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Help! The Dreaded Dip!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Nadine86, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. I am about three weeks into my second placement and I am absolutely miserable! My first placement was in a deprived area but the behaviour management system was excellent and I did not have much issues with pupils' behaviour. My second placement is also in a deprived area but the classes are a lot more difficult to manage.

    I try to stay optimistic and tell myself that I am not expected to be perfect but I get 'broken down' everyday by the children. I have been given very useful advice from my mentor but I am struggling to implement everything all at once. I just feel flustered and confused. I make a mistake in every single lesson that I teach! My lessons are awful because I am spending my time trying to get the class to be quiet. I passed all my observations in my first placement but I feel that I will not pass my first observation in this placement. I feel like a useless teacher and I feel like giving up. Help!
     
  2. puffinjen

    puffinjen New commenter

    Just try and stay positive and do your best with your observed lessons. Tutors take into account factors such as these and know that in the length of a placement students can't be expected to transform the behaviour of every class. I've had lessons before that I didn't think were great and have got a lot of praise from the tutor observing me - I've even been praised for my behaviour management when I felt like I'd done a terrible job because I couldn't get a certain pupil to sit and listen and do what they were supposed to do - my tutor could see what I was faced with and knew that even the most experienced teacher would have struggled.
    Take advice from your mentor one step at a time and ask your tutor to observe certain aspects of your lesson so you can show that you are progressing!
    Good luck!
     
  3. amarantine

    amarantine New commenter

    I am getting this too! Only my first placement was in a deprived area, and this one isn't - this is in a fairly affluent area. But that aside, I'm feeling EXACTLY the same as you :) I spent a whole year seven lesson on Tuesday getting the class to be quiet. Worked in the end, though, small victories, eh? Didn't do any work, but got the kids quiet! What subject are you, out of interest?
    I'm trying to think about the positives - I feel like I'm making mistakes in every lesson too, but I suppose I'll never learn if I don't make them! What I've found is that, rather than trying to implement everything all at once, I'll try a different technique with each class, and not try and do it all together! If you can get the class to be quiet for five minutes then you've achieved something! I find this school frustrating because at my last placement, the kids would be fine (if chatty) and then someone would chuck a chair across the room or something; here there is just LOADS of low-level disruption, kids chatting, refusing to work, saying they hate the subject and they arent taking it at GCSE anyway so they don't need to work in year 9...etc etc. SO frustrating.
    I bet your lessons aren't awful either, ok, it's hard to get the kids quiet so you don't get through everything you plan to, but I bet there are loads of positives too - do you have creative ideas? Good activities? Impressive time management? There WILL be something positive in every lesson. And I've found that trying to do everything all at once just doesn't work! Try working on different things each lesson; getting them quiet one lesson, getting them focussed another, getting them to stop messing about in another...and so on. You can do this!
     
  4. Thank you very much for all your support and advice. I feel a lot better and I don't feel so alone. I willl try to implement some of these strategies and I will let you know how next week goes!

    Thanks again
     
  5. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    lots of good advice here, good luck with it!

    Learning classroom management is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Do NOT take bad lessons personally, accept that on a placement you're fighting an uphill battle with limited tools over a short period of time. You ARE learning from those bad lessons even when it doesn't feel like it.

    One more thing - you will receive tons of advice, some good, some bad, lots of it contradictory. Trust your own instincts, follow the advice that makes sense to you, and eventually you will find your own teaching style.
     
  6. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    lots of good advice here, good luck with it!



    Learning classroom management is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Do NOT take bad lessons personally, accept that on a placement you're fighting an uphill battle with limited tools over a short period of time. You ARE learning from those bad lessons even when it doesn't feel like it.



    One more thing - you will receive tons of advice, some good, some bad, lots of it contradictory. Trust your own instincts, follow the advice that makes sense to you, and eventually you will find your own teaching style.
     
  7. Sounds like you are having a rough time. Im an NQT this year and currently at a challenging school with behaviour and I really struggled at the start even being really strict. I remember what it's like trying to manage classes and juggle the million other balls as a student teacher.
    You are not expected to be perfect yet, it took me a Term as an NQT to realise and accept that. Some techniques I use with my kids is loads of positive reinforcement (not something that comes naturally to me I promise you) even for small things like sitting down and getting a book out, showing you that they are ready. It does make a difference when i start throwing team points out its amazing how quiet the children are within 10 seconds, and remember it may well not be you if their behaviour wasn't great to start with u probably will have a tough time with them.
    Try not to get hung up on lessons or not getting things done, its frustrating but I dont always get through my whole lesson and I know extremely experienced teachers that dont either.
    Be strict but positive and relax, have faith in yourself and find what works for you. It may help or depress you but there is no miracle technique behaviour management is a constant battle, i'm told mines good but i'm still learning more and effective ways and as my mentor told me you always will be but stay positive, just focus on the end product...your class next year and the ability to implement your own ideas with them!
     
  8. Hi there, I am in my second year of teaching and I read your post. For me this year I have an absolutely fantastic class that I actually taught on my final placement 2 years ago. Even though they are a lovely class and enthusiastic about work they are sooo chatty. Sometimes I feel like they are really noisy and found myself spending time stopping the lesson and having to speak to them. By October half term I found a noise monitor (I think on TES). Before the children go off to do an activity we discuss what we think the noise level should be and someone puts the arrow on the correct noise level. Once they are working and they ignore the monitor, they have a warning and if they continue they miss 5 mins of playtime. THis will happen to begin with but they will get the message.
    I am sure if your lessons last year went well then this wont be a problem but ask yourself if the lessons are engaging, challenging and interesting. They are going to talk if they are not interested. I know i do in courses haha.
    Are your mistakes, mistakes in your subject knowledge or how you deal with the behaviour? You can only solve one of these at a time. Try observing other teachers in the school if you can. I know my behaviour management is a mish mash of me and people I have seen over the years. Remember you can't fail an observation you can only get targets and room for improvement.
    Chin up. Be Positive and take charge

     
  9. What you mean by you can't fail an observation?
     
  10. At my uni we have grades for observations
     

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