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New cover supervisor. Students do not respect me. Should I even be in this job?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by suertesamp, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    I have been a cover supervisor for 2 months and since I started this role I have had problems managing behaviour. The children talk over me almost of the time and I am fighting losing battles to get the class to keep quiet when I am trying to give instructions, take the register etc.I have had to yell over all the voices to get the class to be quiet.
    Today for example I was covering year 7 English and the children were taking turns reading allowed. Myself and the students who were reading were constantly being talked over and I had a list of C1's as long as my arm by the end of the lesson. Two were sent to time out.
    Also I covered a year 11 class of about 15 pupils. There were some girls in there who gave me a hard time. Some were refusing to do their work and making snide comments. Even some of the girls who had been good for me in other classes were showing off to their friends. I was also laughed at by them as they spoke behind my back.
    I feel like I've messed things up at that it is too late for me to change things now. Respect for me has gone out of the window and I am being seen as a member of staff who is a pushover. I am already applying for a TA position at the school because I hate covering lessons. It was quite nice for me on supply, but the children at this school are diabolically rude.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear all this. Classroom teaching is definitely challenging. I am a long term supply teacher, and I can say that some classes also act this way for a teacher as well.

    What is helpful is to have a seating plan that separates friends. When you have a seating plan then you know who is who and can pin point the naughty ones and weed them out.

    I find pupils are cheeky and rude when they are sitting next to friends. They tend to show off and undermine the teacher. You can hand write your seating plan to start with and shift around one or two and update it as you go and find what works. I find sitting in rows works best. Sitting in square tables is a disaster. You can move the tables in preparation for the next lesson if need be.

    I start moving individuals around. Try not to engage or argue with them. Follow the behaviour policy. I usually write three columns on the whiteboard. 1. Reminder 2. Warning & behaviour points 3. Detention and then removal.

    I follow this. I write the name on the board if they have received a reminder. Then it escalates to "Warning and behaviour points" which I ALWAYS log on SIMS. I always let them know they have a choice to follow the instructions or the behaviour to escalate to a detention.

    I also let them know that if the behaviour is repeated, that i will be speaking to the Head of Year about that pupil or I will phone home. If I say, I will phone home. I always follow through.

    Once this routine is established then they can't argue with your or say they didn't get a reminder. As soon as they get a reminder you write their name on the board.

    Don't teach until the class is quiet. I usually do a loud countdown "1, 2, 3" so they have a chance to quieten down. I also raise my arm. I wait there until they are silent.

    If there is a longer lapse if they don't listen, I start writing the minutes on the board that i am waiting.

    They are then informed that they will be asked to spend their break/lunch/after school making up the time. If they don't turn up they will be issued with a detention.

    I also highlight the good pupils and write achievement/rewards on the wall and praise them aloud for others to hear.

    I hope you will find this insight helpful. You will get better. Practice makes perfect. You can get the class back if you show that you are not to be messed with and you are serious.
  3. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Ps Don't be afraid for another teacher to step in and back you up if things are really bad. Once a few have been removed and sent out the rest will pay attention.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    There are behaviour managing books. One is called "Getting the ******* To Behave"
    cadillac99 and suertesamp like this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Personally I'm quite familiar with the C-system and it can be quite effective for classroom behaviour, especially for Covering. The weak point is what happens when they reach the point where they have to be removed. Hopefully this is also good, in which case go for it without reserve. You can climb out of the hole you're in if you're prepared to be merciless about it. A month or two should let you at least see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    The other thing is support (not the nasty kind). Who is available on the pastoral side (or even SLT) that you can ask to help you with this? The school will want to keep you in position as you don't cost much and it will cost a lot to interview and appoint a replacement. So identify someone and ask for assistance here.

    Not sure about changing to become a TA without sorting this though. There's a serious danger that you could be asked to 'just' cover this lesson as it's an emergency, about 5 times per day. Also a poor reputation won't help you in dealing with the same problem kids. Disciplinary systems work best if all staff enforce them and you need to use them as well.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    I ended up buying that book! Finding it helpful already.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi sue

    Glad things are improving for you. Another resource you might enjoy looking at is the Pivotal Education web site which gives free tips and advice with other resources for behaviour management. I highly recommend them.
    cadillac99 likes this.

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