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Hit rock bottom after having chewing gum thrown at me

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by s4mm13, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Just as the title says really.
    I had chewing gum thrown at me today by a year 10 boy. He only confessed it was him when he was removed, along with two other likely candidates, by SLT after a support call had been made.
    This wasn't even the first time today I had something thrown at me, which hit me in the head... The verbal abuse I can just about handle, but this is completely different and becomming more and more regular.
    Feel like I've hit rock bottom and feel completely worthless as a teacher.
    This school is really taking it out of me :eek:(
  2. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Poor you. Is it your first year in a new school? Or your first year of teaching?
    It's the summer holiday soon!
  3. I'm an NQT who's been at this school since April.
    4 weeks today!!
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Sorry to hear about your experience of having gum thrown at you. Please do not feel worthless as none of this is your fault. The behaviour in some schools is actually <u>appalling</u>. Do not take the verbal abuse: you have rights and the school has a duty of care towards you. The students need to be disciplined and the parents informed. Stand your ground: at the first hint of misbehaviour send them out. Do
    not take one speck of disrespect or bad manners ... if they step out of
    line then they are out of your class.Do not accept the verbal abuse. You do not need to shout: just explain quite firmly what your expectations are and they are non-negotiable. If they are abusive, then they have to leave your room.Of course the strategies will not work if you do not have the backup of SLT.
    I have worked in some really horrible places and I have worked in some great schools where the students are polite, kind, friendly and hard working.The point I am making is that there are nice schools as well as the bad ones.
    Are you in a position to look for a job anywhere in the country? Perhaps you could find a new school- somewhere where the people are decent human beings if the SLT are unwilling/unable to take charge of the misbehaviour in their school. I know jobs are thin on the ground, but maybe you could bide your time there until you find somewhere better. There are some schools where the behaviour you describe would not be tolerated.
    Whatever you do, please do not feel worthless.

  5. Thank you so much for your reply pepper5.
    Unfortunately due to my partner being self employedyed, I'm restricted to the areas in which I can apply. I already travel over an hour each way for this position as I couldn't secure a position closer to home.
    I've always got my eyes peeled for other positions as I only need top give 4 weeks notice as I'm on a maternity contract.
    I posted previously about troublesome students and how SLT and even the Head are unable to do anything about it. Parents have been called to collect their child and left without them as they have refused to leave and the school had been powerless!! And I'm talking about violent students...
    I do have the odd good day and some lovely students who go a long way to make up for all the difficulties, but I'm really starting to doubt my ability to teach.
    I've been told by previous colleagues that I'm a good teacher and good at what I do, but in this place I feel inadequate, incompetent and rubbish at my job. If I manage to get through my final 2 NQT assessment it will be a miracle.
  6. spiderwomen

    spiderwomen New commenter

    I'm a primary teacher and I don't know how secondary teachers cope. I have the utmost respect for all secondary teachers- I personally think it is harder than policing! If a policeman/women is attacked they can prosecute. A teacher who is maltreated can do nothing! Though people talk about consistency in implementing behavior policies, it only really helps once you've gained the respect of the children. Gaining that respect is key, especially in your first year in a tough school. Try power dressing, a sharp suit with a trendy edge to it, and a well groomed appearance will help in giving you dominance in the classroom. It will also give you confidence when you enter the classroom, as your body language and posture will naturally change to reflect how you feel. I know it's unconventional advice as i'm suggesting the way you look will help in managing classes, but the teachers who have respect generally look good- nothing to do with attractiveness. In your first year while you are building your reputation- it will help.
  7. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Well done for those. Concentrate on them.
  8. You're not, you're not, and anywhere that's making you feel like this is not worth your time. As soon as it's feasable GET OUT, and if you're not getting the support you need at school by other members of staff, contact your union. I've had to deal with kids like this before too whilst I was training, received no support from the school or uni and was just made to feel that it was my fault and that I was incompetant. That school is now in special measures so I feel justice has been done, especially as my mentor kept on telling me what a good school it was, and how if I couldn't teach there I'd find it hard anywhere else. It takes an awful lot after something like that to pick yourself up again, but there are good and nice schools out there.

    Please do not feel that it's your fault.

  9. Shiny Shiny Star, you really are a star.
    I really have been feeling that it's somewhow my fault and that I'm the only one this has happened to. Knowing that someone else has been there and come through the other side gives me some hope that I can manage too.
    I'm starting to think that all this will hopefully make me a stronger person and teacher.
    I appreciate all the comment and support, knowing that I don't have to suffer alone is comforting.
    Thank you
  10. the teachers who have respect generally look good
    Sometimes. But quite a few abused teachers look perfectly fine, too. It won't hurt... but don't expect brats who haven't been brought up to understand the concept of 'respect', to respond to anything but serious retribution. And that's out of bounds these days..
  11. I'm also a design technology teacher, so this isn't always going to be appropriate especiaaly when needing to move around the workshop lots and working with tools and machinery. Wouldn't want to spoil the nice expensive clothes.
    I do feel though that I look much more smart than many other teachers in school as I regularly wear formal trousers and shirts or smart dresses, whereas some teachers I have seen walking round the school are in much more casual black jeans etc.!!
  12. I had crisps thrown at me today in the playground, when I instructed the culprit to go inside so I could put him in detention he refused and other boys started joining in the arguement saying 'my voice does their head in' I walked away and got the head of behavior support (slt) to accompany me back to the group and she got the boy inside, he wad verbally reprimanded and kept in at lunchtime with her! I feel I am supported by slt but feel humiliated and that I can't cope with unruly children as often they just don't listen to me and shoe very little respect!! I feel the same; useless, inadequate and a failure! on the plus side I finish in this school in 3 weeks and start in a great school in September - I'm just worried I'm gonna to make the same mistakes there and pupils won't respect me, I think my positive behaviour is ignoring bad behaviour and condoning it!! Sorry for ramble It's just stressing me out!
  13. Lidnod

    Lidnod Star commenter

    Teaching can feel like the loneliest job in the world and we do tend to blame ourselves when things go wrong. The nights I have tossed and turned, pointlessly going over classroom disasters - if only I had said or done this or that! For what it's worth, I am prepared to bet that this Year 10 boy sometimes misbehaves elsewhere, too. You did the right thing by calling in SLT, and they did well to get him to confess. Hopefully they have had serious words with him. It's tough being a young teacher, in some schools more than in others. Your next stage is to prepare yourself for the next lesson with this class - good teachers never give up trying. Smile, look confident, relax your voice. For most of us, it does get better, partly because students do try it on when we are new-ish. Good luck! Tell us how you get on.
  14. None of this stupidness is your fault. Kids can be massive *** - the problem is that kids, on the whole, conform to the expectations of the environment in which they're in; apparently in your school that includes throwing crisps at you etc etc. The fact that this only warranted the loss of a lunchtime says it all! Bear in mind that almost all teachers in challenging catchments or tough schools go through this sort of thing - you are not useless at all! Deal with what you can on your own but find the big hitters in the school and get help - if you are working hard and doing all the things that you're meant to, people will help you out. Also go and observe the best teachers and copy what they do/ask for lots of tips. I HATE that teachers have to put up with this sort of rubbish. If you feel no change after a few months, get out. Finally, keep in your head that the teacher you are now is not the teacher you will become - this was me a few years ago... http://desperatelyseekingsir.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/2.html I've mildly improved since! :) GOOD LUCK!
  15. Well spoken sir...
    One thing new teachers seem to lose sight of (or have kicked out of them?!) is that YOU are the professional, YOU are the highly trained, qualified adult, YOU are the caring, driven-by-principle individual who has sacrificed material gain for a vocation! If the school you are working in won't uphold these values, then get the hell out. I've worked in some hell-holes in my time, and it comes down to a matter of choice. I'd rather be stacking shelves in Tescoes than being paid to be a punch-bag for social inadequates, or a whipping boy for failed teachers hiding behind the mantle of a nameplate on a cubby-hole door.
    As previous comments have made clear, there are fabulous educatonal establishements, both maintained and independent (whoah, did I really say that...), where good teachers are valued, and respected for their professionalism and work-ethic. I know it's easier to say than do, but the options are twofold - wait and find one of these, or leave the profession for something that will pay you bags of money for a lot less work. Good luck...
  16. shamsh

    shamsh Occasional commenter

    I hope you're feeling better now that we're so close to the end of term and you only have a short while left in your current school. Remember that you are a good teacher and that in the current job climate you are in the very lucky position of having a new job to go to in September so you must be doing something right! Exhaustion towards the end of term does not help self-esteem and nor does a challenging school, but you will find that as a permanent member of staff students do seem to accept you more easily, especially after you become established at the school.

    Also as silly as it may sound, keep a little notebook of the nice things students say to you/ positive feedback from other members of staff / lessons that have gone well / magic moments when suddenly you can almost see lightbulbs lighting in students' brains, to remind yourself why you're teaching, even when things seem depressing, those moments make it all worth it!
  17. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    One of the strategies I used over the years-37 years!! where I had a complete breakdown of communications with a student, was to have a fence mending session. These always happened in the presence of the HoY. For the most part, they introduced the session and then backed off uness the student 'kicked off' This happened only once.
    I would ask the student what the matter was in my lessons-I did my homework and found a lesson/teacher where the stuent was OK and challenge the student about their different behaviour. Often just giving the student the chance to explain their negative behaviour usually resulted in them seeing how petty they were being. I would explain my POV and position, that I had their best interests at heart and that their poor behaviour was damaging not just themselves but everyone else. Also, using the, 'What if you went home tonight and your mum told you that she had been spoken to in the way you spoke to me, how would you feel?' Believe it or not, this often gave them pause for thought.
    Obviously, I picked my battles but I was often surprised at the results. For their 'street cred' there was never a complete change about of behaviour, but usually, they just kept quiet so I was able to teach and often brought them into the lesson by asking them questions.
    I knew I had the support of SLT and the HoY, often because the HoY was sick of 'phoning the parents on my behalf, particularly when my 'phoning ceased to have effect.
  18. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Dragonlady, we have to have these meetings with students who have been sent out of our classes.
    They are called "restorative" meetings. They often take up part of your break or lunchtime.
  19. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I was always quite prepared to give up one of my NTPs for this. It was not an organised thing at my school but I used it quite often and would have given up my time for it. Any chance for the kids to see us as breathing, living people with hopes, aspirations and professionalism.

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