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Disruptive GCSE girls

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by KB2015, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. KB2015

    KB2015 New commenter

    Hello all, I am looking for some advice as I seem to have been abandoned by SLT and expected to solve this problem on a classroom level.

    I took over the GCSE class in my training year. I spent time observing them prior to me taking them over and I have to admit they were wild. The class were primarily female, low ability girls who looking at their history were disruptive in every lesson. Once i took them over I implemented my three rules and over time I got the majority of the students to follow the rules. Coursework thrived and I was proud of the progress the students had made.

    Lessons are rarely perfect but I make sure to apply all rules consistently and follow the schools behavior policies. I give students choices and I repeat instructions. I would like to think my exam lessons are engaging. However, four girls in my classroom seem to have developed a misbehavior. I expect it off two of the girls who are rarely in my lesson due to isolation ect. The other two I am usually able to redirect. For the last few lessons since we returned from half-term they have completed little or no work, They have headphones in even though I have a policy of not entering the classroom with them on. They simply put them on after and refuse to hand them over. They completely ignore me. They disrupt the rest of the class by dancing and singing around the room, putting make-up on, shouting ect. With these girls I feel like I have tried everything. I have rang home to parents but there is no support at home at all. I constantly remove the girls from my lesson but there is no further punishment. I seem to spend every day I have them chasing them up because they have failed to turn up for detentions. Even when I have them before a break, they just run out of the classroom.

    Overall, they are disrupting my lesson and sanctions are having no affect. SLT have been in to observe the girls as I raised serious concerns and they said that if I carry on implementing the schools behaviour policies the girls will change. However, the girls now seem to enjoy what they see as the game we play every lesson of warnings that always lead to them being sent out. I have attempted to ignore the behaviour but they see this as a free pass and carry on regardless. Restorative conversations seem to work 1:1 and then in the next lesson we have the same issue.

    I feel like I have tried everything. I have worked hard to make sure I am doing the best for these girls and enrolled and implemented Paul Dix's behaviour strategies and they seem to have no effect.

    My question/plea to you is what do I do next? SLT are leaving this in my hands. Do I carry on sending them out every lesson? I need some advice because at the moment I feel like I'm a terrible teacher and these girls are going to fail and the blame will fall at my feet.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    This reminds me of this cartoon:
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I don't know why society feels it is the teacher's fault if the pupil refuses to learn. Pupils deserve encouragement and support, but surely, ultimately, it should be up to them to take responsibility for their learning?

    Are you currently an NQT? If you feel that SLT are not supporting you, can you contact your union for advice?
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You can't turn water into wine and perform miracles despite all of The things you have tried and it sounds as though you have tried everything. Without the support of your SLT you are in a difficult situation since you have used every sanction within your authority and a higher decision make needs to be involved. Go to your HoD and explain your concerns, that you have gone through every strategy bit the girls are choosing to continue to be off task, but it seems like all you are going to be able to do is to continue to send them out since you have the rest of the class to consider. Don't forget they have freewill and they are choosing to be sent out. Maybe a night out sleeping on the street because they can't get work because they don't have any qualifications would focus their attention.
  5. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    What subject do you teach? Do you think there is a way to spark their interest? You say they put on make-up, well, if you're a History teacher could your starter involve the history of make-up? This might win them around or try something to make them feel like they'd be missing out. Maybe send them out just as their interest peaks. I'm not sure how flexible your planning can be... However, it does seem like you've already tried hard enough.

    I would keep a diary of their behaviour and actions in every class (if you're not already) and after a week or two's worth of entries, take it back to show them.

    If all else fails, contact your Union?
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Though I agree with the above posters, it appears that you have tried these already and without success. A more pertinent question would be
    "How can I get SLT to demonstrate the correct behaviour?"
    If you have followed the behaviour system and sent them out correctly then keep this up. Sooner or later SLT will have to accept this strict and correct approach and act to stop these 4 from clogging up the disciplinary system. It takes a step up in determination to take this approach but it is better in the long run than accepting this disruption.

    As a Union Rep myself, I'm not sure about union involvement. Certainly if you came to me at my school I would have a quiet word with the relevant SLT and hopefully be able to nudge them in the right direction. However our SLT are very supportive with discipline and generally approachable so really I'd be an unnecessary middle-man.

    Tragically, unapproachable SLT tend to drive off any school reps and an outside one has very limited scope for action (though it's still worth asking), their options are really only trying to rouse ALL members in the school to taking (or convincingly threatening) industrial action over these 4 and that is very difficult in this current climate.

    Jack Cazorla
    Author of How to be a Cover Supervisor
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    They want a scapegoat if they fail so that they don't have to admit they tried and failed. It's pretty common behaviour about this time of year as the panic of actually having to sit an exam that matters kicks in. Can you catch them in success at any point and build on that? It's hard but if you can possibly break up the routine of misbehave, get sent out, have an excuse for not understanding then you might have a chance to get back on track.
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    More experienced teachers than you will have learned not to flag up the impossibility of getting certain pupils to behave.
    Stop sending them out for poor behaviour and SLT will assume that things have settled down and that is, sadly, what you need to do if it's going to affect you passing Induction otherwise.

    I'd be looking at other tactics to remove them when they are being obnoxious. For instance, leave some resource or other in the staff room (something that you don't actually need). Send one of the misbehaving girls to get it when you can see her playing up. Don't worry if she takes ages to come back!

    The girls' learning may well not progress but their absence from the class should have benefits for the learning of the others.
  9. MrsBM

    MrsBM New commenter

    You mentioned trying to get SLT support, but do you have a HoD or PGCE mentor? I would expect the HoD to be your first port of call and they should then be sorting out support for you. Is there any other teacher who has any success with the girls? If so, you could ask them for support. As previously suggested, you should log all the problems and also ensure that you log and communicate your concerns and actions to parents, form tutors, pastoral team, HOD, as well as SLT - that way when the results come through, you will be able to back up that you did all you reasonably could. Could your colleagues support you by taking these girls out of your lessons? I once had a similar issue and arranged with a group of colleagues that the girls would be split up among them with work to do already prepared. As soon as one started to misbehave, she was escorted to one of the colleagues, then the same happened with the others, but always one by one. It split the group up and once the leaders were out of the way, the others were easier to get refocused. Once the group realised they would be split and put with other classes away from their peers, they gradually decided they would prefer to stay in my lesson. It does depend upon supportive and strong colleagues, though. It is very tough for you, and I wish you luck!
    sabrinakat likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Skip all the warnings, choices, restorative conversations, etc, etc.
    Your room, your rules, your sanctions.

    Rule 1. Do not hurt anyone (including yourself)
    Rule 2: Do not destroy property (including work)
    Rule 3: Do not stop people learning (including yourself)

    The very moment they start to break one of these rules, in any minor or major way, they get a very stern reminder of the rule and consequence.
    If they carry on, they get sent out to wherever your school sends them. No ifs, no buts, no maybes, just gone.
    They will either be behaving how you wish in the lesson or be out of the room, leaving you free to teach. Do not allow them to dictate how the lesson goes.
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If only that were possible in some schools!
    One of my past schools used to have an exclusion room that took over 20 pupils. Pupils stayed for the duration of the lesson that they were excluded from.
    Then, in order to show the school improvement partner that behaviour was improving the room was partitioned and half became an office. Once the new exclusion room was full, the remaining pupils excluded from lessons were sent back, with no data entered that they'd ever arrived at the exclusion room. The following year the exclusion room was sub-divided again and had room for only 7 pupils per lesson.
    Teachers stopped sending pupils out once they were more than 10 minutes into a lesson because having the disruptive (smirking)pupil sent back was a signal for all wavering pupils in the lesson to start playing up with impunity!
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The OP did seem to imply they remove children from the classroom anyway. I'm just suggesting they do it earlier in the lesson to prevent disruption.

    Had the OP posted that there was no-one who cared, no-where to send anyone and a hopeless case, I'd simply recommend they find another school.
  13. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Have you called in the parents for a 'chat' about their child's disruptive behaviour in the classroom and how it is not only affecting their own future exam success but eveyone else's too?
  14. KB2015

    KB2015 New commenter

    HI all,

    Thank you for your advice. I thought I would update and maybe brag slightly.

    With a still unsupportive SLT and behavior policy I feel like I have hammered the girls into submission. The girls were still being sent out every lesson but I took the advice and placed them all in their own room. My very supportive HoD would supervise and we are seriously lucky that we have a lot of empty rooms when I have that particular class.

    After a few lessons the girls realised they were missing out as I made sure that exam preparation was as practical and as get up and move about as I could possibly make it. I am now down to only the two ringleaders who still misbehave regularly.

    I have put in place with my HoD 1:1 support outside of lessons but the rest of the class are now flying and I can see that they are actually going to succeed at the finish line. Weight off my shoulder.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Well done to you and thanksmfor the update as it ismhelpful to know what people have tried and what worked and what did not.

    You are in a very good position that you and HOD were able to work as a team and your HOD helped.

    It is marvelous to know your class is flying now and they have the right to do so - the actions of two students should not be allowed to drag everyone else down.

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