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When it seems like everything's against you . . .

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by qudend, May 1, 2012.

  1. How do you make things work?

    Last term I inherited a year 9 class from a colleague who left the school and I?m very much struggling with behaviour. 99.9% is low level behaviour issues ? chatting, off task, inability to stay in their seats ? but I?m running out of ideas on how to minimize the disruption. It seems like every idea I would normally try has a problem:

    Seating plan: It?s not my classroom. I?ve put the students in three seating plans but the teacher whose room it is keeps changing the arrangement of the desks. I?ve spoken to her about it and asked (tactfully!) if she could stop playing musical chairs and tables but she just shrugged and said that she was ?still looking for the best layout for the room?. I?m not exaggerating when I say out of the twelve lessons I had in that room last term, there were five different arrangements of chairs/tables. I?m down to letting the kids sit wherever they want and periodically moving those whose behaviour goes too far but there are 34 students in a classroom with 31 desks. There?s only so much movement I can get away with in a lesson.

    Phone calls home: I teach Spanish. Most parents could care less if their child is misbehaving in my class because ?it doesn?t matter like the proper subjects?. In fact, most of the time I can?t even get a parent to return my calls/emails/letters so that is having no effect.

    Detention: My school doesn?t believe in after school detentions. In fact, when I first suggested it, the look my line manager gave me was so outraged you?d have thought I?d suggested bringing back the cane. Lunch time detentions are what they prefer, which would be fine, except the school runs on two schedules: one for KS3 and one for KS4. The MFL department is the only department in the school that teaches across both stages. When my year 9s have their lunch break, I?m teaching year 10s or 11s so I can?t set a detention. When I brought this issue up with my head of department I got the reply ?well, the students at this school aren?t that badly behaved; you probably don?t need to give them detention?.

    So, after that immensely long post, here?s my question? What do you do in a situation like this? Is there a way to stop the talking and get the students working without resorting to bribing them with lollies (which was the suggestion the head of year 9 gave to me)?
     
  2. How do you make things work?

    Last term I inherited a year 9 class from a colleague who left the school and I?m very much struggling with behaviour. 99.9% is low level behaviour issues ? chatting, off task, inability to stay in their seats ? but I?m running out of ideas on how to minimize the disruption. It seems like every idea I would normally try has a problem:

    Seating plan: It?s not my classroom. I?ve put the students in three seating plans but the teacher whose room it is keeps changing the arrangement of the desks. I?ve spoken to her about it and asked (tactfully!) if she could stop playing musical chairs and tables but she just shrugged and said that she was ?still looking for the best layout for the room?. I?m not exaggerating when I say out of the twelve lessons I had in that room last term, there were five different arrangements of chairs/tables. I?m down to letting the kids sit wherever they want and periodically moving those whose behaviour goes too far but there are 34 students in a classroom with 31 desks. There?s only so much movement I can get away with in a lesson.

    Phone calls home: I teach Spanish. Most parents could care less if their child is misbehaving in my class because ?it doesn?t matter like the proper subjects?. In fact, most of the time I can?t even get a parent to return my calls/emails/letters so that is having no effect.

    Detention: My school doesn?t believe in after school detentions. In fact, when I first suggested it, the look my line manager gave me was so outraged you?d have thought I?d suggested bringing back the cane. Lunch time detentions are what they prefer, which would be fine, except the school runs on two schedules: one for KS3 and one for KS4. The MFL department is the only department in the school that teaches across both stages. When my year 9s have their lunch break, I?m teaching year 10s or 11s so I can?t set a detention. When I brought this issue up with my head of department I got the reply ?well, the students at this school aren?t that badly behaved; you probably don?t need to give them detention?.

    So, after that immensely long post, here?s my question? What do you do in a situation like this? Is there a way to stop the talking and get the students working without resorting to bribing them with lollies (which was the suggestion the head of year 9 gave to me)?
     
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Put "Dear Tom " first and he might reply to you.
    There are loads of threads on here about dealing with disruption which you will find very useful.
    However, I have to say you seem to be facing an uphill struggle if your SLT are so unhelpful! [​IMG]

     
  4. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    Hope I don't sound melodramatic but your school doesn't deserve you. You've exhausted the sanctions the school has made available to you and they're being incredible unsupportive. Perhaps having someone senior observe you might demonstrate the problems you have? I think this is the core problem and there's not much you can do if people above aren't backing you up.
     
  5. [
    Why did the previous teacher leave? If you are finding this attitude s/he probably did as well. What is the turner over like in the MFL department? It does not solve your problem knowing this, but it should set alarm bells ringing with SMT.
    It seems as though you are unlikely to be able to solve this, if the current SMT attitude prevails. If that is the case I would start looking elsewhere.
     

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