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Desperate Plea for Help

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by seska, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. This is to misunderstand what a relationship is. A relationship is not one way. Children can choose what relationship they have with the teacher or the subject and they are perfectly capable of choosing to have a poor relationship regardless of everything the teacher does to make the lesson engaging. We do not have complete control over what other people think of us. Sometimes people are prejudiced against (would you tell a black person that if they acted a different way then the BNP would like them?). Sometimes people just have a personality clash. It is simply not good enough to treat behaviour as a manifestation of a relationship rather than a deliberate choice and a good relationship as something teachers will always be able to build. I might add that for a lot of kids they will have a better relationship with a teacher if they are not challenged to work hard or behave well. Are we meant to sacrifice expectations for everybody in order to build relationships with those kids?
    ***. Kids act up for great teachers every day. Given the choice between a lousy teacher they've known for years, who is senior in the school and known for being strict and a brilliant teacher with inspirational lessons who has just turned up and probably won't know how to use the school's discipline system, then they will behave worse for the latter rather than the former every time.
    The idea that lesson quality determines behaviour is the big lie of behaviour management. Expectations determine behaviour, and expectations are set to a large extent by historical factors.
    You are wrong about self-esteem, but it is beside the point.
    If kids feel entitled to misbehave when they feel like it, then there will be misbehaviour. You can't change human nature so that nobody ever wants to do wrong, and you can't change the nature of learning so that it is never hard work, requiring of attention or unsettling.
    Teachers who get good behaviour by keeping kids in a perpetually good mood have invariably either ceased to teach, or are only teaching children with a generally good disposition.
    Absolute ****. I've known well established members of SMT who gave kids exam papers to do in silence for lesson after lesson. They still behaved becuase they knew they'd be punished if they didn't.
  2. Well, first day back today after the (far too short) break. I have given a lot of thought to what I read here, and thank you all very much for your feedback. I personally think that I've a number of issues to address that cause the poor behaviour of the pupils. Not the least of which is THEIR choices. I do think that I've allowed, for whatever reasons, a culture of them being in charge. I am perceived by them as weak, and have allowed them to get away with far too much.

    I came to realise that some of the strategies I'd employed were basically not strict enough. I stupidly allowed pupils to "earn back" time and detentions. This obviously meant that they could misbehave for most of the lesson, and then so long as they had a good final stretch they'd get away with it. More fool me. Seemed like a good idea at the time.. Anyway. I raised my expectations considerably. Told them no more "earning back". Detention is detention. I actually feel optimistic that with ME following up what I say I'm going to do I might actually make some progress. I do believe that I need to provide more work and more challenging work too which gives them fewer opportunities to mess about.

    What I really want, which I think is impossible, is to have proper coaching with behaviour management, but without an extra adult in the room. I want to be filmed, then go through the film with someone and be told "you should have done x" at this point or that. To see exactly where and what I need to do. It's no good seeing another teacher in action, or having assistance in the class because the dynamic changes completely.

    This all makes it sound like I'm hopeless and do no work. That's not true. I have been working hard and have put a lot of effort into lessons with them, but it was probably the wrong effort. Now to redistribute that effort...
  3. Yes. Earning back is at least as unproductive as taking awayrewards earned.
    If it's deserved, it's deserved, whether reward or sanction. Follow up on both.
  4. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Not sure I agree. If you challenge someone's poor behaviour early enough you can take a "You will have a detention unless you redeem yourself" line with them. Then if you set the bar for redemption high enough they will have had a good lesson by the end of the lesson. Therefore on balance over the whole lesson they will not "deserve" a sanction.
  5. Hi seska - just read your issues on managing behaviour and have found myself having similar problems as yours. Did you try all the advice given and did it work for you? Have seen some advice online re focus on the positive behaviour ignore the negative ones. I know its easily said than done but have tried it when we came back this year and it seemed to have worked for me. For the time being anyway??
  6. Ok next question...

    I've a backlog of detentions. Between kids failing to turn up (we have to give them 2 chances) and me being off on occasion, I've got loads incomplete since the beginning of the term. I don't have my own classroom and teach all over the place, so even though I tell them which room to go to (it's always the same one) if I'm not there within 2 minutes, they give up and go. I've told them to wait, that I will turn up, but invariably I'm sitting on my own.

    So, do I have one BIG detention next week and clear them? Do I write them off and resolve to do better? It's really hard "booking" detentions with some kids because they've got them everywhere.
  7. It is so wonderful to hear someone say that.
    I spend a great deal of time putting together bright, jolly, interactive, differentiated, multi-media, all-singing-all-dancing lessons only to have them sabotaged by two children whose behaviour is beyond the Pale (out of a class of thirty, where another eight have various other special needs).
    I had a very mixed day again today- most of class lovely most of the time- but these two characters very draining. They do think they can get away with it because I work part-time, and while I will always carry out any sanctions I threaten, I am not there most of the week.
    I went to the Head today to let her know that child A had taken it upon himself to award himself good behaviour stickers on his chart that I had expressly not allowed (what use a chart that fibs?). Made the mistake of bursting into tears (oh, the frustration of a child that plain won't!) Knew as I walked into her study what support she would offer. Oh goody- she will observe me-(it doesn't have to be just the once, lucky me) to see what more I could be doing.
    I don't mind being observed- (if it could help it would be wonderful)- I am always well planned-up and prepared with those afore-mentioned bright, jolly etc. I just mind the implication that somehow the behaviour of these two is my fault, that something she can point out is lacking. It isn't, she can't, it's theirs, and it needs (in my mind at least) to be said : they, for their many reasons (poor parenting, deprivation, broken homes etc etc etc) behave very badly to many members of staff, show a lack of respect that I find jaw-dropping in eight year olds, need a firm hand and to be punished with something more effective than missing playtime. (Child A misses so many it is an occassion when he gets to have one. This is not down to me-as I said I am part-time, but missing play-time also has a huge detrimental effect on the lesson after, when an active little boy has not been able to run himself out.)
    What d'ya all think?
  8. I'm part-time too and I do think it makes a difference. You can't physically follow up everything as quickly as full-timers. I'm only off on Fridays, but we can't do detentions on a Monday (always 2 hours of inset or meetings until 5pm) and with random meetings called here and there as well, it's even more difficult to catch up with people.

    No help, but much sympathy.
  9. Likewise me dear. Chin up!
  10. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Sanctions don't have to be detentions. If someone plays you up on Friday or Monday when you can't give them a detention then give them the code of conduct or a lengthy document on the purpose of education to copy. Tell them if they hand it in on Tuesday they will avoid the detention you are going to overwise set them. This has the added bonus that you don't have to do the detention. At first some pupils won't do the copying but some will. I found the proportion who do they copying increased over time.
    Another thing I do are to give them a piece of squared paper and make them write a number in each square until both sides of it are all filled in.
    If you are willing to give up a free lesson then take them out of whatever lesson they are in when you are free and make them do some form of community service (cleaning graffiti off walls or scraping chewing gum off the bottom of tables etc) or just give them a really tedious boring lecture.
  11. casper

    casper New commenter

    If there is an environment where pupils know they will get away with it time and time again, they will play up. What about the pupils who have their lessons disturbed regularly? What about Every Child Matters?? Not just the ones who only want to show off answer back and challenge staff constantly.However engaging the lesson is.

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