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Students answering back - what to do

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by jfmartin1, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. I have started to notice kids answering me back more and more recently and wondered how people deal with this?

    Some examples:

    If I ask for quiet, then pick on one or two individuals who are still talking by name, they might just blast back with 'what?!!'.

    If I say 'stop talking' they might say 'I wasn't talking I was laughing'.

    If I say 'you shouldn't be talking when I'm talking' I might get back 'yer I know' in their very best Little Britain voice

    and so on and so forth. I don't want to get drawn into tit-for-tat arguments, but at the same time I don't want to lose face... what should I do?
  2. I had a bit of this last week. I began teaching a Yr11 who I last taught last spring when I was in my NQT year. I probably should have nipped it in the bud there and then but I guess I was a little too green.
    First lesson back with me last week (we teach GCSE science in a rotation) and he's straight in with the smart comments that he knows I can hear but he feels gives him great status among those sitting near him.
    Last week I let the first few go - only because I had the attention of everyone and I wasn't stopping unneccesarily. When I'd set everyone working I crouched down next to him and said quietly and calmly that I wasn't having any of this this time. I explained that it would be zero tolerance - one smart comment and he'd be out of the room and would be catching up at lunchtime.
    He didn't try it but he saw from how I handled others in the room that lesson that I meant what I had said and there would be no second chances.
    I think it's a case of laying down some clear ground rules and following through with any sanctions you set.
    Tit for tat arguments are a nightmare, I got drawn in too many times last year and they don't make you look good. They tend to happen when the pupils feel they have you on the run with something and they just keep picking away. Underneath they know they're in the wrong. Spell it out plain and simple and don't go any further!
    Good luck!

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