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Standing at the start of lessons

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by bluesoulexpress, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. It is our school policy that students (Y7-11) ought to "stand until the teacher tells you to sit". I find that it is an excellent way to get immediate switch between "end of break / start of lesson", and also gives a definite behavioural expectation to kick things off. Any thoughts / similar policy? I know some colleagues are not fans.
  2. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I find it useful while establishing the seating plan and learning names. After that it's a bit pointless for me. Pupils generally have a task to do when they arrive that I want them to get on with so I always say "Come in, sit down and get on with (insert task)" at the door as they arrive.
    It might put a stop to my bottom group year 9s hilarious sitting in the wrong seat antics I suppose.
  3. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    I quite like it. I've used it in the past. Once taught a lesson a week in a lab which had hideously scraping stools by the benches. Found the only way to keep my sanity was to tell class, 'enter in silence and stand behind your chairs'. Once they were all there I could say, 'Right, be seated,' and get the scraping and squealing bit over with, lol.....far less distracting that way.
  4. I think its excellent, especially for new teachers who want to establish their authority with classes. Also a great opportunity to make students take out homework and equipment, so that any defaulters have to stay standing!
  5. Personally I don't like it. I find that it creates 2 starts to the lesson, one where they come in and stand looking at you, then disruption as they sit down and then you have to start again.
    I prefer telling them to come in and sit down, and what to get out and to put on their tables, and give them something to get on with.
    I do use 'everyone stand up now!' as a control technique though, and they know I mean business if I say that, but not in the context of usual routines.
    Similarly, I tell them to put their coats on and sit down when they are ready to go. Far easier to manage a class which is sitting down than one where everyone is standing. Especially secondary when they are frequently bigger than the teacher. You can get them to stand up a row at a time to ensure orderly exiting.
  6. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Yes we have that policy. But it is exactly that. The children do what the teacher says they don't just fall into a class and sit down. They are directed on entering. The default position is that they get out their things and stand until the teacher tells them to sit. However it still allows teachers to say sit down straight away and get on with the first activity. Personally I prefer the standing and greeting the teacher properly. But sometimes with some classes at certain times of the day it is much better to get them focussed on something straight away. Whatever the situation the teacher decides.
  7. It would be nice to work in a school where this policy could have a chance of working. There's no chance at my school. I don't let them in until their places are set for them to come straight in, sit down and work.
    What happens if some kids arrive 5-10 minutes later than others?
    At my school getting them sat and working as quick as possible is safest. If you take the p|ss, they'll eat you alive here. They will mess about if asked to stand, and won't shut up/ bestill, etc.
    Definitely only a good idea in 'nice' schools IMO.
  8. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    Don't wish to be rude, but note that you have just finished your NQT year (as stated on other post). I've done 20 odd years teaching in a LOT of rough schools in various inner cities and would point out that you are still inexperienced in behaviour management. If you have classes that 'mess about if asked to stand' and 'won't shut up/be still' etc then it isn't as simple as saying, 'there's no chance of getting them to behave'. I have taught in some appalling schools, but would still enforce the behavioural expectations I have. I'm pretty sure coolasacucumber would too.
  9. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I also teach in a challenging school but which has the potential to be awful. It isn't awful because everyone understands the importance of good behaviour management across all levels. Hence the children are well acquainted with the school's expectations. They will still ignore/misbehave for new teachers and we do 'go through' NQTs at a rate of knots.
    If children arrive late they should politely and quietly say they are sorry and get out their things with minimum disruption. They also receive a detention for lateness unless they have a note. I am not saying this always happens (it is challenged when it doesn't) but that is the expectation.
    From what you have said WemAles you are in a school with a weak SLT. It is entirely possible to work in a diabolical private 'nice' school if SLT are weak on discipline.
  10. Thanks for your reply jmntsp. I don't think you're being rude. I just don't think I explained my reasoning very well.
    The best advice I've had for dealing with the kids we teach here has come from the 'old warhorses' in the staffroom who I tend to hang around with and chat to a lot. Their philosophy revolves around getting them in, sat and with something to do ASAP. Minimising any opportunity for misbehaviour works wonders. Having 30 kids, some of whom are bigger than me stood in front of me, where I can't even see some of them, sounds like a recipe for disaster. Its not about having low behaviour expectations, just preventing a chance to mess about because I can't see them!
    When they're sat I can see them all, which is what I need.
  11. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    I think that the key concept here is 'It is our school policy'. Which means that if everyone does it, then the students become habituated into a routine, and come to expect it unconsciously. Going against this (if the others do it reliably) will create more problems than it solves. And you can utilise the pupil expectations to create a sense of continuity with the whole school corpus. If we work together on these kinds of things, we have the strength of ten. And especially if it's a whole school system- while they often chafe a little against our own plans and systems, they should be broad enough to allow a little free-styling in the classroom, but specific enough to create that sense of consistency and routine that all good systems have. We work far better in unison than we do as satellites.
    Of course, if no one else is doing it, then go nuts and do whatcha like. I sometimes get them lining up in corridors where there are no bottlenecks; I get them immediately into lessons and onto starters in all others, so as not to waste time. In the absence of a school policy, the easiest answer is, 'Does it work for you?' There are very few absolutes in behaviour management, beyond the nuts and bolts of universal human nature.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.

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