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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

    I agree with this.
    The problem with behaviour management (IMO) is that two excellent teachers with exceptional behaviour management skills can give two contradictory opinions on what works. Different teachers have different ways of dealing with the same problem that can work for them. It may not work for others. Great advice for one nqt can be disastrous for another to try.
    Raymond - I wish you were wrong about some teachers wanting corporal punishment re-introduced in schools. I fear you are right. Fortunately most teachers realise that striking children as a disciplinary measure has no place in schools.
  2. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    Back to the original issue... If pupil voice is used appropriately it can be great. In my son's school they have a student council which is held during lesson time throughout KS3 but very highly regulated by senior staff, and then during lunch times in KS4/5 thus removing any of the 'bad' influences who can't be bothered to turn up... you end up with committed students who actually care about their environment and usually spend a great deal of time campaigning for change in school in a positive or even political way... or planning fund raising projects for the whole school.

    Although I have experienced a decline in respect for staff... or rather adults in general in society by the younger generations which is fueled by a 'child orientated' society where the child is King, I have honestly never had a serious problem with the kids I teach. I don't want to annoy anyone but I've worked in schools with good support and schools with no support and still have managed to win the respect of the pupils I teach with very little difficulty. I've worked in two very challenging schools, one successful one and a secure unit, so don't imagine I've been in a cushy prep school or anything.

    I have no magic wand but I do always explain what I'm doing and why... if I change a seating plan I might tell them that I've paired them up with people I think have similar skills as they have... I might be telling whopping fibs but because I gave a reason they accept that I'm behaving reasonably. I tell them that I expect them to sit where asked and if they have a genuine problem with the person they are seated with they can tell me at the end of the lesson but that I do not expect to hear any silly noises or nasty comments as that is bullying, it works... kids very rarely complain and if they do it's usually genuine.
    I also tell them that I will not argue with a child... even if they are a foot taller than me; the bottom line is that I'm the adult, I'm the teacher and therefore I get to decide what happens in the classroom. I also acknowledge in advance that there might be a slight chance that I get it wrong every now and then and that they are always welcome to come and speak to me at the end of the lesson... that I will always listen but that I might not always agree... again it's a reasonable agreement to make and so 90% of the time they abide by it.

    I think what I'm trying to say here is that you have to take control of the behaviour management in your own space because we know only too well that other staff are not always going to support us. I think you have to head off the kids before they get the chance to complain and kick off... I think you always have to remember that they are in fact children and will behave like children if you treat them in such a way. What I mean by that is that we have to make sure that we are setting a good example by being reasonable, reasoned and approachable. We have to give them very straight lines and explain that as long as they work within the rules of the classroom and respect everyone in the room then we can have fun while we learn... and then make sure you do make your learning fun as soon as they behave well. If they fail to behave well... then you remind them what the consequences are and adhere to the lines you have set. Listening to kids is always a good idea... the difficult bit is learning how to respond to what they tell you.

    The kids I teach will tell you that I am the strictest teacher they have... but that I'm a bit bonkers, teach lessons they enjoy and the majority genuinely like me.... ask them why and most will say all of the above and add that I like them. Ask me how I know... well partly because I listen to them when I talk with them.
  3. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    I wonder what the percentages are? I also wonder how these percentages compare with those outside teaching.
    Do you have stats gary?
  4. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    An assumption based on anecdotal evidence. Lots of conversations with teachers over more than a decade. I've heard few teachers who are in favour of corporal punishment say so, although I realise this view will be kept quiet as it is controversial.
    Posters in favour of corporal punishment are in the minority on TES too, in my experience, and thise views will be honest due to anonymity.
    I haven't got any stats, the above was an (educated) guess. I doubt they exist for 2011.
    Do you disagree with this view H-B-F? (Most being more than half).
  5. Seems to me there is a simple solution, though its implementation is radical: bespoke solution for any specific group of students. That is, let's not try to objectify "the" system that works for all kids in all situations, we just need to work out what works for this specific group of kids. Hence, you need a specialist who has the time and inclination to focus on this problem. If they do their job right, the skills learned by a class is immeasurable, since the kids can then start to bring such solutions to classes that do not have this specialist.

    I am talking here from a self-organised perspective, rather than a top-down disciplining one.
  6. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    We were instructed to give all our classes a survey to fill in about their opinions of lessons
    One of the questions asked "which activities do you find <u>least </u>helpful in learning?"
    From one class which HoD teaches the top responses were
    • taking notes
    • answering questions
    • independent reading
    and this is the AS Chemistry class.....
    Result at the start of the next lesson he collected in their books , took away all writng paper and their folders and told them to put away pens. He told them there would be no questioning just listening
    He told them this was in response to the survey and that he was listening to their preferences. Then he lectured at then for an hour. They were begging to be allowed to take notes after that

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