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Openly critical

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Historial, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Hello, I'm on a long term supply at a very challenging school and could really do with some advice. It hasn't gone well and most of my classes are pretty badly behaved. For a number of reasons I have had very little support from SLT or my HOD.
    My problem now is that quite a few students are openly critical of me in the lessons. They discuss my 'bad' teaching and failure to 'control' the class in loud voices which of course makes me feel like a failure.
    I feel like I can't remove a child from the lesson or tell them off for this kind of behaviour as it's their opinion. When i did bring this up with SLT some months ago I was simply told it was up to me to establish positive relationships with the class.
    What would you say to students who do this? I really don't feel a flippant one liner is suitable. it goes beyond that as it's rude and disrespectful and has a huge effect on my confidence!

    Thanks.
     
  2. Hello, I'm on a long term supply at a very challenging school and could really do with some advice. It hasn't gone well and most of my classes are pretty badly behaved. For a number of reasons I have had very little support from SLT or my HOD.
    My problem now is that quite a few students are openly critical of me in the lessons. They discuss my 'bad' teaching and failure to 'control' the class in loud voices which of course makes me feel like a failure.
    I feel like I can't remove a child from the lesson or tell them off for this kind of behaviour as it's their opinion. When i did bring this up with SLT some months ago I was simply told it was up to me to establish positive relationships with the class.
    What would you say to students who do this? I really don't feel a flippant one liner is suitable. it goes beyond that as it's rude and disrespectful and has a huge effect on my confidence!

    Thanks.
     
  3. I am only an NQT so won't pretend to be an expert, but I am certainly getting experienced in taking criticism and insults...oh I get this every single day. Everyone says “don’t take it personally” but it’s hard when it’s nearly every lesson, right?
    If a student says anything as blatant as “you’re a swag teacher” or “you can’t control the class” or anything like that, I will send them out / tell them off for the sheer cheek – whether or not it is their opinion, they do NOT have the right to be so rude, and it is not their place to offer their opinion on my teaching! They are not qualified to do so. Often they know nothing about what makes a good teacher (in my last placement school last year, there was a teacher the students absolutely adored - he was awful, and I mean really seriously incompetent), and they certainly don't appreciate what a difficult job it is (I know I didn't when I was at school) or even that we teachers are actually human beings too!
    If a student criticizes what I’m doing in the class I sometimes say things like, “When you’ve got your GCSEs, and you’re a levels, and a degree, and a teaching qualification, then maybe you can comment on my lessons, but for now it’s your job to listen and do as I tell you”. I would take no notice of any "it's only my opinion" retorts. It's rude, end of. (Students' rudeness is the one thing that I really can't stand - and I get it so, so often!)
    Sometimes I find it difficult if the criticism it’s a bit more veiled – for example on Tuesday I was lecturing my year 9s on the importance of making good progress this year if they want to do well at GCSE, and a student pointedly shouted out, “will we have the same teacher for GCSE?” That I had to ignore as I didn't want to appear defensive.
    Sometimes, I'll say things like, "I don't know if it's deliberate, but you should know that at the moment the way you're speaking to me is very rude. I don't want you to speak to me in that way again." The kids so often try to argue "but I'm not getting rude!" - they don't seem to realise that rudeness is in the eye of the beholder and need this explaining...
    I won't repeat the "don't take it personally" advice as it's so impossible, but another good piece of advice I've had - "Don't get upset - get even!" If you don't follow it up when these kids are so rude to you, then it probably won't get any better.
    Good luck to you!
     
  4. Oh my goodness me - I did a your/you're mistake (and me an English teacher...) eek! where's the edit button when you need one?
     
  5. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Send them out. Give them detentions. Phone home. You shouldn't feel like a failure because some pupils are rude.
    The fact that something is a pupils opinion doesn't mean its appropriate. It certainly doesn't mean it should be allowed. If a pupil said that a teacher was ugly or had nice **** would you feel it was ok to remove them then? It is their opinion after all...
    Take them out of the lesson and ask them how their mother is going to feel when you phone home to explain how they are behaving (choose your pupil carefully as some pupils have rubbish parents).


     
  6. Thanks for the replies guys!
     
  7. Hit send before I had written much! So you would definitely send them out for saying I was **** etc? In my school you can't give detentions for things like that you can only have them removed from the classroom.
    I guess I'm so used to dealing with rudeness that I no longer have a feel for what's acceptable and what's not! I've sent what i consider to be inappropriate behaviour up the chain of command before and had nothing back so it's good to hear that you don't think this is ok!
    Next time someone says something I'll have a stern word with them outside and then if it continues pass it to their year head.

     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Errr let me think for a moment.... YESSSS!!!! My goodness they would be removed and their parents called before they could blink in my school!
    Definitely do not be putting up with such appalling rudeness. So what if it is an opinion, doesn't give them a right to express it. Imagine if we all expressed out full and frank opinions whenever or wherever we liked. Don't know about you, but I'd be out of a job for sure!

    I think you need to find a new school. If this one doesn't support you with such dreadful rudeness it isn't a good place to work.
     
  9. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    Practical advice... if you're can pull a bit of a poker face! If someone criticizes you openly walk towards the door and ask politely is you can have a word with them outside... you might even say, 'I'm not sending you out I just want a quick word.' When they're outside, try to be as earnest as possible, and ask, 'Have I don't something to offend you?' Without a crowd usually the answer will be a shamefaced 'no'. At which point you ask why, if you haven't offended them, they feel it is acceptable to be so rude to you, and then tear a strip off them in no uncertain terms... making sure the rest of he class can hear you (don't shout... just raise your voice sternly)... then leave them outside for five minutes to think about their attitude before inviting them to come back in the room.
    Like the other post said... if you ask and they start talking about your lesson, or complaining, ask when they got their degree in the subject area or their teaching qualification. You might point out that you might find teaching the class a lot more productive without their rudeness in the room and decide to leave them outside for the beginning of the lesson so that their rudeness does not hinder the learning of others... lay the blame firmly at their door rather than yours.

    Kids like this should be shown up appropriately in front of the class... you can't do it in the classroom because they love their audience... so take them outside tear a strip off them and then walk back into the classroom and grin at the other kids... let them know that you're not angry with them... they will feel like they're in on the 'joke' of making him/her seem small for their rudeness. It also emphasizes to the others that you're not upset by what has been said but rather dealing appropriately with his rude behaviour... water off a duck's back and all that!
     
  10. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    Oh the joy of editing without reading carefully (and a pint or two) apologies for the typo in the first sentence: you're/you. I should use the 'preview' option more often!
     
  11. 'Everyone says “don’t take it personally” but it’s hard when it’s nearly every lesson, right'
    But oh my god, if you say anything similar to them, precious little souls, do they ever take it personally!
     
  12. God yes! I told one boy to "shut up" once, which obviously is not a very respectful way to speak to a student, but he was being deliberately annoying, and I apologised afterwards for the way I'd spoken to him. He has never let me forget it though!
    To the OP: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, I would DEFINITELY send them out for saying I was ****. And I very frequently do. It's completely out of order. You don't go to work to be verbally abused.
    Have you tried calling home? Depends on the parents but can work well. One boy called me a 'f-ing ***' once. His mother was not best pleased.
     
  13. moscowbore

    moscowbore Established commenter

    I would not accept student criticism of my lessons. In the case of the OP, there appears to be no support from management. There is a simple issue here. Rudeness is not accepted in society and should not be accepted in a classroom. Management should support a teacher who tries to achieve a level of civilised behaviour in their lessons. Unfortunately, because of the terrible standard of school management, the support isnt there and the teacher is left to try to control classes of baying beasts which I believe is impossible without management support. Teaching and learning are impossible unless there is a level of civilised behaviour. My advice to the OP is, if you can afford it, leave.
     
  14. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    A pupil once said I was an "****** b**stard". That was his opinion. He was suspended.
    Of course you can remove them. They're being disruptive.
     
  15. I keep asking : why aren't those signs that you find in every railway station, police station, benefit office, library, public office of any kind in the country (probably all over Europe, for all I know), not to be found in every classroom in the land:
    ABUSE OF STAFF WILL NOT BE TOLERATED
     
  16. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I have heard it argued (I disagree with the arguments) that as teachers are paid/ trained to deal with misbehaviour then abuse is to be expected from time to time. (Abuse = severe bad behaviour, apparently).
     
  17. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I've seen them in several school staffrooms recently. I don't know about elsewhere, but my experience is that LAs don't tolerate abuse. A parent once swore at a colleague and me at a meeting: he received a letter from the LA telling him he was banned from school property, police were notified of this in case he returned and his child moved school.
     
  18. I keep asking : why aren't those signs that you find in every railway station, police station, benefit office, library, public office of any kind in the country (probably all over Europe, for all I know), not to be found in every classroom in the land:
    ABUSE OF STAFF WILL NOT BE TOLERATED

    'I've seen them in several school staffrooms recently'

    That's encouraging. Pity things have had to reach such a state though, before they were deployed.
     
  19. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I agree its encouraging. I've known of parents abusing/ threatening teachers in school with no consequences, so this is a start.
    It would be more encouraging if :
    "ABUSE OF STAFF WILL NOT BE TOLERATED"
    notices were displayed in classrooms for pupils to follow.....
     
  20. '.....parents abusing/ threatening teachers in school with no consequences, so this is a start.'

    Been there....

    'It would be more encouraging if : "ABUSE OF STAFF WILL NOT BE TOLERATED" notices were displayed in classrooms for pupils to follow.....'

    Actually, that's what I meant about them being displayed in schools.... in classrooms as well as in corridors, dining-rooms, etc.
     

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