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Y10 all girls. Tumbleweed moments.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Thelastchancesaloon, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. I have a group of Y10 all girls, all C predicts, though you wouldn't know it by the work most of them produce. There are some renowned little madams in there who have definitely taken the attitude that they are going to do next to nothing and despite me reiterating how important this year is - they are already working towards their first GCSE piece, this hardcore of about 6 just stare me out with sullen, scowling faces, are determined not to engage in any way and do as little as they can get away with. I've already phoned home for some, told 2 others they will be on report for lateness if they ever turn up 5 minutes in again, and made it clear that there will be after schools for those whose work ethic does not make an immediate improvement as well as, if necessary, parents called in.

    I am determined that I will follow through on all these as last year (NQT) I was a bit of a wuss at confronting issues and kids took me for a ride. As this group are all new to me, they don't know my previous and so I want to be consistent and firm but fair.

    The other problem though, is that a lot of the class really hate the module we are working on - even though I've sat them down and explained that I don't choose the topics, and that it is probably the most interesting of the topics we'll deal with this year and a significant percentage of their ultimate GCSE. When I try to engage them in discussing the topic, there is a silence whilst tumbleweed blows across the classroom. I end up explaining it all to them, so that they end up doing next to none of the analysis. Plus, despite giving them lots of modelled examples, I know they don't read them properly because their own work shows none of the features I am trying to get them to use.

    There ARE some really nice girls in there who are just a bit unsure of themselves but so much of my time is spent chasing the hardcore to put pen to paper and making sure they're not sneaking their phones out, that the good ones who are too shy to ask for help, get less of my time.

    I am trying very hard to build relationships with some of the hardcore girls, one of whom has an appalling home life and does actually want to do well but keeps getting drawn to the other 'bad girls' and acting up to impress them. I also don't want to terrify those nice girls who lack self belief into feeling even more worried about their coursework by me constantly banging on about how hard they need to work.....

    I guess as I get to know them better, It'll get easier. My HOD is very supportive and urges me to come down hard on the non-compliant ones, which I will do. Till then, I dread the lessons.

    LCS
     
  2. I have a group of Y10 all girls, all C predicts, though you wouldn't know it by the work most of them produce. There are some renowned little madams in there who have definitely taken the attitude that they are going to do next to nothing and despite me reiterating how important this year is - they are already working towards their first GCSE piece, this hardcore of about 6 just stare me out with sullen, scowling faces, are determined not to engage in any way and do as little as they can get away with. I've already phoned home for some, told 2 others they will be on report for lateness if they ever turn up 5 minutes in again, and made it clear that there will be after schools for those whose work ethic does not make an immediate improvement as well as, if necessary, parents called in.

    I am determined that I will follow through on all these as last year (NQT) I was a bit of a wuss at confronting issues and kids took me for a ride. As this group are all new to me, they don't know my previous and so I want to be consistent and firm but fair.

    The other problem though, is that a lot of the class really hate the module we are working on - even though I've sat them down and explained that I don't choose the topics, and that it is probably the most interesting of the topics we'll deal with this year and a significant percentage of their ultimate GCSE. When I try to engage them in discussing the topic, there is a silence whilst tumbleweed blows across the classroom. I end up explaining it all to them, so that they end up doing next to none of the analysis. Plus, despite giving them lots of modelled examples, I know they don't read them properly because their own work shows none of the features I am trying to get them to use.

    There ARE some really nice girls in there who are just a bit unsure of themselves but so much of my time is spent chasing the hardcore to put pen to paper and making sure they're not sneaking their phones out, that the good ones who are too shy to ask for help, get less of my time.

    I am trying very hard to build relationships with some of the hardcore girls, one of whom has an appalling home life and does actually want to do well but keeps getting drawn to the other 'bad girls' and acting up to impress them. I also don't want to terrify those nice girls who lack self belief into feeling even more worried about their coursework by me constantly banging on about how hard they need to work.....

    I guess as I get to know them better, It'll get easier. My HOD is very supportive and urges me to come down hard on the non-compliant ones, which I will do. Till then, I dread the lessons.

    LCS
     
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It sounds as though you are taking the right approach by using sanctions and calling parents. If you stand your ground and do not waver, then you will see an improvement. You are in a very good position as your HOD is very supportive and backs you up with coming down hard, which you say you will do. Do not dread the lessons, as you are doing everything you should be doing and the students will come around. You are only three weeks or so in, so they are getting to know you and you are getting to know them. Stick with the resolve to carry through with discipline - the students will at some point see that you care for them because you are doing this.
    There have been several posts on this forum recently about year 10s and one experienced teacher was having difficulties with two year 10 classes. One approach he took was to show them exactly what they would have to do to achieve their desired grade and that seemed to turn it around.
    Perhaps you could show the class some past questions and answers at different levels and then discuss why certain answers got good marks and why others did not. Perhaps they are not used to being stretched and now that they have someone who wants to stretch them, they are struggling. In some ways it is a bit of a leap from year 9 to year 10 where now everything is assessed towards a final grade and the final grade means a lot to these students in terms of further study and work. Being in class of course needs to be interesting, but there is a lot of hard work too and, some of it, such as the choice of topics is, as you say, determined by agencies or organisations outside of your control.
    What you describe is very common in schools all over the country. I am sure with a supportive HOD you will get it sorted, so try not to worry. At least it is only six students - it could be the entire group.

     
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    This is perfectly normal, alas. They're just bedding into the new regime, and expressing their scorn in the way that only young men and women can. What you're doing sounds like exactly the correct path, so carry on. There are no short cuts in education- there's just hard work and patience. Mostly, it pays off; sometimes it doesn't, but that's the nature of the beast. Sometimes you get a win, and sometimes you call a draw a win. But we never give up. I bet you'll be fine, especially if you keep doing what you're doing. It's a long game. A VERY long game sometimes :)
    Good luck
    Tom
    <em style="color:#1f1f1f;line-height:16px;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:#e5f4fb;">Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him. His latest book,Teacher, is out now, published by Continuum/ Bloomsbury[/i]
     

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