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Dear Tom - help with classroom management badly needed.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Jennqt, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Now you're twisting what I said. I didn't demand anything. I was unsure about the reason why you thought the note should be kept and asked why. I thought i asked politely:

    "I'm intrigued as to what offence Ray thinks the police could investigate with the note. (Rape or murder?) Apologies for the flippant bad taste but could you explain please, Ray."
    For you to say me asking 'could you explain please, Ray' is demanding anything is stretching it a bit. I wasn't sure what offence could be investigated so I asked (politely) that's all. No demands.

    On re-reading I think I asked a fair question. You were very vague:

    "The manager's decision was wrong. The note should have been kept. It may have become evidence in a criminal prosecution."
    as you didn't mention what offence the police would be using the note as evidence for. Hence me asking what offence you thought the note was evidence of. Given what you said and what I asked (and how I asked it, ie politely) I think post 121 is unnecessarily personal. Also, from 121:
    "I did NOT say that it could initiate a criminal investigation as it stands." I never said it could - I wondered how it could be useful, for what offence. (You didn't twist what I said, just misunderstood. But you got it wrong).

    "Please, please, dear Gary, think carefully about what I say before you waste my time again. I am tired of having to reply to you and explain what I did NOT say all the time."
    Okay. But if you were clearer to start with (eg in explaining what offence the note could be used to investigate) you wouldn't need to clarify. Try and be clearer, please? Worth a try?

    " Indeed, other posters said it should have been taken to the police, I did not, yet Gary points that finger at me. Perverse. I think I have a right to ask him to stop doing that."
    I think that's a good example of misrepresenting what has happened!
    One other poster suggested going to the police (Frankie), which I said was the wrong thing to do as it was clear. No misunderstanding there as IMO it's not a 'violent incident.' I was intrigued by Ray's reason for keeping the note, so asked. Why is that pointing a finger? You have a right to stop me asking for clarification (esp if on a subject I have knowledge about) if you are vague, or I don't know what you mean? Does that apply to Jennqt to? Can she ask for clarification if she doesn't understand something? Or is it just me who's not allowed to ask polite questions when you are vague about something.
    No idea what this means. Doesn't seem to have any bearing or relevence to anything I've said about the note. As I'm not allowed to ask, even politely, does anyone know what this means? Please?
    Sorry to divert the thread, but if I'm going to be so wilfully misrepresented I'm going to reply to what I think are unfair accusations.
  2. Frankly, Raymond, my advice would be that you are wasting your time arguing with this group. They swamp this forum with their thousands of postings; they have essentially only one view, but unfortunately the commitment to repeat it indefinitely and in concert. Their opinions seem barely relevant in today's world, and offer no recipe for improvement that is credible in the real education system. I am inclined to the view that it is largely pointless to read, let alone contribute to, much of what appears here.
    I make this posting mainly to point out that the two references to me by "oldandrew" are inaccurate. I cerainly don't "hate" him - I don't even know him!. I do however (quite strongly) dislike the attitude that pervades his contributions here (over 5,500 on TES forums, although I will confess to having read only a small fragment of those) and his website. My earlier analysis of his website was fair comment, not "unprovoked abuse". Certainly not unprovoked, because it followed another poster providing a live link to that website and describing it as "excellent", and not abuse because the description of "eccentric garbage" was provided as calm and reasonable interpretation rather than "abuse". Eccentric? Certainly, how else would one describe the obsessive production of this huge number of postings here and the reams of bizarre material on the website? In any case, it wouldn't occur to me that "eccentric" was a term of abuse. And garbage? Well, yes .... or , if you prefer, "prejudiced nonsense" or some such other term, I don't intend to be abusive, merely accurate in my review of the contents of the website. I mean, to pluck a couple of quotes pretty much at random from the first page linked to above ..
    "Modern Education is Rubbish"
    "A friend of mine worked with refugees and discovered that more than one
    family left Britain to face persecution and possible torture in their
    homeland rather than put their children through the British education
    Hmmm. Well, just a couple of examples, but I suggest you read more for yourself, whilst holding your nose. So "garbage" seems a fair description to me, and certainly was intended as fair comment rather than personal abuse. It does seem odd that someone who appears to devote their life to writing this sort of stuff should be so sensitive aa to plead "abuse" if their contributions get critically reviewed.

  3. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    And yet your persist in popping up to insult other posters and their contributions. If it's pointless then do yourself and everyone else on this forum a favour and stop posting. Or even better post something of some worth (if you are capable of doing so. I had my doubts until you posted something that was almost worthwhile until you spoiled by returning to your usual smug, arrogant self)
    So you are of the opinion that insulting people and their opinions is legitimate if it is "fair comment"? In that case why did you complain about my reviews of your contributions to this forum? They were after all "fair comment".
    Perhaps you have a different notion of what the word abusive means to the rest of the English speaking world.
  4. Said before going on to spend yet more time attacking me, my blog, and my opinions without any mention of the topic of this thread.
    There's something not quite right here.
  5. Jen,

    Firstly, i'm so pleased to hear that things are beginning to work for you.

    Secondly. I've never used this forum but i'm so touched by your plight I feel the need to write to you. There's been some really sound advice offered to you amongst the mass of messages sent, its a shame about the slightly inconsiderate and unnecessary squabbles amongst all of that. I certainly can't see how any experienced teacher who must understand your situation and recognise your emotional vulnerability at this moment in time would consider it useful for you to need to sift through a mass display of testosterone to access help! Start a new topic gents and pull each other apart outside of Jen's problem, your squabbling is unproductive.

    Thirdly, I am a HOD and reading about the incompetence of yours has made me very irate. This is not usual behaviour in anyone that earns and respects their position. It is, after all, THEIR department. Not only should they care about what's happening but they should do everything possible to help you fix the behavioural issues. Swanning in and rollocking the students on your behalf is not the way, it will undermine you and could make the problem worse. However, I can assure you that if you were one of my staff I would have been in that classroom with you, team teaching with you and the students - with you most definitely taking the lead and me supporting and working with the kids on your tasks.
    Your HOD sounds very unsupportive and uncaring of their responsibility, I really don't understand how they can sit back and watch you make your way towards burn out without doing something more constructive than reading you the same script! Your mentor is also paid to help you and they don't seem to be fulfilling their wage either! Please don't think that the attitudes of these two individuals is standard in every school, unfortunately you appear to be being left to your own devices and not supported, it's a disgrace. You will however get there. When you do you will realise that teaching can be everything you hoped it would be. (It certainly sounds like you are on your way, albeit with small steps, but they seem to most definitely be in the right direction)

    My advice? I'm sure it will echo both information from the forum and your teacher training but if its going to help you i'm happy to chip in.

    1. PACE, PACE, PACE. Keep them busy and they have less time to consider playing the fool. If your delivery is slow they'll get bored and that's one way to have problems. An easy way to drive the class is to deliver your content and keep it incessantly interspersed with DIRECTED Q&A. No one wants to look stupid, it keeps them on their toes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of traditional chalk and talk, it's simple for you and if they know they might get a question thrown at them any second it may help their concentration. If anyone gives you a dismissive answer persevere with them and ask the question in different ways until they get the answer. Gauge your questioning offering differentiation and for the time being make sure that you ask your most slippery customers questions you think they'll know the answer to. When they get it right it actually makes them feel better and will help to build your rapport with them when you get to offer the occasional 'well done'. I'd also advise that you lay your room as a horse shoe, get in amongst them so you can move freely and over see the room and all the kids easily. Don't just stand and deliver from the front.

    2. Never show emotion (even if you feel like you're falling apart inside). if you have to raise your voice, do it in a stern manner but without heat or anger. If they think they've got to you they've won, and don't be under any misconception that these kids are drawing battle lines with you.

    3. Be succint in your discipline. Don't engage in discussion about the punishment, point out the unacceptable behaviour and set the sanction, then move on. If the student in question wants to try and take it further move them out of the room and discuss it there at an appropriate point in the class. They're only arguing to look good in front of their mates, when no one is there it's no fun.

    4. Keep the ringleaders busy and separate from their playmates at every possible opportunity. However, you MUST remember to give these kids in particular a clean slate every time they walk through your door. When i'm teaching a subject like singing I would deliberately give them a solo so it keeps them busy, the realism is that they want to achieve like anyone else, they're just not used to succeeding. You must also gauge the knowledge of the more complex character, make sure you give them a task you know they're able to do well, that way the compliment is more likely to happen. Also remember that with a lot of the most difficult ones its learned behaviour. It may be that they have no support at home and feel more comfortable with situation of conflict where this is more representative of their home life.

    5. In the interim don't worry about being friendly. You can be strict as hell but very fair and approachable. Kids that want to learn will always show more respect when you're clear and consistent in your expectations and discipline. kids that don't can tell a consistent teacher a mile off and know it's probably more hassle than it's worth for them to try and challenge someone that won't take their s*** so are less inclined to test the water. It's a skill you'll learn more about with experience, while you're fire fighting (which it certainly sounds like you're doing) take it one step at a time. Stick with strict and stop worrying about being fun, it's about respect, the fun bit can come once you have them working in the way you want them two. Then you get to the exciting bit where you can see inspiration!

    6. Planning - you've had loads of advice on this. Not all lessons can have bells on and it's exhausting to plan it that way. I've managed to gain a back catalogue of grade 1's for every observation i've had in 10 years but trust me, if I taught like that on every lesson I would be a nervous wreck in the corner. I try and make my lessons fun as much as is appropriate but sometimes keeping it to simple and traditional study without a million resources and exciting plans incase OFSTED walk through the door is fine. Besides, your main target should be to plan a lesson that you can deliver whilst controlling the behaviour. Until you've settled the group, trying to teach fun activities ALL the time is quite simply not going to work. Besides, when they're wound up they get more excitable and are less easy to control!

    7. Look at their timetable and consider how teaching them at certain times of the day after other activities can impact on your classes. If they've had chalk and talk all day another lesson of the same where they're just sat is going to be hard to pull off and the same in reverse.

    8. Request that your manager come and team teach with you. To be honest I think from what you've said about them it's unlikely they will bother to find the time. If that's the case find another experienced teacher in your team who will!

    9. Remember why you came into the job in the first place. Look at the students in your class that are working well, enjoying your sessions and achieving and consider how their time with you is having a positive impact on their future.

    I wish you all the best, stick with it, stay strong and positive and remember that YOU are in charge of the room.

    Jenny xx
  6. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    It's your browser. Try firefox.
  7. Many thanks.
  8. Hi
    I have to agree with the others who say that you need to address the behaviour before you work so hard on the learning. Try reading Bill Rodgers, he is brilliant with behaviour issues.
  9. Thanks Sharon (and also crusell) for making a positive contribution in this forum. I see you've come under concerted attack from the 'usual suspects', please don't be deterred by that, it's the norm here and best ignored.
    I'm sure you're right to say that things have changed, and positive inlusive methods are the best way forward, whether these are the particular flavour you recommend or something similar. An antiquated authoritarian approach that believes in 'punishing' children is doomed to failure in modern society, but there are those who will go to their graves shouting that this is the solution. Ignore them, is my advice. But well done for holding your corner.
  10. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Then why do you invariably fail to ignore it?
  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    By failing to answer any questions. Yes, well done or should I say thanks for your input?
  12. LOL you drop by after a week or so, make a little comment and a couple of them have swooped on you in less than half an hour! Do they live here?? [​IMG]
    Think about it, "Mr Bronson". Your "invariably" looks a little weak on account of my 80-odd posts in over a year and your four-figure efforts. Yes, I do once in a while try tp push back against the tide of negativity from the multi-thousand-posters, especially when they're having a go at someone new who's tried to say something positive, like Sharon, but it certainly ain't 'invariably'!
  13. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    You do realise that that criticism of posters who have visited TES for years based on the number of posts they have made is meaningless? You attacked me in the same way previously, I thought it unworthy of dismissal then.
    Its meaningless because a lot of long-term posters, including myself, bigkid, oldandrew and MrBronson have all got involved in long debates on other TES forums, including Opinion, Personal, subject fora (mathematics in my case), which will invariably up the number of posts posters have posted. TES is like a community, especially on personal. Most of my posts will have been on personal and opinion, which includes non-school-related discussions. (I've wasted lots of time on religious discussions, hearing intelligent differing viewpoints eg from Grunwald, or the waste of time trying to reason with Aber.....)
    As you brought up statistics, I wonder how many of your 80 odd posts will include unnecessary negativity?
  14. Hi all.
    Thanks for all your help
    A couple of classes have got a bit better, most are still awful.
    I got very upset yesterday when a year 10 boy smacked my bum when I walked past him. I asked him to leave, he smiled and said no, make me. I asked him again please. He said *** off you ***, please.
    I burst into tears, just couldn’t cope. I sat in my chair and sobbed. The class started shouting, cheering, banging their desks .It was horrible, they enjoyed my being upset. This made it worse becoz I’d worked so hard to help them. They all laughed at me.
    <font size="3"> </font> My HOD came in and told me to control my class. He said I should pull myself together they were disturbing his GCSE class. When he left the boys all discussed my ass and asked if they could all have a feel. The girls said &lsquo;go on miss&rsquo;. I just had to get out of there so left and cryed in the toilet.
    <font size="3"> </font> When I went back to the staffroom for dinner he asked what had happened. I told him and started crying again. I couldn&rsquo;t stop. He didn&rsquo;t think it was a big deal but said if I was to upset to teach lesson 4 go home, get some rest. Hes right I was shattered.
    <font size="3"> </font> I couldn&rsquo;t face going in today to see the same class so phoned in sick. My mentor phoned and said if I was going to take more time off see a doctor for a note. I&rsquo;m not ill just tired and upset, but am going to see my GP tomorrow.
    <font size="3"> </font> So sorry you took time to give me advice and it didnt work. At the moment I dont want to go back. Maybe after Easter Ill try again.
    <font size="3"> </font> Jen.

  15. Sorry, the starred words are "eff you see kay" off you "see you en tee" please.
  16. This is way beyond what anybody should have to cope with. You need to speak to your union.
  17. So sorry to hear this Jen,

    What happened to the individual? I do hope he was suitably reprimanded by your HOD, no student has the right to touch you, aside from the language issue. I also think you should contact your union and if needs be your HOD's superior. How would the school have reacted if a student had reported that you had smacked their bum? Your HOD should not be ignoring this behaviour and simply complaining that you are disturbing their class, that's absolutely ridiculous and it's not acceptable.
  18. This is way beyond outrageous. As another poster said, if a teacher treated a student like that, there'd be HELL to pay. WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL IS THIS? What kind of authority is there to which a school where this sort of thing is treated as acceptable and left up to the individual to deal with ( the reaction of the HOD), can be reported?

  19. To be honest Vehar i'm beginning to wonder if the approach Jen's school would have at such a report from a student would be to tell them to pull themselves together, stop complaining about teachers touching them up and that if they didn't like it they should go and cry at home because the whining was spoiling their coffee break. Jeez, what an establishment. Jen, please remember this really isn't the norm (if there were such a thing).

  20. It would if there weren't such an appalling level of double standards at work in the whole system. You bet they wouldn't ignore anything a student said, because, unlike teachers, students at present are the darlings of the media, the politicians (unless they're university students from a poor background of course), and society in general.
    Certainly this young woman ought to look for a more civilized environment where it's still possible to expect normal behaviour both from students and staff. But in the meantime: where can she turn for support? The union seems to be the only possiblility, but this seems to me to go beyond what a union can do: it sounds as if the whole establishment (if that HOD is representative) should be in special measures. Who could this kind of thing be reported to? What's Ofsted (and all the other policing organizations that are supposed to be improving society) actually FOR, if not to deal with stuff like this?

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