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Saying no...Help please...

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by jumping4joy, May 21, 2011.

  1. Hi, i teach a small class of Year 5s in a low income area of town.
    The majority of my class listen and follow instructions, no problem. However, I have 4 boys in the class who are developing really bad attitudes and are often rude to me and other adults (Harry Enfield's Kevin type behaviour). When i ask them to do things in class, get on with work, etc they often say "No, i don't want to" or "No, i'm not doing it". I think a lot of it is linked to low confidence, ie. they don't think they're going to be able to do it, so it's 'cooler' to refuse to do it than it is to have a go and fail. However, it's having an impact on the rest of my class and is just plain exhausting. I do lots of praising and have reward systems, there's also a whole school behaviour system which i use. They don't get away with any of the bad behaviour but i would like to stop it happening without having to threaten detentions and without interrupting my lessons and stopping all the other kids learning. The four boys feed off each other, so if one's rude the others usually join in and then there's the giggling too...it's really not fun at the moment. (We've had lots of talks about what rudeness is and why we have to show each other respect too)
    Has anyone got any ideas for combatting this annoying, defiant and rude behaviour please???
    Thanks very much!
  2. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    I'd be careful to over analyse the motives for their behaviour- whether they've got low self-esteem, high self-esteem, or strawberry flavoured self esteem isn't really an issue here. If a child says to me, 'Nah mate, stuff your work,' then to be honest, I'm not really feeling 'low self esteem'- I'm getting 'gobby and lazy' with overtones of 'rude'. Of course, it's useful to know why they're misbehaving, but I think the behaviour is more important here than the reason for it.
    I know you don't want to go down the detention route, but really, it's one of your main strategies here, and if you don't start showing them that you're not to be disrespected or ignored, then you will face an uphill struggle to get them to do what you want. Children need boundaries, and it's impossible to draw them using only praise and rewards; they need to see that your electric fence has juice running through it. This isn't because we want to punish children; it's because we want the best for them, which means we'll need to get the best from them. Which also means that it's desperately important that they learn good learning habits, and self restraint.
    I think this goes doubly for children from poorer backgrounds. True social mobility is achieved when children from low income families develop the skills to escape from poverty. School is a wonderful mechanism for this, and you have a very important part to play in that.
    The very best of luck to you. Get the detentions out!

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