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Struggling NQT

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by rumbledryer18, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. I have been teaching since the beginning of September now. I feel like I'm getting everything wrong and I'm really struggling. I am being picked up on behaviour management and being told to be more positive and use praise more, I have been doing this since day one and using many strategies such as marbles in a jar, stickers, star of the day, dojo poins and verbal praise. My class just don't respond, they only seem to respond to sanctions which is really frustrating as I go home feeling as though I've just raised my voice all day. I am also being picked up on differentiation and challenging the more able but I am ensuring to use lots of questioning and promoting reasoning and question solving. I feel like in every observstiong I am making progress in some areas but then there is 10 new problems. I am struggling to find motivation to keep at it at moment. Any guidance on challenging behaviour in Year 1 and differentiation would be appreciated :)
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Hi! I don't teach primary, so cannot comment on that, but I will say:

    1) In terms of 'positive' behaviour management your mentor/school might see how they do things as the 'only' or 'best' way, so would it be possible for you to observe them or some other teachers during your NQT time and see what they do in terms of behaviour management, then copy that in your classroom?

    2) If the kids only respond to sanctions it speaks volumes about their home lives - what sort of school/area is this? They may need more time to get used to you, and build a relationship - it's only been 2 months. Did they have multiple teachers the previous year, or come from multiple schools? Try not raising your voice at all - wait for silence, for as long as it takes, before giving instructions; praise the ones who are silent and following your instructions.

    3) Differentiation - are you putting them into ability groups and giving different tasks according to ability? Maybe your school wants to see 'challenge cards' or something like that, so those who have finished a task can come up and select a new one?
  3. theluckycat

    theluckycat Occasional commenter

    Challenge cards are a fab idea. You could have a small section of your wall for a ‘challenge’ display. Children can be independent learners and go and select one if they have finished their learning to extend themselves. These are best in a plastic wallet, and can be general e.g. mastery questions for y1 like ‘if you have 17 sweets in your bag, and you started with 20, how many have you given away?,’ etc
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Agree with all the advice so far.

    Go over to the Pivotal Education Web site for some very useful behaviour management tips. I don't teach primary only secondary supply, but as BSD suggests it is all about building relationships and you haven't had time to do that yet. Also, bear in mind you are just starting out so you are bound to have many things to work on - you are a masterpiece in progress.

    If you think Year 1s are capable of it, ask them what rewards they would like the most ( apart from sweets or material rewards). For example, post cards home, extra time on the computer, extra Golden time, tea and biscuits on Friday etc.

    Try to relax. Go in with a smile on your face even though you want to scream and run out of the door. If the class pick up you are tired and frustrated, then they are going to respond to that. If you go in with a positive attitude expecting a good day, they will also pick up on that. You have to act like you are having a good day regardless. Not easy I know, but you will see that it does work.

    Try these three simple rules which may not solve everything at once, might help :

    1. Follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on Task
    3. Work without disturbing others

    Have some scripts you use to get them back on track. For example, "Cindy, you are off task. I need you to finish those three sums in five minutes".

    As BSD suggests do not raise your voice. Wait until they are silent even if you think it takes forever. Have a giant clock/watch and for every minute that they waste then that is one minute off their break/Golden Time. They are old enough to get it: if they waste your time, you are going to have them make it up since learning is important and if they are not using their time properly during the lessons then they make it up in THEIR time. Explain that they are not bad students, but the behaviour is not acceptable.

    It won't be the entire class, so try to get the TA to observe the main culprits and take names ; that way, you don't punish the whole group while it is only just a few not following instructions. As your mentors say, give plenty of praise to those who are following your instructions.

    Don't be too hard on yourself since every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn. It takes 10,000 hours to become skilled in an art. You just have to keep practising. One day at a time. One step at a time.

    Enjoy your week if you can and let us know how you get on.
    blueskydreaming likes this.

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