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Popularity contest?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Happyregardless, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Popularity contest?

    Have recently taken over an Upper Junior class - their teacher moved to a different class to cover another teacher who
    is off. I've literally only been there since returning from Christmas - a few days
    On the whole okay experiences so far - the usual 'trying it on with a new teacher' - but once boundaries in place they've
    generally got on with their learning and it has been okay.
    They have generally quite low levels though and while the school does an amazing job with managing behaviour and provision, they
    are from an area where there is not so much parental support with social skills/respect - they may be bright in some areas ( maths etc) but you still have to remind them to listen to classmates when they are sharing things like that...
    Their previous class teacher was very liked and I was told recently by the Head:
    "The reason why she was so successful was because she gave them (the children) the impression that she liked all of them even if some of them were driving her crazy!"
    I've already had a few comments such as " when is Mrs 'A' coming back?"

    I'm always very fair minded with all children and support them/prompt them etc but have high expectations and dont put up with any rubbish, as any class but had recent feedback that 'so and so didn't like their new teacher' which led to the Head asking me if anything had happened.

    Nothing happened just asked one girl - as you would with all of them to keep trying with the art work she didnt really want to do?
    I'm racking my brains to think of any other (logical) reason why she might dislike me and I can only think of talking to her about how much writing she'd completed in English/what they expectations are - but this was to a whole group - who then finished off their work with no problems? There was a bit of 'answering back' from her along the lines of " you only asked me to do those two paragraphs" ( yes, I asked her just to complete those two because she was that slow and it would never had got done otherwise and needed to get at least some fresh air at break) but pointed out the expectation of finished work but showing her a couple of examples of classmates' work.

    The thing is I'm on supply and one of the aspects about supply is that you have that 'buffer' where you go home and switch off at the end of the day - another reason being avoiding all the 'pandering to overindulged parents and their offspring' that you get within a permanent contract - where it becomes like 'who the child likes the best, rather than what they are learning - a popularity context for teachers'?

    I do care about the kids I teach and I do use lots of praise, encouragement and reward,knowing also it is still 'early days' with this lot - but I feel as they are 'taking the proverbial' at present and playing a game of 'let's complain to mums and dads so we dont have to be responsible for our own behaviour?'

    I create interesting and enjoyable lessons and already one SEN pupil ( who had already been VERY vocal in voicing her opnion about having me as a teacher and wanting the old teacher back and stirring up other girls around her) has come around a bit after positive teaching in her favourite subject. I feel they are warming a bit and have a positive teacher-pupil relationship with most

    generally I feel the head ( and other staff) are supportive but at the moment it seems more like 'pandering to the child to 'like you' rather than - this is what you need to do - get on with it, whatever teacher is standing in front of you and respect adults?
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    My thought is: just get on with doing what you do. From what you say, you do it well, so no worries. Children are naturally conservative (small c) and resist change; you embody the change. They'll also swing the lead if they can! However when you eventually hand the class over to someone else, the children will all be whingeing that you were much better than the new teacher.
  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    You are not there to be 'liked'.
    captain scarlet and lindenlea like this.
  4. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I find I get to like the kids better with time, as I get to know them. I'm sure it's the same for them too.

    They're still sore about losing another teacher, give them time :)
    lindenlea likes this.
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Just do your thing the way you do it and stop worrying about being liked as others have said.. Judge your effectiveness by the class's progress and forger about being popular. Certainly spend time reflecting on how you can be effective but keep it professional not personal. You're the grown up.
  6. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    It can be a frustrating element of teaching: I'm sure we've all had that conversation when asking for ideas to tackle poor behaviour from a certain student and another teacher casually replies that, "oh, I never have any problems with X in my class."

    You've described yourself as being a well prepared and caring teacher who provides interesting lessons and pushes children forward. Yet also is able to have enough distance to maintain your sanity! So, don't let this issue get you down.

    Yes, life is easier if the children "like" you but it does take time and in my experience kids always use the leverage of claiming to prefer other teachers. On several occasions, a student has given me a tough time all year and then the next September, when they find themselves in a different class, be incredibly nice in the corridors and tell their new teacher they prefer me! They play us all!

    As long as the head is supportive in the ways that really make a difference to your working life, try to let this one go over your head and the situation is likely to change in a few months' time.

    Good luck
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Having done supply for over ten years.
    Been there, done it, got video, and dvd, even the T shirt.
    As pointed out by BelleDuJour.
    If I get the I don't like you. I'm not here to be liked, i'm here to teach you x,y,z.

    I always tell students, this is the work. I usually write it on the board, in different colours, red, green and blue say.
    You must do the red, it would be nice if you could do thegreen. If you can get to the blue, that would be great.

    More often than not, I get the, hey Sir, your the best. Why? I don't know, you just are.

    With Ta's, ask them some questions, make them feel part of the lesson. One I usually ask is, as you know the children better than me, what do you think about........
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    and also other poster quoting 'you're not there to be 'liked' i quite agree
    It wasn't me 'wanting to be popular' - after 20 years of teaching, I know the game what works and what doesn't. The reason why this post was dubbed 'popularity contest' was because of the perceptions of SLT around me!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Recently things have been better and I can feel them 'settling down' to a new teacher/routine.
    However, I do find SLT 'makes a show' of supporting behaviour but then says things like
    "Well that's not NORMALLY like him at all' or " if he knows you like him, he will behave' - which is utter **** - yes it is about having a positive working relationship with the kids that is half the battle but these particular pupils aren't badly behaved just lots of silliness/immaturity/giggling/distraction/low level disruption which won't change whether they believe you like them or not!
    One other class is very challenging and I know their class teacher pulls his hair out with them and yet this is not acknowledged. It seems the same old thing about, when someone is removed from direct teaching of classes everyday, they come up with all sorts of airy fairy theory which they think works, as long as THEY don't have to teach that class!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    In some schools there are students with poor behaviour that have been around for YEARS: 7,8,9,10,11 and they basically do whatever they please since no one has stood up to them and taken charge. Instead, they have been left to the class teachers, sometimes without TAs or any support, and have wrecked lives in the process.
  11. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Yes @Happyregardless it's so easy to say what to do if you don't have to do it! I think this is a real problem within schools, and presumably many businesses too.

    I find this also with new ideas brought in to get students to make progress, that usually simply mean reporting data in a different way!

    Particularly with behaviour, the theory often doesn't stand up to an individual child with their unique thought processes and unreliable reactions. I guess the comfort is that at least the theories give you something to try.

    Great to hear there's been some improvement. keep sending kids to SLT so they see the actual behaviour and are involved in the day to day routines as much as possible. This could help with the off the cuff comments which are making you feel that it's more personal than it is.
  12. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    @pepper5 So right! When behaviour is left unchallenged, there are awful consequences with Year 11 students acting like they run the school and teachers/SLT making comments like, "well, there's only six more months of them."

    Seriously unhelpful when you're the teacher charged with getting them, not to mention 29 others affected by them, through a GCSE curriculum.
    Happyregardless and pepper5 like this.

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