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dazed and confused supply teacher

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by dhamilton944, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. dhamilton944

    dhamilton944 New commenter

    Ive been teaching for four years now, exclusively in very good grammar schools, and loved these experiences. My classes had excellent results, i had good rapport with the kids and lots of positive comments on parents evenings etc. Now I am doing a maternity cover in a secondary school until june and find myself shocked at just how different it is. Ive im a secondary school boy myself but cant remember it being like this - I have two or three pretty difficult classes and others with two or three exponents of low level stuff and tbh i feel worn down already and only began in November! My patience is wearing thin with kids who lack respect, manners and cant do simple things like listen quietly! Ive started things like seating plans, 3 strikes, lunchtime dts etc but dont honestly know if i have the energy to follow these through since i have a constant voice in my head saying your here for 5 more months and wont see these kids again. Then i feel bad for thinking that and start doubting my abilities.

    I teach art and the worst part is i feel like i am really diluting my lessons because doing a demo for any more than a minute just cant be done with most classes, and i therefore dont go into anywhere near the depth id like to or have done before. Its at the stage where i couldnt see myself working in a secondary environment again but know this would really limit future job opportunities. I just dont enjoy this type of teaching- i want to teach art, not feel like a
    cattle herder, or a bouncer, or policeman. I dont really know what i am asking - is this a common experience? Is it worth sticking with them and tryning to change behaviour? Or am Ii on my own in feeling like this?! Any advice appreciated!
     
  2. dhamilton944

    dhamilton944 New commenter

    Ive been teaching for four years now, exclusively in very good grammar schools, and loved these experiences. My classes had excellent results, i had good rapport with the kids and lots of positive comments on parents evenings etc. Now I am doing a maternity cover in a secondary school until june and find myself shocked at just how different it is. Ive im a secondary school boy myself but cant remember it being like this - I have two or three pretty difficult classes and others with two or three exponents of low level stuff and tbh i feel worn down already and only began in November! My patience is wearing thin with kids who lack respect, manners and cant do simple things like listen quietly! Ive started things like seating plans, 3 strikes, lunchtime dts etc but dont honestly know if i have the energy to follow these through since i have a constant voice in my head saying your here for 5 more months and wont see these kids again. Then i feel bad for thinking that and start doubting my abilities.

    I teach art and the worst part is i feel like i am really diluting my lessons because doing a demo for any more than a minute just cant be done with most classes, and i therefore dont go into anywhere near the depth id like to or have done before. Its at the stage where i couldnt see myself working in a secondary environment again but know this would really limit future job opportunities. I just dont enjoy this type of teaching- i want to teach art, not feel like a
    cattle herder, or a bouncer, or policeman. I dont really know what i am asking - is this a common experience? Is it worth sticking with them and tryning to change behaviour? Or am Ii on my own in feeling like this?! Any advice appreciated!
     
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi
    Sadly and shockingly, the behaviour and environment you describe are very typical of many secondary schools in England. Please do not doubt your abilities: it is not you, but the culture in schools now and is a very <u>common experience</u>. Believe it or not, you are probably not in the very worst of the schools from what you describe. There have been books and TV documentaries on TV to try and expose this to the wider public, but the general public have no idea how difficult it can be to work in secondary schools. You are not alone.
    If you decide to stay in secondary you will need to develop the stategies to survive; for example, you will have to accept that you may have to work harder to improve classroom behaviour. You will need to spend some time and effort on working on how to make changes and perhaps accept that the classes will perhaps never be the same as working in a grammar school where the expectations are probably quite different. You can, however, with some additional study and work make some of the the changes you seek. If you like, I can recommend some books which I have found useful. I am not sure about the policy of naming books on posts. If I can type it on here, I will post the title later.
    However, you may decide it is not worth your effort and choose to work with adults or perhaps work overseas or find a secondary school which is less challenging. There are some good secondaries about which do have some good behaviour policies and where the children are hardworking and respectful.
    One piece of advice : Have a very thick skin. Also <u>never think it is you or your abilities because it is not. </u>To me you sound like a talented artist and a very fine teacher. At the end of the day at least you have some choices. Whatever you decide, please be assured it is not you and do not lose confidence in your abilities.
     
  4. dhamilton944

    dhamilton944 New commenter

    Thanks for your reassuring words. Part of me knows there is a wider problem and not to take it personally - each week there are prob 15 emails detailing pupils on report or suspended and i know other teachers have had difficulties. The other part is annoyed as its at the point where i actually, honestly dislike a lot of the kids, which i have never ecperienced before! I think that had filtered into my work because, terrible as it may sound, i dont care as much - getting them in and out with the least problems is my concern and i really hate this way of working.
     

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