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Lost the class. How can I get them back?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by minichris, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. minichris

    minichris New commenter

    I a man currently on my PGCE year in a tricky school. I was in the school before Christmas, before moving schools after Christmas until the Feb half term to experience different surroundings.

    Before I changed, I was teaching a couple of lessons of a year 8 class with a supply teacher, and needless to say, there were quite a few disruptions in the room.

    After returning to the school last week, I am due to teach this class full time, however the first lesson was again with a supply teacher, and I was shown very little respect from the pupils, my practical lesson was cancelled as the mentor was not present, and a hastily replanned lesson was again disrupted.

    I've just wondering if anyone has any techniques to try and get the class back on my side? A couple of the pupils were heard slating my teaching before the lesson (even though I hadn't taught a proper lesson with them).
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry you're having a rough time.
    Year 8 are often the hardest year group.
    Firstly, check out the school behaviour policy and follow it.
    Try and negotiate a permanent teacher to support you. If a lively class see a supply teacher and a student they're going to find it difficult to remember to be the best students they can.
    Think about setting your own seating plan so that the trouble makers are kept well apart.
    Brief the supply teacher to sit with /on the first group to kick off, if necessary taking them to a pre-arranged exit room with work (if this lines up with behaviour policy). Make sure there is more follow-up after this. They are impeding the learning of others which is a very serious thing to do.
    Try to organise yourself strong afl so that all the kids who have participated properly feel they've learned something.
    Good luck.
    I'm sure others will have even better suggestions.
    tosh740 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I would also contact your Teacher Training Provider as it is unfair for a PGCE student to be given a class with no permanent teacher. It does nothing for your credibility with a class if you have to cancel / rearrange / replan lessons due to circumstances beyond your control, particularly if they are tricky to begin with.

    In terms of going forward, plan clear, unambiguous tasks for the students to complete which require the minimum of input for you so you can focus on the maintaining the behaviour of the students. Praise students who are doing what you ask and who are working hard (make sure you have a seating plan with names on so you can use the correct names). Follow the school's and department's behaviour policies and do not be afraid of giving out sanctions. Speak to your HOD and see if they are available to support you if necessary as well as speaking to the teachers in your neighbouring classrooms so you can get more established teachers in to back you up as necessary
    Pomz, nemo., wanet and 2 others like this.
  4. literacystars

    literacystars New commenter

    My first year eight group were a tough class too, and they were very quick to call things unfair if they were punished but someone else wasn't. My mentor and I put in place a simple rewards chart - it was a laminated sheet of A3 with a table printed on it with all their names, a column with a smiley face and another with a sad face. Every time they did something positive or negative they got a tick in the appropriate column - 3 ticks in each meant a consequence, so either a merit or being kept behind. The bit they seemed to appreciate was that it wiped clean each lesson - nothing was carried over and no grudges were held. A little thing but it might well be helpful. Good luck!
    rolysol likes this.
  5. thewalrus

    thewalrus New commenter

    So bad that you are having such a negative experience. Others have given good advice on here. Talk to your mentor, ask for help. The school is obliged to support you. Don't suffer in silence. Good luck.
  6. bkingsnorth

    bkingsnorth New commenter

    Always reward the positive - look for the positive. Show an interest in the students hobbies and them outside the classroom in sporting or other extra curricular activities. I have found my most challenging groups at the start of the year are like wars of attrition but so long as I set firm boundaries and apply the schools rewards and sanction in a fair way and don't move an inch from my high expectations they soon learn (it may take a half term) and I end up enjoying those lessons and classes the most by the end of the year. "Its not about winning the battle its about winning the war"
    rolysol likes this.
  7. unfoggingblogger

    unfoggingblogger Occasional commenter

    Supply teachers almost always get destroyed.

    Nonetheless, you can change things up:

    1)Demand that you lead the lesson.

    2) Utilise a new seating plan.

    3) Have the most challenging student removed from the lesson -- follow it up with a phone call home and a DT. Have a restorative talk with them afterwards.

    Go through a clear system of rules with the students.

    You have the power. They don't. Let them know.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    As an experienced teacher now - I was in exactly your situation on my PGCE with one class.

    There isn't an easy answer - you won't get them back because they don't see you as their permanent teacher.

    Forget any ideas you may have about getting them back onside and reverting back to a lovely class.

    You must be UNRELENTINGLY firm and just do your best.

    I don't mean this to sound harsh but that's the situation.

    ..and try to get another adult in the room with you if at all possible.
    Pomz and (deleted member) like this.
  9. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    What ScienceGuy said! You definitely should not be teaching without a permanent teacher there to support and advise!

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