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Inadequate observation due to poor classroom management

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by katherinelily, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I think "Teach all your lessons through the medium of free form jazz dance" would be significantly worse advice.
    Sanctions alone perhaps. However a short term improvement in behaviour allows you to form a positive classroom environment and positive relationships with pupils that will have long term effects. It is very difficult to form positive relationships with difficult classes and individuals if they do not respect you and do not feel they have to listen to you. How you establish the respect is fairly irrelevant but it has to be done before positive relationships can be established.
    The bottom line is pupils are highly unlikely to respect teachers who cannot manage their classroom making positive relationships unlikely.
    I have not read anything on this board suggesting that positive relationships with pupils are not important or desirable.
    How so? I keep pupils who have not behaved or have not completed enough work behind at the end of the lesson. I do not require anybody else in order to do this. There are many sanctions that do not rely on anybody else. We are supposed to co-operate so it's not exacty a disaster if someone needs a little help now and then (particularly if they are an NQT).

  2. Using one such extreme student to shape your classroom management style is bonkers. You sound angry yourself to me, bigkid. Go into a classroom with that anger and it will be reflected back at you. As Ginott said, "You make the weather in your classroom..."
  3. The OP seems to be doing things that you and JamesTES would like but makes it clear that behavior is a problem despite of this.
    Some people have suggest a bit of punishment and you argued against this. Yet now you seem to be denying that, JamesTES who clearly agrees with you, does not advocate a no punishment system.
    I think you and JamesTES need to be clear here so we can understand where you are coming from. What is the difference between someone who 'punishes' students as part of their strategy for ensuring discipline and a 'punishment guru'?

  4. Corrected for clarity.
  5. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Oh for heavens sake. The best fun for students is to watch the teacher not cope with their antics. They love nothing more than to watch a teacher have a hissy fit, or to lose control. Sanctions are required and children will test you to see will you use them. Do you bite as well as bark - that's what they want to know. The vast majority of children will see things differently when they see you are prepared to use sanctions consistently. That's when interactive interesting engaging lessons come into play.
    You can be interactive as a means of controlling a class. Activities which are whole class but a version of follow my leader may work well with some classes. I have with the liveliest of classes tried the touching your nose and be quiet. They soon get it especially if you do it with a playful attitude. You let them sit down (if at the beginning of the lesson) They soon understand what you want and you can get quiet to start the class. (You can do all sorts of versions of this tapping your head, different movements even clapping rythmns). You will still need to show that you are in charge and prepared to follow through on sanctions. You can do it in the middle of the lesson and the last person has to do a forfeit. Some playful classes love this - but beware some hate it. It shouldn't interrupt your lesson for more than a minute or two, but may get you the desired quiet that you need.
    Children like to have fun. We have to keep them safe and make sure they learn. We have to be tough sometimes.
  6. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    who says I have done that? My point is that James seems to believe that anyone who advocates sanctions to manage behaviour is some sort of facist. This is nonsense as the pupil I use in my example shows.
    Ineffectual managements and smug know it alls like James do make me angry. There are many ways to manage a classroom and people should do what works for them without some smug **** telling them that "their" way is the way it should be done. Nor should the myth that if you only make your lesson engaging enough or well planned enough then the pupils will behave be pushed on new teachers.
    I never go into my classroom angry and I can't remember the last time I was genuinely angry with a child. My classrooom is usually calm, ordered with a good working environment. I have worked hard to make it so. I have mostly positive relationships with my pupils. I work hard to make it so.

  7. Goodness, all these straw men! Bigkid, you do sound a very angry person, and a very self-satisfied one too, but please don't indulge in the classic ranter's ploy of portraying someone else's views to be what you want them to be so you can attack them in colourful language. Or don't try it on with me anyway, it doesn't wash and I'm not intimidated.
    Of course I haven't said that sanctions (call them consequences if you wish) shouldn't form part of a positive behaviour management strategy. However, I do believe that language is fundamentally important, and think it is therefore important that we avoid taking of punishing, punishment and the word discipline used as a verb. Not just because of the words themselves, but because of the message they convey. And that message is outdated and irrelevant. If they are necessary, the sanctions must be applied consistently, fairly, calmly and without shouting or rancour and with the explicit purpose of improving future learning for all, including the 'offender'. And their use should always be heavily outweighed by praise, rewards and positive comments. That seems to me to be just stating the obvious, but it is out of tune with the lengthy, repetitive and relentlessly negative postings of people like yourself, with your talk of "stick is more effective than carrot" and suggesting teachers act "like the wrath of God". Sure, I do find all that outmoded and portraying an entirely misguided view of the modern role of a teacher for someone like Jen, who I suspect is getting perfectly good advice from the senior staff at her school, who understand the environment in which she is working, and I hope she will not be led astray by some of the comments here.
  8. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    what gives you the impression that I don't do this?
    Praise, rewards and positive comments must be earned or they lose their value. That seems to me like stating the obvious. If an individual or class has not done anything praiseworthy then they should not be praised. My pupils know what they need to do in order to earn praise and they either raise their games and get praised or they don't and they don't. Are you suggesting that pupils should be praised regardless of their behaviour, work and effort?
    In my experience stick is more effective than carrot. However I have not posted anywhere that there is no value in the carrot. I use rewards and praise all the time. I find them less effective than sanctions with many pupils.
    As for "the wrath of God" well it's up to the individual to decide what this means. Obviously I don't drown them and their families in world destroying floods or turn them into pillars of salt. Nor do I shout at them (which I believe you mistakenly interpreted my post as meaning). What I actually usually do repeatedly is have a lengthy conversation with them and/or their parents about their behaviour, ask their parents to sit with them in lessons, make them do some form of community service (usually removing graffiti) and anything else along similar lines that they really will not like very much (subject report, talking to their form tutors, heads of year etc). If they do not behave in my lessons I inconvenience them as much as I reasonably can.
    They get used to shouting. A lot of them already are. Some of them get shouted at all the time at home. They don't like a proper, lengthy discussion of where they are going wrong, why I believe they are behaving they way they are behaving, what they need to do to improve in order to avoid further discussions about their behaviour.
    I'm not trying to intimidate you James. I'm trying to point out that you come across as a smug, complacent, arrogant, self-satisfied, know it all who appears to be of the belief that anyone who doesn't agree with him or do things his way must be a right wing zealot with views belonging in the past.
    A sanction is a punishment. A sanction can have a specific purpose (to improve learning for all) and so can a punishment.
    I wish Jen every success. I hope that she manages to improve the behaviour of her classes. She can decide whether the advice offered has value and either take it or leave it.
  9. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    You seem to be the master of this btw
  10. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Post 33 on the thread below contains my view on shouting at pupils James
    you posted on the thread but clearly did not bother to read it (or perhaps did not understand some of the long words) as you appear to believe that I advocate shouting. Ironic really as you have accused me of building straw men and putting words in your mouth.
  11. If a sanction has any aspect of negativity or unpleasantness about then I think you'd be hard pressed to argue that said sanction is not a punishment James.
    With this in mind I can only think of two positions you can possibly have;
    1. The sanctions you use for poor behaviour are positive and pleasant in nature and therefore are rewards - I'd argue that such a system is unjust.
    2. You really do punish students but cannot face the reality of what you are doing.

  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Now I could easily give you every reason under the sun why it is better than I don't drive above the 30mph speed limit through my village. Yet I regularly do so. However if I see a speed camera van I ensure I am only doing 30 or less. Why? Because I don't want the 'sanction' of a fine and the resulting increase in insurance premium. The knowledge of not being able to 'get away with it' means I comply.

    In my classroom the children have the certain knowledge that there will be sanctions for poor behaviour and so they behave appropriately. Because of that improvement in behaviour, I can build relationships with them, they with each other and fabulous learning can take place and an ongoing, more self regulating, improvement in behaviour occurs. But it still started with giving clear messages about behaviour and sanctions.

    What I do works very well for me and my class in our school. Parents are happy their children have increased confidence and motivation. SMT are pleased children are making progress. Children are pleased that they can learn effectively. I am pleased that I have a calm (well usually!) productive atmosphere. Sod it if someone who doesn't matter to me and my career thinks I'm wrong.
  13. "bigkid", "minnieminx" ... hmmmm, yes, I think I see.
    Kid, if your desire is to take a "stick" to children and young people, then hell mend you. I'm glad you didn't get within 100 yards of my kids when they were growing up. Minx, likewise, glad you weren't driving through my village. They make TV documentaries about people like you. "I wish I'd driven slower ... I wish I had been able to see that child running out into the road and stop in time .."
  14. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Where did I say that I want to take a "stick" to children and young people? To think you accused me of building straw men and putting words in your mouth. Sometimes sanctions are necessary. Obviously pupils behaving properly and completing their work is my preferred option.
    You're really not very bright are you?
  15. This illustrates my point really well: if that camera van disappears you're back up speeding again. However, if someone explains to you exactly why speeding through a village is such a bad idea and shows you the possible consequences of those actions, and furthermore introduces you to people you respect who stick to that limit, you'll obey it camera-van or no camera-van. Sanctions are only good for short term effect. Long term behaviour changes require a much smarter approach; one which requires the building of relationships.

    There's definitely a place for sanctions in my opinion. But they are easy and cheap to apply with little thought. Most NQTs will know how to do this. The best advice is to work on building relationships with the individuals. Clearly it's not a black and white picture. Behaviour management is an art, not a science. It will involve getting sanctions in the right place but not using them to the extreme and alienating the kids. You need them on-side enough to attain mutual respect (not fear) in order to create a sustainable working environment.
  16. So you disagree with using sanctions then James? This doesn't make sense considering what you've said previously.
    Perhaps you use sanctions yourself yet consider your personal usage of them more righteous than Bigkid or Minniemix because you are in denial about punishing children.
    Perhaps your sanctions don't involve any metaphorical stick and are in fact rewards which would make you, at best, an appeaser of bad behaviour.

  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not really because I already know the reasons why. I already know the benefits. I know people who stick to the limit religiously. All those things are in place already. But in our village 30mph is often not the most sensible limit and so many people disregard it making their own judgements, me included. So nopes that doesn't work. And I'm not some weird speed freak, just sometimes 35-40mph is a perfectly safe speed in our village.

    I agree building relationships is vital for long term management. But before there is time to have built those relationships, sanctions work in the sort term and allow a teacher to gain enough control to be able to start to build relationships. If the class is out of control and being disrespectful, there is no chance to build a relationship. Once the teacher has control of the class, they can start to build relationships and then will need to use sanctions less often.

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