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My students are plotting to wind me up

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Johnwood1, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Johnwood1

    Johnwood1 New commenter

    I teach music at a secondary school and this relates to a year 9 class, and am an RQT 1. So last week, I lost it with a class that had wound me up all last year, and I shouted pretty hard at them. I know I shouldn’t have lost my temper. Today one of the sweet students in the orchestra came and told me that some students in the class are planning to try to do the same this week to try to get me to blow up again. It feels completely horrible, and I am not looking forward to the lesson. However my head of dept gave me the advise of play their own game. Waste their time by waiting, even if this week it means waiting for 40 minutes, among other bits of advise.

    I was wondering if anyone else had any other advise for a class like this.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    If you know what they're up to you need to win. Don't give into it. I find counting in my head helps to keep me calm if I need it. Be positive, you're the adult remember to act like one!

    Good luck.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Good move to get your HoD involved as well. This should be the extra help you need to get on top of the game.

    Make sure you apply sanctions ruthlessly and do some 'I'm the boss' actions in advance, like re-jigging the seating plan.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are now in a position to make a plan. You now have evidence that the class are plotting to wind you up. Your HoD seems supportive in giving you sound advice. Make some plans for your HoD or Head to "pop" in at various points to see how the class are behaving. Ensure you phone home to praise those who are following your instructions ; try to narrow it down to the "leaders". It won't be the whole class misbehaving - just a couple who are getting the rest to follow their bad example, so it is important to praise those who are working hard. Try this:

    Have three simple rules and put them on a big poster on the wall:

    1. Follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on Task
    3 Work without disturbing others.

    Right away with not hesitate, when you see one not following those rules, give them a red card. Make up some small square red cards. Give them a clear warning and a card. If they do it a second time, another card. On the third warning, then if your school policy allows it have them removed. Perhaps you could have a system going with the HoD to take the ring leaders temporarily. Then the parents are phoned. It won't take long for it all to settle down.

    I would have some new rules in place. Make them line up outside the door, enter the room in silence and stand behind their chairs until you invite them to sit down. Ensure you mix up the seating plan if you need to. Crack down hard.

    Without making a big deal out of it, they need to ensure that they know it is wrong to try to torment someone to the point you go to.

    The terrible story eight years ago of the science teacher that was tormented to the point of breaking down is a stark reminder that this behaviour is not appropriate. It is bullying and needs to stop.
  5. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    Sounds like you have a really good head of department, keep talking to them and working with them. After a few similar experiences I found the place in my head which allows me to stay in control, the feeling that you have lost it is horrible but you can get back from it. Relentless rule following and not being afraid of waiting works wonders. Phoning home, merits, or postcards home for the pupils who are doing what you ask is very powerful, I also like to ask a staff member who the pupils respect to give them some subtle praise too.

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