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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. I have read this thread with a heavy heart and growing dissappointment. The kind of opinions expressed here seems to be the result of some badly run student voice projects.

    The key in judging pupil voice and pupil particpation, (as with all things), is whether it is effective or not. A badly run initiative can clearly result in disillusionment and even anger, both amongst staff and pupils. A good pupil voice project will engage the whole school; pupils, teachers, SMT, auxillary staff, governors and parents in working together to improve the school in anyway possible.

    If run well, with properly organised structures, systems, agreed boundaries, and with opportunities for all pupils to voice their opinions and ideas through proper channels, such as a well trained and well managed school council, then the majority of pupils will develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for the school and community.

    Lots and lots of schools have a very positive experiences of this and have seen a meaningful impact on behaviour, attainment, teacher/pupil relationships and even attendance.
  2. Is this what was going on at a previous school I worked in? I didn't know! We weren't let in on the secret policy of listening to students. This school had virtually no disciplinary procedures whatever, apart from 'tell them to stop it'. We had a school council which at first got things like a place to park bikes set up. Then gradually more and more bizarre requests from the student body were acceded to without reference to the staff. One was that they had to be allowed in their classrooms at break and lunch time - notice 'their' classrooms. We were told, "It's the law". Result - teaching rooms in chaos, boards written all over, litter on the floor, work that we'd painstakingly put up ripped and damaged, etc. etc. But the worst thing was, of course, the feeling of power that the pupils got out of it. They were in control. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that the average adolescent is a territorial animal. Just think what happens if you let them sit where THEY want! Madness!
  3. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    It would be nice to leave it at that, Magic and I'd love to.
    However, you have still to evidence or retract your claim that I "stated time and again that listening to pupils is a pointless exercise - even that it is the ruin of many schools"

    (post 14)

    I have never said that listening to pupils is pointless, never mind time and again! (See the 'TOO MUCH' in thread title, ......).

    See post 9 of this thread for what I meant by 'listen to me'. (Quotes put for a reason).

    Yes we got our wires crossed, but I don't think I have any outstanding untrue allegations I made against you.
  4. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    is it a retraction of an untrue claim or are you going to provide some evidence, Magic, please?
  5. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

  6. I have read this thread with much interest & I am concerned that it seems to be a widespread problem - I thought it was just my school! We have recently started a new computer behaviour system at my school which involves logging all incidents - great in theory - but there are many pupils who have around 20+ incidents/detentions since the start of term & SMT have done nothing about it. Teachers spend time logging everything (believe me thats a lot in my school!) giving detentions, speaking to parents & then nothing happens to the worst behaved pupils - what is the point? Pupils give a sob story (I know that many pupils do have issues but the majority know how to play the system) & its all ok.

    The silly games between the OP & magic (though it seemed like you didnt want to be involved) really spoilt it - perhaps you should set up a separate thread & then post to your hearts content - people can choose to read or ignore (as I wish).
  7. I have reactivated this in the hope that some one responds.Not counting on it, but a good way of letting off steam!. Since the arrival of a new headteacher 3 yrs ago our school has received a good Ofsted yet results are going down and behaviour is deteriorating. We are not allowed to confiscate mobile phones and kids are foul mouthed and abusive to staff - with very few penalties. I was recently told to 'f*** o** you old b****' by a yr 13 pupil because I told her to stop texting in class. This same pupil is predicted a U and has a history of abusive behaviour. Yet she is tolerated by the school and our newish Head who seems incapable of 'standing up' to difficult children. She uses students on interview panels and we are often left unsupported when children cross boundaries. The HT is almost deferential to difficult children and is happy to have them walk past her talking into their phones, yet we are denied a voice and, consequentially, we have ( at present) several younger members of staff off on long term stress leave.She is often off site and no one knows where she is. She rarely does assemblies and is ,frankly, either absent or appeasing to horrible, badly behaved pupils.Several pupils have recently been taken out of school by their parents who have complained that poor behaviour is tolerated and that their child is unable to learn. The HT I gather is not unusual. She is part of a Ofsted led overly child centred ethos which is destroying many state schools. Why do us teachers put up with it?
  8. blueapple:
    thanks for reactivating this post. I doubt if there's been any improvement in the situation... if anything, things have probably deteriorated. Most teachers in this situation are putting up with it because it's not easy to uproot a family and a life and just move... besides, jobs aren't as easily come by as they used to be. I don't know how many unspeakable incidents like that one in Mansfield a couple of years ago, it will take before the general public realizes just how bad things are in many schools.
  9. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Once, in a middle leaders meeting, we were given the results of a "pupil voice" activity. I was publicly criticised in the meeting because almost all pupils taught by me described my lesson as "boring". I asked the person who had conducted the "pupil voice" what the pupils meant by boring. No answer. I then asked the pupils the next lesson.
    They said things like:
    <ol>[*]You make us write a lot.[*]We have to listen[*]We aren't allowed to much about[*]We get kept behind all the time[*]We can't use our phones[*]You moan at us if we do something wrong</ol>the list went on but it was all similar sorts of stuff. Needless to say the general behaviour in the school was atrocious. I now wear the label "boring" like a badge of honour. i was quite upset recently to discover that in my new school there is a teacher in my department whose lessons are more "boring" than mine. I'm going to have to up my game.
    I think this illustrates the problems of listening to pupils too much (especially if you do not bother to figure out what they actually mean)
  10. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

  11. Yes, thank you, blueapple, for reviving this thread, not so much for providing our "expert" with another opportunity to link us to his commercial site (and it was reassuring to see that I disagreed with almost every word he had written there!), nor for allowing bigkid to point out how boring he is, but for the 2007 evidence of the extraordinaty baiting and goading that revealed a great deal about the behaviour of one of the regulars here. (And all credit to 'Magic', whoever he or she is, for responding so calmly.)
  12. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    That being said I'm inclined to agree in the sense that Gary did perhaps go a little OTT in harassing magic.
  13. Well, kid, I'm glad you can agree with something. Of course, I'm not going to respond in kind to your defensive/aggressive comments in the previous posting. However, if your behaviour in school is anything like it appears here, i.e. rude, obsessive, repetitious, self-regarding and lacking a sense of balance or humour, then I can imagine that your lessons really are boring, but you lack the perception to be able to see it. And I'm guessing your definition of a troll is "someone who disagrees with me".
  14. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I've just re-read this thread, and agree with this too.

    Magic was very good at totally misrepresenting other posters views, or making unsubstantiated, untrue claims about people. My OP (opening post, ie what I said in it) was enough for him to justify dismissing everything I ever said in any other thread because apparently I don't believe in ever listening to anything pupils say. Ever. (Not true). I asked Magic to justify or retract this statement - he refused. Repeatedly.
    I should have left it at that and let him carry on lying about me I suppose and ignored him. This thread in isolation doesn't make me look good at all, I agree.

    James, any chance of commenting on the Opening Post (OP), what was said, why you disagree if you do? Or are you just going to personally insult me.
  15. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    If your behaviour is anything like it is on here, i.e, smug, arrogant, complacent, irritating, repetitious, insulting, patronising and utterly lacking in self-awareness then you must be one of the least popular members of staff amongst both your pupils and colleagues, but you lack the perception to be able to see it.
    You have repeatedly done the very things you routinely accuse others of and yet you are so completely wrapped up in your "rightness" that you appear to be unable to see it.

  16. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    The definition of troll is well known James. I suggest you look it up on google.
    However if you are claiming that you are not a troll then perhaps you are just a smug, irritating git (or very stupid)
  17. 'It varies wildly from classroom to classroom and from school to school unfortunately.'
    I suppose that's why it's so difficult to do anything permanent about it... the situation is too diverse for any one solution.
  18. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    There is no one solution. I don't think there ever will be. Different situations and different schools require different measures and solutions.
  19. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Agreed - too many people think there is some sort of magic wand that care cure all behaviour management ills. Unfortunately, some of them think it's a wand made of bamboo and should be waved in the direction of children's backsides.
    It's down to a constant array of flexible responses that build from the pupils behaving as if they have respect for others to real emotional intelligence where they actually do. And it's hard work.
  20. Very Platonic..... of course, it's preferable if kids want to behave; and some of them actually do. The problem is...it's always been... with the ones who don't, won't, can't, whatevern't. And their numbers have increased enormously over the last generation or two. And I don't really believe any more, that anyone knows what to do about them. But I am certain that they shouldn't be allowed to destroy the learning opportunities of others.

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