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Where do I start with them?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by anon2145, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. I am coming to the end of my PGCE and am being challenged by the behaviour in my Year 2 class. There is 50% SEN and several very disruptive children. My mentor has given me some suggestions, which have not worked, and although I have worked very hard to build relationships and use positive strategies (which worked for a little while) I can feel their behaviour slipping away from me again. I have two weeks to go in this placement and I want to crack this!
    Today at uni we had a lecture from Sue Cowley (Getting the *** To Behave) which had some useful ideas, but I still feel out of my depth. She discussed how to tackle dealing with one constantly disruptive child - but I have at least 4 who constantly call out, disrupt other children, pick fights on the carpet, don't listen to a word I am saying and answer back all the time.
    The sanctions available to me are basically missing breaktime, which most of the worst offenders are not in the slightest bit bothered by, or missing golden time on Friday afternoon - same situation - they don't care. I have tried moving them to the back of the class (not altogether, obviously! ) but they continue to call out. I have thought about simply ignoring them, but doesn't that send a message that it's ok to talk over me? I have tried stopping and waiting for quiet, but that has resulted in me stopping so many times that the lesson takes far too long and they end up becoming even more restless on the carpet. I have tried a new reward scheme which involved putting them into groups and having a league table where the group that had worked the hardest at sitting and listening won a medal each week - this worked beautifully for a while but is now having no effect on my worst offenders.
    I have very little practical support from senior members of staff. What I would really like to do is have the worst one or two removed from the class when need calls, so that the rest of the class can get on and learn, but this is not an option.
    If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful!
  2. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    How can you not have support when you're doing a PGCE? What's the teacher doing who usually teacher that class? Surely s/he needs to takes those kids if they keep calling out after a warning, and perhaps after you've moved them to a different seat in the same classroom and spoken to them sternly their behaviour? You need to have a totally consistent and gradually escalating system of sanctions, the final step of which is removal from the classroom. I suggest you go and speak to the teacher who is responsible for this class.
  3. Thanks for your replies.
    My class teacher and mentor has made it very clear that she considers the class to be mine for the time I am on this placement. She is never in the class with me - she has been doing Y2 SATS for about 4 weeks now. The rest of the time sheis either doing her SENCO time out or.....who knows. I speak to her daily about behaviour, and although she listens, she has little in the way of practical solutions.
    There is a staggered set of sanctions in the class - we follow a traffic light system with all children starting on green, and being moved to yellow for the first warning, followed by red - if they reach this point they lose 5 minutes golden time. If they continue further poor behaviour they lose 5mins break time as well. As I said previously, these sanctions mean nothing to my worst offenders. Today one of them announced that he didn't care if he lost 100 minutes. In the end I did send him out of the class, after following the above. I sat him just outside the door where I could see him, and told him he had the choice of whether to come back in and do his work, or do it at break time. He came back and wrote 'bum' all over it. Was sent back out again for 5 more minutes. I then gave him another opportunity to complete his work, and this time he did - and worked really well. He has no SEN, but comes from a difficult family background. I have been told by my mentor that there is no point speaking to his mum.
    This is just one child. There are 2-3 others that are similar, within a class of 23 of which I would say about ten behave well. The remainder are just loud. They cannot stop shouting out.
    I have tried to praise good behaviour and have reward systems in place. The school itself just seems very reluctant to crack down on poor behaviour - in fact the Head recently praised me and the other student for trying new behaviour techniques.
    Thanks again for the support - I will keep on stopping and reiterating my expectations.
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Sounds like you're being allowed to cope by yourself too much. This is EXACTLY when the more experienced staff need to step up. Alas, so many frequently don't, which is to the shame of the profession.
    What needs to happen, really is- as you correctly point out- they are removed slightly from the classroom until they can learn to behave. Kids hate being isolated, and this is the best, and least cruel way to encourage them to see the consequences of their actions.
    But you can't, for some reason. Is this school policy? If you really aren't allowed to put them anywhere else, then you need to ask SLT what THEY think you should do. Then you do it. If it works- ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE. If it doesn't- ask them what to do next, or what they think you need to do that would help the situation.
    One problem is that you're working in a short time frame. Behaviour management takes time to establish relationships,. and sometimes, a placement just isn't long enough to get a win. This isn't defeatist, merely realistic about what you can achieve, and that you shouldn't feel terrible if some kids still elude your magnificence by the time you leave. In a full time job the situation is very different.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his blog, or
    follow him. His latest book, Teacher, is out this month, published by Continuum/ Bloomsbury


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