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Triggering a trauma in the human minefield.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by lovejoy_antiques, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I've noticed every so often something well meaning is introduced into schools with all good intentions. However it is then totally exploited by students to disrupt or do as they please.

    An example would be giving all manner of toys to certain kids with vaguely defined mental health conditions in order to 'help them concentrate'. It started with fidget spinners and cubes clicking and clacking. Now we have kids allowed to bring plasticine into class to throw around the room.

    Another example would be time out cards, a great idea in principle, that a student with a genuine difficulty is allowed to take five minutes out. However in practice these are abused in majority of cases.

    They are used in my experience when...

    A disruptive child wants to wander the corridors.
    A disruptive child has worked his/her way up to the cuspbof a consequence that might actually mean something.
    A disruptive child wants to hear what you are saying to another disruptive child you've sent out.
    The class is becoming loud and you have raised your voice to try to calm them down.
    The class is becoming loud and you have not raised your voice to calm things down.
    You've asked a child to do some work in class.
    You've asked a child not to shout out obscenities or challenged their behaviour in any way.

    The latest thing though seems to be the focus on wokeness, student mental health and well being. This seems to have led to the creation of a human minefield. Where belligerent students are now actively looking to be offended.

    Yesterday I had a nightmare when one student asked me why the good kids in the class have to wait while I get the class quiet. I said half jokingly 'what good kids?' a child not even involved in the conversation then went full Jeremy Kyle show...."you've insulted my cousin", "I'm reporting you". This child whipped herself up into a frenzy and stormed out the class and started hyperventilating in the corridor. The next minute she is being comforted by several members of staff including the head teacher. They finally get her back into the class where she is allowed to sit there wearing head phones and scarf and allowed to write a statement about me in the lesson. I asked her to take out the earphones in lesson. She told me she is allowed to wear them as they are keeping her calm and I am not allowed to talk to her.

    Someone on here on another post said something about having to watch everything you say in case it is warped into a safeguarding issue. That is exactly it. As supply my ability to pay the bills hangs in the balance depending on the whims of troublemakers!
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is called working to overcome disadvantage which is why we have a world class education system.
    I'm told.

    While I am here, I hold the accolade of triggering two traumas yesterday. One of them was a mispronunciation of a name on the register of a child who I had never encountered before-when I mildly protested "Of course I am perfectly happy for you to correct me, Please do. I have never met you before so I stand to learn from your correction" she fled out of the room to report me for laughing at her name. The other one was when I was standing by a child annotating their work in green pen. I circled an irrelevant doodle in the margin and wrote "unnecessary use of class time" and three of them fled out of the room to report me for saying the work was a waste of space. Which were precisely the words I used about the doodle. Which was an improbable phallus. In a maths lesson.
    I'm so cruel.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  3. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    There seems a fine line between working to overcome disadvantage and working to overcome discipline!
    agathamorse, pepper5 and BetterNow like this.
  4. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    The keenness and frequency of which students feel the need to report staff seems to be on the increase! The well meaning policies on safeguarding seem to have become a trouble makers charter with the troublesome kids being intoxicated with all the power they now seem to hold over an adults career! I've often thought that any student wishing to report a teacher should be told their statement can only be written after the home time bell. I have a feeling this would significantly reduce malicious statements being submitted.
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is to be encouraged.

    the SMT in any school should make themselves available to give each complaint careful and detailed consideration, and go through each item of the statement with the individual complainant.

    Ample time needs to be set aside for this. To avoid any distractions, this should be at a clear time of the day.

    I would suggest 7 - 8pm every day. The complainants should be provided with warm quiet, well stocked study room to await their turn, from the end of school until the the time they are seen.

    If the time slot 7-8 isn't enough for SMT to hear each of that days complaints in detail, then those complainants who were not seen should return the next day, and the next, and so on, until they are seen.

    In this way, the complainants, and SMT can be confident that each and every complaint has been given the full attention that t deserves.
    agathamorse, Jesmond12 and alex_teccy like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I am so relieved I don't have to work as a supply teacher anymore although I earn less per day.

    Who needs that hassle?

    I woukd rather sweep the streets.
  7. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    This makes for depressing reading, all the more so because it isn't widely known. Even as a Supply teacher myself (albeit primary) I only know of the shenanigans going on in schools through reading this forum. I think the general public should be made aware of this - as an antidote to the latest anodyne teaching recruitment ad, if for no other reason. Truly shocking.
  8. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I once saw a little girl get expelled by governors for making a malicious report about a staff member at a secondary school.
    HelenREMfan and pepper5 like this.
  9. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    About time somebody with a backbone, I know of a school that as banned shouting or raising your voice at kids, no matter they are doing and they wonder why students are leaving the profession. The people who dream these absurd ideas and policies up, are the sought of people who read the guardian as if it was the word of god and are general , who think they are correct, because they are talking to people like themselves, the out of touch liberal left. Whereas the people in the real world, who find these ideas as undermining the kids education and do not read the guardian.
    donrickles, alex_teccy and pepper5 like this.
  10. XTrapnel

    XTrapnel New commenter

    What utter rubbish.

    BTW it is 'sort' of people, not sought.
    hendo2015, lizziescat and sbkrobson like this.
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    In some schools, students know that making a false allegation could have no negative consequences for them, even if the police is involved. Quite the opposite is the case for the poor teacher against whom the allegation is made.

    If you work in a school in which the SMT will not support you in the exercise of reasonable discipline, especially if the students witness it, you are in a hopeless situation.
    HelenREMfan and pepper5 like this.
  12. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    don't be so finicky. We are chatting to have fun, not to worry about what our autocorrects are doing
    alex_teccy and Jesmond12 like this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Typo notwithstanding, it was a pretty irrational post which I personally found baseless and undeveloped; even though the idea of not being allowed to shout could potentially be relevant to the thread, it is not explored at all in the post.
    Chuck in such a gauche typo (which orthography cannot possibly have occurred by way of autocorrect anyway) and you've sealed the deal on something completely lacking in credence.
    hendo2015 and lizziescat like this.
  14. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I think safeguarding and a focus on student well being and mental health has led to a reluctance in education to dismiss some of what children say as complete rubbish. Therefore every bleating triviality is given oxygen and indulged, playing into the hands of the master manipulators amongst the students looking to cause trouble.

    If I could hazard a guess this is down to the type of people who read TV quick magazine.
    donrickles likes this.
  15. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Worked in one school where,
    1) physical assault / verbal abuse by pupils not dealt with/ covered up
    2) alleged verbal threat from teacher resulted in immediate escort from premises,/ report to LEA, etc

    Can’t think why there’s a high turnover of staff there..
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  16. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Edit : sorry quoted wrong bit. This is a reply to typo police

    they have read at least one Guardian article. (Otherwise they wouldn’t have a view of Guardian readers). The Grauniad is famous for spelling errors. It can be contagious...

    I swear my spelling and grammar were better before I started teaching and marking...
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    It looks like a perfectly valid contribution to the discussion to me
    alex_teccy likes this.
  18. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    it will be, looking at poor spelling makes your own deteriorate.
    alex_teccy likes this.
  19. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    No, it's not,(s) he's hit the nail on the head. The reductionist belief that kids are just blank slates and that they only respond to environmental stimulus in an imitative fashion, is the prevailing dogma. i.e. all behaviour is constructed. There is no understanding for anything more complex, such as hierarchical structures being necessary for learning in a one to many or one to one relationship.Their view would be that the only value learned from from your voice to a child is that raising voices is an abuse of power. It's a highly reductionist view.
    Jolly_Roger15 likes this.
  20. XTrapnel

    XTrapnel New commenter

    'Their view would be that the only value learned from from your voice to a child is that raising voices is an abuse of power. It's a highly reductionist view.'

    What are you on about?

    Never met anyone that believes all this as you outline.

    The pendulum needs to withdraw from the side that gives all the power to the kids and parents to something more balanced - sure, is that what you are on about?

    What is wrong with Guardian readers anyway?
    hendo2015 likes this.

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