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Y10 help needed!

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by cupofteacher, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    I currently am teaching a year 10 class for GCSE drama which is a class I have gradually taken responisbility for over my GTP year. I have been with them since Sept but as I say with increasing responsibility. In the first term their teacher would set up their assessments whilst I would deliver workshops and support rehearsals. I then went on second placement and returned to what I can only describe as mayhem. Since Sept their lead teacher allowed the class to chose their groups, meaning they barely got anything done. Class morale was low, nobody trusted each other and it was a horrible class to be in. I got HoD support, put in place a lot of strategies which seemed to work for a while especially when HoD was observing them. However I have now taken over the class completely as I will be teaching them next year so it made sense. it has been a hard hard slog to get them to do any work. I arrivd back after Easter having spent a week observing another school to find the other teacher had let them choose their groups again (even after confirming we would choose their groups). I was not flavour of the month when I re-organised the groups, and since then it has been a battle to get some of the students to do anything. I have phoned home, I have told HoD, I am following all the strategies put in place, but they literally do not seem to care that they are failing. They are being assessed on Friday and I have invited parents to come along too. I am not sure if they are testing me, as they know the other teacher is still in school. I get comments like 'we do nothing in your class' and some students have turned very rude. I know its not me, I have received an outstanding from teaching the very same class, but I am running out of ideas. Some parents don't seem very supportive either, telling me I should have let their child work with their friends then everything would have been OK.
    I start a new SoW in September, hopefully that will help, but I am so unsure about groupings. Do I choose their groups again? and face the same battle all over again? Do you think they will grow up over the summer and realise they are seriously jeopordising their GCSE?
    I am recording their next rehearsal so hopefully they can see when they are wasting time. I really don't want to look like an idiot in front of their parents.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. There was an interesting article in Teaching Drama about this. Why is it so important that you choose the groups? If they do nothing in groups they choose and they do nothing in groups you choose it would seem neither way is a winner.

    Perhaps you could ask the class to get into pairs or threes of their choice and then you put the smaller groups together to make a larger working group so that they have had some input into their working groups. If there is politics throughout the class that might be a way to put things back on a positive track.

    Personally, sometimes I group my students and sometimes I let them pick their groups. They seem to accept this deal and are aware if they muck about when working in friendship groups that I won't allow them together again so they behave.
  3. I had a very similar experience when starting at my school and taking over from a teacher whose lessons consisted of playing games and then chatting for the rest of the lesson (apparently!)
    As Big Brother suggested, I found that a mixture worked with this group. They were so difficult for me and so obstinate about not "being able" to work in groups that I chose, that they ended up just cutting off their noses to spite their faces and failing on purpose to show me they were right. I let them choose for the next assessment but with a clear understanding that if it didn't work out, this would be the last time they would ever work with those people. They actually pulled it out of the bag and although I didn't allow them to completely choose the next time because I wanted them to grow and develop by working with others, I did have a much clearer idea of good working partnerships and made sure that they were with at least one other person who they would choose themselves and who I knew they could work well with.
  4. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    Can you clarify which GCSE spec you are following?
  5. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Thanks, some great advice!!
    I am following AQA :)
  6. Unfortunately it sounds like you are the victim of history with regards to the group choosing their own groups to work in. I would suggest that you make a decision on which way you want to organise this in the future both with this class and future classes. Remember once you set the rule with a new class they will just accept it as the norm. Personally I have never let my classes choose their own groups at GCSE because of the reasons you have mentioned but also I find the good kids all work together and the weaker kids are left to form a group which needs alot more support. I tend to spread out my kids making sure that their is an even spread of ability as I find that the stronger kids push the group/piece on and bring more out in the weaker performers. Hence everyone is a winner.

    I remember the first class I every had at GCSE were horrible to me. In the end I just had to battle with them and do the best I could or should I say the best they would allow me to do!
    Hope this may help in some way
    I also teach AQA so if I can help in anyway just message me.
  7. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Thank you for all your answers, I hope once they see my name on their timetable they will recognise me as their proper teacher.
    Thanks again

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