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My year 9 tutor hate me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, May 18, 2017.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter


    This year is my first year at this school. I inherited a tutor group in September that are now in Year 9. I have bonded with approximately half but the other half I feel like I'm in a constant battle with. We spend 40 minutes in tutor a day and it is exhausting. I have a very full teaching timetable and they are the most difficult group I have to deal with. I have them in the morning and after lunch. The morning normally they are fine but the afternoon is like my own personal hell.

    It's not even that they are constantly kicking off, they just have no respect for each other in the tutor or to me. It's gotten to a point where I have a lovely student in there who keeps asking me if I'M ok, instead of me asking her.

    More than anything they're loud. We have a battle in a morning just to get the register done, I end up making them stand up which I find is patronising to them but it's the only tact that I've found works.

    I have two students that will particularly make the group spiral with their comments.
    One of those students is particularly argumentative whenever I ask him to do something or to not do something he argues for very little reason. He isn't very liked amongst the tutor because he makes horrible comments to others but does it very subtly and often tries to get others in trouble. He's gotten to the point today where I removed him and he asked the head of year if he could move tutor, which makes me feel like I'm almost bullying him when all I'm asking him to do is to behave.

    I have four very catty girls as well. Today I sat everyone in a new seating plan and the snide comments they were making were awful, I just felt like the enemy, pretty much all of them have a grudge now, even some of the ones I had managed to bond with.

    This one tutor group is making me feel like a sh*t teacher. They are the top reason I would leave the school at this point and I'm so sick of going to my afternoon lessons in a bad mood because of this group, because I have no 'cool down' time it just rolls over into the lessons.

    We have tasks we have to do with them every afternoon tutor and they are so dry and boring but if we don't do them or go off task we get pulled up on it and getting them to focus is a nightmare, especially in 'silent reading' which is basically 30 minutes of me trying to get them to focus or having to put people on detention.

    They are the group I give the most dententions to. I don't want it to be like this anymore, I want to be able to bond with them and have discussions but part of me feels that it is down to their maturity as well.

    At this point I just feel like a **** teacher and a bully. I feel like it's crowd management. I could continue to list problems but at this point I'm out of energy.

    If this post is too long: My year 9's hate me. I can't bond with them. I spend 40 minutes getting angry, arguing and trying my best to control them.

    Any advice would be grateful. I just feel like ****.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    I'm so sorry. I have no idea to help you as I'm mostly EYFS but am sending you a huge hug (( )).

    I am sure someone who knows what could help will be along soon.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Stop caring that they hate you.
    Stop trying to bond with them.
    You're not a bully. They are bad-mannered children.
    Can you send the particularly bad one out or just hammer him with detention every time he opens his mouth until he doesn't?
  4. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    While it's lovely to have a nice relationship with your groups, especially your tutor group, you need to recognise that having a friendly or sociable relationship with them is not the aim: it's about respect. They need to respect you and you're doing exactly what is necessary to get them to behave.

    Treat them exactly as you would any other recalcitrant class. Greet them pleasantly at the door, especially those who are pleasant to you, ask them how they are. Then they sit in their assigned seat and listen to you as you do the register. Anyone who doesn't is sent to their head of year or to wait outside until you can spare a few minutes to tell them that they have disappointed your expectations.

    I've just had a whole bunch of kids moved out of my tutor group for persistent bad behaviour (unkindness to each other and rudeness to me). I don't feel bad about it - that's just part of being a teacher. Sometimes they love you, sometimes they despise you. C'est la vie!
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Completely agree, this is essential. If you care and they sense that, they will be even worse-they are kids!

    OK, I know you have hardly any time, but it's a good strategy to call their parents.
    Select a few of the nice ones. Call theirs and praise. Or email or send a card, or whatever the school system is.
    Then liaise with your colleagues, get the informal low down on which parents of kids in this group would come down hard on them if they heard from school. Phone them. Explain the issue. don't pussyfoot. Tell them you are sure they would prefer to hear it from you than to have their child constantly called to detention.
    Then the next time you see the group, tell them all that contacting parents will be a regular thing if they are not behaving.
    It's only one angle, but if you get the right parents and say the right thing it is a very powerful tool. Word gets round other kids very very quickly, and most kids (not all) are responsive to parents being displeased. you just need to make sure you get the parents who will be displeased right at the beginning.
    Just one angle, which obviously has to also sit well with general school procedure.
    grumpydogwoman and SLouise91 like this.
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    y9 are ba stards in every school, I think.

    You need support from the head of year - they need to kick butt in this class, come in and support you, etc. If they won't, it speaks volumes about the school.

    Keep them in the seating plan - don't give up with it just because they moan. If it doesn't work, move people about.

    Be extra nice to the nice ones, but don't waste you efforts on the awful ones - they need to earn your niceness, not just be given it.

    Mine shut up if you put a video on, like BBC Newsround. Shove that on, use the seating plan to do the register, then move on to the tasks.

    The dry tasks - give rewards to the ones who do the tasks, maybe? Whatever the school reward system is, use that.

    Are you able to do the tasks in the morning, when they're less volatile? Can you swap things round?
    JWTBH, les25paul, pepper5 and 6 others like this.
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    You are not the bully in this situation.

    you are being bullied.

    and there is a good reason for this.

    Some children enjoy bullying teachers.

    Don't worry about bonding, or hating, or anything like that. They are enjoying being nasty. It is no reflection on you, it is a reflection on them.
  8. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Thank you all for your responses. It's positive to know that I'm not doing the wrong thing.
    I've previously had two students move out of the tutor, one was for friendship issues in the tutor but the other was for behaviour.

    I didn't used to care if they liked or hated me, but today they really made me feel like ****. I have tried the detention angle with some, I think the parent phone call is next. Whilst there are safeguarding issues in the form for individuals it amazes me that it's the ones that don't have any issues that kick up the most fuss. Maybe it's all the crazy hormones.
    pepper5 and dunnocks like this.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Ach, hateful when they don't respond.
    I ve posted before, I once had a similarly behaved class which just got to me in the end. It was relentless inattention in return for fastidious planning. One lesson, late in the term, something within me just switched off-I recalled the time spent on the prior evening sat on the sofa ignoring my partner, tweaking the differentiated bits in their lesson and then I looked at the acne, the unspent energy, the scribbling on their arms, the throwing of glue sticks up onto the ceiling, my differentiated worksheets on the floor,the applying of pound store lipstick and the strewn chewed biros bleeding black within...."Fuuque it" I thought, and sat down. I closed my eyes and thought of my sofa, my partner, my gin.
    When I looked up, the class was silent, all looking at me.

    It's interesting isn't it? Your tutor group do not hate you. They rely on you to notice them. They'd absolutely love it if they knew what you had posted here!
    Your time will come when they will want you to notice them for their effort and achievement, and therein lies the skill-don't forget to look for these things in them. It's early days for you with them, and you will get there.
    JWTBH, knitone, tosh740 and 2 others like this.
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    What @secretsiren said! Also the phoning thing is so powerful. I had a dreadful lesson last year when about 5 year 10 kids tried to disrupt my lesson as much as they could to get a laugh off the rest. That same evening I phoned all 5 parents, said more or less the same to all; rude, disrespectful, disappointing etc. Luckily all were supportive and said they'd have words. The next lesson, there were whispers of "she phoned home, I'm grounded," they haven't raised their ugly heads since.
    Don't forget to email about improved attitude asap, that is also powerful.
    PS if you keep them until year 11 I guarantee you'll love them, hormones, newbie, that all changes.
    saluki, sbkrobson and SLouise91 like this.
  11. MissHallEnglish

    MissHallEnglish Occasional commenter Forum guide and community helper

    I have the most horrific Y9 set. There's a real mixed bag of students in there: quiet and lovely, but never get a look in; the loud PP kids in dire need of attention; the lazy, full of hormonal attitude rat bags and a few kids who really belong in other sets but there's no space for them; oh, and finally the kids who need to use laptop to meet with the IEPs and most of the rest of the class resent them for it because they 'have to write'.
    I am constantly firefighting - I rollock them and we have a few ok-ish lessons; I've tried reward systems in addition to the school-wide systems; I've tried being a dragon; I've dished out detentions for the smallest thing and back in October, I resorted to copying out of a text book. Do you know what? They were quiet because I wasn't making them think!
    The really soul destroying thing is that I had this exact set in Y8 - they were by no mean angels and it took me a while to 'get them' but I had them by Feb half term. This year? It's a rollercoaster. They mentally drain me! I consider myself a competent, decent and hardworking teacher - but any tool I've got in my tool box has been used.
    They keep asking whether they have me at KS4...wait for it... because they like me. Lord help the person they do end up with - I'd hate for them to dislike me!
    Those pesky hormones have a lot to answer for. Hopefully after the summer they'll come back in a more human form. Keep your chin up.
    SLouise91 likes this.
  12. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    They don't hate you: they are trying to push your buttons! And they have succeeded.

    I saw a pupil that despised me when he was in Year 9 today... he was argumentative, rude, disruptive and at one point I nearly cried publically after a run in with him. I haven't taught him in 2 years, and today was his last day at the school as a year 11. He came out of his way to say he would miss me, and thank me.

    Point being... they do not hate YOU. They hate school, routines, and probably some of the stuffy tutor activities. They would act exactly the same to the majority of colleagues. It isn't personal, and even though they may never show it, they appreciate you lots.
    strawbs likes this.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Not much to add but another hug. Been there, got the scars.
    I recall putting one young lady on report, mother rang in chuntering about little darling's special needs and how I couldn't focus on the good things she did. The mother was silenced when I was eventually able to point out that actually, I was only going to report on the good things the girl did.
    yodaami2 likes this.
  14. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    So sorry you feel this way. I don't have much to add but agree that Y9 can be hateful. You should not change, be consistent, set your standards, follow them up and don't give up!
    One day - they will appreciate your efforts - and there will always be exceptions, don't worry about that!
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. apeace2012

    apeace2012 New commenter

    An idea that has worked in the past (sometimes) let your head of year know that you have an issue with one of your tutees (pick the one you have the absolute most trouble with). Ask the head of year if you can arrange a parent meeting with parents of said tutee and head of year have the tutee present as well. Collect information about how such a tutee performs/ behaves in other subjects. Use this in the meeting.
    Idiomas11, pepper5 and SLouise91 like this.
  16. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    I had a couple of weeks to kill some years back and made the unfortunate decision to do a bit of supply. I quickly learned that, while I may be an outstanding teacher in high functioning schools with well mannered children, I am not well suited to working with poorly raised oiks with and for whom I lack common ground and empathy.

    In other words - don't question your own ability, question your choice of setting. The best jockey in the world can't ride a greyhound to victory.
    JWTBH, pepper5 and saluki like this.
  17. hope4thefuture

    hope4thefuture New commenter

    The most difficult year group in an English state school. They'd automatically give any new teacher hell.
    Ouch. You need to learn to show your emotions less.
    Nope - within the context you are teaching, this is exactly how you need to be.
    see above
    That's exactly what it is. And what it will stay until you've mastered it.
    Never get into an argument with a student.

    Reminds me why teaching in English state schools is such a nightmare!
  18. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    hope4thefuture likes this.
  19. isotonic

    isotonic Occasional commenter

    One of my former colleagues used to call it 'riot control'!

    I think this experience will help you become a better teacher. Do not feel alone - we have all probably had classes/tutor groups like this!

    I think some of it is down to our own personality - being a nice person is taken advantage of by students who are very good at judging who they can mess around with and whom they would dare not!

    I am one of those who appears nice and an easy target - behaviour management was not my strong point however over time I do feel that if you are patient and consistent you will see those who want to learn and behave will and those few who are misfits will probably always get in trouble regardless of who their teacher is!
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    What's wrong with making them stand up?

    You're not bullying anyone.

    Silent reading for 30 minutes? Is that school policy? That's a tough ask.

    After lunch is the wrong, wrong, WRONG time for a long tutor-group session. They have had an hour of winding each other up and tittle-tattle and name-calling and rumour-mongering. No way is that the right time for anything like silent reading or tutor group. Register and a proper lesson. But that's down to the school. Asking for trouble doing it that way. What nonsense.

    You're fine. Yr 9? Odious bunch. Some of them. By being strict you are protecting the nicer ones from the little sheets. You don't have to be nasty. Just very, very firm.
    SLouise91 likes this.

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