1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

My word vs yours. What do I do?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by rdigsworth, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rdigsworth

    rdigsworth New commenter

    Dear all,
    I write in the hope of some practical help, probably the kind of help that you can give having had experience. I'm an NQT currently heading up a department in a Prep school, and more and more recently I've had kids come up to me claiming something has happened, and the person they are accusing has an absolutely opposite view of things. Essentially, it is 'your word vs mine', year 5-8.
    Having never really encountered this before (as when on a PGCE, kids didn't really see me as the 'go-to' person as I was never on a duty alone or had this much responsibility), are there any strategies for when you've absolutely no idea what has happened (beyond an educated guess, which is sometimes good enough, but not always)?
    And as a second question, to focus this a little more - it mainly happens when taking boys games, and the boys are queuing up for a bowl at the batsmen in nets. I am trying to focus on the pupils in bat and bowl so I can help them, and so can't view and hear the entire line, yet there are 2-3 boys, all very very stubborn, who just constantly bicker with each other then complain to me. Is this a case of needing that elusive thing, eyes in the back of your head? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. rdigsworth

    rdigsworth New commenter

    Dear all,
    I write in the hope of some practical help, probably the kind of help that you can give having had experience. I'm an NQT currently heading up a department in a Prep school, and more and more recently I've had kids come up to me claiming something has happened, and the person they are accusing has an absolutely opposite view of things. Essentially, it is 'your word vs mine', year 5-8.
    Having never really encountered this before (as when on a PGCE, kids didn't really see me as the 'go-to' person as I was never on a duty alone or had this much responsibility), are there any strategies for when you've absolutely no idea what has happened (beyond an educated guess, which is sometimes good enough, but not always)?
    And as a second question, to focus this a little more - it mainly happens when taking boys games, and the boys are queuing up for a bowl at the batsmen in nets. I am trying to focus on the pupils in bat and bowl so I can help them, and so can't view and hear the entire line, yet there are 2-3 boys, all very very stubborn, who just constantly bicker with each other then complain to me. Is this a case of needing that elusive thing, eyes in the back of your head? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  3. 576

    576 Occasional commenter

    the 2-3 boys need to placed in the line so as not to be near each other.
     
  4. Depending on how rational they are you could try the
    "see it from my point of view... I have two differing stories...only you know if you are telling the truth...would it be fair on x if? would it be fair on y if..?" line, and give time out to both parties until the truth comes out. I find being frank works well with this age group. You know the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
    or if perception of the problem is the issue go down the standard peaceful conflict resolution process reminding them that it is their sport time they are wasting (working on the asumption they enjoy sport). "If they want to play they have to find a way to work together if not, there is always handwriting practise to be done"
    and remember to separate them next time and give rewards to all those working well together! Good luck!
     
  5. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there, sorry to hear you're having this problem. Until we learn to develop the mystical eye (which I believe will be in the White Paper), then I advise the following:
    1. Arrange them in such a way so that you are in eye line as much as possible; obviously this will never be able to be arranged perfectly.
    2. Adopt a policy of 'I sympathise with what you say, but I cannot do anything about something that I can't see- that would be unfair.' Sounds harsh, but the reason they come to you is because they want to use you as an extension of their aims. If you remove yourself from this equation, then they might reduce the amount of squabbling they do, simply because they don't get the attention they desire. Of course this is only if the incidents reported are relatively minor- 'he said, she said' type stuff. Never ignore something if it is a serious allegation.
    3. Keep the boys separate as much as possible- they are perfectly capable of not standing next to each other in line.
    4. Have you got a good grass? By which, I mean, some nice kids you have lots of trust in that you can speak to on the quiet and get the real skinny from. If you get a few of them concurring, and you're sure that they aren't just taking sides, then you have a good basis for making judgements. For God's sake, don't blow their cover.
    5. Once you develop better relationships with them, you'll get a better idea of who to trust, who instigates, etc. Talk to Head of Year, or previous teachers and get some kind of idea about their characters, trustworthiness, etc.
    Finally, remember that this isn't the Old Bailey- you only need evidence good enough to convince you that your decision is appropriate, so if you start to get a whiff of what's really going on, don't hang about for fingerprints and DNA testing- make a decision.
    Swing, batter, swing.
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     
  6. I would say to them to come back at lunchtime and write it up formally, at great length, detailing exactly what happened, each time.
    They will soon cotton on that if they squabble then they lose their own free time.
    You can easily manage this by saying 'we don't want to lose any of your learning time, and I want to give this lots of time...'
    After a while, you can just say 'is this a problem we need to work out during lunchtime?' - 99 times out of 100 they will say 'no!!' and resolve it between themselves. The one time they don't is when there is a genuine problem that you will need to look into and sort out.
    I go with what Judgy Judy does in these circumstances, - if it doesn't make sense, the person is lying. Look for inconsistencies.
     
  7. Fully agree with the above. Someone on the forums said something I rather liked- though I can't remember who, sorry! "In telling me this, are you helping someone get OUT of trouble, or are you trying to get them IN trouble?"
     
  8. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    For minor incidents... I get both sides of argument in detail. Find something to that I can get them to them to accept some fault in the dispute. Make both sides apologise and move on without much fuss.
     
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    Excellent advice. I wish I'd had such advice when training. It was a revelation when I was given that tip and tried it out. Many such issues are simply rehearsed time-wasting tactics in class and they never want to stay on at break-time or come back at lunch time to resolve the issue.
    If there is a pattern of certain boys getting into arguments when waiting in line in PE, make sure that they are on different teams and in different lines! Have a little notebook and pencil in your pocket and add names of pupils to be seen later over issues. If they still won't settle down after being told that it will be dealt with later, place each child well apart (in your sight line) and exclude them from further participation in the activity.

     
  10. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    We had three lads in our PE class in school (when i was in school) who used to kick each and spit at each other e.t.c . The PE teacher simply stopped everyone from carrying on with the lesson on the grounds that they couldn't be trusted and therefore couldn't be safe.
    Strangely, after he did this twice it all stopped. Though the rest of the class made sure of that (We loved PE)
    Doubt this approach would work in today's world. The above suggestions are much better.
     

Share This Page