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Is it normal?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by anon2145, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Hey there
    I'm only in week 2 of my primary placement so not at the same level as you but I think behaviour management is going to become an issue. I'm the same, quite quiet and shy and I find it hard to discipline the kids (although I have no probs with my own children!). The low-level disruption in my class is an issue although I think I have made small steps in dealing with it, but today I had a child openly defy me and refuse to do the work I had set him. It was an observed lesson and my mentor said that I dealt with it well initially by not backing down and giving him the choice of either getting on with it or staying in at lunch, but I didn't follow it through enough, it escalated and the child ended up upsetting another girl.
    My mentor is really good and has come up with some strategies - I just need to have the confidence to see them through. I think part of my problem is that I want the chn to like me and even though I know they won't always I find it hard to be firm. Some of the strategies he has suggested involve following the behaviour policy to the letter, having the steps clear in your head as to how you are going to handle issues with behaviour - even writing down speech bubbles with things you are going to say. As the pp has said, it is an act.
    Probably not much help, but you aren't alone. Behaviour aside, I love teaching!
  2. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    A satisfactory at this stage is good! I used to mentor trainee teachers on a 2 year KS2/3 PGCE. At the end of the Autumn term placement in the 2nd year they had to have achieved a satisfactory (or better!) in the specific KS3 related thigns, but otherwise working towards was fine if it was something that they could continue to improve on their next KS2 placement.
  3. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    I'm can be pretty soft too but I learnt very quickly in the classroom by watching my CT that actually firm but fair is the BEST way to deal with children and they actually respond really well. I think I have reprimanded every single child in the class at some point over my weeks there, for a multitude of different reasons, always well deserved reasons, and yet they all come up to me and try to hold my hand and hug me and they tell me they love me!
    All children need firm boundaries so that they know where they stand, hopefully the children in my class understand that I care about their wellbeing and education but I won't take any nonsense. I am also kind, smile and laugh a lot, I'm fun and I'm very approachable but if they are doing something inappropriate then a firm "No, I will not accept that behaviour" usually stops them dead in their tracks! This does obviously depend on year group, but I promise you that firm but fair works right through up to Year 13!
  4. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    Does the OP mean it is 'satisfactory' as in they have done enough to pass the TP or do they mean they have gained a 'satisfactory' according to the OFSTED grading? If it's the second then they should be pleased with themselves! I think we're too hard on ourselves at times as we just want to be the best we can be, however, we are learning how to do this so as long as we reflect and adjust our practise continually then eventually we'll all be good/outstanding teachers!
  5. I'm not sure actually, though the first teaching practise isn't formally assessed in the sense that I can't fail it. It's just to highlight any strengths and weaknesses ready for the next bigger placement.
  6. Then make sure you get support in readiness for your next placement and on the placement itself. You will probably have a meeting with your tutor so get a target set, which you will then share with your next mentor and get all the support you require. Your cause for concern on behaviour management is a warning sign that if you don't deal with it soon, it will become a bigger problem, and may even lead you to fail the course. So don't ignore it, get help and start reading some books I have recommended.
  7. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    I'd say that's normal! You have gone from zero to sixty in milliseconds on a pGCE, learning enough jargon and informations about planning etc to sink a battleship! And that's without the actual teaching
    When I di my PGCE, this was a horrible time forme. Hated the fact I wasn't the amazing teacher I wantedto be (on all of 6 weeks experience lol), was permanently tired with a permanent cold, and just wanted Christmas to come. So for me, yes. Perfectly normal :)
    Fails I would have thought! Satisfactory is just that. It's fine, and you will get better. This must be fairly early in your placement I would have thought, and you are not getting 4's or fails, so don't worry. You don't want to peak too soon ;-)
    I wish people would think before they speak. I tried my PGCE twice. Failed the first one, and six years later passed. The first one was a living nighmare for me. I was still quite quiet then, and had a mentor who scared the living daylights out of me in my second school, and in my first school had a really up herself woman who constatnly put me down.I will never forget hearing the words 'You have no personality, nothing for the kids to latch on to. You will find it very difficult to teach.' Yeah right. 6 years later, 5 years school experience, and after only second day on supply (still looking for permanent work after a year in Korea after PGCE) was asked for by name to cover a subject that isn't mine. Also spent the summer fielding phone calls from ex Korean employer asking me back over!. So B**llocks to that. :) What they meant was I didn't have the sort of personality they wanted.
    Pupils need teachers from all walks of life with different personalities. The lack of confidence will not be helped by comments like that, so do what you can to build on that. Do the smaller groups, and see if you can do some extra curricular stuff too. It helps you to realise that the kids are just that - little people just like us, and not scary. It will help you see them in a different light.
    You don't have to change yourself, but yes a bolder act. Loads of tried and tested you can od for this. Body language wise: Sit on the edge of table, not behind it - can be read as defensive. Open posture and gesturing. Don't be afraid to wait for silence - this one took me aaaaaaaaaagggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!!!!!!!! Horrible waiting lol,. but they do settle eventually.
    Use the fact that you are a quiet person - speak quietly so they have to quieten down to hear you - far better than shouting all the time.
    [​IMG] You areTRAINING! You are not looking for teacher of the year - not yet anyway! ;-)
    You are learning a craft, and you will make mistakes, and sometimes it will feel like you will stall, but that's okay.
    If you are really not happy, think about withdrawing and starting again when you feel a bit better. However I wouldn't mind betting it's just the tired and fed-up blues.
    Good luck

  8. Thank you for the replies. I have actually taught three more lessons since that appraisal, the first better by my own judgement, the second and third 'a million times better' as my teacher told me. My class teacher has actually been amazing and extremely encouraging, and thinks I'm doing great. In reality he has seen me teach 4 times, whereas my mentor only once and she had nothing to compare it to, though she's there to get me through the course, not my CT.
    I'm starting to wonder though, surely behaviour management isn't something you can get right straight away? Surely I do need to learn through experience? I know you have to be that authority figure from day one, but that's extremely hard if you've never actually had to do it before, and takes some skill to get them to listen.
    That's no excuse for not working on it of course, I certainly will and I have been the last couple of days, with support from my mentor and CT.
  9. I'm starting to wonder though, surely behaviour management isn't something you can get right straight away? Surely I do need to learn through experience? I know you have to be that authority figure from day one, but that's extremely hard if you've never actually had to do it before, and takes some skill to get them to listen.
    I agree with this. And my class lulled me into a false sense of security - they were little angels the first week and I thought they were no trouble, but then they turned it on in the following weeks. So I had to step up my game and quickly.
    Glad you had a better few lessons - I have too - it does help to build your confidence.

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