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Discussion in 'Personal' started by giraffe, Apr 26, 2012.
It's what kids do.
They do it to everyone.
Except they don't. One class in particular was so bad I asked their head of year to come to my lesson and watch them. They were angels that lesson. Next lesson, *** again. I said to them 'You behaved for Miss X so I know you CAN behave' they told me in no uncertain terms the reason they were misbehaving for me not her is because it was ME not her. They were scared/respectful/whatever of her but clearly not me. I don't want kids scared of me but I clearly don't exert authority.
Hi, disguise. I've had classes exactly like that. It is NOT you. Children develop a pack mentality. I had awful problems with the Year 8's at the start of last year. Half way through the year a new teacher started. It was her turn for this sort of her behaviour since she was new, and their efforts to then ingratiate themselves with me (particularly if the new teacher was walking past) were hilarious. Easy to say, but try not to take it personally.
I might adapt that when I'm next on supply at a new school. I'll introduce myself as the new part-time Deputy who is covering selcted classes to get to know the pupils.
Some years ago, I went to a new school for one supply day. It was my specialism. In the first class, I put my glasses down on the teacher's desk and within the first 5 minutes they had disappeared, only to materialise broken on the floor.
I thought I was in for a challenging lesson and a difficult day generally but ...
a pupil then asked if I was married to Mr jubilee. I confirmed that I was. The atmosphere in the room changed immediately and everyone followed my instructions and did the work.
The school grapevine saw to it that every other class knew that I was Mr jubilee's wife and I had lessons that ran like clockwork all day.
It turned out that one of the Deputies at the school had the same surname as me.
I have toyed with the idea of checking out the names and approximate ages of SLT at a school and adopting a different surname for the day!
I still think introducing The Hunger Games for unruly children in this country would instantly change things. Surely that would wipe the giggles off their faces.
Kids think they run schools these days, and to a certain extent, they are right.
I like this idea.
I'm reading the third book in the trilogy at the moment. I don't think I'd like to have challenging pupils armed with deadly weapons but I take your point about a regime that eliminates swathes of young people to keep everyone else under control!
And I bet that teacher went home every day feeling total cr&p.
The responses to the OP demonstrate what a tough job we have and that you have to develop the hide of a rhinoceros. Not easy, as I know very well.
Since I've been doing a two-term contract, I've been treated with much more respect. One year 8 group would deliberately talk over me but I've worn them down by sheer force of personality and now they are my favourite class. A bottom set year 8 have defeated me and I can't wait for the end of the year. I just have to keep reminding myself that they are the ones with the problems, not me.
And guess what? when I do extra lessons on a supply basis in the same school, kids who don't know me think I'm a cover supervisor or a "sub", as they like to say, and they play up.
There's definitely a correlation between low intelligence and poor behaviour, I find. Although, not always!
And I thought that pupil misbehaviour was a thing of the past with shiny new PFI schools, academies and executive principals with business managers who earn more than teachers. My eyes have been opened!
I try and stay calm as I can and sometimes I succeed really well but sometimes I also lose my temper. Which just fuels the situation. Other times, I feel myself welling up. I haven't ever cried in front of the kids but there have been times when I've had to turn around, face a wall and take a deep breath to stop myself crying.
Just to echo previous suggestion - choose one of the kids that seem to be the worst and try and arrange to shadow them for a day/morning - note who they are in a class with as well as how they behave with the teacher.
Also why not ask someone to just 'pop in' at some point during the lesson - if it is HOD or SMT will be able to issue immediate telling off if they witness anything.
But it is important that you just keep plodding on evoking behaviour policy and sanctions as needed
If you don't already ( and with classes like this it is sometimes difficult to do- we have all been there) give lots of praise on a regular basis.
I used to lose my temper too.... until I realized that's what they want. They want a reaction from you... they can be terribly cruel...
I forgot to say, when posting on behaviour, you need to put "Dear Tom" in the subject line, and then he'll respond, so maybe try that again.... he's given me some good advice in the past.
I'm sorry you're going through this....x
Thanks, I did post the thread already so don't want to repost it until I've got that one deleted.
Why do you care what they think? You're earning roughly 50p a minute. At the end of the day, they go home t a life of shit. You don't. Keep up the punishing. But don't let any weakness show.
If you teac maths or MfL they'll hate you anyway. They hate me. I don't care. Here at Cyolba Academy for Numpty Teenagers, it's taken me three years to get to the stage where I have some reasonable classes. But even then, some of the fucktardius maximus types still hate me.
I think if they don't, then I'm not doing my job properly. MY lessons aren't fun - they are about learning stuff. The kids dislike that, they think lessons should be enjoyable. But, eventually, they settle down for a bit and I can teach rather than herd fog. But, if all I do is herd fog, that's ok. because at least I'm making the little scrotes' lives miserable.
cylba, a ramble about his vocation for teaching
Another tactic which is worth trying is the "OK, you win. I'm not wasting my time and energy with you any more. If you don't want to learn, that's fine. Sit there and chat", said in a very calm, nonchalant manner. Then sit down and just observe them, without saying a word.
You can write names down of the worst offenders as you observe them. This starts to unsettle a few of them. With any luck, after about 5 minutes, a hush should start to descend. They realise that they have actually been doing what you requested, for once. Sitting chatting. It's no fun any more. Some start to get bored and a bit uncomfortable.
Then, in very quiet, measured tones, you say "those people who would now like to get on with some work, turn to page x... (or whatever). A few of them will. Remember, some of them desperately want you in control. Start to praise them. You will begin to divide and rule.
Again, very quietly, to those not working, offer them a choice. Either do this work now or give up break or lunchtime. Let them make the choice. Don't impose it. Don't try to make them do the work. The pack mentality will start to swing the other way.
All the while, remain seated and very calm. Try to smile, maintain eye contact, exude quiet authority. You might be shaking inside but breathe slowly and deeply. Some of those kids will be willing you to come out on top, believe me.
Give this a go, if you haven't already. It won't hurt to try. Best wishes.
I don't care what they think in some ways, but I resent having to put up with such rudeness - rudeness I'd have been knocked from here to kingdom come for if I did it as a kid. I also resent having to live a life of s/it whilst at work! Since I come home to an empty (except the cat) home, with no one but the internet to vent at it can become all consuming.
As for the sit quietly observing approach. Trust me, I have done it. I have sat out 45 minutes before this way. Guess what, they didn't show up to make the 45 minutes back. It really doesn't faze them! I also do the timer on the board thing which they know means they owe that time back. Some shut up, most don't. Or they shut up but soon start again. I regularly remind them that 'I will not talk over you so let me know when you have done talking and we will continue when you are done. But you will be making that time up.' I also make a point of saying (when I give detentions which seems to be more often than not) 'I really don't care if you get a detention because I am here most days after school anyway, it will affect your social life more than mine, trust me'. Sometimes this works, but again not always. I had one girl the other day after I'd given half the class a lecture on rudeness and selfishness in chatting and wasting other classmate's education and time, stand and laugh incessantly at apparently nothing even though everyone else had shut up. I looked at her in absolute disbelief and she simply said (full of attitude) 'What?!'
I also have some very challenging classes, especially in Y8 where I teach 22 students in the lowest set. Half of them started off with another teacher who is on long term sick, they had half a term of supply teaching then I offered to teach them with my own class - hence the rather large class size for such low abiliy students.
I have never tried to be popular,I am there to teach them, not be liked by them necessarily. But what I am is fair and consistent, I am never off school, always greet them at the door with a smile, have books ready on their desks, lesson objectives and basic starter on the board for them to coy out while everyone arrives in dribs and drabs. I follow the school sanctions to the letter - including rewards as well, we have standard points and praise postcards to issue every lesson but I also have my own reward system. i give all those who arrive on time, with a pen and settle down quickly one point, they then get a second point at the end of the lesson if they meet my specific behaviour objective (which this week was to contribute to class discussions without calling out). I record the points on a chart on the wall and every two weeks issue rewards - usually a fun sized chocolate to about 8 students who have the most points. i find even the most badly behaved students will engage some lessons to try to get some rewards - not every lesson but the balance of good to bad lessons is going in the right direction since I took on the extra students.
I even enjoy teaching them sometimes and the TA who works with them has said they they are better behaved for me than in other academic students - the down side is very few truant my lessons now so I usually end up with a class full of stroppy teenagers.
I honestly find bribery works wonders with such students, even if I run out of chocolate just before pay day, they are happy with a Tesco value sweet!
The best advice I had when I started teaching was to smile and say 'hi' it start a little dialogue with very student I taught on the corridors and around school - no matter how difficult they were in lessons. It has always worked as a way to develop relationships with students. One student said the other day to me, 'isn't is funny how we get in really well outside lessons but not so much in them?' I pointed out that it was because I liked him but didn't always like teaching them. However, the fact that we get on outside of lessons means we get on much better in lessons- the student doesn't want to risk losing the good relationship we have! Hope that makes sense!
Disguise, I'm struggling to find a way to give you advice without it coming across as a bit judgemental. I really don't mean to criticise as I've had classes and pupils like this and I know how horrendous it can be. One thing I would suggest is not making statements about not caring about whether they are in detention or not. Regardless of how much pupils say and act as if they hate you, they do want you to care about them - saying you don't (even in such a small way) just makes them more resentful. It's also getting involved in too much conversation about it - just state the consequences of the behaviour and leave it at that with no other comment or discussion. That way you're linking crime and punishment without making it seem like you want to ruin their social lives. It also makes the disruption boring - if kids find you lecturing about manners preferable to actually doing any work then they will deliberately provoke such a lecture.