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Help! how can I keep control and respect of groups of children

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Jankins, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. I have a voluntary placement in a primary school in a year 1 class. I thought I had built a good rapport with the children by being helpful, friendly, praising the good and encouraging them to do better. I seem to be fairly popular with the children and they want me to work with their group however I find that when working with a group they always seem to be unruly, distracting each other and all wanting my attention at once, I do not feel in control. I have tried to follow advice of not becoming a 'friend' to the children I do act professionally at all times. I need some practical tips on what to say or do to keep control. This week one child actually prodded my arm with the point of a pencil to get my attention.I am starting to think I dont have the respect, its very hard when you are not a member of staff and therefore do not have any power in relation to sanctions. Any tips would be much appreciated I am back in class on Wednesday and I am determined to have a better day!.
     
  2. I have a voluntary placement in a primary school in a year 1 class. I thought I had built a good rapport with the children by being helpful, friendly, praising the good and encouraging them to do better. I seem to be fairly popular with the children and they want me to work with their group however I find that when working with a group they always seem to be unruly, distracting each other and all wanting my attention at once, I do not feel in control. I have tried to follow advice of not becoming a 'friend' to the children I do act professionally at all times. I need some practical tips on what to say or do to keep control. This week one child actually prodded my arm with the point of a pencil to get my attention.I am starting to think I dont have the respect, its very hard when you are not a member of staff and therefore do not have any power in relation to sanctions. Any tips would be much appreciated I am back in class on Wednesday and I am determined to have a better day!.
     
  3. When I have had a volunteer in my classroom I expect them to recieve the same respect from the children as any paid adult would and in turn they are expected to remind chn of the correct behaviour as would any paid adult. That said, you need to clarify with the class teacher if they are happy for you to do so. You should also follow their strategies for behaviour management.
    As for a child prodding me with a pencil, I would not immediately engage with them and when I did I would tell them calmly and firmly that that is not the way to get anyone's attention and that you know they will not do it again, then model to them what you expect, i.e. excuse me Miss x, please can you help me bla de bla! Then as soon as they do it, give them big smiley attention as the reward for the respect they have shown you.
    Sometimes when working with a group they can all want to talk at the same time, I simply raise both hands and say "STOP, I can only listen to one lovely voice at a time, so raise your hand when you want to say something so that I can be a good listener to what you have to say."
    As for them distracting others, just let them know that you do not like this sort of behaviour, show a disappointed face, or tell them that it disappoints you.
    But, the fact you are aware of the situation, keen to address it and willing to try some new ideas is great. Being able to reflect on practise and make necessary changes will help you be successful in the classroom.
    Hope Wednesday goes well and you get lots more practical tips too. [​IMG]
     
  4. When I have had a volunteer in my classroom I expect them to recieve the same respect from the children as any paid adult would and in turn they are expected to remind chn of the correct behaviour as would any paid adult. That said, you need to clarify with the class teacher if they are happy for you to do so. You should also follow their strategies for behaviour management.
    As for a child prodding me with a pencil, I would not immediately engage with them and when I did I would tell them calmly and firmly that that is not the way to get anyone's attention and that you know they will not do it again, then model to them what you expect, i.e. excuse me Miss x, please can you help me bla de bla! Then as soon as they do it, give them big smiley attention as the reward for the respect they have shown you.
    Sometimes when working with a group they can all want to talk at the same time, I simply raise both hands and say "STOP, I can only listen to one lovely voice at a time, so raise your hand when you want to say something so that I can be a good listener to what you have to say."
    As for them distracting others, just let them know that you do not like this sort of behaviour, show a disappointed face, or tell them that it disappoints you.
    But, the fact you are aware of the situation, keen to address it and willing to try some new ideas is great. Being able to reflect on practise and make necessary changes will help you be successful in the classroom.
    Hope Wednesday goes well and you get lots more practical tips too. [​IMG]
     
  5. Thank you so much for the tips I will definitely use them. Sometimes I find that no matter how much you train for this role the course work never seems to cover practical help, or demonstrates through role play how to deal with different situations, so your help is much appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  6. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    I agree with previous poster about explaining why you can't listen to more than one person at a time - and therefore you need hands up so that you can choose one person at a time to speak. Only listen to one child at a time - choose one who has a hand up. Ignore anything from a child who does not have their hand up. Make sure you give them all a turn though - so that they see an incentive for waiting with their hand up. I also agree with previous poster about speaking to the teacher to agree behaviour strategies. Perhaps after a verbal warning, you could send a repeating offender back to the classroom where they will have to explain to the teacher why they are back. You could even create a "charter" for the children in your group. Discuss with them what the rules should be (e.g. listen to the person who is speaking), type it up and get them to sign it. Read through it at the start of each group (at least until you feel that the problems has been resolved). Hope some of this may help - and good luck!
     
  7. Works well in both KSs: praise the one child who is doing the right thing.
    "Well done X, you put up your hand." - everyone else stops shouting and puts up their hand to get a bit of praise...
    "Well done Y you are sitting beautifully on the carpet." - everyone else suddenly sits up and puts fingers on lips.
    "Well done Z class, you are the best line on the playground"- other classes shuffle into their lines. (works less well with Y6 though.)

    Listen to good teachers and copy them... that's what I do.
     

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