    what can we do?
    what should we do?
     
  11. Current school is so much better than my last one except in respect of confiscated items.

    Old school had policy that if an item was confiscated then the pupil was handed a letter (which served as a receipt) that said it must be collected by a parent within usual working hours - (8am - 5pm, Mon-Fri) within 4 weeks otherwise the item would be disposed of to a charity shop.

    It was mildly inconvenient for parents sometimes but they really made sure that their children didn't bring inappropriate stuff to school (some parents even added their own period of confiscation after collecting the item). Very few mobiles etc. ever got confiscated.

    Current school all confiscated items must be returned at the end of the school day. Where is the downside for a pupil who gets their phone out in the middle of last period of the day? They get their phone back 25 mins later! Phones, ipods etc. are proving a real nuisance in lessons currently.
     
  12. It's not necessarily "cool" teachers letting you down, it's "Head" Teachers.

    If they make rules that they aren't themselves prepared to enforce, and which they allow others to ignore, then ordinary teachers will make their own judgements about what action to take (often, none) when a pupil breaks a rule.

    They aren't necessarily trying to be cool - just realistic, in an environment where there's no backup.
     
  13. I agree with whacko in that you can still be a cool teacher and be strict. It's teachers who try to be cool by being friends to the pupils who let the rest of the teachers down - there are no boundaries set. I was over the top strict at the start of the year like every teacher at our school and the kids love us by the end of the year. I don't care if any of them like me at the start of the year - but by the end of the year they do because they know the boundaries, they know right and wrong and they know they won't get away with anything. They respect you for it. In the long run, children won't respect those teachers or TA's who try to befriend them - they can tell the difference between genuine friendship and a friendship that is made to made a year easier for the adult.

    Lead by example and keep setting the standards of right and wrong through implementing your school policy - it is the right thing to do and yes it may take some time for the pupils you teach to respect the enforcement, but at the end of it all, they'll realise you were right and were a great example of modelling correct behaviour, keep up the good work!
     
  14. Just to add - I also wholeheartedly agree with whacko again that the enforcement of discipline has to be enforced throughout the school - from the headteacher down, on ANY pupil, even the youngest. My head is awesome at this and the school has a brilliant atmosphere in which the pupils and the adults can carry out their roles as they should do.
     
  15. koali

    koali New commenter

    I once read an ofsted report for a failing school which said that "teachers who keep providing basic writing equipment for pupils are undermining those who are trying to instill independent learning habits and thus are effectively de-skilling the pupils."

    I think that says it all.

    Keep up the good work
     
  16. And yet, as schools we are legally obliged to provide all equipment necessary
     
  17. Going slightly off subject...but I work in primary and have been told by the head that we cannot force children to complete homework and that we cannot keep them in if they do not complete it.

    Would be interested to know if this is actually the case
     
  18. I was going to bring up a similar point, I teach year 5 and have had trouble with homework and equipment, the parents here tend to undermine every decision we make so it's very difficult, gave ou homework sheets, one boy lost his, parent demanded another, said I'd photocopied enough for the class and he would have to find it - got a gobfull, also had the same when trying to discipline those who haven't done homework, so end up just rewarding those who do, which is a little pointless as they're only doing what they should do in the first place.







    And breathe..
     
  19. When I was back in England in the 90s, the Havering secondary where I worked implemented an American assertive discipline model. Every classroom had the same five rules, and consequences were standardised. It worked wonderfully, but was undermined by those teachers who didn't like toeing the line.

    I also worked at a behavioral centre in Ontario for a few years, and, guess what, even kids with severe levels of emotional disturbance respond to consistency....
     
  20. Good f
    to know I am not alone, I enforce the rules in my school bit I seem to be the only one. Every day students approaching my room change their shoes and remove jewellery to conform to the school rules. But the change back into their trainers and put the jewwllery back on when they leave, because the next teacher is not as strict as me. Biggest problem is the lack of back up from SMT, so many teachers feel it is just not worth it.
     

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