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How can one class have such an impact?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by FarSideofParadise, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. FarSideofParadise

    FarSideofParadise Occasional commenter

    I have one KS3 class that I absolutely dread every lesson. It baffles me how much they can impact my mood or my enjoyment of lessons.

    Not a dilemma as such but I am getting fed up of feeling like I'm fighting a losing battle and getting teary after every lesson.

    I'm a bloody good teacher, if I do say so myself, and I've had tougher classes than this lot. I just can't work it out.
    TCSC47, steely1, sbkrobson and 2 others like this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Low grade negativity from a reasonably bright group that ought to be achieving well and interacting positively (with each other and the teacher) is often far tougher than the off the wall group with considerable learning difficulties (where you know they can't do much better.)
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I have a group like this unfortunately. I only see them once a week which in a way is good but on the other hand isn't helping me to get to know them and to get on top of them. Not sure what advice to offer but you're not alone!
    tonymars, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've had classes like that. Sometimes,you don't even see it coming.
    Dragonlady30, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    Are they the same for every teacher? Could you ask to observe someone else teaching them, or perhaps ask someone to observe them with you? Only if you're in a supportive school of course - don't add further grief if this isn't a solution that would work in your establishment.
  6. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    We've all had them. I did a maternity cover; part-time for a term, and I swear they offloaded poor groups onto me. One year 8 group nearly broke me. There must have been 25 children in there ALL with special needs and/or behavioural issues. They were in very small groups for maths and English...
    There really should have been a couple of learning support people in there with me. It didn't matter what I did, the majority were there to deliberately wreck the lessons. No real back up from anyone, and I was on supply, and needed the money so couldn't walk out like I so dearly wanted to.

    I'd been teaching for over 30 years and have a strong personality but, dear God, they nearly killed me!

    The thing is, if you flag up problems, they make out that it's your teaching that's at fault, when it clearly isn't. No-one can teach if behaviour is poor.

    Have a look on the Behaviour forum - you might pick up some ideas.

    Good luck!
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    There's a critical mass with kids. Try to identify one or two you can actually like. That's the hardest. When there isn't even one that makes you smile and you just don't like any of them.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    So true.
    steely1, pepper5 and catmother like this.
  9. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    I had a supply class once that reduced me to tears when I got home. Not because I felt I lacked control (that's happened before but no tears) but because of the sheer emotion. 5 teachers in a classroom trying to stop three of four pupils throwing things. It was an RI school, with 'learning mentors' aka bodyguards in the corridors and walky talkies in the rooms. :)
    I guess I'm trying to say that everything has a sliding scale and affects your mood. Teaching affects my mood than any other job I've done. 'Spent' is the word I would use at the end of most days. I think that's what this class is doing. Soaking up your energy so you're spent and leaving you down. Best wishes, it is most definitely not you!
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I like GDW idea of focusing on finding one or two in the group you like and enjoy teaching.
    It definitely isn't you.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    But that's not possible. The one or two nice, quiet ones sit there overwhelmed whilst watching you fire fight.
    sparkleghirl, tonymars, drek and 4 others like this.
  12. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Are there any particular leaders in the group making life hellish? Sometimes you see others winding the other students up or a 'leader' that creates a lot of chaos. Sometimes it's someone that sets something off and then watches the class burn. I tend to give a phone call home for these students; the message spreads. Seating plans help dramatically.

    It's not a great one but names on a board or a 'strike' system can be useful, given that you know their names.

    It also wouldn't hurt to get their head of year involved.

    Do try to praise the ones that are quiet and doing the right thing, sometimes in this case working hard is the way forward. We have a points system, I always try to give mine to the ones that just get it right.

    We've all been there, it's so stressful but it can be conquered!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    Thanks so much for this thread.... I'm feeling very sorry for myself!
    I've taken over a year 11 class, last teacher loved the class and said they were amazing... for whatever reason me and the class haven't gelled.
    They aren't malicious as such, but they are selfish, loud and talk over me. I have to wait for SO LONG to get silence... pace is shocking. I feel awful for the silent kids who have been waiting for ages.
    This is also the class I will be observed with in January. I haven't had a class like it since my NQT year. They make me feel like a terrible teacher and like I am about to get complaints any second, and booted out of my job!
    steely1 likes this.
  14. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    It's not you, it's them! Use the sanctions policy mercilessly.

    The only thing with that, is that it flags you up as a problem!

    That's why so many teachers suffer in silence...
    tonymars, drek, saluki and 4 others like this.
  15. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    So true!

    I've started passing on repeat offenders to my HoD, who now seems to be keeping a VERY close eye on me....
  16. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    May I ask what subject it is? I have had classes like this where there believe that the subject is not important or they are extremely rude and obnoxious no matter what I did.

    Use the school behavioural policies as long as you feel supported by the school as unfortunately sometimes it can turn against you.

    Speak to them, ask them about their behaviour and what they want to learn.

    What I did once, was ask in advance if two of the ring leaders could be sent to another classroom of the same subject that was running at the same time. so as soon as I did the register, I then asked them to pack up their belongings invited them into the corridor and directed them to the said classrooms.

    My favourite was to phone the parent/carer of the main ones during the lesson...that worked a treat
    or even phone the parent/carer whilst they are with you during detention.

    It can impact on your mood as teenagers can be really tough so what you are feeling is natural.

    All the best.
    Lara mfl 05 and LoopyLew like this.
  17. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    How true. I've learnt from bitter experience that asking for help will only make matter worse.
    geordiepetal and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    You were lucky that you were able to do this!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. LoopyLew

    LoopyLew New commenter

    What a TOTALLY AWESOME idea!!! Why have I never thought of that?!?

    Have a top set Y9 this year... cannot shut the little souls up long enough to do the bleedin register let alone teach them anything. What gets me is the reactions - either the girls giggle, or give you the evils... "How DARE you tell me not to talk in my lesson time!!!"
    Alice K and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Disengage. Stand back. Stay quiet.
    Put the work in bullet points on the board. No peer work, all self focused.
    Lots of handouts (**sigh**-yes, a little more prep for you)
    Additional handouts.
    Remain disengaged throughout. Engage only with individuals who are attempting the work.
    End five minutes early. Clear up the mess. Remain disengaged.
    On exit, loudly praise those individuals who attempted the work.
    Will the class notice a difference? Maybe.
    Will you feel different? Definitely.
    Make it work for you before you bust a gut trying to make it work for them.
    katykook, tonymars, drek and 4 others like this.

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