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Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Sarahmck86, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Sarahmck86

    Sarahmck86 New commenter

    why has behaviour become so much worse in schools? I've been teaching nearly 8 years and I've never known anything like it is now.

    regularly lessons are completely spoilt by a small group of children who pretty much refuse to stop talking or being silly. Even children on report continue the behaviour they have as their target to stop, then try to argue to get a tick!

    I've spoken to parents who try to put the blame on me,I don't like their child etc! At what point is something actually going to be done about the appalling behaviour that seems to be endemic in today's secondary schools?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I have asked myself the very same question and I think the reasons are very complex and with most things there a whole range of issues.

    Some of it is as you have pointed out is the view that the teacher is to blame- the classes are not fun,engaging, are too hard, too easy, boring, or the teacher is too slack or too strict. Some parents want to blame everyone but themselves for their children's poor behaviour.

    The number in classes are increasing. I have been in schools where there are 33 students on the register. Mix in some students with complex needs and the behaviour starts to become more difficult to manage.

    Head teachers do not want to do anything too drastic or they will be seen as tyrants or they are afraid of the parents.

    Obviously, of is not as simp!e as the above, but the day is coming when the Government will have to take action since no one will be left who wants to teach in secondary schools because of the appalling behaviour in some schools.
  3. re

    re New commenter

    I have been teaching since 1980. I started in a secondary modern and progressed to (largely) comprehensives. Behaviour has not got worse in my school. What has deteriorated is the independence of pupils, to the extent that they expect us to do everything for them. This stems from the fact that failing pupils are the teachers' fault, so we bend over backwards to 'help' them succeed.
  4. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    Yes, agreed. I took O'Levels in 1983 and was lucky to scrape through two of my A Level courses a few years later. I had some very good teachers and was lucky to have known them. My problem? Laziness and a lack of motivation.

    I wasn't 'naughty' or so I thought. I didn't shout, swear or argue back. But I chatted and chatted - nowadays labelled as low-level behaviour. It depended on the teacher and I took advantage where possible. I must have been a complete pain in the you-know-what. But - when I failed exams (not coursework or controlled assts in those days) it was down to me. Not the teacher.

    There's a good cartoon on Google. It shows a teacher from the 50's / 60's compared to today. I can't post links on TES, sorry.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Interesting posts and observations.

    Just returned home from covering a class which had a of of silly behaviour. The usual whistling, calling out, animal noises and tipping on stools. The one thing which made it really bad is when one kid took a ruler and hit another kid with it and it was not just a tap.

    The worst thing I had last week was a kid spill a two litre bottle of water over his desk 5 minutes into a lesson. Thankfully only have the water tipped out.

    I know there is a LOT worse than can happen in classes as there is a post below this thread about students on drugs in schools.
  6. 25975

    25975 New commenter

    The system creates the environment for it - teachers pushed to get better results - so push the kids beyond their abilities.
  7. Honestly it's all about having a consistent behaviour policy across the school that everyone understands and follows. I am fortunate enough to be working in an academy where the behaviour policy is followed by everyone, however it is possible to be a rock in your own classroom and you can absolutely dictate the order of play.

    It's quite unfortunate how many schools don't feel like they protect teachers enough, and often will side against teachers that have given out detentions. I know of a few schools where students can appeal detentions that they've been given...

    Conversely however, I know that some academy chains like Harris in London and Outwood in the midlands / north are exceptional with their support of staff and the rigorous behavioral management of students throughout their school day. They provide a supportive environment which allows teachers to teach and the results come as a direct result of their strict behaviour policies. It's a shame that more schools aren't interested in how they can improve or are afraid to "copy" ideas that work, mostly because the heads all believe their ideas will take the school forwards, and they see other schools performing well as competition rather than something they could be learning from themselves.

    No teacher deserves to feel alone, or that every day is a struggle to move forwards through the sticky mud of low level disruption.
  8. crysys

    crysys Occasional commenter

    I used to work for a fabulous HT in primary. He knew all the children by name - even years after they had left. He loved his role and was brilliant at it. One day the crunch came - he went home and told his wife that it was time to quit. He had just had to explain to a parent yet again why it was wrong for her child to spit in another child's face. It was a sign of the times...and that was 2001. I think that when the day came when instead of parents berating their child for doing something wrong and getting reprimanded for it, they turned on the teacher and the HT would ask the teacher to apologise, any chance of a sane future in teaching was lost. Exclusion is no longer an option so poor behaviour is a day to day reality.

    I'm getting out - I have grown weary of dealing with the feckless.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Dear crysys

    Thank you for posting your story. Sometimes I think it is just me being too picky or imagining how awful the behaviour really is and when other people write about their experiences, it assures me I am not losing my mind.

    You are correct: since exclusion is no longer an option, students have nothing to lose by poor behaviour and one of the dangerous outcomes of this is the teachers I see who are on the edge of what they can endure;I have seen a couple this year to really lose their tempers - they had just had enough and I mean they really " lost it". I don't blame them since the tolerance levels people have to have is becoming beyond what most people can handle.

    I believe that in a few years the government will find it very, very difficult to find anyone who wants to teach because of the behaviour.

    I go to sleep each night being grateful I can manage at the moment on supply and don't have long before I can too get out. I don't blame you for growing weary - the day after day of spending time sorting out problems in connection with behaviour. Teaching a class the other day, I had a student take a ruler and hit another one on the hand which had an open wound on it. Just stupid things like that day after day would grind anyone down.

    All the best for your great escape.

  10. BristolLanguages

    BristolLanguages New commenter

    I think there will always be people who want to be teachers... however, I can see a trend, people who really like teaching and know how to teach and are actually good at it will slowly move to teach privately, teach further education and University, etc. And the ones who still want to stick with secondary will be those who are good at enforcing "behaviour", and the government will make sure the curriculum becomes easier and easier...
  11. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    It's really hard to estimate this, because any official data you could mine to investigate it is subject to so much bias and often, incomparability. And to take one's own experience is to be hostage to our own experiences.

    I've been teaching since 2003 and my first school was a bear pit of behaviour. Anything after that was an improvement. But I've seen good and I've seen bad in every school I've been in. All I care about is that it isn't good enough, and it isn;t good enough in too many schools, which is to say, any of them. If it was 'as good as could be reasonably expected' then I wouldn't bang on about it, but it's sub optimal in a LOT of schools I've seen. Which seems to me a terrible waste.


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