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Dear Sage- PGCE Student taking over a class from an NQT

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by HollyDolly21, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Hi Sage and everybody else too, would be really grateful for any advice on this at all. I am a PGCE secondary student on main placement, generally doing well in all areas including behaviour management but having huge problems with just one class in particular.

    There were already some behaviour problems in the class before I took over and there had been some HoD intervention with the usual class teacher, but obviously when the HoD was there the kids behaved perfectly. Things have really deteriorated since I took over a few weeks ago. The kids are reasonably low ability so many of them are very resistant to the change (even though they don't particularly have a good relationship with their normal class teacher) and are being very defiant, not getting through any work and some just outright rude to me.

    On one hand I am told to follow the school warnings and sanctions system, but realistically if I did this properly I would have at least 10 out of 30 kids out of the room in each lesson. Also the times when I have used it and 2-3 pupils have been sent out for pretty major disruption/aggressive behaviour, the detentions have been cancelled by the HoD which means the worst kids now just think whatever I say is irerelevant and going to be over-ruled by her. She keeps saying 'don't worry, I will deal with them' but when I ask her she has never followed up on it, or if she has it has been a 'friendly chat' so the kids haven't had any punishment whatsoever for their behaviour.

    I accept that I have been a bit lazy with my planning for them in the last week or so- mainly due to the pressures of observations and everything else but also the fact I put a lot of effort into the first few which still went horrendously. I know this is totally the wrong attitude but that's really how I feel, especially as I am working minumum of about 15/16 hours a day on this placement anyway to make sure my other classes keep going well.

    The main problem is that I cannot establish any silence whatsoever to give instructions (although I don't have issues with this in any other class), so I am tending to use worksheets so that the pupils who want to work can get on and make progress, whilst I go around the room and try to deal with the people who are constantly off task, out of their seats etc.

    They complain we are not doing anything 'fun' but I don't see how we can when I can't even give a simple set of instructions in class- tried to do a creative poster task last week and it was a disaster as they were even more wild than usual and did not engage in any work at all.

    The class teacher is an NQT and gives me no feedback whatsoever, positive or negative- she is clearly very unhappy that the class has been taken over by a PGCE student and while I can understand her feeling this way I think it's unfair not to give me any advice/feedback at all. The only thing she has said is 'you need to shout louder to be heard over the noisy ones', insinuating basically that I need to constantly shout and put up with them talking over me (which is what she does), which I am <u>not</u> going to do as it flies in the face of every other piece of advice/example of good teaching I have seen so far. Also because it really bloody hurts my throat and I don't want to get into these habits at this stage in my career!

    I mentioned this to a teacher friend and was told NQTs are not supposed to have classes taken off them by students. Is this true and if so do I need to raise it with my ITT provider?

    Thanks in advance for your help :)

  2. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    That would depend on the school and the department. As Professional Mentor in my school, we have a trainee in one dept who is teaching one lesson a week belonging to an NQT. I would have vetoed it in an A placement, but at this stage of the year, it's not an issue. So much depends on the school, the class, the NQT.
    In your position, I would be talking to your subject mentor about the issues with this class, and raising the detention issue. In my opinion, if you are the teacher and issue the detention, they do it. If you also have a professional mentor, talk to them about it too.

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