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Starting a new job as behaviour support/pastoral worker (secondary school) Advice needed please

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Dan21050, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. Dan21050

    Dan21050 New commenter


    I am starting a new job at the beginning of next month as a behavioural support work. It is my first job in a school and eventually I hope to undertake my PGCE and become a qualified teacher. The job is in a secondary school working with year 7-11.

    My main reason for posting here is I am looking for some advice on how teachers and other support staff in school approach and handle disruptive behaviour in the classroom. I understand each individual will have their own technique in handling certain situations but any advice is appreciated and hopefully I can take on board individuals approach and it will help mould my own.

    I hope my question isn't top vague.

    Thank you in advance

  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Try posting in Secondary / TA threads ?
    Jamvic and grumpydogwoman like this.
  3. Dan21050

    Dan21050 New commenter

    Will do, thanks
    Jamvic likes this.
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    My advice isn't so much how to handle the staff or the students, but more general: Document EVERYTHING. This will be useful for all sorts of reasons. It may feel like a real pain, especially as you learn the systems in use at the school, but it's worth every minute of the time it takes.
    emerald52 and Dan21050 like this.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Hi Dan21050
    Congratulations on the new job. I'm primary based, but some things are the same. The school will have a behaviour policy - get yourself a copy (might be on their website); it will explain lots about their systems and rewards and sanctions. Your might want to read the safeguarding policy too. It would be a good idea if you could shadow an experienced behavioural support worker for a day, they will be a wealth of useful information. If you are not working at the moment, perhaps you could enquire if you could do this for a day before you start the job? In a secondary school, I imagine they have a sizeable behaviour support team - get to know them; everyone is busy at school, but most staff are very happy to help new team members and answer questions. Good luck!
    emerald52 and Dan21050 like this.
  6. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Find a course on de-escalation techniques and ask the school to send you on it.
    emerald52 and Dan21050 like this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    The golden rule is there is no rule. Use every tiny smidgen of time you have with subject teachers to ask what they would like you to do, because each teacher experiences each child differently, and this experience will be imprinted on the child's mind by association whenever they think of that subject.

    I guess another tip is that if a child is failing behaviour wise with any teacher, try not to take the line "look, we can be friends here even if you two cannot". It's probably more productive in the longer term to have a more distanced approach whilst you establish what works-just me here, having seen some new staff coming in and thinking that being right on and cool with the miscreants will contribute to their progress. To be blunt, it does'nt. Please forgive me and ignore this if that were not to be your style anyway.

    The main thing is to work with staff for the child, which will mean being very flexible and a good listener. You seem that way from your query, so that's great.

    Finally some seemingly cryptic advice if you have never worked in a school before, find out where you can get drinking water....not joking!
    emerald52 and Dan21050 like this.
  8. Lazycat

    Lazycat Established commenter

    I wou second what skrobinson said. Keep a professional distance from the pupils, you’re there to support but you’re not their friend. We have behaviour support staff who allow the pupils to call them by their first name - avoid this, you’re a member of staff.

    Know the behaviour policy inside out and apply it consistently. Good luck, this will be excellent experience for when you start your PGCE
    emerald52 and Dan21050 like this.
  9. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I'd carefully check out the GDPR regulations which come into force in May before you do that, If I were you, @mothorchid.

    You can certainly document things, but they have to be relevant, factual and not contain sensitive information. Definitely nothing that is your opinion, just facts. Remember that anyone you write about, now has a right to ask to see any information about them kept on record.
  10. Dan21050

    Dan21050 New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your advice. I have read through each one and feel like I have taken something from each of your comments, it is much appreciated. I have done some voluntary time in classroom but I'm finding it very daunting joining a new school and in a "work/paid" role. I will be going in to shadow the behavioural team before I start so hopefully I can absorb as much information and advice as possible in those couple of days.

    Thanks again for the replies and advice.
  11. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    You should have a period of induction that would address some of your queries and if it doesn’t, ask them.
  12. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Join a union like Unite or GMB. It only needs one child to make a false allegation or physically attack you for your life to be turned upside down. Wear appropriate clothing, don't gossip about staff, don't talk when the teacher is talking, find out whether there is a coffee and tea fund. Take your own mug. Be respectful and kind to pupils and staff.
    Lazycat likes this.
  13. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    You're right - I was a little glib and thus came over as unclear. Factual, unbiassed reporting of the event/discussion is how I should have phrased it. But I would still suggest everything ought to be documented. If nothing else, it is CYA time.

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