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"Cool" teachers letting us down?

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

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. You should really congratulate yourself for your no-******** approach; this is something which takes guts to execute but that is just so important. If school rules are neglected and this then goes un-punished, how is a school ever expected to exercise any kind of real control/authority over their pupils? The 'cool' teachers should be ashamed of themselves - they make it harder for those of us who do our job properly. But at the same time, we have to accept that some teachers are just always going to be more popular than others, discipline or no discipline. This is inevitable. Some just have that banterous approach come naturally to them. Others have the kind of subjects that allow them to be a bit more playful - art, sport ( http://www.bikester.co.uk/ ) for example. This cannot be helped, but teachers neglecting the discipline system can be.
     
  2. 'we have to accept that some teachers are just always going to be more popular than others, discipline or no discipline'
    Of course. Just like some people are born lucky. But does that mean they get to write the script for life? Everybody--- popular or not--- is entitled to civilised treatment, otherwise known as 'rules'. If it's left up to the kids -- and increasingly, this seems to be the case--- then only those who pass their test of acceptability can become successful teachers. There are always teachers in a school who are more popular than others--- but the popularity test can't exactly be taken as an accurate measure of worth.
    I never forgot a lesson I learned when I was doing my first teaching practice in a Sec Mod school in London. I was very keen to be a good teacher, so I did a little survey among the kids I was teaching, asking them to say who their 'best' teacher was, and why. I thought, bless my innocent little heart, that I could copy their strategies and be the next Pestalozzi. Imagine my chagrin to find that the 'best' teacher in the school was the PE teacher? And why? The boys: because, duh, they liked PE; and the girls because 'she wears lovely clothes'. Me, I can't see the ball, let alone hit it; and clothes are things I cover myself with. So much for pedagogical ambition.
     
  3. I'm "only" an LSA but lazy discipline drives me nuts!
    I run myself ragged getting my three SEN kids (2 in Year 8 and 1 in Year 10, two are also Irish Traveller sisters) to take homework home, do the homework and bring it back to school. I give up my lunchtimes and before school to go over the work again and again with them AND THEN the teacher doesn't even collect it in unless I prompt them (and then, of course, the other kids think I'm Satan) and if one of my three haven't done it (despite my best efforts) the teacher either doesn't care or implies that it is my fault!
    Luckily homework only gets set once a month or so, which means I been able to take over and set my own homework for my three, which I take in strictly on time, mark and return, more than they get from any of their teachers.
     
  4. ILoveTeaching

    ILoveTeaching New commenter

    Many of the posters have not really go the point I was making...despite making good points.
    It is so easy to be liked ("cool" in my original title) as a teacher at my school...you just do most of the following:
    Let pupils keep their coats on and never challenge uniform extras
    Let pupil use their phones when they want
    Ignore homework policy and let pupils do hardly any work
    Ignore lateness and truancy
    Let pupils shout out during lessons and do nothing about it.
    Let pupils eat in classrooms during lessons
    Make sure work is easy and you have low expectations
    Let pupils listen to Mp3s and play games in ICT room.
    Put DVDs on for last 2 weeks of each half term!
    Give them sweets
    Turn a bline eye to swearing and mild bullying.
    Slag strict teachers off or tell pupils that the school rules are stupid and you agree with them.
    Never report pupils that you find smoking or out of bounds
    etc. etc.
    We had many teacher that did all of the above! They are the "cool" ones that I am talking about. The kids love 'em!! The main problems were caused by two teachers that have since been "moved on".
    I was not talking about subtle behaviour managment strategies in the classroom. I was talking about totally ignoring all school rules to be popular with kids...it is sad really.


     
  5. Same here! There are two things in particular that some of the teachers I know do that I think are very unhelpfull. One is giving back lost playtime far too easily. If someone loses five or ten minutes for doing something seriously unpleasant, and then earns them back just by keeping their head down and not actively annoying anyone for a session, how are the children who are ALWAYS well-behaved supposed to feel about ending up with exactly the same reward?

    Also, the children in my school are not supposed to drink anything but water in the classroom, and a few of the teachers will confiscate juice or make the children tip it down the sink. But some don't seem to mind, so the children bring juice anyway, then act outraged when I suggest maybe they should put it away until lunchtime...
     
  6. "It is so easy to be liked ("cool" in my original title) as a teacher at my school...you just do most of the following:
    Let pupils keep their coats on and never challenge uniform extras
    Let pupil use their phones when they want
    Ignore homework policy and let pupils do hardly any work
    Ignore lateness and truancy
    Let pupils shout out during lessons and do nothing about it.
    Let pupils eat in classrooms during lessons
    Make sure work is easy and you have low expectations
    Let pupils listen to Mp3s and play games in ICT room.
    Put DVDs on for last 2 weeks of each half term!
    Give them sweets
    Turn a bline eye to swearing and mild bullying.
    Slag strict teachers off or tell pupils that the school rules are stupid and you agree with them.
    Never report pupils that you find smoking or out of bounds
    etc. etc.
    We had many teacher that did all of the above! They are the "cool" ones that I am talking about. The kids love 'em!!"
    I find that strange.
    In my experience, teachers like that may be popular in the short term, but not in the long term.
     
  7. i am a populer teacher because i am fun and strict at the same tim so its canny alright for me
    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.

     
  8. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    As if it is impossible to "ask" the students to spiff up a bit without being a fascist. I do believe that you can tell (some) students something they don't want to hear with a bit of humor or energy and be more effective then if you screamed at them.
    As for consistency, it does need to be done across the school. At our "international school" in Egypt we all started out with great attitudes towards discipline and when students broke the rules we followed the plan and gave out detentions. As the year went on it became clear that there was no meaningful consequence for not turning up for detention or for misbehaving while in detention. Even our little geniuses soon figured out that we could assign all of the detentions or additional detentions we wanted but they could duck and run and avoid and were never held to an accounting.
    Before the year was over we had mostly given up. Although I did still ask, if they were going to wrestle or give another student an atomic wedgie, that they take it up the hall a bit. A few of us did try to bring this up to the Head and at staff meetings but there was never any will on his part or a majority of staff to try and stem the tide of misbehavior.

     
  9. I understand and agree with your point of view. As a new HoD last year, I too had a problem with the laissez-faire' attiude caused by my previous colleague! In particular, a hardcore minority of my year 13 students were arrogant, lazy and laid back. Consequently, results were mediocre and on the student survey, some particularly enlightened individuals wrote that I was childish, treated them like children, couldn't teach and that I should be sacked! My crime? Planning and delivering lessons in which they didn't just sit back, fall asleep and listen to me reading powerpoints! Insisting that they do group work, pair work and activities where they were required to use their brains instead of the textbook to learn, telling people where I wanted them to sit after they showed me that they couldn't be trusted to sit where they liked and behaving like adults! Also, insisting that exam resits were at MY discretion and that they should attend workshops to improve this, instead of just patting them on the head when they did badly in exams, assuring them that each one was just a dress rehearsal and that they can just keep resitting to get a higher grade at the end of the course!
    In contrast, their old teachers (one of which was the former HoD), understood them better, treated them like 'adults' (friends), understood why they had poor attendance/punctuality or work and knew how they liked to learn! Yes, I was very upset, frustrated and hurt by both the comments and their attitudes, but as the year progressed more and more of the quieter students who generally wanted to do well started to come out of their shells and came to me for help with their work and the arrogant ones realised that I was going nowhere and even decided that 'things were better now' and didn't want me to 'go back to teaching lessons' the way they did before (for a short period of time, I compromised by making lessons slightly more didactic but then went back to my usual methods as the year progressed)!
    In the end, I had the last laugh! My results were better than those obtained before I came and my new year 12s and 13s give me no real problems this year, so I had the last laugh!
    You will find that if you continue to persist as I did, you WILL get more respect, you WILL form good relationships with most if not all of your students (they and us are only human and can't get on with everyone but that's not what we're there for anyway) and they WILL appreciate being taught by someone who sets and sticks to clearly defined boundaries! Over time, you will also find that you can also motivate them by using your discretion at times. E.g. I also do not allow students to listen to music or use phones in the lesson BUT during revision lessons, when they are sitting exams, I HAVE on the odd occasion allowed them to listen to music in class while revising as they were working well. However, this was on the understanding that it was a one off privilege at an unusual time of year and that if it disturbed others or they went off task, then it would be removed! All students respected this, and as I said, the results were better last year!
    At the moment though, I agree that it's better to start off being 'strict' and then relax a bit later on, if appropriate! I found this out the hard way! The other teachers have made a rod for their own back and have got into a relaxed culture that they will now find difficult to break, which is why they no longer do things, such as removing phones! 'Horrible' you may be, but as that has always been the case, they are more likely to accept this from you than from the teachers who are normally 'cool' (their friends)!
    Go with your instinct! I find that it is usually correct!
    Good luck!
     
  10. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    Being popular / well liked and how you achieve it varies from school to school. At my current school, my form like me more than their previous tutor partly because I am strict with them (and interestingly because I am always on time!) The pupils also are keen to do well in their exams and prefer strict teachers who make them work than laid back teachers who let them get away with murder. If, on top of being on their case etc. you are able to build good relationships with them i.e. talk and listen to them, and try and make your lessons interesting then you will be a popular teacher.

    I have to add that these things would not have worked in all my schools, in particular the special measures school I was in, but I am glad that I have found a job in a school where it does work.
     
  11. ILoveTeaching

    ILoveTeaching New commenter

    ScienceGuy...could not agree with you more. I particularly like the last thing you said about it not working in all schools.
    I think many people read this thread and did not realise that I was not trying to be "cool" or "popular". I was in fact annoyed at colleagues that would ignore all school rules in order to be "cool". Kids at my last school really did like these lazy teachers and working there was horrible.
     

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