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I'm losing them...

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by polyglot91, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. polyglot91

    polyglot91 New commenter

    Good evening everyone. I am wondering what others do in classes for pupils who just cannot/will not engage in anything. I am referring to an S2 (Y8) class in which I have a handful of pupils who are just not there to work. I have tried writing comments into their jotters to show what is unacceptable, I have provided differentiated work (such as a word list to access a reading) as well as completely separate remedial work which can be completed independently.

    I am at the end of my rope as I experience the same attitude and behavioural problems but I am being asked by principal teacher what I am doing wrong or what am I providing.

    It is wearing me down quite a bit.

    Thank you for any comments.
  2. parkert

    parkert New commenter

    Join the club! I don't know what we can do with those die-hard who won't even try the really easy, basic stuff. I just keep on at them and really encourage them and cajole them. I always use the line "You can do this" or "Yes you do. You do know this". It works sometimes
    Lara mfl 05 and polyglot91 like this.
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Yes, it'll be the teacher's fault, as usual. Your lessons aren't engaging enough; that sort of thing.
    I had a vile year 8 during a maternity leave. Video clips/ films and the computer room were the only things that held their interest. They nearly broke me! There were about 28 of them, and every one of them had problems of some sort - there should have been TA's in there with me. Just dreadful. I tried games, hands-on stuff, you name it.

    Apply the behaviour policy ruthlessly. It's them, not you.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Lead commenter

    Yes I recall whole groups ( timetables ) of difficult students ‘ doing ‘ languages ‘ . The lesson prep was seldom worth the outcome ( think Pareto’s Law ? ) and if something ‘ worked ‘ well one day it did not work on another. They all had agendas and baggage. Hard work and I am so glad those days are over for me . I feel for you and I doubt you are alone - little consolation I know ..
  5. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    The stuff of nightmares. Literally!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    As well as following the school's behaviour policy consistently and fairly, there are a few other things you can do. Do you get involved in anything the school offers outside lessons - clubs, sports, trips? You will see another side to pupils and build better relationships. In lessons, stay positive and make sure they know that every lesson you are there for a fresh start. Do they suspect you dread these lessons? Is there any opportunity (plenaries) for them to give you a glimpse of how they see the lessons? Pick up on anything that makes them feel that you are listening and doing things for them and with them. Can they be in charge of picking one part of the next lesson? Have you looked at activities where you set them working and quietly give them points (I've seen a cup on the table and the teacher puts straws in) for the way they are working, good questions, team work, initiative etc. You say most of the group are there to work. Make sure you enjoy working with them and don't spend all your time focussed on the ones you are not happy with at the moment. Try not to get dragged into just putting worksheets in front of them because you think anything more interactive would just not work. That can lead to a cycle where there really isn't any interest or learning and things get worse. Would they respond well to being in teams where you build in incentives and you can sit back a bit and observe how they respond. Would it help if you picked this up and documented it as an action research project, focusing on what you can learn from the experience, things you can try, things you observe and evaluate, other people's opinions. Hope there's something in there that might help!
  7. polyglot91

    polyglot91 New commenter

    These are all very useful self-evaluating questions, thank you! All I can do is try!
    Lara mfl 05 and veverett like this.
  8. Elly40

    Elly40 New commenter

    I recently turned my teaching on its head and now have 20-30 mins of speaking work at the start of every lesson before date title etc are introduced. I have about 6 slides I use every lesson, some similar, some changed.
    I've found that the standard of work has vastly improved as has engagement
  9. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    @Elly40 Good way to build confidence in speaking, especially for the GCSE picture tasks. How long are you lessons?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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