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They're just kids, they're just kids...

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by tastytortilla, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    Evening forum goers,

    I'm looking to just vent but advice is greatly appreciated. I hope my post will also give others relief that they are not the only ones struggling with behaviour. NB names are not real.

    S2 class (12 years old). I know who my usual suspects are. I have them separated across the room based on my experiences so far. Janet comes into the room and sits on a seat that's not hers. She's told to move and says she gets bullied there (Janet sits next to 2 outstanding pupils who could really be moved up a year). She states she's now going to misbehave as she can't sit where she wants.

    Jessica, Janet's friend, bounces in, immediately finding her friend and carrying on. Later in the lesson Jessica asks to move seat as she can't see the task on the board properly. She's allowed to move to the logistically best seat. She puts her hair on a boy's desk and ask him to pleat (not sure if that's a word) her hair. Jessica is told to move back but doesn't do so.

    James, the final antagonist in our story, has a seat at the very front of the class. With the new seating arrangement James sits next to a lovely girl who I asked if she would help keep James on task. Within 5 minutes James is out the room because he can't sit in his chair and complete the match up starter like everyone else. James stands behind the glass in the door so the class can see him. He's asked to move away. He asks to come back in but I'm not ready to speak to him. Again, he asks, and is now disrupting the lesson from outside.

    Is this just me this happens to? Setting expectations doesn't work, differentiated work doesn't do the trick (doesn't get done anyway) and the new seating plan is none the better.

    Thanks for reading,

    A "there must be more to teaching than this" teacher.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Frustrating these kids aren't they!
  3. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    I hope you're having a better day today. It sounds like the usual misbehaviour and testing you.

    Is this the first time using seating plans with this class? If so, stick with it. Insist they sit where you've asked them to and follow procedure when they won't. They usually come round to the idea if they get in lots of unnecessary trouble right at the beginning of the lesson. Of course, it's a horrible start to the class for you, and the well-behaved children but hopefully consistency will win out in a week or so.

    What happened to Jessica for refusing to move back? Was she sent out too? Make sure you're being consistent with that.

    Don't rise to it. The hair on the table, the looking through the window at the class etc, it's all just horsing around and annoying as it is, they usually do stop if you can remain calm, keep moving forward with the lesson, praise those doing well and as far as possible (still giving out the appropriate sanctions but with as little time and effort shown) ignore the bad behaviour.

    If they're clowning around for a reaction, try to minimise the impact. Remove them from the class - can you send them with work to another class? Taking away their audience, and where possible putting them into different year group classes (embarrassing either way - younger kids think they're bad, older kids think they're pathetic) can sometimes work.
    polyglot91 and pepper5 like this.
  4. electricsheep

    electricsheep New commenter

    Go from the negative reactive approach (we all do it, we're only human!) to the positive assertive approach. Praise those working, give out house points or merits. Look for positive things in even the badly behaved kids. Give them a responsibility like handing books out. Make them feel wanted but be very clear that if they choose to not conform to your expectations, consequences will follow. And then, make sure you follow through any sanctions.
    polyglot91 and pepper5 like this.
  5. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    Thank you, that's reassuring to hear.

    They have always had a seating plan but it had to get changed due to the aforementioned problems.

    I must say though that in collaboration with my HOD, the positive route is having an effect, slowly but surely. Even though it feels fake to praise someone who is doing just the bare minimum compared to those who consistently over achieve.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Glad to hear things are improving for you. Well done.
  7. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    Just to update, not such a good day yesterday. James is back after having been off for a week (looked after and carer wanted a break so he was sent away...). The class had been doing well but I was spending all my time telling James to sit down and do the work set. Constantly out his seat, winding up the others.

    Janet, who has been doing much better reached detention stage after two warnings. I was unable to keep her behind for detention as I was sent a note from the home economics teacher who requested that Janet do a detention there. So I escorted her to that department.

    Frustrating as things were better and now are worse. :'(
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Tomorrow is a new day. A new beginning. It might be better.

  9. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    Can only hope so and go in with the fresh start approach. My heart tells me that's the right thing but my head's telling me I already know what to expect. Not sure if that's a reality I should be willing to accept. Speaking to more experienced members of my department, I was told that I'm setting my expectations too high for some pupils, and that for some, sitting down for a period is an achievement in itself. Felt rotten after that but bit my tongue and smiled.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi trust today is better.

    You have done the right thing by focusing on your behaviour and thoughts. Keep using the positive approach. It may take time for things to change, but they will. Teach them the behaviours you want to see.

    Don't lower your expectations. You just have to keep working on how to get there.
    polyglot91 likes this.
  11. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    No, don't lower your expectations. You know you are right and you believe those kids can do better. keep showing them you believe in them by giving them fresh starts and expecting them to function at a level that will enable them to play a proper role in society as they get older. We have to hope that's possible otherwise this job becomes overwhelming. You're making progress and will continue to do so, well done!
    pepper5 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I ran across a really interesting approach to behaviour management the other day. It genuinely pulled me up short.

    I've always been taught that we should treat children like growing adults who need to be allowed to make their own choices, sometimes good, sometimes bad. We should always be reasonable with children so that they will come to understand reason. But they are young and will make mistakes, so we have allow them space to discover why good behaviour is in their best interests. To excuse poor behaviour as part of the learning process. And we shouldn't expect too much of them.

    Your colleagues who are suggesting that children can't even sit still are making excuses. Of course they can sit still. And of course your school has children who misbehave when they can't do what they want. Because that forces the teacher to compromise. To make deals and negotiate behaviour.

    The new theory I ran across is that we are teachers, we are trained professionals with many years of experience, and therefore students should do what we say. We don't have to explain 'why' to them. We don't have to be patient with them or respect their choices. And we don't have to accept a level of disrespect from them even if they ARE children. Because that's not how you treat a professional, whether you are six or sixty.

    Imagine going to your doctor. He says you have a prolapsed bowel. You argue with him. You roll your eyes and tell him he's being unfair, that he's a rubbish doctor and that you'll ring your mum because he's being out of order. Would any adult behave like that?

    An as for accepting excuses, etc - well, last time I put my finger in a plug socket it was really unfair and made no allowance for me not understanding electricity. It zapped me there and then. But I learned that I should not poke an electrical fitting unless I wanted that response.

    To summarise: Don't drop your standards. Don't negotiate. Expect good behaviour from them and if they are not responding, it's their fault, not yours.

    And as for 'compromising' with students:


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