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"Cool" teachers letting us down?

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

  1. Because the trainers issue is a matter of consistency. I agree that it doesn't matter whether they wear them or not, but if it is a school rule it should be enforced by everyone. This is the issue, if certain teachers turn a blind eye then they become the 'safe' ones and others the 'mean' ones. It's just a matter of supporting colleagues and presenting a united front, in my opinion.
     
  2. I have tried my best to enforce school rules, but I have found the lack of support from SMT worrying. On our first day back, we were told we were really cracking down on uniforms this year, and mobile phones. SInce then, I have had to call a SM to my classroom where a year 11 lad was refusing to hand over his phone, but was instead playing games on it in my lesson. The SM just told him to put it away and left! How am I, as an NQT, supposed to regain the respect of my class if this is how I am supported?
     
  3. I do supply and just had a Y6 class and I love it when the class teacher says 'oh, they've been good this term' (What, 3 weeks???) and then within 30mins you find yourself sending for HT to calm the class down... Ha, ha... just got to accept that some schools just have difficult children... As long as I follow the rules, I know I am doing my job- But trust me, I'm NOT popular!!!

    I'm so ready for a nice glass of chilled with friends tonight... ;)
     
  4. good day.. i think i am one of the guilty ones hear. But i will put my side across. I work in a challenging school, (yes i know.. everyone seems to be saying that.. but we are bottom of our league table, not due to the quality of teaching.. due to the intake.. as our value added is 2nd in the table).

    Anyway, our school this year has decided to ban mobiles and mp3s in classroom. The pupils are allowed them.. but they must be switched off in school hours. I wasnt too fussed about it.. as they rarely caused me a problem in lessons, as i try to build good relationships up with pupils, i usually teach good lessons, and i saw very few mobiles in my lessons.

    now we are supposed to confiscate them this year if we see them.. even at break and dinner times. If i see a pupil with their phone out... i give them a warning, i ask them to put it away or else i will have to take it off them as that is the rule. I always give a warning first. Two main reasons

    a) i prefer the pupils choose to put their phone away.. rather than have it taken off them.(id probably lose it anyway)

    b) most of our pupils will never hand the phone over. So the only way of doing it.. is snatching it when theyre not looking.. which has lead to all sorts of negative attitudes from pupils about staff. They get their phone back the next day.. but for the rest of the year.. are going to be complete ***** and negative towards that member of staff.. which is a lose/lose situation.

    we have to understand that they are kids.. and they do sometimes forget.. hopefully,., in a couple of years,, when the rule has been set for longer.. then the kids wont be forgetting.. but at the moment.. i have not had one problem or negative confrontation with a pupil with regards to phones. i HAVE confiscated a mobile if, after ive warned the pupil,, they get it out again.. and i say "look im sorry, but i was fair.. i asked you to turn it off.. you did not"..

    i also ALWAYS explain why the rules are in place, it effects their learning, they are distracting and i want the pupils to learn as best as they can.. and allowing phones, and lack of equipment will be stopping that.

    i do follow the rules.. but i give warnings, and i am not like some of the staff in our school,, who are always clamping down on the first thing a pupil does wrong,, u rarely hear them saying good stuff to the kids.. and so,, as a result,, the kids dont have any respect for them,, and dont work well in lessons.

    that is only my approach, there are some teachers who are totally different and the kids totally respect them aswel. i think its about getting it right for you and your classes.

    and,, just to brag.. this year.. i was the only member of staff in my department who had a positive residual with my y11 classes. so i must be doing something right. raahhh!
     
  5. Similar to last post, I warn the kids if a phone or MP3 player comes out - sometimes with humour i.e. "If I actually see that, I will need to confiscate it." The kids usually hand them over because they know I will return them at the end of the class if they do so without a fuss - but I do sometimes need to remind them of that too. If there is a fuss, then I will follow our current school rules which is that the phone goes to our HOD. I have not ever done that because the fuss is such that the emergency officer has been called to remove said pupil to local referral. My problem is solved and teaching resumes. Pragmatism goes a long way in teaching!
     
  6. readaholic

    readaholic New commenter

    I believe in sticking by the rules that are set, and i don't tend to bend them too often. It is not our job to decide which rules are relevant and which aren't.
    If we are not happy with a rule we should follow the relevant procedure to see if it can be changed.

    Kids often tell me that I am 'too strict' and they complain that 'other teachers don't take my juice off me/make me take my jacket off etc', but they are often just saying that or are exaggerating. Take everything they say with ahuge pinch of salt and stick to your guns, because you know you are doing the right thing, and the will eventually get used to it and I think have more respect for you.
     
  7. I'm a final year student but have always had 'outstanding' since my first practice in reflation to behaviour management. I really agree with post 66 on that topic:

    I have always found that as long as you draw the line and still keep the proffessional boundary then you can have the laugh but also still have full control. In my lessons the children always realise I mean business with relation to rules and as I'm always consistent they learn not to try to push the boundries because they won't win. For example, I was in a school in September and worked across Key Stage Two. One of the classes worked out what my first name was and one boy who really is lovely, usually well behaved, attemped to push the boundries by calling me by my first name when he asked me for something. All it took was for me to say 'Repeat that question by using the name that you are expected to use when speaking to me' and that was it, he didn't try it again.

    So I think a balance needs to be met which is why I like things I've seen where right at the start of the year behaviour contracts are drawn up or class rules are put up because they are always a point of reference then and the children have more engagement with them as the majority were thought up by them not forced on them by the SMT. Also I worked with a particular class that were awful for their teacher. When I took them one afternoon a week for PPA time I was very strict but always consistent. This resulted in the children working much harder during these sessions and while I followed the behaviour policy that the teacher had set up I always found it worked for me but not for her because she wasn't consistent. It was because of this that the children responded to me well and I was popular with them but not because I was trying to be 'the cool teacher' or because I let them break the rules.

    I've found that if you show consistency to the children, particularly in Primary, then you do become popular with them.
     
  8. there is quite a marked difference between being a student and being a qualified teacher with management points though. a student can afford to be popular among students, as can a classroom teacher to some extent. when you have those with responsibility trying to be 'cool' you un into serious problems
     
  9. ILoveTeaching

    ILoveTeaching New commenter

    Update a few years later... (where did the time go???)

    The "cool" teachers in question did not last long!!!! :)

    They eventually got rumbled by SMT and were asked to move on! They were totally unsupportive towards other teachers and caused so many problems that they had to go...

    yay
     
  10. I'm afraid I don't agree. Punishments/deterentsneed to be differentiated just like everything else and in my own classroom I use my own judgement to do whatever will maximise teaching and learning....
    For example if disaffected boy is sat actually working, i am not going to take issue with the fact he has his hoody on and a bottle of juice on the table (they are only allowed water at our school).Similarly is someone is getting on with their work but happens to have their phone in their top pocket - why would I take issue with it and the ensuing refusal to do anything? The kids know my rules in my classroom. They also know out and about I'll enforce the school rules.
     
  11. p1j39

    p1j39 New commenter

    So what lesson is learnt here? That some rules can be ignored because some people do not find them as important as others.

    How are you helping the kids fit into the wider society?

    School staff need to agree on what's improtant, set it down as rules and then follow these to the letter.
     
  12. The lessons learnt include its not 'them and us' to kids who are brought up to think people in authority are always the bad guys.'
    It means pupils who have very poor attendance still come to maths.
    It means pupils very rarely walk out of my lessons or 'blow' and beome violent/ out of control. Pupils are never rude to me.
    It means I don't spend the entire lesson writing in planners.
    It means that the kids who swear without thinking about it think about what they are saying because they know I don't like hearing it not because they will be in trouble.
    It means they usually do their homework and don't talk over me because they can remember they are two things that will get them into trouble.

    Kids learn that fitting in is more pleasant than not doing. I can issue hundreds of detentions which they won't turn up to or I can ask those who are fitting into the 'wider society' of the school what they are up to on the weekend.... Guess which gets the more mature response? and a more mature attitude to lessons the next week?

    In an ideal world I would agree with you..... but we don't teach in an ideal world....
     
  13. 'but we don't teach in an ideal world....'
    No, indeed. We live and teach in one where increasingly, we do whatever it takes to survive, even at the expense of others.
     
  14. I am not saying I advocate bad behaviour. I am merely saying that tactical ignoring is a very strong tool for some pupils in some circumstances.
     
  15. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    "Tactical ignoring" - is that a euphamism for letting children get away with breaking the rules so they don't 'kick off'? My experience is, in the longer term, children like to know where they stand. These 'best mate' style teachers who bend over for the dominant children have little respect. Not to impune your teaching however.
     
  16. My goodness.... My pupils would have a good laugh if they heard me described as as 'best mate' style teacher!
    And no... tactical ignoring is a euphamism for letting children get away with breaking the rules so they don't 'kick off'? It is an effective way of dealing with kids who crave attention and fail to realise there are 33 other pupils in the class.I believe it is recommended by ITT providers as one of a variety of stategies to maintain discipline. I also find it really useful for the kids who are hell-bent on getting thrown out of the class so that they can go and mess about with their mates from other classes on the corridor!
    I'd say a class which hardly swear because they know I don't like it is giving me just as much respect as a class who don't swear because there is a D in the planner waiting for them if they do.
     
  17. Random175

    Random175 New commenter


    My understanding of tactical ignoring is that when you get compliance to an instruction ie sit down - you ignore the huffing or sighing that may accompany and carry on with the lesson. I have never known it to be about letting children get away with breaking rules no matter how near they are to kicking off.
     
  18. '
    I'd say a class which hardly swear because they know I don't like it is giving me just as much respect as a class who don't swear because there is a D in the planner waiting for them if they do.'
    Well, probably more respect. But we're not talking about the lucky few who manage to gain kids' respect. Do you think any teacher likes to hear them swear? But they'll still show disrespect to some of those teachers--- why? They've decided to respect you; but if they're still showing disrespect to others who are also only trying to teach them, they really haven't learnt anything, have they? Just that they can get away with abusing some people, while those they like are exempt. That's why there are rules; no-one should have to put up with the kinds of behaviour that are often described on this forum, not just those who may well be 'born teachers'. As you may well be. But not everyone is in that fortunate situation, and yet, if allowed to be, most of them could be excellent teachers.
     
  19. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Swearing in order to be removed? So you ignore it, and then what? They do nothing else? Not exactly hard cases if they don't persist even to talking over you.


    Otherwise, they're swearing for the sake of it (or by mistake), possibly because Miss turns a blind eye/deaf ear. Either way, I'm not quite sure that constitutes tactical ignoring either. Just sounds like standards to me.
     
  20. On this point I personally believe, again, its situation specific.
    Let's look big picture:
    32 kids in a room
    1 tool not playing by the rules
    (1) You can waste learning times stopping the flow of a lesson to discipline them time and time again (and yes thats after you have a quiet word in the ear)
    or
    (2) You can ignore it, think "Leave them to be a clown" and get on with teaching the rest. ASSUMING THE BEHAVIOUR IS NOT OBVIOUS OR OTT
    ECM? sure does, hence why the leraning of the 31 doesn't get hinderded by the low level disruption. If this increases, startes to involve others then yes, deal with it...but I know for one I have passengers in my class but but 31 potential D into C grades and one failure is better than me having a room where its about babysitting over T and L.

    Going back to the original question:
    You don't have to be cool to ruin it and plenty who are not cool have ruined it. The sweeping statement does not factor in the complexity of a teacher as a human, subject specialist or pedagogical pro. Its a big picture of what makes a pupil or class dial into a teacher and esssentially its our duty to make ourselves that person (cool or not) and not look at others...yourclass, your world.
     

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