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What has happened to my class and how do I fix it?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Tom_Bennett, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Telling tales is usually stopped by the following:
    Insist that every time someone tells a tale, tall or otherwise, you nod and say, 'Hmm. I need you to stay behind and write out in detail exactly what happened. Then, don't let them take less than ten minutes to do so ('I need more detail' etc) if they're old enough. If they're not at the writing stage, then simply take the time to interview them at length, and make them wait a bit after lesson/ during lunch until you do.
    It sounds harsh, but this discourages a culture where kids use you as an enormous weapon against their peers.
    After a while you should have a feel for who usually instigates and who usually reciprocates slaps and punches. You can weight the time taken for the follow-up to match the presumed guilt or innocence. After a while, this usually kills off all but the most persistent of tell-tales. And of course, if any of the allegations are more serious than a nuisance, make sure you give it some of your real time immediately, in case you deter genuine problems from being aired.
    But if any kids tell a tale, and you can easily show that it's an invention, then you need to show them some consequences: call home, miss playtime etc. That will usually train them to realise that it isn't a small thing to accuse someone else, and should be reserved for real situations.
    As for the slapping: reboot your behaviour expectations with a good stern talk to the whole class. Make it clear what will happen if anyone slaps another in your room. If you catch anyone after that doing it, they need a consequence/ sanction that is immediate (same day) and stiff. And make it very public that this is what you;re doing. Kids will do what you let them get away with in most cases, so set a standard that this shall not pass.
    Good luck

    Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him.

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