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Why some teachers get so much respect and others don't ?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by sebedina, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    My father, a retired primary school Head had such a teacher. he said that she deliberately spoke quietly and the pupils made great efforts to quieten down to hear her, with diligent pupils 'policing' the noise levels.
    needabreak likes this.
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Very true apeace, I would add that they also know who is consistent in application of said boundaries and above all who follows up. Those who make vague threats re. detention, confiscating phones, jewellery etc, homework and letters home without actually doing what they say they will do are soon found out, and respect gained can be instantly lost as they are identified as simply giving lip service to the rules.

    The single most important thing to be able to do which is quite difficult in the early days is identifying students by name, since once you know them you are able to implement school behaviour policy without resorting to lining up apparent offenders and undermining yourself in having to resort to involving other staff too soon. I think this is where seating plans are most helpful; since if students know that you can identify them their wriggle room is removed.

    That said in reinforcement and applying the behaviour policy I would enlist the support of senior staff if necessary; again so said students know you mean business if they are consistently testing the boundaries. In discussing any issues with senior staff you are likely to be informed of any background information that you may need regarding particular students circumstances.

    It all gets better with time because your reputation often precedes you and you get to know the names of more of the students that you don't actually teach. Meanwhile they are observing the reactions of those you do teach and often emulate their reaction to you respectful or otherwise.

    Sometimes you just have to suck it up with a new group for the first term, knowing full well that in the fullness of time they will appreciate that you are there to help them not hinder, when the penny drops it's really fulfilling, in the meantime it can be a bit repetitive.
  3. electricsheep

    electricsheep New commenter

    Be consistent. Do have a seating plan. It's exhausting but keep on dishing out sanctions if you have to. Respect is something that comes with time. Sometimes it takes a few years. If you are a known teacher and one that sticks with them, they will start to behave for you. Even experienced teachers have behaviour problems so don't be so hard on yourself.
  4. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I taught secondary for 41 years, 37 years in one school. I taught the kids of kids and, at least, one third generation :oops:.

    Having taught parents did help but I still had some behaviour problems occasionally. Taking over a year 10 or 11 class was often challenging as the kids need to see where the boundaries lie. The 'phone out during lessons was a case in point. Luckily, most SLT were supportive and if the 'phone was not handed over, I wouldn't waste time with the yes you will no I won't scenario, I'd just say if you won't give it to me then I'll get someone you will give it to, and just carry on while we waited for the SLT. I used to like surprising them too. A word in a text might be unknown to them so I'd say get your 'phones out and a treat for the first person who can find the word and explain it to the rest of the class.

    But as others have said, respect must be earned through consistent application of rules and by having the confidence to apologise if in the wrong. Don't get into a tit-for-tat argument, it just wastes time. Never be afraid to get support.

    Choose your battles!! ;)
    loodle1, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Ooh, just one point. I have never found trying to be friends with the kids works. An example is that one young male teacher tried to identify with the kids. I walked into his form room once to find a particularly nasty lad-year 10-had the teacher in a headlock. He stopped as soon as he saw me-no idea why, I'd never taught him.

    I always believed I was there to teach, not make friends with the students. I always found it essential to have that distance.
    needabreak and wanet like this.
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Mmmm. I was nodding in agreement until you mentioned letting the pupils get their phones out to research a word. Surely some then had an excuse to check their emails instead?
  7. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    We most certainly do Electric! :eek:;):D
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    They might well have done, but, for the most part, they did as I asked and then out the phones away when I asked.

    Just do the unexpected occasionally!! ;)
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I let pupils use their phones at times. It's like anything else, they use them appropriately or face sanctions. If I catch them checking their email or whatever, the phone is confiscated. I give clear instructions: You may use your phone to do this and this only.
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Could you please give an example of what you have asked pupils to find using their phones?
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Their elbows?
  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I give most classes blanket permission to check spelling or use an internet dictionary on their phones. There are also a couple of useful grammar sites I let them use if they are writing and are unsure about punctuation. They fact check their creative writing - they're very good at setting a story in New York or Paris and then their description sounds just like Generic Town, Scotland so I get them to look at pictures of their chosen location, look up local landmarks, that sort of thing. If we're doing full blown research tasks then I'd book them computers but often these little things are accomplished quicker and with less disruption.
  13. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    The same person might get respect in one school and not another. The famous one about the head who retired and did supply in another school...
    stupot101 likes this.
  14. Jo_young

    Jo_young New commenter

    As for the issue Why the students respect some teachers, I think there are two factors. One is that the teacher should have excellent professional knowledge, which is the basic foundation. If you don't equip yourself with excellent professional knowledge, definitely the students won't comply. The second one is that the teacher should have wisdom of establishing authority and coping with unexpected behavior. If you don't have the ability to handle some challenging students, of course your students will think you are a teacher they can bully as they like by making trouble and behaving badly, because they think you are helpless when facing their behavior, in this case, definitely they won't respect you.So I think this is why some teachers are respected by students.
    needabreak likes this.
  15. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I believe the firm but fair approach is often successful at earning respect, this however requires an element of judgement acquired over time in school.

    Take for example the teacher who goes off the deep end for a relatively minor misdemeanor. Say there are several such incidents in a lesson, and overall many in a day... every day... students simply won't take that person seriously. Now I'm not saying do not address them, what I am saying is that the punishment should fit the misdemeanor and not waste valuable learning time... not to mention other teachers time who end up being dragged in to deal with the backlash of inflated behaviour management techniques.

    During my ITT the most valuable lesson I learned was after my tutor suggested we "don't go balistic"... he followed this with "... because once you go balistic there is no where else to go". It was after this that I realised that staged discipline with consequences was far more effective in the long term... unless of course students are endangering themselves or others and even then as professionals we should deal with things in a calm manner.

    It is my experience that students respect the ability to remain calm and not react to every minor irritating niggle. This has been easier as I grew to realise that they do actually value our judgements when they are relevant. They do however question our professionalism more when the way we deal with things are out of proportion to the incident. We are training young people here and should model good behaviour even when tempted to go balistic.

    That said I have to admit it is not easy to use the balanced judgement consistently, it is far easier to rant, blame and moan, but is likely less effective in the long term.
  16. thewalrus

    thewalrus New commenter

  17. thewalrus

    thewalrus New commenter

    You said it yourself when you said you are inconsistent with seating plans. You have to be consistent and you have to also be persistent and take no nonsense from disruptive students or they will make your life a misery. Believe it or not, students prefer strict teachers. They will take advantage if you are too nice, or if they perceive you are letting them get away with things. I too had to learn the hard way and was exactly like you. It frustrated me and also, exhausted me, trying to keep on top of behaviour. It was only when I started a job in a new school and decided to overhaul my approach and insist on class room rules - and also, set detentions quickly for those who pushed me - that my class room behaviour started to improve. You need to spend a month doing this and you will see an improvement. Look at it like an investment. It's horrible if you keep meeting a class or classes and they constantly misbehave. Take control.
    wanet and needabreak like this.
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree that students do prefer boundaries and strict teachers; also, that teachers have to use seating plans and sanctions consistently and persistently. However, in some schools this doesn't necessarily work since most of the teachers are using the methods outlined by thewalrus and the behaviour is still appalling and out of control.
  19. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I tell my trainee teachers who look in awe at those who command such respect the secret. We have been teaching them since we towered over them in Year 7 transition day. For five years we have drilled them, spoken to their parents and generally demonstrated to them what happens if they cross our lines.

    I say to them, this is why teachers like to stay in the same school for five years.
    Well, they did until the job went bonkers. Your long serving teachers are now the pariah of MATs and their short termist ways.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    In you first year in a school, the students will consistently challenge you. After that, they will do it less and less.

    If you are promoted to a senior rank they will do it less, too. A HoD automatically gets less grief than a classroom teacher because the kids realise they have some clout.

    Other than that, it's about consistently applying your rules, and following up on everything. You get the behaviour that you allow.

    It's interesting to see how that develops. I worked in one school for a number of years and although I'm not a strict teacher, classes would fall silent when I walked in because I'd developed some degree of 'seniority'. Then I went to another school and had to start all over again!

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