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Dear Tom...re.defiant behaviour

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by jumping4joy, May 22, 2011.

  1. Hi, i teach a small class of Year 5s in a low income area of town.
    The majority of my class listen and follow instructions, no problem. However, I have 4 boys in the class who are developing really bad attitudes and are often rude to me and other adults (Harry Enfield's Kevin type behaviour). When i ask them to do things in class, get on with work, etc they often say "No, i don't want to" or "No, i'm not doing it". I think a lot of it is linked to low confidence, ie. they don't think they're going to be able to do it, so it's 'cooler' to refuse to do it than it is to have a go and fail. However, it's having an impact on the rest of my class and is just plain exhausting. I do lots of praising and have reward systems, there's also a whole school behaviour system which i use. They don't get away with any of the bad behaviour but i would like to stop it happening without having to threaten detentions and without interrupting my lessons and stopping all the other kids learning. The four boys feed off each other, so if one's rude the others usually join in and then there's the giggling too...it's really not fun at the moment. (We've had lots of talks about what rudeness is and why we have to show each other respect too)
    Have you got any ideas for combatting this annoying, defiant and rude behaviour please???
    Thanks very much!
  2. Having a similar issue with some Year 6 boys. Tends to come out in PE (I'm not being on his team *sulk sulk*) but also occasionally in the classroom particularly when they are given small low level punishments such as staying in for talking. I get the waving of arms and the gasping 'what? Ah! Man! Ah!' which winds me up so much. I feel like shouting 'I warned you, you didn't stop. I warned you again and told you what would happen and you didn;t stop. Now you're staying in. WHAT PART OF THIS IS UNFAIR?' Obviously...I don't actually shout this but I'm really struggling to see their point of view. I understand children being annoyed at punishment but why do they claim it is unfair? Is it just them saving face?
    I also have the 'bouncing off each other' - once they have been written on the 'five minutes chart' for about 10 minutes after they exchange dark looks across the room and mutter to each other. I don't rise to this as I assume its what they want but should I be giving some response?
    I want to give serious sanctions as I find it just as rude as if they had directly sworn at me but I just don't know how to challenge it so, more often than not I end up leaving it [​IMG] (I'm an NQT, not that thats an excuse but...you know). I don't think its acceptable for them to sigh and moan and mutter under their breath when I'm trying hard to follow the system. I think I need to discuss this more with the boys in question so would be really interested in your answer here Tom!
    I'm almost tempted to ask a child to spend all day talking (one who doesn't normally) and not punish them, then see how the regular chatters respond. Now THATS unfair.
  3. Hi Tills...i feel your pain!
    Take a look at the 'Primary' forum here on the TES website. I posted my same initial post on there and got lots of ideas and advice, which i'm going to try a combination of, starting tomorrow.
    For one particular boy in my class, who liked to say 'it's not fair', i read 'Colin' by Allan Ahlberg out loud to the class, substituting his name for 'Colin'. I've got a good enough relationship with this boy to know that he'd see the funny, if a bit embarrassing side of it. He did and i've had far fewer 'It's not fair!'s since then.
    Colin by Allan Ahlberg
    When you frown at me like that, Colin,
    And wave your arm in the air,
    I know just what you're going to say,
    "Please Sir, it isn't fair!"
    It isn't fair on the football field,
    If the other team scores a goal,
    It isn't fair in a cricket match,
    Unless you bat AND Bowl.
    When you scowl at me that way, Colin,
    And mutter and slam your chair,
    I always know what's coming next,
    "Please Sir, it isn't fair!"
    It isn't fair when I give you a job,
    It isn;t fair when I don't,
    If I keep you in, it isn't fair,
    If you're told to go out, you wont.
    When heads bow low in assembly,
    And the whole school's saying a prayer,
    I can guess what's on your mind, Colin,
    "Our Father... It isn't fair!"
    It wasn't fair in the infants,
    It isn't fair now,
    It won't be fair at the comprehensive,
    For First Years anyhow.
    When your life reaches it's end, Colin,
    Though I doubt if I'll be there,
    I can picture the words on your gravestone now,
    They'll say: IT IS NOT FAIR.
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL jumping4joy. Excellent idea! I have a great boy in my year 6 class who will totally get my sarcasm and humour when I read that next time he whines 'But it isn't fair!'. I could even picture his name and face as I read it now.

    Thank you!
  5. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    be careful to over analyse the motives for their behaviour- whether
    they've got low self-esteem, high self-esteem, or strawberry flavoured
    self esteem isn't really an issue here. If a child says to me, 'Nah
    mate, stuff your work,' then to be honest, I'm not really feeling 'low
    self esteem'- I'm getting 'gobby and lazy' with overtones of 'rude'. Of
    course, it's useful to know why they're misbehaving, but I think the
    behaviour is more important here than the reason for it.
    I know
    you don't want to go down the detention route, but really, it's one of
    your main strategies here, and if you don't start showing them that
    you're not to be disrespected or ignored, then you will face an uphill
    struggle to get them to do what you want. Children need boundaries, and
    it's impossible to draw them using only praise and rewards; they need to
    see that your electric fence has juice running through it. This isn't
    because we want to punish children; it's because we want the best for
    them, which means we'll need to get the best from them. Which also means
    that it's desperately important that they learn good learning habits,
    and self restraint.
    I think this goes doubly for children from
    poorer backgrounds. True social mobility is achieved when children from
    low income families develop the skills to escape from poverty. School is
    a wonderful mechanism for this, and you have a very important part to
    play in that.
    The very best of luck to you. Get the detentions out!

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