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NQT behaviour advice

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by LSMCCA, Oct 6, 2019.


    LSMCCA New commenter

    Hi all, this is my first time posting. I'm hoping for some advice.

    I am currently completing my NQT year and I am having problems with a particular class. There behaviour is terrible and I was told to expect them to be my problem class. I am using the school behaviour policy and trying to be consistent, but there are definitely times when they get really rowdy where I cannot even pinpoint where the problem is coming from. They can also be really rude and disrespectful to me. I know this is to be expected in your NQT year, and it should be hard, especially until xmas. I have been advised by SLT, and those supporting me to be consistent and use the school behaviour policy which involves sending the children out of the classroom.

    My problem is my mentor has advised me to not send pupils out. They think I should be working on winning the children over and keeping those who are behaving badly in the classroom. Her advise is that if I am too strict I will never build a rapport with the class, but honestly, I'm even aware I'm not being strict or consistent enough with this class.

    Should I follow my mentors advice and let these children stay in the classroom no matter how they behave? I feel that everything I have read advises completely against this but my mentor is much more experienced than me.
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It's very difficult to be consistent when you are not being given consistent advice!
    I think you're best sticking with the school policy, especially if SLT and others are advising this. Perhaps you could ask them to tell your mentor that this is what they're advising.
    Miss_Haversham and pepper5 like this.
  3. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I would say look carefully at your lessons, but I have no idea which subject you are teaching and what age group. Start with routine and reward pupils doing the right thing. I get all classes to write the title and date and do a thunk whilst I do the register. Then every pupil who has done what I ask gets a sticker by the title whilst I circle the room for the first couple of minutes (even Year 11 love a sticker in my experience). Chunk lessons down so that they are manageable for all pupils, which again gives you the opportunity to praise the ones doing the right thing. Whatever you do, do don't put ticks on the board - it'll become a competition. If you can find the time, phone the parents of the ones doing the right thing and build a positive rapport with them. Get the parents on side and that'll come in handy when/if you need them.

    Also, some classes you win and some you lose.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    This is an often neglected tactic. Students - and parents - tend to only expect phone calls when something has gone wrong. I have always tried to make sure that when I do have to make a call home about something going wrong I always do another one afterwards to a parent of someone who is getting it right. It sends a message out to parents, to students (word soon gets around), and makes you feel bette after the previous call.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Yes, I ca0lling parents to give praise is an excellent tactic. You could have Fantastic Friday where you ring the parents/carers of three students who have done well in terms of progress, behaviour or effort.

    What are your class rules?

    You could use three:

    1. Follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on task
    3. Work without disturbing others

    Have a poster on the wall and refer students to it when the need a reminder. Have them write the rules in their books. You have to teach the behaviour you want to see.

    Give warnings and use the school's policy of having students removed. No one wants students removed and it is a last resort but you must also remember the ones behaving and they will be resentful of those causing mayhem.

    Ask the class to come in,stand behind their chairs and wait till you invite them to sit down. Have an activity for them to do in silence while you take the register which should only be 2 minutes or so.

    You have to act as though you are in charge and you must address the rudeness. Perhaps have a meeting with another adult present and explain that in your classes you dont allow unkind remarks whether they are directed to you or other students. Explain you are not rude to them and you expect the same in return.

    Somehow you have to get the balance of firmness and understanding they may never have been taught not to be rude to other people.

    The are testing you but believe it or not deep down many students want to behave and want to learn.

    I agree with the ticks and names on the board as if you do that it creates another level of drama. Keep a pad in your hand/pocket to tally warnings.

    Much of it is an act.

    Smile, stand up straight, have some scripts for warnings memorised, and stick to rules and routines.

    You are there to work. They are there to work. That is the long and short of it.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019

    LSMCCA New commenter

    Thank you everybody for taking the time to offer me advice, I really appreciated it. I just wanted to give you an update - I have taken loads of your advice on-board and things seem to be improving.
    I know it is an uphill battle with behaviour management in teaching, but just glad that it is getting better! :)
  7. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    I might be late to the party but your post resonated with me.
    I too am an NQT and I also have that one dreaded class (33 pupils with target grades 3-8 no less.)
    They’ve given me hell over the past two months and I struggled to pinpoint who did what, when.
    So I split them. Well behaved, hardworking pupils on one side, everyone else on the other side of the room. I can now pinpoint much quicker who’s causing the trouble and use the behaviour system accordingly. I take no prisoners and am very consistent with my sanctions but I also make sure there are plenty of rewards for all that work hard. That is key I think as deep down most pupils want to do well and they thrive on praise and rewards.
    We’ve recently had to practice several times what silence actually should look like (P5 or any lesson before a break are great for that.) The message is starting getting through.
    We’re not quite there yet but I expect to have the behaviour completely under control by Christmas.
    All the best for your NQT year. Be tough but don’t forget to crack a smile and have a bit of banter too when they do well for you.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I would say that the OP would enjoy teaching in China.
    MathMan1 likes this.

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