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Stressed by behaviour

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Idiomas11, May 9, 2019.

  1. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    Hello all

    I am relatively newish to teaching (NQT+2) and still get stressed by student behaviour, to the point where I am considering whether I am cut out for this. I do work with a challenging demographic and dread a good number of my lessons at the moment. Dreading tomorrow too and feel very worn out by it all. I report pupils but nothing seems to change despite the multiple detentions they sit. With many classes I cannot teach without slt in the room. I carefully plan and scaffold my lessons well. remain calm and don't engage with them if they want to argue, however I had to shout at all my classes this morning, if nothing else to attract attention of slt. I see the same pupils acting up for colleagues so it's not just me, however the pupils blatantly pick and choose who they behave for and it appears to be young female teachers like me who are worst affected. We have a system where sanctions are written down in a planner so pupils frequently snatch them away. I report this to HoY when this happens but the constant low level disruption is chipping away at me. The worst are the younger ones and I am concerned that this is a sign that things will get worse and not better. It seems pathetic to let them get to me like this but I feel under pressure to get results as well . Thanks for reading.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. ChoJackie

    ChoJackie New commenter

    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Idiomas11

    I am writing from the perspective of someone who has worked as a supply teacher for 10 years and has been in many schools, taught hundreds of classes, and has read about this issue on here and also written about my own experiences on the thread My Horrible Day in the Supply Forum in case you would like to read about it.

    Firstly, if the behaviour is affecting you, remember it is NOT you and it is NOT pathetic to let it get to you. Some schools will expect you to be able to manage and control classes no matter how badly they are acting and the system makes people think they are incompetent because they don't have the right manner, they didn't differentiate, they didn't understand, the lessons were too hard, too easy, or a million different EXCUSES. But get this PLEASE: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!

    Write that on your mirror and look at in the morning: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND YOU ARE A DECENT HUMAN BEING AND A COMPETENT PERSON/TEACHER.

    There are hundreds of teachers in the UK education system that are waking up this morning dreading going to school because of the classes they are going to teach. I did it as a supply teacher for 10 years so I know the feeling VERY WELL. Let us think about this logically: can all those people be that incompetent at behaviour management???? There is absolutely no excuse for classes to misbehave to the point of trying to get a teacher to shout or lose their temper. In the last few months, the increasing use of mobile phones in the classroom made me very nervous as I was always worried that students would deliberately try to cause chaos to film it. SLT appear to be powerless in some schools to address the problem since it is such a massive issue, but they are failing to act or at least try.

    You do have options, but the first thing you must do is to remember that it is the system at fault and you are a competent teacher. Many teachers ( up to 40%) leave within the first five years of teaching and partly it is because of behaviour of students.

    Let us think of some possible solutions:

    1. Some schools will have better behaviour and better systems in place to deal with the behaviour so you could look around for a better place to work. You would need to be very careful though and do your research so you don't go to an even worse place.

    2. I have read on some of the other forums/threads about teachers going abroad to work and although working abroad has its own set of challenges, some people seem to find very good jobs and places to work. I think there is an Overseas Teachers Forum where you could read more about that possibility.

    3. Go on some courses to help you deal with the emotional aspect of dealing with challenging behaviour or read some books on what other people do. Also some assertiveness training might help as you say it is young female teachers the students choose to bully. I wish I had taken some assertiveness training courses.

    4. In the meantime, it won't hurt for you to think about plan B. Even if you leave teaching, you can use your knowledge/skills in other fields and you can even retrain for FREE! There are hundreds or thousands of free courses online to study computer programming, business adminstration, IT skills, customer service etc. That is the good news. You have your degree/PGCE, experience in the classroom, writing reports etc, so you have many things to offer an employer outside of teaching.

    If there is anything at all I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Lastly, I would recommend Pivotal Education as a point of contact to get some help with behaviour management strategies. If you look on their web site there are free resources on there as well as resources you can purchase.

    Have a break this weekend and relax your mind.

    All the best

  4. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Anyone would feel like that. It’s the small stuff that wears you down over time. No-one is cut out for crowd control on that level, over that time.

    Before you leave teaching, try a better school first. I started my career in mostly poor schools but now am in much better and it is a world of difference. I give detentions to pupils who answer back, once, and for other actions which would not attract a sanction in many schools. This means my classes are learning based, not behaviour focussed. My energy is put into teaching, not controlling behaviour. So, the children know where their boundaries are, so they enjoy the lessons, and we have a far better relationship.

    If you don’t enjoy the better school, make a bigger career move :)
    Idiomas11 and pepper5 like this.
  5. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    I have given up writing in planners as I have become aware that some students tear away the offending pages...
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    Yes they do this too or just refuse to put them on the tables until slt walk in
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    So nice to see this amazingly confrontational behaviour is not just aimed at me!:)
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    I would look to get out while you can. There are less stressful jobs and if you dread going in it isn't worth it. At least you have realised in time.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and Idiomas11 like this.

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