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Help with behaviour issues when doing supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by broadshoulders, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. broadshoulders

    broadshoulders New commenter

    Hi all,
    I mainly cover year 4 and year 5 at different schools on a day to day basis. In most schools I have found that the students find it hard to listen when I am explaining their task. It is annoying as they can listen when a TA is in the room as soon as the TA leaves they chat or fidget.
    I follow the same behaviour policy that the school has but it does not seem to work.
    In one school they were a nightmare until I got another adult in that worked at the school and then the children got a visit from the deputy head. The whole afternoon they worked really well. Its so frustrating as I feel i should be able to get them to do as they are told without the intervention of other staff.
    Any ideas of what I can do on a day to day basis.
    Thanks
     
  2. broadshoulders

    broadshoulders New commenter

    Hi all,
    I mainly cover year 4 and year 5 at different schools on a day to day basis. In most schools I have found that the students find it hard to listen when I am explaining their task. It is annoying as they can listen when a TA is in the room as soon as the TA leaves they chat or fidget.
    I follow the same behaviour policy that the school has but it does not seem to work.
    In one school they were a nightmare until I got another adult in that worked at the school and then the children got a visit from the deputy head. The whole afternoon they worked really well. Its so frustrating as I feel i should be able to get them to do as they are told without the intervention of other staff.
    Any ideas of what I can do on a day to day basis.
    Thanks
     
  3. Hi,
    I feel your pain! I've been doing supply since September, and I've certainly found myself in the same situation. I'm sure that people with much more experience than me will have some excellent advice for you. (I'm looking forward to reading the advice!) Try not to get down about it - pupils always try it on with supply teachers.
    I would say that it's important to set out your expectations straight away and have definite consequences. I've got a tricky Yr3 class that I have now and then - the headteacher told me that the class teacher deserves a medal! At first, I let some small things go, but this proved to be a mistake. I now give out warning cards as soon as someone calls out, and keep them all in for some time at break if they are too noisy during independent work. I don't say anything, but I start to build a tower from blocks - each block is one minute off playtime. (Not so good if you have them last lesson!!) If I really have to, I will send an individual to another class to work. I also praise good behaviour as soon as I see it, and try to give out a reward as soon as possible. I do send pupils to the headteacher with good work if I feel they have made a real effort and the headteacher will be amenable. Might not work with Year 5 and 6 (!) but I have a good behavoiur bear who sits on tables that are following the class rules.
    TA's can be amazingly helpful, but don't let them undermine you, as I think that makes the kids worse - they feel that you are not in charge. Don't know if this is at all useful - I'm a newbie!

     
  4. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    I always go through the class/school rules with the class as soon as I get in there. I tell them that I expect these things of them in exactly the same way as their class teacher does. I also tell them that I will be leaving a message for the class teacher and that I will mention people who I have seen following the rules and behaving appropriately. I have also drawn up a quick chart on the board where I have promised the class a reward for the end of the day (stickers, 10 minutes playing class games etc) I then break the day up into sections and tick off each section where they have behaved appropriately as a class.
    What I find helps most though is to get the children to wear name labels. It's much easier to manage behaviour when you can call children by their name.
     
  5. I often use my own reward system as well as the school one.
    I often give raffle tickets for good behaviour, being helpful or good effort. Children write their names on the back of the ticket - put in a box. At the end of the day I pull out 3 names - each child chooses a small prize from my prize box (pound shop bargains).
    It can be an effective way of getting the kids on task quickly, as they want the raffle tickets. (Sometimes I think they enjoy the praise more than the prize!). You can use it to encourage group cooperation too - "well done blue table - you have all earned a raffle ticket for working well as a group to tidy up".
    Other than that it is being very firm - calm and consistent. Name labels help as you can praise the children who are listening "well done Bethany - I can see you are ready to listen", which often acts as a nudge to those who are not listening.
    You also have to establish a presence in the classroom - walk tall, pretend you are confident even if you're not.
    I find that using humour can help, along with firm and consistent boundaries. I am very firm on my first day of supply with a new class - children will miss play time if they are not following school expectations. I've then found on my next visit the children know the boundaries and don't test you so much.

     
  6. I think I stole the raffle ticket idea from you! (I certainly found it here on the TES). I found it was brilliant. I only had to move towards the book of raffle tickets and every child sat down with their finger on their lips. One school told me (politely) that it didn't fit in with their policies and they weren't happy about giving prizes, so I've been cautious now about using it in new schools, and always check first, but it really does work.
     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Think it may have been me I certainly have been using it since 2004 when I met it in a school I worked at.
    Solution I use: is the agreement that the ticket is to be 'exchanged' fror whichever reward system they use within that school. i put on my pro-forma feedback sheets that whoever hands in a raffle ticket is to be awarded the appropriate reward for their class/school etc.
     
  8. Yes, I think you are right Lara! It's certainly a great system. That's a good suggestion....
     
  9. I work in Primaries. I use my own reward system - Mr. P's Table points competition. I always spend 5-10 mins talking to them about how it works at the start of the day - it is always time well spent. I show them my mystery tin, shake it, and tell them that everyone on the winning table will get a lucky dip at hometime. Depending on the healthiness of the school (!), I fill it with little sweet treats (haribo, maoam, lollies) or cheap and cheerful bits (rubbers, gel pens, pencils, bubbles). If i am doing y1 or 2, I substitute a table of the day certificate. And I always make sure that the children know that their class teacher is going to hear about which table has worked the best.
    I have a collection of coloured laminated cards. I select a colour for each table and, using a whiteboard pen, go round the class and note down the names of the children who sit at that particular table. This, incidentally, is a really easy way to remind yourself of table and children's names when you have forgotten one, as you can quickly check the cards during the day. I also have another laminated card with spaces for the table names and a tally chart for points. I tell the children that when I ask them to do something I am looking for the best table.
    I then show them where i will stick the cards. And to watch to see which card is put up first (and in the highest position), to see who gets the most points. Once they see me pick up the cards, they soon realise that everyone on their table needs to be ready to win points, and they soon sort each other out. Make the cards colourful and big. Once the children are all sitting quietly, praise the quickest table, write down the points on the tally chart, and continue the lesson. Leave the cards stuck up there till you need them again.
    The tables can win points for being: the first table ready (5pts), 2nd (3pts) 3rd (2pts) etc... , working the hardest, getting ready for PE fastest, sitting really well during assembly. In addition, individuals can win pts for their table by: having good ideas, presenting work well, or any other good behaviour you want to encourage. (You can use this to manipulate the tally chart to even out vast innequalities if Red table are always ready first and the other tables are feeling they have no chance)
    It works brilliantly. As soon as your noisy line hears you say "Well done Penelope, you are doing just what I asked, that is a point for the Giraffes" - instant silent well behaved line - MAGIC! I reckon it costs me an average of £1 a day. If i am doing several
    days, I announce the winners at the end of my time with the class and do the lucky dip then. The only difficulty is when children sit on different tables for maths/litereacy. I solve this by giving all children who have spent any lesson sitting with the winning table a dip in the tin.
    I have no problems with behaviour at any of the schools i teach at, and i have yet to teach in a school I haven't been asked back to. It might seem cumbersome, but it explaining it just takes the time you would spend introducing yourself to the class anyway. And it makes your time with the class a pleasure. The kids absolutely love it. The laminated cards, treat tin and a white board pen are all you need.
    SP





     
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Absolutely brilliant idea. Thanks! One more to add to my repertoire. I've used similar systems when a school already uses one but never got myself organised like you have. So some time needed to prepare the laminated sheets!
     
  11. This might work if you are in the same class all day, However Resources are down to the school if they are short they need to be supplied, we can't claim for equipment so why provide it?
    In a mixed ability class where students are not actually all facing front making this type of eye contact is not possible, unless of course you are going to spend the lesson doing it as an exercise?
    Sounds like an "Ideal World Book" to be honest, is this person still teaching or is it another case of "this is what I think you should do now I'm out of it".
    Whoever it is he seems to have mised the first rule "let your presence be known". Your initial impact on the class makes the difference. By the time you have made your check list the class/day is over.
     
  12. Well I pinched it from someone else Lara. I only adapted it.

    SP
     
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I personally don't give a sh*t who resources are down to, or if the school has a 'no lending pens/pencils' rule either. I need the group to settle to work asap and if that means I carry a bag of 5p pencils with me to lend out then so be it. Pragmatic thinking.

    Another tip I'd add is make sure you speak to every child individually and ask them if they know what they have to do. To ensure this, I fill in the register sheet one by one with each child rather than shouting all their names out in a list. I find It helps to personalise it, and undermines any negative group dynamic they have going. It also takes you into their space instead of hiding behind the teacher's desk. There are many ways to fill a room, and walking all around it is one of them.
     

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