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Dear Tom - survival tips please, stressed on supply

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Julski, May 16, 2011.

  1. Dear Tom - and anyone else who can help!
    I am currently a part-time primary supply teacher and had a really difficult class last week who I will be teaching again this week. There are at least 5 'challenging' children in this class of 20-ish children, the are P3/4 so approximately 8 years old. The 5 shout out constantly, are rude and unpleasant when other children try to answer questions (one reduced two girls to tears with his comments), are out of their seats constantly and do very little work. I will only be teaching them for part of the day so many behaviour tips about keeping them in at break, phoning home etc won't work for me. Do you have any tips for more immediate behaviour management?
    The last time I had them I started with a very active game which went well, but during transition times or written work they were awful, but as they are not my class I have limited input on the work. In the end I shouted very loudly - 4 or 5 of the boys were slamming their trays on the ground and a few others thought they might join in.... It worked in that they were all very shocked and did listen to me then. I later sent one to another class to stop him disrupting the lesson, that also helped.
    The other classes in this school are lovely so I don't want to avoid working here, but would like to handle this class better and be able to teach the children who actually want to learn.
    Any tips gratefully received,

  2. Hi Julie... been there!
    I pinched this idea:
    I made a really transferable table points thing, and invested in a bag/tin of cheap bits of stuff to give away... like rubbers/gel pens/bouncy balls/tiny. Different coloured laminated A4 cards for each table. You can write on the names of tables and the children's names on them to help you remember who is on each table. Also laminate a blank tally chart that you can reuse.
    Then... give away points for everything good you want to encourage and add table points to tally chart. Use the laminated cards to have a competition for first table tidy etc. (just stick them up with blutac on the edge of the whiteboard in the order they are ready.) First gets 5 pts, then 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 for last table. Keep this going all day. They will soon get quicker at doing what you want. In fact very quickly someone will notice you pick them off the edge of the whiteboard and look around the class. Soon they will set everyone hurrying to tidy up without you saying anything.
    If all else fails and mayhem is happening... (like when a terrifying bluebottle has a supply class hysterical for example) Start dishing out points like this: "Well done Penny, you are sitting sensibly... have 5 points for your table". Magic,
    The whole winning table get a dip in the tin at the end of the day.
    Has worked up to y6 for me. Do it weekly if you have a whole wk of supply. Cost me £1 or two but worth every penny. And the kids will love having you on supply.

    good luck, SP
  3. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi Julie
    If one of the problems is that you're only in school for part of the day, then I would say that you need to enlist the support of the teacher who's there for the other part- surely they will want to support you, just as you would surely support them? If you can't be around for breaks etc. to do detentions, then the kids need to realise that if they muck you about and behave inappropriately then there WILL be consequences, even if you're not around to administer them. That way, they'll know that you're not the 'part time' teacher who can't get them into trouble.
    So get someone to back you up- someone whom the kids trust to carry out being kept in/ missing golden time etc. That should habituate them into seeing you as more authoritative. I suspect this isn't a case of 'catch them being good', but more of an 'I can see you being bad' scenario.
    Good luck.
  4. Thanks for that Tom, I will definitely try that this week. The problem I had last week was that the head and class teacher were in meetings so I didn't feel I could use either of them, but this week I will speak to the class teacher before hand and discuss sanctions that she can mention before I go in and will carry out when I am not there.
    Many thanks for the quick reply,

  5. Thank you SP, I used to do something similar, but haven't done it when only on part days before but will definitely try to fill up a 'magic box' of things for future use.

    Thanks again,



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