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NQT - Behaviour Management

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by NNS, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. NNS

    NNS New commenter

    I have had my third formal observation yesterday. The first two went all right (two satisfactories), yesterday- a total disaster, an unsatisfactory.

    The feedback made me realise that I am making the same mistakes I did as a PGCE. I am not consequent in my behaviour management, I am way too friendly (which results in pupils liking me, but not respecting me), my classes are all awfully noisy and I have more and more pupils challenging me, rather than the other way round.

    I hope it is not too late to change things around. I do want to gain control over the classes and get pupils respect, but at the same time, I do not want them to stop liking the subject. I started worrying I was indeed not professional enough which resulted in what I am facing at the moment... I wonder about other NQT's- how do you guys cope with behaviour? Do you also find it difficult?
  2. Please don't worry about failing an observation - I too got an unsatisfactory in one and I thought it was the end of my career. Like you I found behaviour management a huge issue, I'm not particularly trying to be liked or popular but just find being strict difficult, I tend to give far too much leeway. I passed the retake observation with a good the next time around but you have to be consistent. Follow whatever sanctions your school uses and stick to them. I made the classes line up outside until they were quiet, then let them in. I always have a task ready to start as soon as they're in and I try to keep the pace going and chunk the lesson more as that keeps behaviour under control. I still find it hard (last year was my nqt year) and still have comments about behaviour management but my mentor can see that strategies are in place and are having effect so I'm getting there and it is becoming much easier. In fact I had an observation today with a satisfactory so am happy that it's all steady progress - some people seem to find it easy but others don't but we all get there in the end!
    Hang on in there, you'll be fine
  3. NNS

    NNS New commenter

    I think I tried to so something that did not work obviously. Last year I got a lot of comments that I was too strict on my pupils and that eventually because of that I might discourage them from liking the subject. So yeah, this year I made a U-turn and got it wrong again, I seem to find it hard to get the balance right and neither be too strict nor too lenient.

    I think the school policies are really useful, but with the amount of problematic pupils, it is hard to keep up to date with everything and make sure they all attend detentions and phone dozens of parents home every day...

    Thanks for the support, I will go to school tomorrow and hopefully start to get things right! :)
  4. I am have the same issue as you. My year 9, 10 and 11 classes are making my life hell. To make it worse My head of department has nothing to say to me and I feel like a faliour as a teacher.
    As a PGCE student everything was fine and I got top marks with all my observations. My mentor in this school has been off sick, however I had an excellent lesson with my year 7 that she observed,
    I feel there is a huge differnce between the support I had as a PGCE and a NQT teacher.
  5. I am in a similar position, as an NQT on long term supply. I was graded outstanding for my PGCE placements, but am really struggling on supply. The school doesn't have a discipline procedure in place, and the kids just laugh when I try to implement my own. I have been at the school for half a term, have had one observation (satisfactory overall) which highlighted behaviour management as my weakness. The school are generally unsupportive - I am a supply teacher, employed to do a job, and they are not interested in developing me as a teacher. The school have just told me they are terminating my contract at Christmas and I am devasted. I feel that I am a failure, I cannot teach and I should just give up. I have lost all my self confidence and don't know if I will have the confidence to take another supply post.
  6. It is so easy to be labelled a bad teacher or to allow a bad observation ruin your confidence... I was in that very position last year. I had built a decent rep with some groups but shocking ones with others. What advice I would give (feel free to take it with a pinch o salt given it was only 18months since I got my QTS) is with behaviour problems (laughin at your own rules etc) is to use other staff and phone home with their kid in the room. Ask the kid if they would like to explain why they feel laughing is appropriate when you are trying to help them learn or something like that.

    It is also worth remembering that the school is so important. If only there was a way to tell which one was right for such a tough year hehe.

    Chin up though - nearly xmas n all that
  7. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I am a NQT, I started six weeks ago after half term. I never expected behaviour to be as much of an issue as it is. I went in too soft and the students liked me but didn't respect me or follow my instructions.
    It has been a tough six weeks, I started off threatening sanctions but never following them up which meant students did not listen. After speaking to HOD and HOY for the groups, I got a lot of support including them issuing detentions and speaking to the students.
    My main problem has been that I haven't felt fully in control of the classroom, I have felt almost like the students have more control. For example, I have felt almost reluctant to move students to different seats or if asking a student to leave the room and they refused I wasn't following up. I would say that over the last week I have been much stricter and enforced sanctions much more and things are gradually improving.
  8. Thanks, Limmer. I really appreciate the advice. I think I'm beginning to realise that I have to refer pupils on to other teachers that they respect, in order to gain respect. Hopefully in time they will come to respect me. I've found that hard in the school that I'm in as I don't know the staff well, but I will make sure that I know who I can report pupils to in my next school. Trouble is, I worry that if I send too many on to other members of staff it gives the impression that I can't cope with behaviour in the classroom. I think that the phoning home is a good idea for one misbehaving pupil, but how does that work when most of the class is misbehaving? When I have picked out a couple of key misbehaving pupils, other pupils have accused me of being unfair as the others are effectively off the hook. I am so glad really that I am leaving the school that I am in as it gives me a chance to start somewhere new with a clean slate with the pupils, but behaviour seems like a bit of an uphill challenge.
    Georgia99, I really know how you feel. I'm in no position to give anyone advice, but if I was you I'd get those classes into seating plans straight away. That may be a step on the way to you regaining control in the classroom. I intend to read "Getting the *** to behave" over Christmas! - check it out if you haven't got it already.
  9. I'm sorry to hear you feel like that. I would say from my limited experience that supply is very different to teaching your own subject and becoming established and seen by the students as a "proper" teacher. Your not a failure for one observation that doesn't go to plan. Especially as they highlight behaviour management that needs developing and they are not supporting you with this. Perhaps your better off out of there and then you could look for a longer term contract maternity/ fixed term /permanent. in the meantime you could try seeing if you can observe a problem class in another lesson and watch carefully.
    Try and detach yourself from the behaviour management you are imposing. For example refering to the "school rules about seating plans" as opposed to your rules about seating plans. Hope that make some sense. Relax at Christmas and come back fighting. Good luck !

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