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

Discussion in 'Secondary' 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. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    How did you get this job if you do not know how to do it?
  3. Dan21050

    Dan21050 New commenter

    Maybe I haven't phrased my original post very well. Upon being interviewed etc I explained how I would approach situations in the classroom which they were pleased with. My post is looking for other experienced teachers opinions to help broaden my knowledge and approach in the classroom. Growing up in a house where both parents were teachers I have always been lead to believe that you can never stop learning and I thought that coming here is a good way to collate as many different techniques and advice as possible. Maybe I was mistaken.
    it1 and esther30 like this.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I see. Then you have never worked in a school before but are now taking up a specialist position you do not know how to perform. Here's the thing: You are being exploited and nobody will benefit except this school's bursar, not you and certainly not the pupils. By all means take up the job and I wish you luck in it but seriously, dude, if you want useful experience then just do some voluntary TA work, brush up on your subject knowledge and take a job stacking shelves until you've landed an ITT place.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think most schools will /should have a BFL policy / Code of Conduct which would be the starting point.Students with SEND may well have identified tried and tested strategies documented via some form of Personalised Learning Plan?

    I think it is important to know what motivates students - relationships are key - but observing and listening to those with experience will be a priority and may tell you as much as what NOT to do as to do !

    Reading /research and prep about creating the right climate for learning would be useful . At the moment you are in a supporting role but it helps also to demonstrate initiative and go the extra mile. Ask questions and clarify where necessary.You may be asked to keep a daily journal -we required this of our TAs as an accountability measure / record of provision / actions/ response of students ?

    You may notice this post is full of may / should / could ? Sorry . So much depends on the nature of the setting / if there is a mismatch between policy and practice / how much the school is prepared to invest in your ‘ orientation ‘ and best prepare you for your role ... blah blah blah. Make sense ? Good Luck.
    esther30, tb9605 and Dan21050 like this.
  6. Dan21050

    Dan21050 New commenter

    Thank you for the advice @minnie me it is appreciated and makes perfect sense. I shall be going in for a few days before I start to shadow both teachers and behavioural staff. I will defiantly be looking out to absorb as much information/advice from all staff as possible.I have volunteered in 2 schools prior to this and have learnt that all schools have varied approaches and have different policies and practises. I have found your reply very helpful. Thanks again.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    You might find it useful to go over to the Pivotal Education website as they have many useful articles and resources about behaviour managment. Using mediation techniques and building relationships is a lot of what they promote.

    Will one of your duties involve being on call to go to classes to support the teacher and remove students or speak with them? The school will go over their policies and tell you what they expect. Usually, teachers will have gone through all tactics before they have students removed from lessons unless the disruption is serious.

    I work on supply and if I have to ask for assistance from on call when the person arrives I send the student outside the room and we discuss the matter away from the class so as not to embarrass them or create even more drama. Sometimes a word from the support person is enough and I let the student back in of I think they will get back on task. Sometimes not if Imdont think they will cooperate.
  8. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    The last behavior manager that I met had to have up to date knowledge of all sorts of guff. A qualified teacher with years of experience working in a PRU and loads of behavioural experience was passed over because they couldn't quote thissy thing thatty thing and the other thing.
    Long story short: the one who was employed didn't have the expertise and experience. They attended some staff training days and repeated the guff over and over again. They attended one of my lessons to remove a disruptive student - who refused to go. They demonstrated the broken record technique - to no effect. They attended lessons and did observations to discover where we were going wrong. One feedback was that everyone's room was too warm - except mine, mine was just right because I had the window open. They then went on to say that I must never open the window without the students' permission because it may be too cold for them. They put forward loads of (expensive) ideas for improving behavior, which were never implemented.
    Finally, they quietly disappeared towards the end of the year and were not replaced.
  9. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Have a sense of humour. Work to build a rapport with students - taking part in extra-curricular clubs might be a good way to do this if you aren't going to be a teacher. Find out who the students most likely to misbehave are, then ask for their records. Look at any notes/reports from teachers teachers about them - what has lead to them being removed from class/excluded in the past? Can you talk these through with those students and try to find strategies to help them avoid repeating the same behaviours? Some causes of behaviour will be external to the school and way beyond your capability to affect, but other may not be (e.g. they might get really hungry just before break, which leads to them being aggressive - so get them to come to breakfast club).

    Good luck!
    Dan21050 likes this.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    find out which clubs they go to in and out of school.
    Running football and cricket for many years gave me an additional hold over tricky pupils that other teachers did not have. They knew me in a different role too, which is always a help.
    Be prepared to listen as well as talk. Some teachers talk so much that they never hear what the youngsters say to them (or colleagues too). Teachers in the school will have a wealth of experience and ideas that really work but often feel ignored so stop stating them.
    Be prepared to be frustrated at times, both by some teachers who trample all over your hard work by ignoring advice ideas that you and your team have asked to be tried. Equally by teens who agree things with you then go off on one cos they stayed up all night on the XBox.
    Let the youngster have time to come down and then to talk and be honest about what happened, most will actually say it like it is given time to calm down.
    And always always talk to the teacher first when arriving at their room. and let them know what happened. You would be amazed how many "support" staff enter a teacher's workspace and ignore them, rudely removing the pupil with no apology for interrupting the lesson etc. Then never tell the teacher the outcome, you just find it out by osmosis a few weeks later.

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