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When you listen to the pupils too much it can be disastrous for a school

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by garyconyers, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    A previous school I taught at was once a fantastic school, where discipline was excellent and pupils were keen and eager to learn. Parents tried to get their children into this school. Sanctions worked and everyone knew what would happen if a pupli tried to disturb others' learning. They would be seriously dealt with. It was a great school to be a teacher or a pupil.
    A few years later I taught there for a year. Pupils were rude, disruptive, openly defiant and there didn't seem to be any sanctions available to teachers that would make any difference.

    What happened?

    I asked a few teachers who'd been there from when it all deteriorated. They blamed a new Headteacher who'd taken over. This HT had got this philosophy that you just have to listen to them pupils, show them a bit of respect and meet their needs.

    What this meant practically was that when a pupil played up in class the HT would listen to why the pupil wasn't behaving (no matter how ludicrous the pupil's claims were), and undermine the teacher. Pupils realised that they could get away with bad behaviour because the HT would let them off if they lied!

    Guess what? Behaviour deteriorated, staff morale plummetted and the school started sinking into pit of bad behaviour and disruption.

    No long-serving teacher denied this, they believe the HT ruined a good school.

    (Speaking to sixth formers they loved this HT because s/he was "safe, and listened to us" (Their words)).

    Eventually the staff had to go on strike to show how strongly they felt about this HT, (as all other avenues had been ignored. Governors didn't do anything).

    So the moral of the tale?
    Don't listen too carefully to pupils because they tend to lie to get themselves out of trouble.
    Don't take away sanctions because otherwise there is no reason to behave, so pupils won't.

    (Isn't this obvious to everyone who teaches).




    P.S. I'm not naming the school on here as the thread could be pulled, but this happened to a school near me.
    For details of the school email me at janegary247@yahoo.co.uk
     
  2. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    A previous school I taught at was once a fantastic school, where discipline was excellent and pupils were keen and eager to learn. Parents tried to get their children into this school. Sanctions worked and everyone knew what would happen if a pupli tried to disturb others' learning. They would be seriously dealt with. It was a great school to be a teacher or a pupil.
    A few years later I taught there for a year. Pupils were rude, disruptive, openly defiant and there didn't seem to be any sanctions available to teachers that would make any difference.

    What happened?

    I asked a few teachers who'd been there from when it all deteriorated. They blamed a new Headteacher who'd taken over. This HT had got this philosophy that you just have to listen to them pupils, show them a bit of respect and meet their needs.

    What this meant practically was that when a pupil played up in class the HT would listen to why the pupil wasn't behaving (no matter how ludicrous the pupil's claims were), and undermine the teacher. Pupils realised that they could get away with bad behaviour because the HT would let them off if they lied!

    Guess what? Behaviour deteriorated, staff morale plummetted and the school started sinking into pit of bad behaviour and disruption.

    No long-serving teacher denied this, they believe the HT ruined a good school.

    (Speaking to sixth formers they loved this HT because s/he was "safe, and listened to us" (Their words)).

    Eventually the staff had to go on strike to show how strongly they felt about this HT, (as all other avenues had been ignored. Governors didn't do anything).

    So the moral of the tale?
    Don't listen too carefully to pupils because they tend to lie to get themselves out of trouble.
    Don't take away sanctions because otherwise there is no reason to behave, so pupils won't.

    (Isn't this obvious to everyone who teaches).




    P.S. I'm not naming the school on here as the thread could be pulled, but this happened to a school near me.
    For details of the school email me at janegary247@yahoo.co.uk
     
  3. Sounds awfully familiar. Our school lets kids write an end of term report on teachers.
     
  4. Hissy High seems to be going this way.
    I'm currently formulating my escape plan...
     
  5. But with the ECM agenda currently running high, isn't this the way all schools will be going?

    Feels like heading for the hills.
     
  6. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Okay Magic. Thanks for the response on the 'drugged up' thread. I thought I'd respond here to prevent someone else's thread being hijacked, as you correctly said had happened.

    Firstly, look at the title of this thread. The 'TOO MUCH' is an important part of the point I'm making - crucial in fact. It is impossible to be a teacher without listening to pupils, when they answer questions, when they have questions to ask about the subject...... My point, ie this thread, is about when pupils blatantly lie to get themselves out of trouble, and believing them undermines the teacher. I've witnessed this happening and don't believe its good for the pupil, school or teacher made to feel like a liar.
    So, when you quote my view as, "You've stated time and again that listening to pupils is a pointless exercise - even that it is the ruin of many schools." I think this is more than a little dishonest. I've NEVER said never listen to pupils : just that taking their (often at best half-true) version of events as being the only reliable version is unhealthy.
    Please don't misrepresent my views. Its not nice.

    I agree that its important to listen to young people. I spent many minutes listening to why members of my tutor groups were upset at whyever.Building relationships is important. However (and this is where I think our opinions differ) if one of my tutor groups told me, "Mr **** picks on me. He gave me a detention for nothing." I would go and speak to Mr. ****, get his version of events, ask a few trusted pupils from the class for clarification before deciding what to do. I wouldn't have a go at Mr. ****, complain to the HT about him, dismiss anything he says as lies (as the HT in the OP used to do, and maybe you would). I would listen to the child, but wouldn't assume without question that he was being completely honest.
    You see the difference?

    "Yet when I stopped listening to you, stopped answering you, what did you do?"
    I enjoyed the fact that I thought you couldn't answer the questions. It made you look silly, a bit like when Jeremy Paxman asked the same question to Michael Howard, who refused to answer Yes/No. I was on the verge of stopping because I'd proved my point. I didn't want to be seen as a bully, so wouldn't have continued, but would have enjoyed your inability to continue while it lasted. I've been 'ignored' by posters before, (Stellycat, Robsteadman) its a great feeling!
    "You got all worked up. You didn't like it."
    LOL, hardly! Bit of an own goal there, mate. Quite the opposite. (I've been on these forums far too long to get upset at anything. Sorry to burst that bubble).
    "You helped me make an important point - thank you. "
    I think this has weakened your case - you've made more assumptions, that's all. (See second paragraph of this post. You've basdically made up what I said then said what I didn't say was wrong!)



    Look at the responses to this thread. 3 different posters, none of them contradicting me. They recognise what can happen when SMT, when focussing on listening to pupils and dealing with their needs, ignore the needs, opinions and views of teaching staff and undermine them in front of the pupils.



    So, yes, I agree that listening to pupils is important. Is that clear enough? All I am saying is don't tkae it too far, to the detriment of the teaching staff! (Please read post 1 of this thread properly!)


    Are you going to start playing nice soon and stop misrepresenting what I'm saying, and stop making false assumptions about me?


    Thanks.
     
  7. I agree in some respects.

    I think kids writing reports on teachers is ridiculous.

    I think kids being on interview panels is ridiculous.

    I think kids assessing teachers' competencies is ridiculous.

    I do think if there is an incident a child deserves to have their say, even if it is ridiculous, and I would never use that to undermine a teacher. Sometimes kids do have a point or a reason to be in a mood or whatever.

    I do worry though that pupil voice is being given more time than teacher voice.

    Teachers are never asked their opinion!
     
  8. garyconyers - another reason that school will have gone downhill is 'Inclusion' (thanks Labour!)
     
  9. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    True, coolas.

    Especially the idea that, "I do worry though that pupil voice is being given more time than teacher voice."

    Very succinctly put; the point of this thread.

    Waiting to see what Magic will accuse me of next (without evidence or explanation).

    I await the next straw man for him to demolish........
     
  10. What I've also found is that when many children say 'I just want adults to listen to me' what they mean is 'I want adults to do what I say' or 'I expect adults to believe whatever I've said.' I had this last week with an 8 year old - child punched someone after very little provocation, refused to stop, etc, got taken out of the room. After listening to him rant, I explained that X had not actually done anything, and that he would be staying in at playtime - the reply: 'You never listen to me!'

    I don't think some children actually know what 'listen' means.They are told from the DfES down that schools have to listen to them, and some think it means they can tell schools what to do.
     
  11. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Coooeee - Magic???

    Are you ignoring me again to show me how much it winds me up?


    LOL!!!
     
  12. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    *Waves at Magic*
     
  13. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

  14. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Magic,
    are you now ignoring me because you are making a point, or because I've exposed you for a dishonest poster who makes massive assumptions about others to prove a 'point', and misquotes views of others?
    (Ie me)?

    Just wondering...........
     
  15. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Still wondering...............
     
  16. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Okay. I'll assume you have no answers to me and that post 13 is an accurate summary of your posts and conduct.
    Please return when you have learnt to 'play nicely'!
     
  17. Perhaps Magic has a life away from the TES forums and is too busy to reply immediately.
     
  18. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Possibly coxshaw, although he was posting elsewhere while ignoring this thread, and this thread has been around for a few weeks now.
    Such an active poster as Magic would return within 3 weeks, surely?

    (P.S. was happy to let this thread drop).......
     
  19. This appears to be magic's way ; it is quite common on the 'net - state a position, request answers and then ignore them.
     
  20. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    Standard practice for non-teaching (or ex-teacher) behaviour management 'experts' it seems.
     

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