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starting again with a difficult class who I have let slide

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by newdiamondrings, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone (this is posted under a new username)
    I am an NQT and I am having a lot of trouble with one class. There are 25 students and around 5 or 6 are causing trouble - rude, shouting out, disrespectful, swearing etc.
    I admit I have been a little 'lazy' on discipline - I had two much harder classes who I focused on who are now much better but I have let things slide with this group, ignoring behaviour rather than challenging it, letting the class know they are winding me up, not following through on punishments...
    I want to make a fresh start with this problem group and really crack down on this low level disruption but I really don't know what to do or how. I know I need to be more consistent and to follow through on absolutely everything but what else should I be doing? Is there any sort of 'script' I should try - any good phrases etc? I know that sounds ridiculous but I feel as if I need a complete plan of action so I know what I should be doing with regards to behaviour every single lesson.
    I know this is absolutely my own doing but I really would appreciate some 'back to basics' advice on anything that may help. I have read all the books and know all the techniques but I really do need some help implementing them.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Hi everyone (this is posted under a new username)
    I am an NQT and I am having a lot of trouble with one class. There are 25 students and around 5 or 6 are causing trouble - rude, shouting out, disrespectful, swearing etc.
    I admit I have been a little 'lazy' on discipline - I had two much harder classes who I focused on who are now much better but I have let things slide with this group, ignoring behaviour rather than challenging it, letting the class know they are winding me up, not following through on punishments...
    I want to make a fresh start with this problem group and really crack down on this low level disruption but I really don't know what to do or how. I know I need to be more consistent and to follow through on absolutely everything but what else should I be doing? Is there any sort of 'script' I should try - any good phrases etc? I know that sounds ridiculous but I feel as if I need a complete plan of action so I know what I should be doing with regards to behaviour every single lesson.
    I know this is absolutely my own doing but I really would appreciate some 'back to basics' advice on anything that may help. I have read all the books and know all the techniques but I really do need some help implementing them.
    Thank you.
     
  3. catherineb87

    catherineb87 New commenter

    Hi newdiamondrings! First of all, brilliant screen name! Secondly, I was in a similar situation my self earlier this year. I had just started a new job and I had let things slide. I've just typed a few tips my induction mentor gave me and a few I found out for my self.

    1. When stating an expectation/asking for compliance, say 'thank you' at the end. It assumes compliance.

    2. If a pupil is refusing something, I just repeat what I've asked them to do over and over - e.g. - A pupil in my class was refusing to move seats as I had asked because he was talking. He started arguing and I kept repeating 'Move to this seat here, thank you' over and over . After protesting several times, and me repeating ' Move to this seat here, thank you', he moved. I never entered into a dialogue and the pupil saw that I meant what I said.

    3. Come down hard on anyone who is messing around. Use your school's pastoral support system and your school's behaviour policy religiously. I have devised a system that works for me based on my school's policy. Name on board is 1st warning, name + tick = formal warning, +2 ticks is Break detention, +3 ticks is database and phone call home, +4 ticks is referral to head of year and form tutor, +5 ticks is after school detention and +6 ticks is removal by on call personnel. It was a pain at first but I stuck at it and stuck at it. Now I have minimal problems and pupils know I mean business. Find a way of using your school's policy that works for you.

    4. Praise those who are behaving well. Something like 'Excellent Bob, you're on task and working hard, so is Dave, Paul, Mandy etc.'. Then follow up with 'I can see we're going to have a good lesson today' (especially if they are all on time and have their equipment etc.). If someone is off - task I usually refer to something they did well, e.g. 'Remember when you did that amazing piece of work on Shakespeare?' (cue student nodding/'Yes Miss') I then add 'Well let's see if you can do even better today'. It shows you already think they are good, doesn't knock confidence and makes them feel good about themselves and the lesson.

    5. If someone is off task and creating low level disruption, whatever you do, DO NOT let it go unnoticed. Apply your school's policy consistently and fairly, even if the 'culprit' is a child who usually behaves them selves.

    6. Agree with what they say if they say a lesson is boring. E.g. 'Miss, this lesson and this work are boring!'
    Me: 'Maybe it is, and maybe I am, but you still have to do it! Now come on, let's get going' I usually adopt a very cheery voice with this one as it seems to shock the pupil and they have no way of retaliating.

    7. When giving warnings/sanctions, use the language of choice. For example, 'Choose to behave in that way Steve and you choose a warning'. Then if pupil carries on, 'OK Steve, you chose to carry on behaving inappropriately, so you have chosen a warning'. If giving detentions, I use the language of choice then. This way it keeps the focus firmly on their behaviour and not on them.

    8. Another thing I use is a laminated reward chart. Along the rows at the top, I have the lessons I teach each class, along the left hand side, I have the names of the pupils. If they don't get their name on the board, I place a tick, If they do, I place a cross. Then at the end of the last lesson of the week, if they have a full set of ticks, I give them 3 merits. It works as merits link very closely with various rewards and incentives at my school.

    9. Use senior leaders, form tutors, department heads and year heads if the situation gets desperate. By keeping them informed of anything and everything that this class does that disrupts their learning, you are not passing the buck, you are simply using the support that is there.

    10. Consistency, consistency and consistency. I know you've said it in your original post, and true, it is sometimes way easier to take the easier route of ignoring it, but consistency is the key. Yes, you let things slide, but is it over? No. Will it be difficult occasionally? Probably. Will it benefit you and your class, maximising learning and minimising stress? Definitely.


    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    It sounds like you have exactly all the answers you need for your own question: you know you've let things slide a bit, you know you need to start again- so start.
    1. Next lesson, spend a good bit of time going over your rules. Tell them that you care enough about them to make sure the class is well behaved so that they learn.
    2. Then start taking names of anyone who breaks these rules. Issue sanctions against them: every time, without fail.
    3. If they fail to attend, or misbehave in detention, then escalate the sanction. Enlist your line manager to help you.
    4. Repeat, ad nauseum.
    You know all this, I'm sure. But I totally appreciate that it's wearing, and takes a lot of time. But it is often really hat simple: the only time is doesn't work is when we give up because we're tired or busy. Your other strategies will all be built on consistency, fairness and rigour. Without these three, no amount of bells or whistles will help you. There are no short cuts to the basics, there are only the basics.
    Good luck!
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     
  5. Thank you both for your useful replies. Day 1 tomorrow - we shall see how it goes. Definitely have a clearer idea now of what I need to do, now I just need to get on and do it!
     

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