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"They're okay for me"/Beh MGMT shaming

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Idiomas11, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter


    Please bear with me as I am quite tired and therefore probably a lot more sensitive.

    I feel like I am massively weak at behaviour management. The only praise I seem to get/have gotten in teaching is that my lesson structure/planning/resources are very very good. Marking good too.

    I am really worried about my future in teaching. My contract at current school changed from perm to temp following comments about my behaviour management in ref from last school. They were super late in handing the reference and seemed super annoyed about my leaving (in fact at least a dozen teachers left with me that year, many who had been there for just a year, which should speak volumes) . I wasn't on any support plan for it or anything but taught French to kids who had to study it but didn't think it was important and to mostly bottom sets. My last obs comments were actually really positive.

    However, I feel that I will fail the observation at my new school that swings the decision (to make me perm) as I stupidly chose a challenging class to get proper feedback and I have an NQT who they can make perm instead perhaps. I feel like I am in constant competition with them as they are super keen and do everything, creating elaborate displays, being super up for everything and anything and send really long emails to parents. I feel like I am struggling under my higher teaching and marking load, even though I am a few years in (NQT+3). I have two GCSE classes who obviously I prioritise.

    I have moved cities to be here. I don't think I could handle yet more interviews. I have worked in a new school every year. I just think I should give up now.

    The kicker is that I feel weak even compared to much newer teachers who are surprised by my honest accounts of struggles with classes. Some teachers experience similar but not many. I just feel like a dunce teacher and I should just give up now but for what? Selling all my resources on TES? Textbook publishing??

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    To be fair, I am only really struggling with Y8s who will not be continuing with French/Spanish. Classic scenario! I am trying to give them as much variety in lessons as possible but am so tired maybe that I can't see the woods through the trees. Any advice for that scenario greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    HI idiomas11

    Firstly, you must try to be more positive about your abilities. I think you are worrying unnecessarily about your contract. Cross the bridge when you come to it in regards your contract being made permanent; for right now, you have a job so congratulations for getting work.

    Secondly, don't compare yourself with the NQT as that is a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus on what YOU need to do to improve. Three years as a teacher may seem like a lot but it isn't - you are just starting out!

    Behaviour management is something people can improve with. I don't think you should give up - not just yet. Not a lot of people will confess they struggle with behaviour but it is one of the main reasons teachers leave the profession within 5 years of qualifying so you are not alone - not by any means. People won't confess to their struggles since they don't want to appear weak, but there are many people who are struggling silently with this dilemma and I can assure you it is true. As a supply teacher of 10 years I have had the opportunity to cover for many classes where the teacher has gone away ill because of the APPALLING behaviour of some of their classes. I have seen classes at schools where staff at the school refused to teach them. Are all these teachers incompetent? I hardly think so.

    Add into the mix that you are teaching a foreign language making the it harder because many students find the topic difficult and some as you won't be taking it at GCSE and therefore don't see the point of it.

    By your own admission you are now only struggling with Year 8s and yes, it will be more difficult since as the term progresses you get more tired.

    Are you able to observe any other classes and see what techniques/tips/tricks other language teachers use for this tricky age group?

    There must be articles/books/ blogs on the internet as well which gives advice to language teachers in connection with teaching languages and behaviour management.

    Please do not think for one instance that you are a dunce teacher.

    Perhaps give it to the end of the academic year and then re-think your options but don't give up just yet; not until you have observed other teachers and done some research. You have done well to manage this far and at this point, don't worry about the NQT - worry about yourself. In the end, however, if you do decide to leave there are plenty of options for you but don't worry about that just yet.
    chris1729 and Idiomas11 like this.
  4. TrevelyanInq

    TrevelyanInq New commenter

    Behaviour sucks, especially in this half of the term. And the next half... picks up a little then spring half term sets it rolling downhill again... yayyyy...
    My behaviour management leaves much to be desired. I do not enjoy how confrontational students can be when all I’m asking them to do is what is expected of them.
    Idiomas11 and pepper5 like this.
  5. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    I don't understand the bit about your contract. Do you currently have a permanent contract?
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi @TrevelyanInq

    I know what you mean about the confrontational students.

    Sometimes, they behave like you've asked them to work in a coal mine.

    One memorable occasion sticks in my mind:

    In one lesson working as a supply teacher, the HOD came in to help me set up a PowerPoint since I didn't have the link etc. While we were waiting for the computer to load, she asked student X to walk over to the cupboard since he didn't have his book and to look for it. He proceeded to say: "I can't. It is too far to walk."

    I can't exactly remember what her reaction was but she was known to be a bit fierce. Anyway, he got up and got the book.
    caress, ScienceGuy and Idiomas11 like this.
  7. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    No I don't. I was offered perm at interview then it was changed to temp following a negative reference from my former head which came as somewhat of a surprise. This is all above board as far as the new school is concerned as this was in their offer letter (subject to references) etc. The school have promised to make me permanent (in writing) subject to observation.
  8. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    How long have you been teaching for?
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. TheGeezer

    TheGeezer New commenter

    HI, Idiomas,

    I hope you can find your way through. I always struggled with behaviour management, moving in and out of different posts, till finally throwing in the towel after three and a half years. I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have authority with crowds, and that is central to successful school teaching. For more info see my blog http://failed-teacher.blog/

    I now have a successful part time career as a tutor, partly because I tutor in maths, physics and chemistry. There's nothing more I like than telling others about these subjects,and showing them they are not as forbidding as is people think, so it's a dream job for me. I guess it would be more difficult for a languages teacher to make a living in this way.

    Your comments about NQTs having better class control (or "behaviour management", though, let's face it, they mean the same thing) than you chimed closely with my experience, and left me utterly demoralised.I think some people are just lucky in this respect: it's nothing to do with producing good lessons or resources, or about praising students, or anything else that you are told. If students don't accept your authority they will probably be indifferent to your praise.
  10. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    Thank you. I am in tears reading your blog, so much of it resonates. I think it's a sign but at a complete loss as to want to do next

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