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Dear Tom - NQT behaviour struggle

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by pianopete, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Dear Tom - have been advised to post this here as well as in NQT - thanks in advance!

    I'm having a tough time in my current NQT year. I did my first PGCE placement in the school and got an outstanding, in an ostensibly tougher and lower ability school I got an outstanding on 2nd placement. I am currently struggling to gain satisfactory in most observations (excluding 2 goods with lovely classes) and it is likely I may fail this 2nd term. I realise that is not the end of the world but I have an issue with behaviour that I'd like to get opinions on.

    I teach several classes where a large amount of low level disruption is apparent - constant talking when I am, fiddling with pens, walking around the room, shouting at each other. It is hard to pick out individual culprits, especially when I am trying to get the class quiet for teacher talk/register - so sanctioning individuals is hard but punishing the whole class is something I do not want to do as it risks losing the few who are on-side.

    Feedback is a mound of conflicting advice. Yes they need sanctions and boundaries to learn what is inappropriate but are needy/low ability/sensitive/immature and therefore need lots of praise, but it is hard to praise the good when so many are ignoring my instructions. Ability range is wide so starting the lesson with something everyone can do is possible but would be painfully easy for the top end. Planning is hard and I am always planned but am beginning to resent planning so much for classes who don't care.
    It has been hinted that bridges have been burnt and therefore almost impossible for me to win back these classes. The classes appear to have been asked about me by their Head of Year in terms of what is working and what isn't in the classes. I am trying to be positive with behaviour management, praising good behaviour, lots of praise for work done, smiling, greeting at the door etc. in an attempt to win them over but when they are so constantly rude it is hard to keep this up for 4 lessons a week (subject is English).
    Sorry this has been a bit of a random rant!! Is it to late to retrieve things? Can I rediscover my love for the job?
     
  2. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Dear Tom - have been advised to post this here as well as in NQT - thanks in advance!

    I'm having a tough time in my current NQT year. I did my first PGCE placement in the school and got an outstanding, in an ostensibly tougher and lower ability school I got an outstanding on 2nd placement. I am currently struggling to gain satisfactory in most observations (excluding 2 goods with lovely classes) and it is likely I may fail this 2nd term. I realise that is not the end of the world but I have an issue with behaviour that I'd like to get opinions on.

    I teach several classes where a large amount of low level disruption is apparent - constant talking when I am, fiddling with pens, walking around the room, shouting at each other. It is hard to pick out individual culprits, especially when I am trying to get the class quiet for teacher talk/register - so sanctioning individuals is hard but punishing the whole class is something I do not want to do as it risks losing the few who are on-side.

    Feedback is a mound of conflicting advice. Yes they need sanctions and boundaries to learn what is inappropriate but are needy/low ability/sensitive/immature and therefore need lots of praise, but it is hard to praise the good when so many are ignoring my instructions. Ability range is wide so starting the lesson with something everyone can do is possible but would be painfully easy for the top end. Planning is hard and I am always planned but am beginning to resent planning so much for classes who don't care.
    It has been hinted that bridges have been burnt and therefore almost impossible for me to win back these classes. The classes appear to have been asked about me by their Head of Year in terms of what is working and what isn't in the classes. I am trying to be positive with behaviour management, praising good behaviour, lots of praise for work done, smiling, greeting at the door etc. in an attempt to win them over but when they are so constantly rude it is hard to keep this up for 4 lessons a week (subject is English).
    Sorry this has been a bit of a random rant!! Is it to late to retrieve things? Can I rediscover my love for the job?
     
  3. No advice from me I'm afraid but I am in exactly the same position myself. I had no problems with behaviour on my PGCE but I too have the constant low level disruption and it makes it impossible to teach good lessons! I'm in a nice school as well which makes me feel even worse about my lack of control. I definitely agree about the conflicting advice, I think I need to be firmer but at the same time use more praise, no idea how to actually achieve this... The more I struggle to sort the behaviour the less I enjoy the teaching which is reflected in my lessons and I don't really feel like there's a positive atmosphere in the room! Definitely interested to hear any advice you get given.
     
  4. Hi
    Do you have a seeating plan for these classes? I know that this sound rudementary, but they can be very helpful. Boy/girl - smart/less able works really well. Especially when the smarter ones have there progress linked to thier less able partners. Also I do this with students who never talk to each other. this way they are forced out of thier comfort zone & have got to interact with some one that tha they wiuld not ordinarily. If they refuse - get rid! They will get the message
    You also have got to work the room. If they are hiding in the back how will you know who is causing the problems? What is your schools disciplinary code - in my class room, when some one is disrupting, I just walk around and put my hand on thier sholder - this way they know that I know & that I am watching them; Have a two strikes & you're out rule. Make sure that you stick to it. If they see that you are a person of your word then they are likely to respect that.
    Try not to get into any confrontations - some times this is hard, however, if they are shouting & swearing and you are calm it makes them seem unreasonable - they hate that. Another thing that I find really useful is " am I asking you to do something that is unreasonable- ie jump off of the school building?" by choosing something extreme like that shows them the unreasonableness of thier behaviour
    Have a starter that will engage all students when they come in ie CONSTANTINOPLE make as many words as you can in pairs/individually. This will give them time to talk quetly & you time to take the register. It will save on your shouting - offer a prize for the most words or the longest word ie lollipos or house points or stickers
    If they are yr 7 - have a quiet sign like " my hand is up therefore so should your be" if they are all being quiet with thier hands up then you will be able to see who is being disruptive.
    Also try to have short activities that allow them to talk to eachother to share the learning experience ie " talk to the person next to you for 2 mins about what you have learned" then get them to write it down on a post it note and stick it on the WB with thier names on - you can get them to then talk to the class - this way they are talikng but about what you want.
    I hope that this is helpful. Praise is good, but it must be earned.
    Good luck
     

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