1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

HAS behaviour got worse?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by jubilee, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I am always polite, professional and respectful when waking into a class, whether I know the pupils or not.
    Many of the pupils I encounter on supply, however, arrive determined to be disrespectful for whoever will be replacing their permanent teacher that day. They see, me ( an unknown adult) walking down the corridor towards them and I hear the messages being sent down the line, telling evryone that it's a supply and organising their gameplans.
    No matter how well I acquit myself, I'm on a hiding to nothing with some classes.
    Pupils do need to at least give their teachers the benefit of the doubt, and due respect, before feeling entitled to withdraw co-operation in a lesson.
    The trouble is that many youngsters equate respect with fear. They respect the gang leader in their neighbourhood and the bullies in their school because they fear them and do not want to be targetted.
    They have no fear of their emasculated teachers or of their school's sanctions and so they have no respect for them.
    My definition of respect does not correlate with theirs.
    In many schools, SMT kow-tow to the most aggressive and disruptive pupils in a vain attempt to placate and transform them. They are simply embedding the rogue pupils sense of entitlement for 'business as usual' with irrelevant consequences.
    Until we, as teachers, can regain more autonomy in schools, the situation can only deteriorate.
    Education seems to have adopted the retail sector's mantra of 'The Customer Is Always Right'. Pupils are not our customers; they receive a free service from the system and they are CHILDREN! Their relationship to the adults in the system should be akin to that of an entry--level employee to their employer in the workplace.
    The power balance is crazily subverted in many schools. That's why behaviour is such a problem.
     
  2. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Well said Jubilee.
    Totally agree.
     
  3. Oh lol I've attracted the attention of the angry brigade in all their full-blown irrationality again. What makes me smile a little is the way the likes of Big Frank and Gary Conyers model the sort of disturbed agrressive behaviour that they presumably so deplore in pupils (from whatever vantage point in the police force or elsewhere that they choose to view education from!)
    Frank, what connection is there between the UK 2010 election result and 'deference'? Can't for the life of me see one. If you're suggesting that was the reason people chose the parties they voted for that seems pretty unlikely.
    Gary, pleased to hear you're now a proper policeman, good luck in the career. But if you think that nowadays many people genuinely 'respect' a police officer simply because of their occupation, with respect I think you're pretty off-beam there. Jubilee is right to say that people confuse 'respect' with 'compliance through fear', but I would expect readers here to understand the difference. The point being that compliance through fear, which was probably the main motivation for pupil behaviour in my own days as a pupil in the 1950s and 1960s (fear of physical abuse), is not for the majority a good context for learning. And the purpose of paying a teacher (supply or otherwise) a salary is not so they can have an easier time of it, but so the students will learn; Jubilee, I suggest you try to find a well-managed school with an effective and properly implemented behaviour policy. (There are lots of them around.)
     
  4. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Occasional commenter

    A very strong one.
    Though if you are unable to see that an individual secondary teacher cannot possibly spend his/her time gaining the respect [sic] of an ever varying selection of sets of individual pupils over a period of weeks and months, as you posted, then you are unlikely to notice this correlation.
     
  5. Yes indeed. Me too.
     
  6. But most teachers who encounter pupil misbehaviour and disrespect aren't expecting respect on the basis of their occupation. Much of the student behaviour that they complain about is actually disrespect for basic human rights: why should anyone have to put up with incessant verbal abuse, undermining and unco-operative behaviour for merely trying to do their job? Ok, so many kids don't want to be there; well, tough. How many employers would accept that as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour at work?
    'compliance through fear, which was probably the main motivation for pupil behaviour in my own days as a pupil in the 1950s and 1960s'
    What, you mean if there hadn't been a threat of physical punishement, you would have been as disruptive and unpleasant as any of the kids who get a bad press on this forum? So your 'good' behaviour wasn't based on 'respect for others'; just on fear? So have you ever examined your own motives for why you would have behaved badly? That's what the teachers on here are saying, or trying to get the opportunity to say: no, you DON'T have to 'earn' respect as a human being; you should be able to expect respect as a human being. They're not talking about kids who don't stand up when you come into the room, or who don't say 'yessir, nosir, sir if you please', etc. They're asking why these kids should think it's perfectly acceptable for them to abuse teachers verbally and disrupt the learning of their own colleagues.
    Oh, and if you think 'behaviour management' is a simple skill that can easily be learnt from reading a few books--- well, all I can say is: no, it isn't.
     
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    That's the least of my worries at the moment, with schools only wanting to pay CS rates, which I will not accept!
    I've sampled many schools in my county (at least 50 over the years) and am quite an expert on behaviour policies. I did indeed find a school whose policy I liked and I have done my best to let other schools know about their system. The thing I liked most about it was that there was a supervised exclusion room where puppils could be sent when they had exhausted the in-class quota of warnings. They stayed there for the remainder of that lesson only, so had the chance to to start the next lesson with a 'clean sheet'. The supervising teacher processed all the DT paperwork and booked them into a whole school detention later in the week.
    Teachers only had to supervise an after school DT a few times per term and this was massively helpful, in my opinion.
    The trouble was that I didn't notice the 'writing on the wall' for teachers who implemented the policy. When the school got an Improvement Partner because of low GCSE results, SMT wanted physical evidence of improvement. Over a coupe of years, the classroom sized exclusion room was reduced to create another office and then reduced again. It ended up having only 7 places for recalcitrant pupils which mmeant that if you sent out a pupil later in a lesson, there was no room for them and the spotlight fell on you, the teacher, for making the provision look inadequate.
    If every teacher continued to eject pupils according to the written policy, the system failed. The message was clear: be sparing in issuing warnings in class so that you rarely reached the stage of ejecting pupils! The paperwork would then indicate that you were a teacher with good classroom control and good behaviour!
    There are not lots of schools around with effective policies and manageable behaviour! There are lots of school with a paper trail that creates that impression.

     
  8. I believe that poor behaviour is normal for the majority of classes in the majority of English secondary schools.
    I love the way that when you started you wanted to intimidate people by making claims about ancient philosophers. Then it was about the scientific method. Now it is maths (or at least statistics).
    Perhaps you work in an environment where you only have to sound like you are familiar with a difficult sounding academic discipline in order to win an argument.
    You are not in that environment now. When I say "normal" I mean "typical, occuring regularly, unsurprising".
    I am not talking about sampling or normal distributions.
    The point is that your ridiculous argument that we ignore all personal accounts and rely on the scientific method would put all historians out of work. Obviously, I am not claiming that I have personally reviewed all relevant historical sources and had my conclusions published in a peer reviewed historical journal. That said, in my links on the first page of the thread I covered a lot more sources than you did, and mine were not misattributed.
     
  9. You do understand that although "showing respect to" can mean
    "displaying admiration for"
    or
    "worshipping"
    it can also mean
    "being polite to",
    "paying attention to",
    or
    "acknowledging the authority of".
    It is the latter forms of respect that I expect as a teacher, not the former.
    If I am old fashioned in thinking it wrong to show utter contempt for others then I am happy to be old fashioned.
     
  10. I amazed that people can lead succesful productive lives with such sloppy thinking. But that's my prejudice, not yours. What you actually mean, though, is that you assume that what you consider to be poor behaviour is normal in the classes you've heard about. Or, at least, the classes you've heard about that don't contradict your previously concieved and deeply ingrained hypothesis. You have absolutely no idea what happens in the majority of classrooms and nor can you.

    No, you're not. Your going on about what you reckon is the problem with the youth of today and expecting us all to take your ex cathedra pronouncements as authoritive statements, merely on your say so. Oh, and harping on about a quote that was peripheral to my point to begin with and which I later retracted.
    My point is that you should be. Or, at least, you should be if you expect to make any meaniful contribution to the problem (yes, in my opinion, it is a problem).

    Really done now. If I've not addressed any particular point, assume I found it so tangential to the issue that I couldn't figure out what you were driving at. Again, my problem, not yours.
     
  11. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    JamesTES,
    thank you for your kind words. You misunderstand, I am not currently a 'proper policeman' (your words) but still a PCSO. I used to be a Police Constable, was for nearly 2 years, hence being able to relevently discuss police officers' experiences from personal experience. (I left for family reasons, loved the job but my family comes first).
    You have an interesting interpretation of my views.
    I am not angry with you, nor do I think I am 'disturbed' or showing 'aggressive behaviour'. Quite the opposite. I don't think you have enough of an idea of what your own opinions are (you are vague when asked about specifics, and evasive when asked about your experiences) to see you as worth bothering aboutnever mind caring enough about you to be 'angry'. Sorry, you're not significant enough for me to have any emotions except perhaps pity.
    You ignored my question (again). Ie:
    1. JamesTES, can you now specifically explain what "effective sanctions that would also be consistently enforced" are?
    Seriously, what, in your opinion are "effective sanctions"?
    Also :
    2. what real-life experience do you have of having to use behaviour management with children?

    You know my answers to both questions - I have stated them enough. I can repeat them if you wish, but would like you to answer them to try to give yourself some credibility at least. Then I might take you seriously enough to care about anything you say and not dismiss your posts. (I can't even say your opinions yet).
     
  12. You don't know how deeply ingrained my hypothesis is. Perhaps I was very sceptical about it until the weight of evidence became overwhelming. Even the anecdotal evidence is hard to explain away, the state of desperation you have gotten yourself into with your denialism is enough to suggest that.
    That said, if you are going to make a claim about what happens in classes rooms now that isn't a historical comparison then it becomes very easy to get hold of imperfect but overwhelming evidence of The Behaviour Crisis. I collected some of it here.
    You are the one who has tried to convince us with your mastery of philosophy, science and statistics. I have told you what I think. I may be wrong, anybody could be, but you haven't come close to explaining how, and you have done a very good job of illustrating which one of us has paid most attention to the evidence.
     
  13. joedoggyuk

    joedoggyuk New commenter

    Jubilee,
    This forum has no "like" button for posts, but if it did, I would have hit that button on your post, I would have hit that button hard.
     
  14. purple sparkle

    purple sparkle New commenter

    <font size="2">Well I have only been teaching for 2 years and yes I believe behaviour has got worse. I left 6th form and went to University myself in 2005 and behaviour was nowhere near as bad in school even then as it is on the whole now. I myself however, used to be the pupil who got the good school reports, good grades and excellent behaviour certificates but was bullied as a result of this. However, I remember bad behaviour did exist but as a pupil I never witnessed anything as bad as it can be now.</font><font size="2">I have found that behaviour is worse in some schools more than other schools. I have found that on supply. At selective grammar schools in Lincolnshire, behaviour as you might expect is fantastic on the whole. They listen when told to do so and do not disrupt in anyway. However, in the inner city comps or the comprehensives on council estates behaviour always tends to be much worse on the whole. When I first started teaching I just couldn&rsquo;t figure these naughty kids out. I remember talking to them when I kept them back for detention about it and encouraging good behaviour and turning it around before it is too late and they end up not achieving what they are capable of. The problem was however, these kids came from backgrounds where parents were on benefits and had never worked. Education was not valued and the kids just used to tell me they didn&rsquo;t care. You can&rsquo;t blame some of the kids from being horrid though because you hear them talk about dad in prison, mum bringing loads of blokes back etc. Bad behaviour stems from home initially and other kids where they have a decent home life are influenced by peer pressure.</font><font size="2">My last school I worked at full time had no discipline procedures in place which were effective. We had the student voice and the head used to invite pupils into his office to discuss any issues with any teachers they didn&rsquo;t like. The head was on the students&rsquo; sides not the teachers&rsquo;. The students&rsquo; even threatened to tell the head if they thought you were being unfair for minor things such as taking their Ipod as it was against their student rights. I think a head should obviously respect his/her students but should also support his/her teachers and ensure that they are supported with any behaviour issues. It should not be one sided&hellip;it is getting silly. Where are your rights as a teacher to be able to teach a class and be able to have the back up so disruptive behaviour is kept to a minimum? </font><font size="2">Also as an NQT at this school the staff also tried to blame me for the disruptive behaviour. They never blamed the kids and my mentor tried to tell me it was MY fault not theirs as they couldn&rsquo;t help it. I was told that at this particular school relationships were key apparently and the vast majority of the kids refused to let you teach them by being as naughty and disruptive if they did not like you or didn&rsquo;t find your lessons interesting. If you tried to enforce any discipline (as I did, I had expectations) they did not like you there. I remember saying to her &ldquo;well they don&rsquo;t need to like your teacher to learn from them, at the end of the day it is the students&rsquo; responsibility to a degree to behave and learn as it is their future not the teachers&rdquo;. I related this to my own experience, like all of you I had teachers that I didn&rsquo;t like but I still listened and tried my best. She just told me the kids weren&rsquo;t like that in this school and that you needed to gain their trust and respect otherwise they wouldn&rsquo;t learn. I just found it hard to get to grips with this point of view and still haven&rsquo;t. I would like to add however, in every other school I have been in, the kids have not shared the point of view of the kids at this school and will let you teach them regardless of if they liked you or not on the whole. I am still confused entirely by the views of the kids at this particular school. Anybody else experienced a school where the vast majority of kids have this view? Any psychologists around to explain this mindset to me?</font> I also remember having to send letters out to parents for students who had been disrespectful and disruptive in one year 10 class. I just told them that their son/daughter was bright and very able but unfortunately their behaviour was letting them down. I just asked for parental back up if possible. Parent&rsquo;s evening come and rather than support me I was hammered by most of the parent&rsquo;s concerned. One parent even said &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not being funny love but respect has to be earned&rdquo;. Obviously there was no way that their angel could have been naughty. What has happened to teaching your child to respect any one older than them?
     
  15. purple sparkle

    purple sparkle New commenter

    <font size="2">Well I have only been teaching for 2 years and yes I believe behaviour has got worse. I left 6th form and went to University myself in 2005 and behaviour was nowhere near as bad in school even then as it is on the whole now. I myself however, used to be the pupil who got the good school reports, good grades and excellent behaviour certificates but was bullied as a result of this. However, I remember bad behaviour did exist but as a pupil I never witnessed anything as bad as it can be now.</font><font size="2"> </font><font size="2">I have found that behaviour is worse in some schools more than other schools. I have found that on supply. At selective grammar schools in Lincolnshire, behaviour as you might expect is fantastic on the whole. They listen when told to do so and do not disrupt in anyway. However, in the inner city comps or the comprehensives on council estates behaviour always tends to be much worse on the whole. When I first started teaching I just couldn&rsquo;t figure these naughty kids out. I remember talking to them when I kept them back for detention about it and encouraging good behaviour and turning it around before it is too late and they end up not achieving what they are capable of. The problem was however, these kids came from backgrounds where parents were on benefits and had never worked. Education was not valued and the kids just used to tell me they didn&rsquo;t care. You can&rsquo;t blame some of the kids from being horrid though because you hear them talk about dad in prison, mum bringing loads of blokes back etc. Bad behaviour stems from home initially and other kids where they have a decent home life are influenced by peer pressure.</font> Sorry for long post.
     
  16. 'I&rsquo;m not being funny love but respect has to be earned'
    This is the kind of thing that makes me lose faith in the concept of universal literacy. People like this latch onto some cliche like the above, but never seem to develop the concept of reciprocality: if respect has to be earned, why aren't THEY behaving in a way that would gain MY respect? Or teaching their kids to?

     
  17. Anyway, just because I don't respect you - it does NOT mean I am entitled to be rude to you.
    They are 2 different things. You can be polite to anyone and everyone - even if you don't know them at all. And all of us know how to be polite in meetings or transactions with people we have no respect for.
    Students can do the same.
     
  18. I was discussing something similar to this on " Have Your Say" at the weekend. I am so glad someone else has the same thoughts. I always point out to my pupils that courtesy has nothing to do with respect and that respect is in fact a given , very easily lost and not regained.
    I would also like to bring up another of those herrings that seem to affect behaviour these days, that is the idea that behaviour is somehow divorced from the person who commits the act, most often found in statements like " that behaviour was silly" rather than "you are silly". Well I am sorry but I do not hold with this. As far as others ( you and I the onlooker ) are concerned a person is their behaviour. You cannot divorce one from another and by trying to do so all we get is some daft notion where kids think its OK to be silly, they just have to apologize ( which is never meant) and it has no affect on who they think they are or how they think they are perceived. Well I think it does. I tell the kids " Silly is as silly does". You would be amazed at how much more my classes do as they are told and conform to the rules in my classes since I started shooting this stuff from the hip. Occasionally you get some child who is full of themselves and their rights and says " You cant say that to me" . I retort " Yes I can because it is the truth and anyway I just did" Sometimes I ask them to justify why they think they cannot be told honestly how their behaviour affects others and why they think anything I have said cannot be said. They make themselves look foolish often. Sometimes I just tell them that if they do not like being spoken to by me that way then they should treat me as they want to be treated because I want to be treated nicely too. They get the message. I think we all have to find ways of dealing with behaviour that suit our own personalities and our classes. You cannot win them all but you can win more than you lose if you ditch much of the educational received wisdom in favour of rea life answers - How would you treat anyone else ( not a child in class) if they said or did that? Well then - why treat the pupils differently?
    Oh, and I agree behaviour has gotten far worse and is continuing to get worse. Until we t each our classes good manners and some of these social skills which are so apparently lacking things will continue to get worse. Many children need a good dose of reality. Cocooning them in a world where they are never naughty its just their behaviour or where they are never rude, its just what they say, is not very helpful in my view.
     
  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Great post, ellegrace!


     
  20. http://www.bonzawebsites.com/bill_gates_talks_to_teenagers.htm


    I'm not a great fan of Bill Gates, but I liked this and thought it relevant to this thread.
     

Share This Page