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struggling with implementing my seating plan

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Homeeducator2011, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Homeeducator2011

    Homeeducator2011 New commenter

    I am an NQT and I teach large classes with challenging behaviour. I have a problem with a year 10 class: at every lesson they refuse to sit in the seats I have allocated for them. I made changes to the seating plan several times because they keep talking throughout the lesson (there are too many students in the room, so possibilities to move them are limited) Today several students refused to sit in their seats and choose instead another place to sit. I praised the ones who were doing the right thing and gave sanctions, but because I still don't know all the names, they take advantage. At one point I asked all of them to stand up again and start from the beginning, but still some students refused to sit where they should. I felt so ineffective. Because the group is large also I can't see straight away who is in the right seat. Getting the seating plan right is so important. Any practical ideas about what I could do to make this easier? So much time is wasted and they are not learning anything.
    Many thanks
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    If they won't do it for you then find someone they will do it for. Your HoD, Pastoral Year 10 lead or SLT should be able to get one of them in at the start to make sure they follow the plan. The hard bit about this is actually asking them but if they can't support a newbie in this specific task then you really need to be at another school. Also SLT especially are quite desperate for the kudos of "actually doing something useful" so would want to step up if asked.

    If you're an NQT then shouldn't you have a mentor? If this individual is up to scratch then he/she is the one to also ask advice over the enforcer that you need to borrow for a few lesson starts.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Homeeducator2011

    Homeeducator2011 New commenter

    Thank you very much for your reply. I thought about asking someone to come to enforce it, but I was worried it might undermine me (i.e. it will reinforce students thinking I cannot manage them on my own)
    My mentor advised to ask them all to stand up again until they get it right, which I did this morning, but I'm not sure it was the right thing because they still didn't comply. My mentor is also teaching when I teach this class, so cannot come to support. I will try and see if i can get someone else to come, but in case it isn't possible, is there anything else I can do?
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    A good point you've made but this problem is more in your head. Can you look at it from the point of view that you are going to get the students to do as you say no matter what? Additionally any support should be supportive and so careful to make sure to the kids that you're the boss.

    Alternatives are rather thin on the ground and easy for kids to subvert by moving exercise books or whatever. Also in a sense you're beyond the seating plan and addressing a threat to YOUR AUTHORITY.

    I'm surprised that the sanction you applied isn't removal from the lesson (and a large detention). Most behaviour policies regard refusal as a high-level offence, comparable to swearing at a teacher etc. Assuming removal is an option then you could ask the shouter with the radio (or whatever the remover is called) to turn up and enforce this. Should help with identification as well.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Homeeducator2011

    Homeeducator2011 New commenter

    Thank you again for your reply, yes I am aware I have to believe I will do it no matter what. I felt like that the lesson before and as a result they were more compliant. I have to be at my very best, and it is difficult as there are so many challenges to face at the same time. We don't have a 'remover' or someone on duty at my school, instead we are told to ask a trustworthy student to go and get a member of staff, but sometimes the corridor where I am teaching is empty and I am not sure what to do. Fortunately a senior member of staff is coming to have a look tomorrow.
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  6. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    They're having a laugh. Stop changing the plan so that you can learn where the faces need to be in your classroom and this will also help you learn their names. If your school has photos of the pupils on the register system, print them out in your seating plan so you can see at a glance who is who.
    ManicStef and pepper5 like this.
  7. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I would seek support from a senior collegue - HOD, HOY or SLT as these students are being defiant. As koopatroppa says, have copies of their photos so you know which students are not co-operating and punish them appropriately. At the moment this class is trying to see how far they can push you and if you allow them to get away with seating plan issues then the next step will be worse.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I have started a new job aged 59 teaching loads of classes none of whom are under 30 in size.

    All my classes are now a searing plan which I have done on the basis of first name. Easier to remember when Alexandra is at one end and zephyr is at the other.

    It doesn’t matter how long it takes - if they are talking and medbehaving sat where they want you are not teaching them anyway!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with John - the sanction should be removal from the lesson and a detention.

    They see you as new and trying to push boundaries.

    Getting support isn't a sign of weakness especially in a large and challenging group. Two is better than one and the Head or HOD needs to send a STRONG message that the students need to follow your instructions.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  10. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    I am in the first half term of teacher training and I have another teacher in the room with me who is "invisible" as they are writing comments to help me.

    The other day one student had asked me if he could move as it was hard for him to see the board where he was sat and I had made provisions for this.

    Once the other students saw that he had moved, they all thought that they could do as well. I thought that the other teacher would step in but he just gave me the "carry on look".

    As hard as it was, I just said to the students that they were to remain standing up behind their chairs until they were all in the right place and I had said they could sit down.

    I wasn't sure if it would work but most went right to the correct seats. When the majority of students realised that they were waiting for a few of their classmates to stand behind the correct chairs, they sorted the minority out themselves.

    Honestly, it was amazing and I was so pleased with them for working together.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    HI PersianCatLady

    Hi and welcome to the forum. On an entirely separate note, I am also a Persian cat devotee although I don't have any Persians at the moment. I used to have a Shaded Silver Chinchilla Persian and a Golden one as well. Cats are a wonderful for stress release so are perfect for teachers.

    Well done on your behaviour management.

    Sometimes it does surprise me that the students will follow the instructions given - you just have to be brave and immoveable as you demonstrate.

    It is amazing when a class works together and follows the teacher's instructions so everyone benefits.
  12. Northern_Miss

    Northern_Miss New commenter

    How are you getting along with your class now?

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