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Support from the top?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by nqteacher4490, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Whilst qualifying recently, I was working in a very challenging school where the behaviour management system did not appear to be working too well!!
    I was talking to another member of staff and was told about the following incident.
    An experienced teacher within the school was having a problem with a group of female students in his class. They were refusing to follow his requests for quiet when the head happened to be passing by in the corridor (a very rare occurrence, I might add!!).
    He popped out to ask for some assistance and the head duly obliged by coming in and quietly explaining that their behaviour was inappropriate.
    He then called the teacher outside and told him never ever to ask him into his classroom to manage behaviour again as that was his job.
    As an NQT, II would have thought support and assistance was one of the key roles of a head.
    Is this level of 'support' the norm in schools?
  2. Sadly it does not surprise me. I don't really understand why this is the case, but the idea of being sent to the headteacher as a very last resort for the worst children - which used to fill our souls with terror when I was at school - no longer applies. They always take the view that it should go through the hierarchy and through the systems they have in place - "after all they are here for a reason - so use them".

    I have frequently tried to get an incident dealt with quickly only to be redirected through the (purposely?) onerous and unwieldy system of setting and resetting detention, ringing parents, going through the next line manager ... and on and on until by the time anything happens, I have had to teach the culprit for several more lessons, during which time they have done more and more things wrong and I just DROWN in the paperwork and give up - after all I have to mark and prepare as well.

    SLT and to some extent middle managers are onto a winner when you report an incident because they always ask what YOU have done and what systems you have followed. They are masters of the art of batting things back to you knowing full well that the systems take too long and don't work anyway - because there will be a cohort of pupils in every school that even the management can't manage.

    The other problem if you DO keep up with all the paperwork and procedures is that I suspect this can work against you. If a class is being awful for one teacher it is quite likely that they are being the same way for several other teachers too - but if there is no paperwork, there is no problem is there - oh except for old Soft-teacher, so therefore (s)he must have a problem - best put them on capability and get rid ...
  3. The head's point may have been that the teacher undermined their own authority by asking for this help instead of dealing with it themself.
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    But the OP says
    Maybe he's one of those fair weather heads.
  5. Kebabble, you clearly work in the very same school!!!
  6. Ahhh - but can you guess who I am? lol
  7. There is nothing like support from above and there is nothing so obvious when it is absent. That is not the level of support that any teacher should expect. I would, however, avoid engaging headteachers with negative behaviour - you want them to see you at your best, particularly as the job market is becoming much more wobbly than before. If you don't have an 'on-call' system, believable behaviour or supportive line-manager/mentor, it may be the sign of a weak head-teacher. I have been in a school with a poor behaviour management system (although our department was good as we handled things internally), and it was also a school where the head would pay certain teachers more than others who had the same level / responsibility. I didn't want the head to see anything other than my best as I couldn't trust them to give me a good reference. If I was struggling with a class, I would only go to my line-manager who I knew would help.
  8. Would love to have a guess, pretty sure I know who you are - just not sure which side you're on - could be a double agent!! :)

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