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What to do...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lemsmith, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. lemsmith

    lemsmith New commenter

    I have been reading other posts on here and everyone seems so helpful. Here is my dilemma.

    I have been teaching for 4 years at one school where i was considered a good/outstanding teacher. This school was reasonable enough - fantastic staff and the majority of the students were well behaved and focused. However increasing pressures on workload and expectations.

    For these reasons and personal circumstances which is seeing my other half's business moving further away, I made the decision to move school after Christmas. The school appeared fantastic and i had heard positive things about it. However it has not necessarily lived up to this expectation. The students behaviour is a problem and i am finding most lessons a constant battle. Don't get me wrong i knew it would be tough moving part way through the year but i am coming home most days upset, wondering what i have done. I have spoken with HOD and they say to just be really thorough with the policy. I am trying but the majority of students just won't listen and simply not bothered. Staff have said the behaviour is at the worst it has been. They are being supportive but i think if anyone came to see me i would be straight into competency. I am not sure if i can stick this and am thinking i have deluded myself all this time, that i was any good at this job.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    It is always hard moving to a new school. It will get easier, but plan to make it so!
  3. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Unfortunately, different schools have different 'water marks' for typical behaviour. So if you have enjoyed several years at a school with good behaviour, a school with worse behaviour will come as a culture shock!

    You may have to accept that at your first school students getting mainly As and A*s in your subject say would be achievement while in this one getting some students to stay seated is an achievement! Is this school in a deprived area? You may need to motivate yourself by telling yourself that you are helping the more needy in society (deprived area kids) rather than the middle classes?

    If you are still concerned, ask to observe a typical lesson to see if the behaviours are typical of the school and not students 'trying it on' with a new teacher (which they might now its not THEIR honeymoon period of the year!)
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    My advice, for what it's worth is give yourself some time. Anyone will tell you it takes a while to settle in with a new class. This is a new school, new colleagues new routines . . . and not at the 'usual changeover time'. Anyone who has done it will say it's always difficult to change schools just after Christmas.
    Just keep sticking to your guns and school policy and the students will start to settle.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It takes an age to settle in to a new place and gain some credence with new pupils.
    Keep at it and it will get better.
    Remember in September every year when you have to start from scratch again? This is your September and it will be tough. Made worse by the fact every other teacher has their classes sorted because it isn't September for them. You will get there though, you have before and will again.

    I moved to an independent school at half term, with 11 children in one of my classes. Moving from a primary in a not too nice part of the city with 30 plus children in a class I was confident it wouldn't be too tricky. I ended up tearing my hair out and wondering if it was all a big mistake on many a day for the first 3-4 weeks! You have merely moved to a similar place, it will take time and get better.
  6. fudgeface

    fudgeface Occasional commenter

  7. fudgeface

    fudgeface Occasional commenter

    Don't beat yourself up. I've been teaching for 25 years + and had a rough day today with kids not listening. You need to be firm, fair and believe in yourself.

    I find a quick email/phone call to parents of kids who are doing the right thing can help.

    Good luck
    pepper5, petenewton and DYNAMO67 like this.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Any time you move to a new school, the students have been there longer than you, apart from the youngest and they will test you, to see how far they can go and to gauge your response.

    Follow the school procedures and make it clear you won't accept poor behaviour. Easier said than done, of course, but you have to get the majority of them onside and develop a relationship. It's very early days still. Be as firm, fair and consistent as you can and most will go with you. There will always be some who don't buy in, but you'll soon find them in the minority.

    Stick with it for a bit longer!
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    You have only been there for two minutes. You need a bit of perseverance.
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Keep at it, keep at it.

    Re-read the behaviour and sanctions policies every evening, to remind yourself.

    And keep at it!

    It sounds as though your new colleagues are sympathetic and helpful, that's a big plus.

    Keep at it, wear them down.

    Best wishes

    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Many helpful responses on here.

    Other posters are right: younare new and students are testing you to see how far they can push you and they are testing you to find out how you will react and if you remain calm as a cucumber, follow the behaviour policy, and don't give up you will soon see a difference. One week isn't long to get settled into a new school.

    As fudgeface explains, people can be teaching many years and still have bad days with kids not listening and it is important not to beat yourself up.

    I would also say that I you might like to read a book called Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix which is a very easy to read book which helped me learn how to manage classes a lot better.

    Four years isn't long to be teaching, so consider this a place to learn new things which will help you with your job.

    However, you don't say how challenging the behaviour is. There are some schools where the behaviour is very, very difficult even for experienced teachers and schools find themselves finding it hard to retain staff.

    If I were you, I would try to get some new skills you need for this by reading the book I mentioned, give it a few more months, then decide. You may well find that if you persevere, and the students see you strong and not retreating, you will come through.

    Lastly, there is another book you might like to read when you have spare time( what is that????). It is called Real Advice for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith a veteran teacher who has many years of teaching in a deprived school in the US.

    Sadly, in the UK many of the schools have challenging behaviour and the reasons for this are complex. The Government knows more needs to be done to train teachers in initial teacher training to be able to work with challenging classes.

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