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Kids taking instruction from Teacher but not TA

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by MinusNothing, May 11, 2011.

  1. MinusNothing

    MinusNothing New commenter

    I'm a TA working in a year 4 class with five or six badly behaved boys (and one or two girls). The boys were really, really badly behaved at the start of the year but are quite a lot better now. This is due to interventions, internal exclusion, more support, one leaving and better understanding.

    However, from my point of view they can still be quite bad. Individually they can be fine but once they set each other off, all hell can break loose. If the teacher is present it doesn't escalate much, but if it's just me, they don't seem to listen, even when I use the same sanctions and language as the teacher.
    Any advice?
  2. Hello,
    Have you been with the class for as long as the teacher?
    If not then it may be that you need a bit of time to become established with them - just be relentless and consistent with the sanctions and I should think they'll catch on eventually.
    Out of interest what sort of sanctions (and rewards) do you have available?
    And what interventions had a positive effect? I may be doing some work in this area so any good ideas would be useful.
  3. MinusNothing

    MinusNothing New commenter

    Not been there as long, I started in October due to the behaviour problems. She's a lot more experienced too.
    I've taken a bit more of a harder line this week, and noticed improvements in the responses (not behaviour yet).
    Sanction wise we have a traffic-light system, then time in another classroom then time off Golden Time on Fridays in increments 5 min for disrespect, 10 min for hurting etc... One child lost all 60 minutes of GT this week!
    We offer free time-outs where children can take a TO to calm down without sanctions - this works with some of them.
    Rewards - we do Team Points = daily good stuff; King and Queen of the week = most Team Points; year long awards aiming for Superstars Trip (summer trip for attendance and not losing GT minutes); Bonus Point = above and beyond team points going towards the Superstars Trip.
    Things that have worked so far:
    Ignoring - although it is hard, and sometimes a little disruptive we have upped our level of ignoring.
    Internal Intervention group - we are lucky, we have an internal intervention group where they can work one-to-few in a seperate environment. We had five of the children on this every morning at one point!
    Also finding that a sand-timer helps for calming-down / bring back into class.

    As you can see, the children are very bad, and we've got the whole gamut of methods. Using a combination of techniques I have noticed that things have improved over the months, but they still have some bad days.

    The main thing for me is when the teacher steps out the room, they can (and do) see this as a signal to start misbehaving, so I'm asking for tips on what I need to do.
    Cheers me dears,
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    If the teacher is the Top Dog, then you'll always be seen as a subordinate authority, even if by a fraction- children are the same with their parents too, I suspect. But what you can do is to borrow her clothes. Ask her to talk to the children and clearly communicate the idea that if you give her a list of names of children misbehaving then she'll deal with it exactly the same as if it happened when she was present. Then make sure that it happens, obviously, so that the kids see that it's more than just talk.
    At the same time, keep using sanctions as you;re doing to reinforce the idea that you too have authority, not just the classroom teacher. You've not been there for a long period yet, so these relationships will take some time, don't worry. Just be fair, rigorous and consistent, and I'm sure you'll get them on board.
    Good luck
  5. I would tell the teacher that you are having a few issues with some of the boys. A couple of effective interventions to try:
    1) keep the group behind at the end of the lesson and tell them off yourself, with the teacher standing near, a silent support.
    2) when the teacher comes back into the room, say "George - go outside now please - Miss, I am just going to have a word with this boy who behaved very badly while you were outside the room' and tell him off away from his friends.

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