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Quietening down 'those' few

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by jennah, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. I'm an NQT (secondary), and have started at a new school after half term. I have several low ability sets, and with each one, I've managed to get to the stage where most of the kids are fine and will do as they are asked, but in each class there seems to be about 3-5 kids who won't shut up. I've tried issuing detentions, but a lot of the time they are not turning up (I have escalated it in each case, but again, a lot of the time they are then not turning up to the next stage detention either), so this isn't working. I've tried waiting, but as they don't want to be there anyway, they don't care that they are preventing learning. I've been putting names on board, as I've been advised to do by the HOD so that all pupils know where they stand in terms of punishment, but some classes are seeing it as a competition / a good thing that their names are on the board. I've implemented seating plans spreading the offenders out across the room, but then they shout across the room instead. I've spoken to the 'ringleaders' when they have turned up to detention, but then the following lesson it's been forgotten - in some cases the following lesson is immediately after the lunch detention. I have in several cases sent out pupils, but again, I'm trying not to do this as they see it as a reward since they don't want to be in the lesson, so it's not really a deterrent. In most classes, there are those that are getting really fed up with it, and are trying to shush the noisy kids, but the noisy kids are not responding to that either. I really need some strategies for dealing with it, please, as at the moment, there isn't a lot of learning going on in quite a few of my lessons because of this, and I want to nip it in the bud with as many of my classes as possible before it goes too far and is impossible to pull back. Thanks! (And sorry about the long block of text - I've not worked out how to format posts to include paragraphs)
     
  2. I'm an NQT (secondary), and have started at a new school after half term. I have several low ability sets, and with each one, I've managed to get to the stage where most of the kids are fine and will do as they are asked, but in each class there seems to be about 3-5 kids who won't shut up. I've tried issuing detentions, but a lot of the time they are not turning up (I have escalated it in each case, but again, a lot of the time they are then not turning up to the next stage detention either), so this isn't working. I've tried waiting, but as they don't want to be there anyway, they don't care that they are preventing learning. I've been putting names on board, as I've been advised to do by the HOD so that all pupils know where they stand in terms of punishment, but some classes are seeing it as a competition / a good thing that their names are on the board. I've implemented seating plans spreading the offenders out across the room, but then they shout across the room instead. I've spoken to the 'ringleaders' when they have turned up to detention, but then the following lesson it's been forgotten - in some cases the following lesson is immediately after the lunch detention. I have in several cases sent out pupils, but again, I'm trying not to do this as they see it as a reward since they don't want to be in the lesson, so it's not really a deterrent. In most classes, there are those that are getting really fed up with it, and are trying to shush the noisy kids, but the noisy kids are not responding to that either. I really need some strategies for dealing with it, please, as at the moment, there isn't a lot of learning going on in quite a few of my lessons because of this, and I want to nip it in the bud with as many of my classes as possible before it goes too far and is impossible to pull back. Thanks! (And sorry about the long block of text - I've not worked out how to format posts to include paragraphs)
     
  3. This was so identical to my own experiences that I had to double check I hadn't posted it in a moment of NQT fugue!
    I am feeling increasingly down about the job because so much of my time is taken up with the poor behaviour that I rarely get through lessons or, when I plan a lesson from scratch, I end up with such low expectations of the pupils' productiveness, simply based on the experiences I've had.
    In some of the classes, there are several (and sometimes a LOT of) pupils who are ultra keen to avoid working if at all possible and will use any and every strategy to make sure they do the barest minimum. In others, they are simply chatty and so easily distracted that any class discussion is railroaded within seconds by inane comments or mind-numbing anecdotes. e.g. we might be discussing words to do with certain occupations and suddenly I'll have students excitdly exclaiming "I've talked to my dentist before!". It is SO hard not to use sarcasm at this point.
    I do try to use sanctions but the moment I do, the student will try to engage me in discussion about why it isn't fair "he's doing it too" etc etc - or other students will stick their oar in with their views and even more time is wasted. With my worst class, they delight in telling me they won't come to any detentions - though I still issue them and make it clear that there are further more serious sanctions if they choose not to.
    I find it is the initial responses to LLD that are my biggest problem. When a number of students are being a pain, eg flicking paper, accusing one another of petty stuff, holding conversations instead of working, I don't know where to start with dealing with them. esp as every sanction results in argument. I also tend to lose track of who's been given what level - I only have a tiny board to put names on and stopping to keep tallying up levels is a nightmare as they argue about fairness every time. If I just write on paper so they can't see, some accuse me of picking on them and letting others get away with stuff. Like the OP, sending some pupils out is exacty what they want as it avoids work.
    I am so physically and emotionally exhausted at this point that I am irritable and I'm sure I am coming across as really disliking certain classes, when in fact it's just a handful of students that are driving me insane. I've tried ringing home and occasionally this has a positive effect but often I have no means of contacting parents as we don't have emails for them and they are out at work at the times when I am in school. I have taken numbers home and rung from there before but I'm loath to use my phone bill for this.
    I don't know which type of class is the worst, the adamant 'don't want to learn brigade' or the 'immature and off task' ones. Both types prevent me from teaching effectively and hinder the learning of the dedicated ones in the class.
    My HoD is aware of the struggles I am having and we are going to focus on some strategies but it isn't as simple as just watching a good teacher then trying to copy their methods - because the kids just see through me when I try to be hard-ass.
    I feel so ineffective that I have seriously thought about quitting teaching. So many of my classes are low ability and/or behaviourally challenged that I never have a single lesson where the majority just accept the tasks, get on with them and work hard - I am constantly chivvying and re-explaining. It is especially annoying when I have explained a task, left instructions on the board to refer back to and then the P.I.T.A. child who was doodling/chatting the whole time pipes up "I don't GET it. What are we meant to be doing?".
    I dread anyone walking into my lessons when there are so many pupils off task. As for OFSTED....jeez!
     
  4. I feel for you. I'm in my second year of teaching (secondary), and I could have written Jennah's or LastChance's posts myself last year. I don't know if I've got much useful advice, but I can share sympathy and maybe give you a glimmer of hope.
    Things are much better this year with my new classes, so don't give up yet. I still have problems with some of the students I taught last year, but at least I can see that those 'legacy' classes/students will be fewer each year.
    The earlier you can nip problems in the bud, the better - once they have decided they don't have to work for you, it's hard to turn around.
    Specific things I wish I'd know this time last year:
    1 Don't get involved in an argument over fairness. Eg you say "Jordan, that's your first warning for talking", and stroppy Jordan says "like I'm the only one talking - what about. . ". Just repeat yourself "Jordan that your first . . " then ignore anything else he says.
    2 Make sure they know there are sanctions, and further sanctions if they ignore yours. And make sure the whole class know you are using them. Eg hand out detention notices publicly in class, remind them when they have incurred further sanctions, project a list of all students who will get a detention for missing homework etc.
    3 Have a seating plan, and change it frequently. It lets them know they are in your space.
    4 Don't be afraid to make a fuss over the small stuff. Eg last year my room looked a mess at the end of each day - bits of paper everywhere, glue sticks never returned. Now I'm a complete b**ch about them tidying up - no-one goes till the rubbish is in the bin and all the glue sticks are returned. Plan twenty minutes at the end of the lesson to do it until they learn. It's worth wasting a bit of time for them to learn your rules, even if its
    5 The biggest problem I had last year was with classes that I only taught once a week, because it's hard to learn names quickly and you never really get to know them. So as much as you can, learn names, and get to know them. If you can get a good relationship with a class, they are more likely to want to work for you.
     
  5. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    I have a notebook instead of the board where I write the date, the class, the lesson and then names of miscreants and I have little codes some of which were given to us at an Inset in the mists of time, and osme of which I have made up - eg
    toot = talking out of turn
    oop = out of place
    tar = talking across room
    twit = talking while teacher is talking (not an accurate acronym I know but it feels good to write it lol)
    so = shouting out
    If someone says something really bad - rude comments, name-calling, personal remarks, etc I make rather a production of writing it down, to the point of checking with the others that I have got it right. Then the perpetrator is usually anxious to know why I am writing stuff down and what I am going to do with the information. Actually with a memory like mine it has proved invaluable to do this as it has been really useful when ringing parents to know exactly what was said and how many times (and even the dates - impressive eh what?) that little Jimmy had his feet on the table or sang "I'm too sexy" across the room during a test. It isn't on a board so it isn't as much of a public competition and of course you can keep it to refer to (if you have no life at all like me) if the hierarchy say "Well what has he been doing then?"
     
  6. Love it, Katway99. How about
    twit = Talking while I'm talking
     
  7. And what about
    aw = awful whistling
    pb = pencil banging
    jam = Just annoying me

     
  8. PROUD - Phone Regularly Out Under Desk

    SOCC - Swinging on Chair Constantly

    TIC - Talking Inane C**p

    IDAHO - In Denial About Homework Orders

    ;)
     
  9. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    Yay!! We should all publish a dictionary[​IMG]
     
  10. yes please! this is brilliant- someone pleeeeeeeese start a new thread!
    sod (!)= spawn of devil
     

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