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Y9 don´t want my classes anymore - and they deliberately say it all the time ...

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by MFLSpanish, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Hi Tom!
    Many thanks in advance for your support, I think it´s great to have you there!
    I´m a MFL European trained teacher, based in SE London.
    I´m working part-time in an Academy with some behavioural issues.
    As a European trained teacher, I´ve been working very hard to adapt myself to the British system. The last two observations I had from my HoD have been "good" and I´m very proud of the fact that I´ve improved a lot, specially my lesson planning seems to be "very good".

    Unfortunately, I´ve been given a Y9 French group which wasn´t from the beginning very enthusiastic. They weren´t not really motivated and negative towards the French subject.
    The problem is that, throughout the term, their behaviour has become much worse. They are very chatty and distracted. They complain all the time about my lessons, and they say directly to me that "they don´t like my classes". Last lesson, one of the students said to me that he hates the lesson and that I´m a very bad teacher. Another one started to say to me how much she misses her ex-teacher.
    I´ve tried many different activities (even audiovisuals like videos, or a rap to learn irregular verbs) and I´m improving a lot the pace of the lesson. However, every time I want them to do something new, they just complain, again and again.
    They also hate my seating plan and refuse to sit where I tell them. Once I gave them the chance of free seating choice, and the lesson was horrible.
    I really don´t know what to do ...
    Again, many thanks for your advise
  2. First of all congratulations on the ever improving lesson observations - this should tell you that you are moving in the right direction! [​IMG] Trust in the observers decisions! Likewise your enthusiasm and obvious desire to wish to improve further is to be commended.
    Y9 are renowned for being a challenging year group. So take some comfort in this.
    • speaking to their form tutor - this group may well be more problematic for all - and they may already be aware of strategies that work.
    • try speaking to individuals to dig a little deeper - they may not have roeferred their previous teacher at all - or they may have used a particula strategy they have a preference to - which you may be able to integrate at times - though ultimately they have to work with a number of styles!
    • Speaking to their previous teacher (assuming still in the school)
    • Brush up on the behaviour policy, ocntact parents etc - and make sure that you stick to it with all - this can be time consuming at first, but will reap rewards in the longer term, likewise discuss the key offenders with the SMT/HOD and perhaps get some behaviour agreements in place with them.
    • Speak to the HOD about where to go with the class - in terms of teaching, the order of the curriculum taught, strategies etc. You shouldn;t be tackiling this all alone! Ask if there is a support assistant that you could have access to for a month or two with this one group.
    • Speak to the SENCO about any statemented students and strategies
    Good luck
  3. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Don't let them see that they get to you by saying things like they prefer their previous teacher or they hate the lessons. This probably isn't true (and so what if it is?) and they just want to annoy or, even better, upset you - kids love drama!
    Be very matter of fact "Yes, I'm sure you did prefer Miss X but you have me now, so just get out your planner ..." or "Well that's a shame but everyone has lessons they like less than others, it's just the way it is, so get your pen out and ..."
    Breeze along as if you really aren't bothered.
    As for if they tell you that you are a bad teacher, I would refer this up - putting them into detention or whatever sanctions are available. They are not there to pass judgement on you - they are not school inspectors, and a class can only be as good as its pupils. (Not strictly true I know - but how dare they the little ***s?)
    They had their chance of sitting where they liked and they blew it - so now you have even more reasons - not that you needed more - to insist on your seating plan. If they won't sit there, call in the support of your HoD or their Head of Year at the start of the lesson to nail them into their seats. You will know the genuine ones who need to sit near the front for sight or hearing reasons - and that means near the front, not near their friends. They are there to work, not socialise.
    Above all don't take things personally or to heart - I should think most NQTs or new staff have been told this by pupils at some time or other - they just want to feel they have power over you. Show them you don't care what they think, just that they make progress.
  4. Yeah I think you need to toughen up. Just teach good lessons and when they've grown up they'll look back and realize you did a good job. Don't worry about what they say at the moment. As you say, "They also hate my seating plan ...Once I gave them the chance of free seating choice, and the lesson was horrible" - ie you know better than they do what's good for them. You're the teacher!
  5. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Never fear, this sounds exactly like what every teacher usually goes through; you have a new group, and children are often frighteningly resistant to change. Plus they resent new authorities even more and they're pushing you as hard as they can. Oh yes, and they're Year 9, a group that appears to be hard wired to refuse your simplest instruction even if it led to their every desire. The problem isn't you, or your lesson planning. it's them, and how they respond to new adults. Which is to say, badly. All of the wriggling, the chafing, the obstruction and faffing- this is perfectly normal, unpleasant behaviour in the context of your situation. How do you handle it? Set your stall out; tell them exactly what you want in terms of behaviour. Don't bother negotiating the rules. Just tell them what you need from them in order to run an ordered room. Definitely have a seating plan and if they object then to Hell with them! Summon other staff to assist you get them in their seats. This isn't a playtime, and they have to sit where they learn best, not according to their friendship groupings. Anyone who mucks around, or refuses reasonable instructions, give them a detention. If they repeat the behaviours, muck around in detentions, or fail to show, then repeat the process, but this time get line managers involved, escalate the sanctions, and call parents. Then repeat, repeat, repeat. It will exhaust you. But it's an investment in your own future.

    Good luck


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