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Not feeling very supported...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by SEBREGIS, Jan 18, 2019.


    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Need a bit of general advice on this one.

    Been teaching a long time, behaviour management not my favourite thing but generally OK with it. I’ve worked in tough schools and not found it easy, but who does.

    Currently dealing with classes where there are some difficult students, and where the behaviour between lessons is quite poor, with students running around the corridors, going into classrooms and screaming just to cause trouble etc etc.

    To begin with I went in quite strong, but was told that I was using the behaviour system too much and that I needed to be more tolerant. Then I was told that I was being too lenient and that if I needed to remove students so that others could learn, I should do so. Tried that today but was told that the removal system could only take one student at a time, so I ended up with one miscreant sitting there being rude to me all lesson. No one is taking responsibility for behaviour in the corridors and the feeling among the staff is that the behaviour is getting worse. I’ve seen one teacher reduced to tears this week, and the cleaners are very angry about the vandalism that’s being allowed.

    From my point of view, the worst thing is that I’m feeling very undermined. The implication seems to be that if I’m having to get students removed then the problem is with me (can’t even control a bunch of year 7s). Feeling a bit low about it, frankly. There’s a lot I like about my current place of employment but I’m not putting up with this until retirement. Or death.

    Am I being too sensitive? What do folks think?
    steely1, agathamorse, Alice K and 2 others like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You're not too sensitive. You're frustrated. Rightly.

    But what can you actually DO? Other than what you are doing? You've been told. One student at a time gets sent to isolation. Not two. One. End of.

    Staff meeting. Any other business? Why, yes. If you're brave enough. Get the union rep to speak up. Pool ideas. Hmm. And pigs might fly.

    Maybe eventually someone in management will get a grip? Spread a rumour that OFSTED is expected any day now! See what happens.

    You have my sympathy. Little g.its getting away with murder and spoiling it for everyone else? Sounds familiar. 'Twas ever thus. Defeatist? I guess I am. Really though?

    Up with this we will not put!!!!!! Said by everyone at a staff meeting.

    Oh, go off sick. Sometimes it's the only thing you can do. You're driven to it.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are not being too sensitive.

    However, I don't have any advice.

    You could try and find a school where they don't allow students to run through the corridors, but they are hard to come by.
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    What do the SLT do?
    What is the OFSTED report like on behaviour?
    Make your views known and document them.

    I agree with GDW!
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    In the highly unlikely event of staff not getting SLT to do something about it :rolleyes: then all you can do is look for work elsewhere.

    You've got to know when to walk away
    Know when to run
    Kenny Rogers - The Gambler
  6. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I was at a school once where SLT said that there should never be any reason for a member of staff to remove 4 pupils from a lesson. This gave an insight into their complete lack of understanding of the pack mentality staff were dealing with! The kids knew if they all played up at the same time then the chances are they'd get away with it! Teachers that were viewed to be managing the behavior well were the ones who swallowed their smoke! Anyone who had all the dodgy groups and were trying to establish some order found themselves in the heads office being quizzed about their high number of removals!
    It's not you it's them. Unfortunately you are the filling in a sh*t sandwich stuck between a management team adopting the ostrich approach to behaviour management and pupils who know poor behaviour is likely to be seen as the teachers fault. Your choices are stay and accept this and keep your head down. Speak up and make yourself unpopular with the deluded management types (cue hostile observations etc) or get your coat and look for greener pastures!
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    No. And it seems others agree.
    It really is.

    Unfortunately this seems to be happening more and more in schools as indeed 'pack mentality' becomes rife if not checked. :(

    Certainly look at your options. Looking around for another School? Possibly! But thay may have similar, or worse problems. :(
    If you're staying I suggest you band together with staff who also have similar problems and provide a support system for each other. Could you send a child to one of their classes for example, or this a no-no these days? We certainly found that being sent to a colleague coud get them out of our hair for a bit and show solidarity amongst staff.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    For those who are ever short of a Kenny Rogers fix:

  9. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    This is actually NOT your problem. It is a whole school issue. I agree with all of the above. It sounds widespread and needs to be presented to SLT / HT. Absolutely involve your union others will speak up with you. Running about the corridors us a health and safety risk. I do believe that with the increased challenges of the curriculum at all stages an's budget contraiMrs together with poor whole school na garment dies facilitate whole school disruptive behaviour. If a group of children choose to behave well for SLT and not a regul

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Thanks for the support and advice folks.

    I’m loathe to pack up and find another school because there’s a lot about the place I like. And I’ve not been there very long. But I’m not impressed with being spoken to like an incompetent supply teacher, if you know what I mean.

    As most of you have pointed out, there’s not much to be done. Not practically. So maybe it does come down to trying somewhere else.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Having worked in schools with similar and worse poor behaviour, and heard about many others from friends and from numerous posters on here, and having been fed that line that it's the teacher's fault, and having heard also of teachers who have been pushed to taking sackable measures such as shouting or slamming doors, and having also experienced the evil of restorative meetings holding sway over proportionate sanctions, I have to conclude, unfortunately, that the end of the world is nigh, but luckily only for adults.
  12. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    First, your priority should be to your health and wellbeing but...

    I'm in a similar school. Terrible behaviour, little support. Maybe I should have left but I haven't after three years. It's got better in that time. Not the school, the students or anything that's out of my control, but my day to day life in the classroom. It's sad but I'm one of the few constants that some of the students have had in their time at school. They respond better to me. Not perfect, I'll still vent about them on here or in the staffroom, but nothing I can't cope with.
    I don't know if 'being able to cope with it' is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, if I were to talk to myself two and half years ago, when I was in a similar situation, I would tell myself to stick with it.
    *I must point out that there isn't an alternative me that did move schools at that time, available to offer balanced advice!
  13. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Apologies re my terrible svrip
    Huge apologies TESSERS for my terrible typos ... and even worst copy and paste. My phone needs changing and is too slow * sounds like me ).

    Anyway I wanted to state that if classes listen to SLT and not regular teachers this is a sure sign that there IS a an issue with whole school behaviour management that SLT NEEDS to address.
    Enjoy your weekend because YOU are a great teacher
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    To be honest - I think it’s sad that in this profession that’s about the best we can hope for.

    You’re right about health and well-being. I think that’s what’s irking me most at the moment. Unpleasant children are a part of the job and always have been. It’s that feeling that no one has your back that is most upsetting.
    agathamorse, pepper5, Curae and 3 others like this.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That sums up the changes quite succinctly SEBREGIS.
    That is indeed the change. Years ago we had Senior Management and collegiate support as in the example I gave about being able to 'exchange' children if necessary.
  16. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    A decade ago I worked in a school as the OP describes for three years (NQT then two more). I was seen as really successful, my classes' results were great, and I was given loads of TLR opportunities. However, in hindsight I realise I hated it. My home life, my personal relationships, my own hobbies (do we still use that term?) all suffered. I was constantly stressed, angry and irritable. Most weekends I would work at least 4-5hours. Some Friday nights I would sleep for 12-14 hours (not normal!). Since then, with the exception of one hell-hole for a year, I've worked in really great schools - by no means perfect, but the culture is right: supportive, collegiate, interconnected. And the cohorts aren't perfect, either - but staff and SLT are really encouraging and look out for each other. If your results are good then the means aren't scrutinised endlessly. SLT trust us. Again, there are issues (as all schools have) but staff are very happy on the whole.

    A decade ago my skin was grey and spotty, I was overweight, and I was constantly getting bugs. As soon as I left that school, all this changed (is this too much of a cliche?). I got fitter, happier and found a life again. Not overnight, but in time.

    These days I never get the 'back to school' dread on Sundays and, even more tellingly, I never tally the weeks of each half-term (except for planning!).

    When I go back, I still see some of my old colleagues from that school and they look prematurely aged and ill.

    So - I guess what I am saying to the OP is - get out.
  17. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    How difficult is it to help someone?

    If SLT know there are particular classes or it is more likely individual students that cause problems why don't they timetable someone to show up to these classes?????????? Not the minor disruptions, but the classes or individuals who have a history of disturbing the lessons. It is a team effort.

    It isn't difficult! Write up a chart on the wall and make up a rota and help your staff!

    If you know it takes 25 minutes for a teacher to settle a class and take the register, SHOW UP SLT and stand by the door! LOL

    I despair.
    JohnJCazorla and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    This is a frustrating situation and it is made all the more so by lazy, out of touch behaviour management, it sound like.
    And it is doubly annoying because these are Year Seven. Year seven! For goodness'sake, can't SLT see they are creating future problems?
    So what can be done? Document everything. Email copies of everything to everyone you can think of. At the end of each issue, explain (this is a key phrase) that "X's behaviour is preventing other students from making progress." You can even name students who are underachieving. If these other students are LACs or some such, it will make SLT notice.
    Can you set up a "buddy" system? That is, a timetable of other supportive staff who would be willing to have a naughty year 7 sit at the back of their year 11 lesson to work. When I was in a school which did this, the class where said miscreant was placed often scolded away very helpfully! (It works even better when year 11 have to sit in with year 7.)
    Is there any chance of anything like a report card to track individuals through the day? You won't be the only one having trouble and a report card would allow documantation of the behaviour.
    What do the parents say? From your description of the students' behaviour, not much, I'd guess, but worth a try...
    Good luck with it all.
    pepper5 and Marshall like this.
  19. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    Get out!
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yeah, but nobody gets promotion or a pay rise by being the "naughty kid whisperer". In the old days you got respect for being that person. Not now. It's not showy. There aren't training opportunities. You can't sell it. It doesn't make a name for the academy.

    Some bloke/woman who is good with recalcitrant kids? Nah. Where does that get ya?

    Time was when people would have been grateful and you'd have been valued for that.

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