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NQT needs help with aggressive and intimidating yr10 boys

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by s4mm13, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    After a really tough day I need some advice.

    I've just started a new position in a difficult school which has some incredible challenging students many of which are in one particular class.

    I had these students for a double (2 hour) session today in which they surpassed themselves behaviour wise.

    One student threw 3 stools across the workshop at some other students completely unprovoked. Up until this point he had been sitting quietly in the corner. He had been refusing to work, and even broke apart the practical he had made so far. But as long as he was quiet, I kept an eye on him and he seemed fine. He was subsequently removed from the lesson my SMT.

    I have difficulties with a group of 6 boys who are incredibly intimidating, refuse to follow even the simplest of tasks (bag off, apron on etc.) and can be extremely aggressive.

    It got to a point today where I no longer felt safe. I later broke down in tears as I feel that it is unreasonable for some one like me (NQT) to have to deal with a class that even experienced members of staff struggle with.

    I do have others involved in the matter, and I had 3 of the most aggressive students removed from the second lesson, which made a huge difference.

    I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with students who display this level of aggression and dominance in the classroom/workshop.

    There are a couple of really lovely lads in this class and I really feel like i'm letting them down as I spend so much of my time fire fighting and can not take my eyes of the trouble makers for a second. I really do fear that someone is going to get hurt, including myself...

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated

  2. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    It <u>is</u> unreasonable for anyone to be expected to deal with what you describe. Your mentor/line manager should be involved straight away. As for the couple of decent lads, you're not letting them down; the school in the form of the HT is. You didn't make those thugs the way they are, despite what the clueless appeasers might have you believe.
    List everything that happened today in an email to your line manager and the head of year concerned, with copies to the SMT member who removed the brat and to the head. Say that you fear for your own safety and that of other pupils.
  3. Thank you for your reply.
    I appologies for lack of paragraphs in my first post, they were there when i wrote it!! I blame my partners computer!
    I have several other members of staff involved including head of year and assissant head, but the school seems to do very little about this sort of behaviour. A small stint in isolation (cushy afternoon off) and they're allowed back into class with no real consequense. The behaviour management system means nothing to students like these so is ineffectual.
    I just don't want to come accross as an ineffective teacher who isn't up to the job and so fail my induction.
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    You're welcome. Your main paragraph above sums up the problem very well, which is why you need to have all the details logged.
  5. I wd be very tempted to tell SMT / HT that unless the boy who threw the stools at the others is severly punished (e.g. two weeks' suspension; formal interview with parents on return) then you intend to inform the police / the parents of the children who the stools were aimed at. (If your child had had stools thrown at him wdn't you want to know?)
    I wd also keep a detailed of record of everything aggressive etc. the pupils concerned do - often it will be a criminal offence (e.g .threatening behaviour) and you can then take the same action again. With boys whom you know have a record of violent behaviour i wd get rid of them as soon as they start to be aggressive. You have proof from their past actions that they are likely to become dangerous so cannot afford to expose the other children / yourself to this risk.
    I don't see how anyone cd complain about this. Really I wd say you need two other physically strong ("intervention"-trained) adults in the room to contain any problems - how can you teach if you actually *know* you / the other children are not physcially safe?
    In fact I might be inclined to insist the head comes in and sees what it's like. (He must be a real gem.) I certainly wd make sure I saw him personally about it - but then I know it's all a bit different when one's an NQT! Just remember most heads are priceless ********s (and that's a fact).
  6. Thanks for your reply Jasonalex24.
    I plan of keeping a log of everything that happens in the lessons, but I'm also looking for some advice on how to deal with the behaviour itself in the lesson.
    For example, a group of boys start chanting innappropriate things, to try and unsettle me - At the moment I'm ignoring it as don't want to give them the satisfaction of having it acknowledged, or should I try and stop this, but then they are acknowledged and the chanting has had it's desired effect.
    I have them again this morning for a two hour session and I'm dreading it!!
    Still, I shall go in with a smile on my face and the best positive attitude i can muster.
  7. You come from a very strong position remember...
    You are in a workshop with dangerous tools
    They have previous.
    This will stand you in good stead for any action you feel you need to take. With this sort of group I would definately push to have another member of staff in the room at the very least.
  8. After a more positive lesson yesterday, today was a different matter.
    More items thrown so another student removed...
    Another student used the disc sander to make a sharp implement, very dangerous in my eyes as could easiy be used as a weapon! He is not the first to do this!! [​IMG] Decided that no more machines were to be used, handtools only.
    The student removed from the last session for throwing stools (meant to be in isolation) kept showing up to the lesson. He's not safe to be in a workshop so SLT was called and i refused to let him into the workshop, but they were unable to catch him as he just wanders off round the school and back to my lesson!! This makes me so angry as if SLT can't manage students like these, how am I supposed to cope??!!
    I'm still keeping a record of what's happening in these lessons so i can keep track of the situation.
    Really need the support of someone to deal with this group.
    I feel like a failure and completely incompetent! Anoth lesson i end in tears (not in front of kids of course!!! [​IMG]
  9. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    You are not the first teacher to work in a school in which the SLT hasn't a clue. This proves to you (if the proof were needed) that the problem is not you, but the school's culture of disobedience and defiance. That pupil should be excluded.
    You are neither. That description applies only to the SLT. I suggest you inform them that you will refer all future incidents to the police and then see how the head deals with that. You are not working in war zone.
  10. This particular student was supposed to be excluded following the original incident. His mum was called to come and collect him. It took her two buses to get to school and when she did make it in, he refused to go and went off around the school again. She eventually went back home by herself. He can't even be excluded!!
    I'm not sure how much notice the police would give and even what sort of effect this would have as the Head has resigned and i doubt would be interested in the problems of a lowly NQT...
  11. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    You are not there to put yourself at risk. You should not have to wait until you are physically assauslted before someone does something. No one should have to put up with that.
  12. Hope things have improved in the last week or so.
    If they haven't I really wd advise that you see the head or his deputy urgently and put your concerns about violence / physical threat / failure to get the boy to leave the premises and the danger he poses in lesson in writing (an email will do if you keep a copy and make sure it gets thro).
    If the child will not leave the school when asked to do so by the Head it must be a police matter. I realise that you may not want to take it as far as that - I might not do it myself I don't know - but I think your SMT needs to know that they are not doing their job and that if they don't sort it out they will get found out. I might be wrong but i really think you need to let them know that - in the interests of the safety of other pupils and yourself - if they can't control this child when he is not supposed to be near your lesson then you will have to inform the governors and / or police.
    If the head has resigned it is possible he won't have the right attitude - but someone at the school will have to take control if you make it clear that things are so wrong. If the head just won't then it's the governors' responsiblity; if they won't then i wd suggest the police and / or the LEA etc.
    I wd always warn SMT if at all possible that you will consider phoning the police - but in the end what else can you do if you / your pupils are under threat? I wd also strongly advise you to *demand* that another member of staff, preferably SMT and / or someone big / well respected by pupils is present at these lessons just to let pupils know that there is quick assistance available.
    Anyway, if the chanting thing is still happening: I wd warn the whole class in a calm, lowish key way that if they chant they will be punished as it stops you teaching the class. Then make a careful note of whoever is doing the chanting when it happens and do everything you can to carry out the punishment. It sounds like it might be difficult to get children to attend detentions etc. so you may need support with this as well. If you really can't get any to ensure they attend then I really wd just walk away asap tbh. You cannot hope to control them if you have no way to sanction them.
    But I wdn't be inclined to let it go at all. Just warn them briefly but very clearly and sanction them. If any then carry on after being told they're in detention or whatever they will have to be removed or how can you teach? (This cannot be controversial and need not involve any emotion.) Some of them are probably just "playing" / being silly / joining in but they won't stop til they see it's not a game.
    Hope you are managing ok.
  13. Hi J,
    Thank you for your post. I have this articular group of students tomorrow for a two hour session.
    I am a little nervous, but try my best not to show this in fornt of them!!...I try to come across as calm and in control during the lesson and only let out the emotion after it's finished.
    I'm trying something different tomorrow. Were going to take a break from the project that they started with their previous teacher and something brand new.
    I did have issues last lesson with equipment and machines being used to fashion weapon type objects so am nopt planning to use any type of machinery.
    I've taken on board all of your advice and am keeping a log incidents as and when they happen.
    I will let you know how it goes (if your still interested of course!!)
  14. Hi there again J,
    Just thought I'd let you know that i took on board a suggestion from another member of staff about how I could better deal with this class.
    I decided that we would move away from the project they started with their previous teacher and do something else, so I put together a presentation for the lesson WALT/WILF etc but added something a little different at the beginning.
    I asked the question 'What is the best thing you've ever made? (this is a creative craft lesson). I then asked around and got the usual 'don't know' so i told them about the things I am most proud of; little wooden toys, some jewellery and the guitars I made on my degree course... You didn't make those they jeered so I showed them the pictures of me at univerity in the workshop having just finished them.
    After they had seen this, what I am able to do, the attitude changed completely. We had a great 2 hours (not perfect, but you wouldn't ever expet that form this group) and I really did leave with a huge smile on my face and thanked them for a great lesson. They were no longer aggressive towards me, they were much more respectful and overall nicer young men.
    Now I know that this may just be a one off as some of the class weren't there but I'm feeling much more confident and happy with the way things have gone today.
    Fingers crossed...
  15. That's good news - sounds like this idea worked really well and at least you know they can be better. They sound very needy really so showing them what you have to offer looks like it may well be a winner.
  16. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    So pleased to read the good news. Let us know how you get on next lesson.
  17. Get the police in. That is what most countries do.
    Except Britain: wait for a murder or a rape first.

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