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Secondary Behaviour

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by aspiringgeographyteacher, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. aspiringgeographyteacher

    aspiringgeographyteacher New commenter


    I'll be teaching ages 14-16. Just looking for tips on class control please and keeping them on task!

    Thank you :)
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Don't go in expecting to have problems.
    Have you not taught this age group before? They're not that different from other kids.
  3. aspiringgeographyteacher

    aspiringgeographyteacher New commenter

    I'm a complete newbie!
    questionsandanswers likes this.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Then they key thing is to find out what the school behaviour policy involves, ask for a seating plan so that you can call children by name and act like you expect to be obeyed. From the very start don't let them talk over you. Keep them on task by making tasks they have to participate in - use questioning to show that everyone has to be involved and ready to answer.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Buy a couple of good handbooks on classroom management. Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Did is a good one to begin with and anything written by Bill Rogers willmbe useful.

    As the above poster mentioned, you must have an seating plan. Once you have the seating plan, don't hesitate to change it if you need to and I know teachers who change their seating plan once a term.

    The next most important thing is to have your rules on a poster on the wall and also get the students to write them in their books. Use three simple ones to start with. This is all covered in the book by Paul Dix.

    Have routines in place as far as possible for when the students arrive as this will reduce the time they have to think about being off task. Have an interesting starter on the board and let them know the routines for entering the room and getting settled.

    Learn their names.

    Students are highly predictable, so you can put things in place beforehand.

    Be prepared for your classes to test you. They are going to test your response and see what you will do. Therefore, have scripts planned on what to say and how to give warnings. This is also in the book by Paul Dix and know your school's behaviour policy inside out.

    Be firm and expect the best of your students. Every day give them a clean slate and a chance to start afresh.

    In your mind, believe you are the boss of your classroom. You are there to teach and manage your classes so all can learn.

    You will have to teach yourself to remain calm no matter what and not raise your voice unless someone is in danger. You might on occasion have to raise your voice slightly, but never scream.

    Remember above all to never take any of the misbehaviour personally since you are working with teenagers who are developing quickly.

    Be as prepared as you possibly can and praise when appropriate; always discipline in private.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Last September I did all of this - laid down expectations and sanctions. Issued C4Cs in first lesson for repeated use of mobile phone by not one but 2 students. After they had been specifically told that use of phones in class is not allowed. Result: a mommy phoned and complained about me and I was reprimanded.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi saluki

    I don't understand why you were reprimanded if you were following the schools policy on mobile phone use. Your SLT should back you up. I would look for another schoolmtomwork in - one where the SLT support their teachers and have some backbone to enforce the reasonable rules of the school. Not supporting you sends out the wrong message. Of course you don't need me to tell you that.
  8. dr_dig

    dr_dig New commenter

    Yes it seems reasonable as long as you were following policy you shouldn't have been reprimanded. It would make me question what support SLT would offer in the case of a bigger issue.

    I have written a blog on some of my thoughts about challenging behaviour but most rely on the ethos of the school. SLT are key in this.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. g2016

    g2016 New commenter

    This is the problem, Saluki. I've done two years on supply and I've been reprimanded multiple times for following the behaviour policy. Pupil would claim they hadn't done what I said they'd done and when parents complained, I was in trouble. It's one of the reasons why I'm leaving the UK. The fear of having my reputation ruined by a pupil. Too often the school will stand by the pupils (and parents) and not their teachers. Especially on supply.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I don't blame you for leaving the UK. The one thing schools should never do is to not support their teachers whether supply or permanent staff when dealing with parents and pupils if the teacher has followed the school's policy.

    I have worked as a supply teacher for a long time and I am always very, very careful about what I say to any student and usually use scripts.
  11. Teaching_Tricks

    Teaching_Tricks Occasional commenter

    Something I have used effectively with many groups... [​IMG]

    How to use the triangle... Having split the students into the 3 categories and designed an appropriate seating plan.
    • The aim of the triangle is to move students' behaviour upwards, to end up with most students in the excellent category and possibly a few on the border between excellent and OK.
    • Whenever you see something that is good praise it! Regardless of which student it is coming from, this system has to generate positive reinforcement of good work and behaviour or it is not going to work.
    • Begin to reward and praise the excellent children, spend more time in the lessons with these students checking that they fully understand the work. Give more of your time to the students that want to learn and do well. The excellent students deserve your time and effort. When they are in a "bad" class they begin to wonder why they are bothering - make them remember why they work hard and let them know you know.
    • The poor students... think about how much time you are spending working with them in lessons... the fewest students taking up the majority of your time and effort. This needs to stop... start to tactically ignore them unless they are being downright dangerous - most of their small low level distraction style behaviour is attention seeking and when they don't get type of attention they are after they often calm down.
    • HOWEVER! If it is something BIG - deal with it!!! Use the school systems.
    • At no point should you ignore the bad behaviour entirely... but you can tactically ignore it during the lesson and deal with it at the end. Another way of dealing with it is while wandering position yourself by the worst miscreant.
    • Look at the OK students, these are the "sheep" they will follow the majority... so you want the majority doing well! Again, spend more time with these students, catch them doing things well and praise them, boost their self-confidence. Aim to move one of these OK students to excellent every couple of lessons. (Choose the easiest first and work down to the hardest!)
    • After cracking the OK students it is time for the poor ones... They are going to be harder, but use the same tactics you used with the OK students, spend more time with them, praise them and reward them when they do something good. The one thing you have to accept with this group is that there are likely to be a few students that will never move up the triangle in every school, should you have one of these use the school systems to deal with them appropriately.
    • As I have already said... at no point in this process should poor behaviour be ignored entirely, but I recommend that it is dealt with after the lesson, so that the students get the benefit of your teaching during the lesson and can get on with their learning. Plus the added benefit of dealing with the miscreants during their free time is it is seen as a punishment!
    Good luck and do ask for help!
    ViolaClef, pepper5 and sabrinakat like this.
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The best advice I can give is to leave, ideally before you start. You are in for hell unless you are in a grammar or independent school. Teachers don't have the time or energy to follow cumbersome behaviour policies, which probably haven't been reviewed in years, and SLTs will rarely follow their own procedures or support you. I had to laugh when I read people's top tips here (taken from VIZ?) Love the ones about not letting students talk over you, following the school's behaviour policy and the little triangle above had us in stitches. And smart phones will stop any real learning happening. Our holidays are complete.

    If you Googled, 'What makes a good and bad behaviour management policy', I bet you will will find all the things that should be avoided in your own school's policy. And your SLT just don't have the brains or management gumption to review / research / manage / adapt proactively the policy properly in a regular and timely fashion.
    saluki likes this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Not everyone has the option of working in grammar schools/independent schools; an furthermore, it is a myth that there are no behaviour issues in independent schools.

    Granted, the behaviour is very challenging in some schools and the conditions not ideal. I know since I have observed many classes and taught in many classes over seven years as a supply teacher.

    Some of the advice given above is sound and I know some of it works, since I have used the tactics. Not every tactic is going to work every time with or with every class.

    To laugh at people's contributions on a professional forum is rather immature and not polite. I had the impression that students were taught manners at independent schools.

    I for one get a lot of help from reading the posts on here do appreciate the time people take to post.
    lamornasimpson and sabrinakat like this.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This is key! Have a range of bits and bobs to use.
    They are, well in my VERY limited experience they are. Can't speak for all teachers in all schools though!
    Me too. I get lots from the advice given to others on threads I contribute to, but others make different points. And indeed from posts I just read.
    pepper5 likes this.

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