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New school, awful behaviour, lack of support

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by soozle0810, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. soozle0810

    soozle0810 New commenter

    I started at a new 2 form entry school in September and was given a year 5 class who had just been mixed together for the first time. Behaviour is the worse I've ever experienced in my ten years of teaching. I was told I had some 'difficult' characters but that was understatement. I also had no adult support despite one of these 'difficult' children having a 1:1 last year. After 3 weeks and being accused by said child of grabbing him and throttling him, I was given a college student training to be a TA as extra help. As nice as she is, shes extra work for me to manage as she has no clue. I was also told 'oh he makes accusations all the time we have to investigate but don't worry.' Long story short, I'm screamed at numerous times each day, children fight daily, things are stolen, parents complain daily about behaviour and 3 supply teachers have refused to ever come back to the school after covering. Today, I was out of class for 1 hour for a meeting and during that time there were 2 physical fights with 4 children, a child spitting in a girls hair, a child running out the classroom and a screaming match with 2 others. The heads response 'What can I do?' There is no support and im at breaking point. Ive rearranged the classroom 4 times and the seating plan, implemented ridiculous amounts of rewards by spending my own money on prizes, always communicating with parents, set up behaviour charts, reward charts, class councillors etc etc. I just don't know what to do. The school behaviour system is bad but without support from slt I'm not sure what to do. Please ignore the poor writing of this I'm just at the end of my mental capabilities! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You've passed the point of no-return for leaving at Christmas.

    Assuming that you've attempted all possible behaviour solutions, given you've been at it for 3 months and the big problem kicked off in your absence.

    How about a 2-point plan
    1. Hand in your notice to leave at Easter
      Hopefully the HT will suddenly take an interest in settling the class if you're leaving the sinking ship.
    2. Consider YOUR health, both physical and mental.
      See a Doctor about the stresses you are under and see if medical advice is WRS and some recuperation.
    You've got to know when to walk away,
    Know when to run
    Kenny Rogers - The Gambler
    pepper5 and elder_cat like this.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Diamond !!
    sunshineneeded and BelleDuJour like this.
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Indeed you do!
  5. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Hi @soozle0810 What you've described sounds incredibly stressful.

    It is important to consider yourself and you're right that without any support from SLT and the head, changing the situation is almost impossible. Even if you do decide to hand in your notice - and this may well prompt more of a response from above and you can decide then if that is satisfactory or too late - you will need to manage the months ahead.

    It sounds like you have tried lots of strategies that can work for some classes. It's possible perhaps this was too much change for the class and, frustrating as it sounds, applying one simple sanction and reward system with more consistency might work better. Choose very simple rules and explain them to the class. Then give a warning and then call on SLT/Headtecher/move child to another classroom etc - use whatever you have available to you and do not worry about calling too often or being seen as weak. You have to have the option of removing a child if they fail to follow instructions. I know @pepper5 uses:
    1. follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on task
    3, Don't disturb others

    Would these work for your class? Year 5 should be able to cope with those I imagine. Some variation of this anyway, and you could also email parents with these and ask for them to go over them at home. Handling complaints about behaviour from parents when you're also struggling in the class is so dispiriting but remember that the parents have much more responsibility over their behaviour than you do - the task of teaching someone to be a decent member of society is not yours alone! Inform the parents of what is happening and be honest - you're not at fault here - and then explain what you are doing and what you expect. Send home the expectations and a simple reward system that you stick to. Then explain that the behaviour of some children is having a detrimental impact on the whole class so you will be monitoring using these systems and reporting back. Then call parents. Even ask them to come in and observe their child if the school will allow it.

    Stick to your guns then. Choose your rules and repeatedly call parents/send children to head for infringements. Equally choose one simple way of rewarding (ideally not using any of your own money) children and stick to it. Try calling parents on Friday afternoons (I know it is the last thing you feel like doing!) as then children have time with parents to either have the positive or negative effects!

    Try not to give up or show your frustration. I know this is so difficult but once the children see they're getting a reaction, it becomes emotional. You calmly tell them the rules, you try to teach the lesson. When you can't teach because of behaviour, you stop for the minimum amount of time you can manage to deal with it. Call for support, have the child removed. Insist to the head that the entire class is missing out on learning (in the year before SATS) and you must have somewhere to send children making it impossible to teach.

    Come back and let us know how you're getting on.
    galerider123 and pepper5 like this.
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    There’s nothing you can do that will work and it’s behaviour that is all too common now - without your Head’s backing, you’re screwed. They clearly know about the problems and equally clearly, don’t give a flying frig. Take one day at a time, use sick leave and resign. Before that, I’d have one more meeting with the Head and any SENCO you might have, spell out the problems, issues etc, what you want to happen and the support you need. Document everything. Nothing will happen of course, but no one can then say you didn’t go the extra mile.
    JohnJCazorla and BelleDuJour like this.
  7. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    • How dare they put you in a room on your own with a child known to make false allegations, is my personal response. At least now you have another adult in the room.
    • I assume that the classes were mixed to try and alleviate some of this. It hasn't worked. It may have even made matters worse by disrupting social groups and throwing everything up in the air (are there any possible autistic tendencies with the child/some of the children?)
    • Schools rarely pay for 1 to 1, so if the student was getting it last year presumably he/she has an IEP and money is coming into school for him/her. Where is the money going? It belongs with that child supporting them in your classroom ie paid adult support. They had one last year- because they needed it. And they still do.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  8. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

  9. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Interesting point here. What do you know about the funding situation? It's certainly true that the money goes with the child but I've seen a huge rise in the number of kids whose status changes from support to 'no SEN', especially on leaving primary school. I go to look a child up thinking they must need some support and they've changed from K to N. Has anyone else seen this?
  10. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    I think that this may be possible, as in a previous school with new management 16 additional year 6 children in one class were placed on the SEN register simply because of their low attainment. Presumably by the end of year six most would be removed from it.
    Previously we would have defined them as low achievers and they would have had extra support as a matter of course. Unless secondary schools are testing on entry and removing at that point?
  11. Norsemaid

    Norsemaid Lead commenter

    In our setting we look at any information sent up from primary , observe student and assess then look at what support they need .
    But often we find that there are students being flagged up as cause for concern and the primary school have nothing on file for them . That's very frustrating . So we start from scratch .
    We have more than our fair share of those still needing one to one support in year 7 mainly for SEMH. This is the first year that this has happened for non medical issues .
  12. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    We have more than our fair share of those still needing one to one support in year 7 mainly for SEMH. This is the first year that this has happened for non medical issues .

    Is this due to the recent growth of awareness of SEMH, do you think? Or do you think that there is an increase in occurrence?
  13. Norsemaid

    Norsemaid Lead commenter

    A mixture of more awareness of conditions ( if that's the right word ) like attachment , perhaps unresolved MH issues in the parents going on to parent themselves , and in the name of inclusion and lack of funding, more students being admitted in to mainstream . I'm just thinking out loud here as I'm also staggered as to the immaturity in general and lack of resilience in our year 7s.

    However there are some positives in that vocabulary and literacy levels are rising , and in maths too.
    However there is also a widening gap between those who can only grasp the basics and those who are flying high so to speak .
    I have to add that our primary catchment area is really er how can put it challenging, with parents being illiterate etc etc as well as the children .
    I feel more like a cross between a mum, psychologist, social worker , dr and counsellor , my real role is the last thing that I perform .
    What about you ?
    pepper5 likes this.

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