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NQT who can't control them!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jenrachl, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. jenrachl

    jenrachl New commenter

    Hi
    I'm looking for other primary teachers to reassure me that the same thing happened to them when they started teaching! I'm a few weeks into a maternity cover and after the initial honeymoon period I am now finding it really difficult to manage low level disruption. I'm in KS2. I'm a five foot nothing young female and I don't have a very loud voice! Once they all start talking it's so difficult to get them to stop and I don't want to shout in case it looks to them like I'm losing control. I'm confident and am following through with sanctions - I want to know if this will work if I persevere or if there are any top tips for appearing menacing in front of year 6 (despite not being a 6ft bloke!)
    Thanks!
     
  2. jenrachl

    jenrachl New commenter

    Hi
    I'm looking for other primary teachers to reassure me that the same thing happened to them when they started teaching! I'm a few weeks into a maternity cover and after the initial honeymoon period I am now finding it really difficult to manage low level disruption. I'm in KS2. I'm a five foot nothing young female and I don't have a very loud voice! Once they all start talking it's so difficult to get them to stop and I don't want to shout in case it looks to them like I'm losing control. I'm confident and am following through with sanctions - I want to know if this will work if I persevere or if there are any top tips for appearing menacing in front of year 6 (despite not being a 6ft bloke!)
    Thanks!
     
  3. thehawk

    thehawk Occasional commenter

    My daughter mentioned tonight that at her school (it is year 9) the stricter the teacher is, the more the childern play up, the kinder the teacher is, the better behaved they are.


    Obviously, what she means by strict is interesting - it is always threatening detentions/reprimands etc.

    So my answer is: be kind and be yourself (but in a strong, kind way)
     
  4. Use other methods of getting their attention and getting them quiet. I use clapping a rhythm that they have to clap back and then wait silently. I also count back slowly from five to zero expecting them to be on the carpet quiet by zero. They seem to tune into this and it works even if I am speaking fairly quietly. I had to train them by practising it, but it does work for mine. I have had to spend some time after lessons getting them to line up again etc and they soon got fed up of wasting their break time.
    Good luck.
     
  5. Year 6 at this time of year are tough to handle for the most experieced among us! I swear something happens to them after the exams that turns them into snarling monsters!
    Don't worry, it sounds as if you are doing the right things, I can only imagine how hard it would be to take over at this time of the year. Keep the work varied - I never ask mine to do independent work in silence now - i'd be fighting a loosing battle! Lots of projects with no time to slack!
    Keep with it and think there will be a fresh bunch in September!
     
  6. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Obviously your daughter is only a child and is not expected to have a
    full understanding of the situation. In fact, it gives a good insight
    into how some children may interpret teachers' actions. But...
    I wouldn't say there is a direct link between being 'kind' and 'strict'. Nor are they mutually exclusive.
    Perhaps, closer to what your daughter describes would be 'fairness'. Firm but fair is usually fine. Firm and unfair is a bad combination.
     
  7. A strategy I have used very successfully in KS2 and KS3 (as a student and on supply) was to have a huge stopwatch on the IWB and the second a pupil starts to talk, start the stopwatch. Stop it when they stop talking.
    Make it clear that you will not even attempt to speak if even one pupil is talking or not paying attention. Explain that you don't like having your time wasted, and while you are standing at the front of the room waiting for them to listen it is being wasted, so you will waste their time back by keeping them in at break/lunch (for the exact number of mins/sec they 'waste').
    It is amazing how quickly the seconds add up and the class soon get very tired of being kept in! After a few times the class should just shut up as soon as they see the dreaded stopclock appear on the board hehe! [​IMG]
     
  8. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    im also an NQT, coming towards to end of my year, with a yr5/6 class. I too had a honeymoon period, which then turnt for the worse, and as others have said, yr6 have become real monsters since SAT's. I also do the stopwatch thing, only have to reach for it and i hear people say 'stop, she's got the stopwatch!'
    ive just taken it as a learning curve. As my HT and fellow staff say, if u can handle yr6 you can do anything, especially this time of year.
     
  9. How about other systems for gaining attention other than shouting, which as you say is not helpful when trying to get a calm atmosphere.
    KS1 teachers successfully employ hand clapping to a rhythm where the children repeat back. My student used this in Year 6 with great effect - she is also on the small side. There is the good old hand in the air until they all are with you. As long as they are clear on the rules and sanctions, this should be successful. The longer you have to wait, the shorter the breaktime.
    Make sure that you are avoid blanket punishments to the whole class. Ask yourself is it the whole class causing the problem or the same persistent offenders? If so, target them and the rest will follow.
    Good luck. Consistent boundaries are vital so keep perservering.
     
  10. james.

    james. New commenter

    I think the distinction between kind and strikt is probably more teachers who use threats and teachers who use praise.
    I have a rule for myself that I'm not allowed to say anything negative unless I say two possitive things first, for example thanking a couple of them listening before asking someone to listen. Or praising two children for putting a hand up before giving warnings for shouting out. It works really well and you'll notice a difference straight away. Children love to be noticed, so you may as well make them noticed for the right reasons.


    Outline your rules, rewards and sanctions, and stick to them. It's important that you know what you want, as soon as you do do not accept anything less.


    It's hard as an NQT, but it's important that you remember it's not your fault, the children will have good and bad days, it's nothing to do with you. The important thing is that you remain consistent, so keep going!
     

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