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Dear Tom - how can I be 'angry' with students without feeling ridiculous?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by worksleepwork, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. I'm an NQT and my behaviour management in general is improving through consistency and following the school's procedures which are very good, but something I feel is lacking in my arsenal is that I can't get 'angry' with a student or a class without feeling like I look pathetic and small (I think I've genuinely shouted at one person in my life ever). I know I'm just not convincing and they don't take my tellings off seriously. My HOD can be seriously scary when he tells people off and I try to emulate it but it just doesn't seem to fit with my personality and the kids can see right through it. Are there any tips you can give me for delivering a good b*ll*cking without feeling like a kid playing an unconvincing teacher?
     
  2. I'm an NQT and my behaviour management in general is improving through consistency and following the school's procedures which are very good, but something I feel is lacking in my arsenal is that I can't get 'angry' with a student or a class without feeling like I look pathetic and small (I think I've genuinely shouted at one person in my life ever). I know I'm just not convincing and they don't take my tellings off seriously. My HOD can be seriously scary when he tells people off and I try to emulate it but it just doesn't seem to fit with my personality and the kids can see right through it. Are there any tips you can give me for delivering a good b*ll*cking without feeling like a kid playing an unconvincing teacher?
     
  3. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    Good question. I'd make the following observations:
    1. Everyone's style is different; while it's admirable that you want to emulate good behaviour management from role models, it's important to develop your own style. Do you want to be a bollocker? That's not prison slang, incidentally. Some people can do a good hairdryer impression and it's like a nuclear bomb. Others try it and sound like a midget being boiled alive. Do what works for you, not anyone else.
    2. If you raise your voice to a kid, it's obviously very confrontational- that can be a very good thing, but remember that if they don't see you as an authority figure in the first place then all you look like is some strange geezer/ ette blowing their stack. There's nothing more humiliating than letting rip with the big guns, and some four foot little vandal goes, 'So what?' So I would only do it when you've built up the respect from them. After all, if they are genuinely concerend about impressing/ not crossing you, then they'll take your temper seriously. But why should they care if a stranger does his nut?
    3. I would raise my voice very rarely anyway; it's aggressive, and often just encourages kids to respond in kind. It's a real face-off when you do it, and I often find that kids can get angry in response. Remember that many kids you teach will get much harder, louder abuse from their family (or worse of course), so your anger might be treated with scorn.
    4. What I find really effective is making sure that your tione is even and controlled- it indicates that you're in charge of yourself. But if you freak out it displays you're emotional and therefore a bit vulnerable. so if you steer steady for most of your voyage, the times when you have to even <u>RAISE YOUR VOICE WILL STAND OUT AS EXCEPTIONAL.</u> See?
    5. When you tell a kid off, just say it calmly and deliberately, as if you're stating a fact. Then make sure that whatever sanction you generate absolutely happens, without exception. All threats must be carried out.
    Doing what you say you will speaks much more loudly than the boldest bellow.
    Good luck.
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     
  4. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    You don't need to be scary. You certainly don't need to shout. If you can't pull it off then don't try. Try lengthy, tedious lectures in a dull monotone. Throw in regular questions about what they did wrong to make sure they are not switching off or tuning you out. My HOD (who is very good at shouting at pupils) threatens them with my boring lectures if the shouting doesn't work [​IMG]

    if there is no compelling reason to shout then I don't. If your behaviour management is improving then why not continue with what you're doing?
     
  5. gergzzz

    gergzzz New commenter

    Have you ever tried lowering your voice with a disapproving look that seems to work with younger children. Good luck
     
  6. THank you all,really good thoughts here which make a lot of sense to me. I think I was going down a blind alley of trying to be like my HOD when we're very different people. I think I managed a detention with some of my worst kids a lot better tonight thanks to your advice Tom.
    I do still feel there is a linked issue of improving my presence - so that I can project dissaproval in a way which has an effect, but I guess if they know I will always follow up on every little thing they should respond to the dissapproval for that reason.
     

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