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Year 11...and 10.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Flowersinspring, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Not a dilemma but a moan. Why are years 10 and 11 just so.... Aaarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    I'm exhausted with the effort of trying to motivate them when some(but it feels like all) could not care less. And the lying! The absolute denial that they were talking, had a phone out... And the lack of basic knowledge of the subject that comes with a shrug and a smirk. I could cry, I really could.
    Don't need advice just kind words. :(
    WitchFingers, caress, install and 5 others like this.
  2. madcatlady

    madcatlady Occasional commenter

    Sounds very familiar. I have one student who takes the entire lesson to get started. I have no idea how it's possible to spend an hour prevaricating but it seems it is!

    Nearly Friday evening xx
    caress, ajrowing, agathamorse and 3 others like this.
  3. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    At that age they know everything with wholly misguided belief that despite doing b *gger all in lessons they'll just waltz through the exams with top grades because that's how good they are and you as their teacher just haven't realised it! They know they needn't do any work now because the school will be doing 'revision' sessions nearer exam time so why bother learning anything in any depth now? Anyway, the revision sessions will contain just the facts they need to pass the exam after which everything they have 'learnt' (or more likely temporarily memorised for the exam) will be forgotten.

    School isn't about learning anything in depth and nurturing the love of a particular subject and acquiring knowledge for it's own sake, just get them through the exams at all costs. If the little darlings' strategy doesn't work and their results are rubbish then they, and SLT will blame you. You just can't win.
    towncryer, agathamorse, a1976 and 3 others like this.
  4. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    I stopped giving a rat's backside two years ago. Out of it and doing my own thing and making the money I want to make. If I need to hire employees from this doomed nation brought on by parasitic "managers" who haven't a clue how to educate or run schools, then I'll import them.
    daisytoo and agathamorse like this.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Been there. Got the scars. Don't miss that aspect of mainstream.
    Plan some lessons where they do all the work.
    Don't beat yourself up about them. Their qualifications, their future. Remind them of that.
  6. makras

    makras Occasional commenter

    Blame their parents, ipads and phones. Those kids think they know it all now but will be in shock in the future.

    Unfortunately, that's how things have become and it is sad.

    Don't blame yourself, forget about it, enjoy your weekend, you need it :)
    daisytoo, agathamorse and a1976 like this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Which you deserve. You chose to go into teaching and you are faced with swathes of people who appear to reject what you do.
    Time to treat yourself by sitting down a bit more. Prep your resources out of the room, and sit down comfortably inside the room.
    Just in case amidst the lethargy there lurks a soul who really wants to stretch their mind, you just cannot give up on them. Get some puzzles and quizzes, some reading matter, some blank spidergrams, whatever, out onto one table, and call them to your desk one by one, even if it takes a few lessons to cover them all, and talk to them. Hear how they hate or love your subject, and then tall them in no uncertain terms that they don't get this time back again. Tell them you don't care how switched off they appear, that you went into your job because you want the best from them. As they leave their one to one with you, direct them past a second table with revision guides and extension tasks, and watch a few of them decide that's what they actually want.

    Just because some kids have given up on themselves does not mean we should give up on them. But nor should it mean that we should grind ourselves down to the bone.
  8. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    And the teacher's performance management. So it's the teacher's future too.
  9. Penguin47

    Penguin47 New commenter

    I had kids threaten physical violence against me. Do SLT care? Nope.
    ajrowing and makras like this.
  10. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Not surprised given the posts I've read alll too often, but very saddened. Pin your hopes on karma.
    makras likes this.
  11. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Year 10 and 11 are the most difficult to motivate because of the agenda before us; to get the best GCSE grades from a generation of 'press button and all answers are given to me..' We're almost on a hiding to nothing but get paid for the privilege of teaching them something; much of which is likely to be forgotten!! I've been in your situation too many times; comes sometimes when too experienced in a department and getting legacy classes of too many disaffected students whose main focus or priority is socialising and earning money. However, many students are co-operative and you will find some whole classes, at both ends of learning spectrum, display attitudes that defy logic and so here is what could be done.

    Ignore them!! Stare back at them...create independent worksheets and watch them squirm, look baffled, maybe put their hands up, turn to their peers to talk ...allow 10 minutes. get your chair and sit and watch...It's quite amusing sometimes. This type of approach gets children curious and wondering - what's wrong with Miss? What's today's lesson? Why isn't Miss teaching us? Silence. You sit and stare. You make eye contact with one, two or three students with puzzled frowns. You stand push your chair back to the teacher corner, then walk back to your standing, I'm ready to teach lesson, position. All eyes on you.

    DISCUSS - Motivation! Tell me what you understand this to mean?

    Of course, not all of this is necessary but you get my drift. Don't sweat the hard to reach..they'll come around with your patient and plain speaking about time left, etc..Then take time out of one of your lessons and have them talk to you about their learning. What have they enjoyed/why did they enjoy it/what could make the lesson better? (maybe create a 5 question quiz or questionnaire)..you may get back some brutal comments, some useful, some useless but at least you'll have a better understanding. Use this data to think - how do I move them forward?

    Sometimes children can give an insight into their learning perspective that we have not considered simply because of our goals to achieve, achieve, achieve, despite the difficult children in front of us, who possibly display the same attitude across the school in other subjects.. Sometimes children just need someone to listen to how they may enjoy learning, then draw up a class contract; tick off covering some of what they have asked for and then deliver your planned lessons as normal and where you can then say to them - "we discussed this and these were your ideas along with mine and that's how we will get to the end of the year achieving your target/predicted grade."

    I know. I've drifted heavily into giving advice and guidance. Apologies but I think sometimes thinking about why they are so demotivated can also be enlightening to us as practitioners and in a small way, we can be 'taught' by them how to teach the materials we've slaved hours over to engage them for at least 60% of the time.

    I'm still struggling in some lessons; odd days here and there but much improved. Try it. All the best.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
    VeronicAmb and bajan like this.
  12. makras

    makras Occasional commenter

    @br0wnsugar Good advice and good shot but too unrealistic.

    I have always asked myself "why do pupils in private schools are often well behaved and always do better?"
    The simple answer I always come back to is good parenting, constant supervision, support and money.

    We all know money is is an issue so we need to start with good parenting. Real life is tough for many children though.
    Flowersinspring and agathamorse like this.
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Smaller classes and the threat of being booted out to join the oiks in the local Comp if they don't make an effort spring more readily to my mind. A noticable absence of children with additional learning needs also plays a part.
    towncryer and agathamorse like this.
  14. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Year 10 and 11 are making me ill.
    I am currently sat at my desk feeling like i'm on a rollercoaster. I have given them literally every spare second of my day including all my lunchtimes and breaktimes. They are top band but have no work ethic and aren't actually very bright. I am exhausted. I am cranky. I am DONE.
    Year 11 have checked out mentally - they CBA and im starting to feel the same. Year 10 seem to think a GCSE is magically going to crawl into their lap.

  15. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think we’ve all been there. You have to adjust the lesson designs to the class. If they are well self regulated then more self regulated activities. If they aren’t then they get more teacher led activities. Mind you, if you are flogging them to death and little learning is happening then it doesn’t hurt to spend some lesson time on different slightly related activities to turn the tanker around. A little Cornovirus related work will soon get their interest.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have known many a student like this, who put much more effort in avoiding doing anything in class than they would have done in just making some attempt at the given task.

    @Shedman: Revisions sessions often simply serve to further disincentivize the lazy. "I'll do it all at the 'catch up' lessons, won't I."

    @princesslegend: I have had supposedly 'top set' students who just sit there like fledglings, waiting to be fed with the difference that some of them have not the the wit to open their beaks for the worms to be shoved to the back of their mouths..
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Yep, precisely the point I was making.
  18. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    Well, what goes around does come back around. I've seen it happen several times to people who have climbed the greasy SLT. Such people are back kissers and overpromote themselves and were overpromoted by others but fall great depths when Ofsted comes knocking or when something is exposed. One person left a school under a cloud and became a Maths teacher where I used to teach, which was a very challenging and toxic place already. It had just become an academy. However, this person couldn't teach her way out of a paper bag yet was instantly promoted. She was very toxic and was very up her own backside. Somehow after only a month of teaching, she became an Assistant Vice Principal and worked her way up to the top as Principal after one executive teacher left before being pushed (and sued). However, this former Maths teacher who became Principal only lasted a little more than three years because she was so clueless and weak in her position. They've had two people since her try to lead the school and did a pretty good job, only certain other underhanded individuals who were very chummy with people in the community( those who had kids that were trouble at that school) forced them out.

    Another example of how people are so eager to climb the poll but clueless as to how to manage once they get too the top would be someone who lives in my village. She left one school as head and became the head of another. You would see her in her little old doom buggy with her husband and would often hold (obligated) garden parties for her staff. However, when she went to another school, I guess she tried to throw her weight around but found out how weak she really was. Now, they are having to sell their house. They no longer have anyone over and the doom buggy also had to be sold. What a way to fall but some people ask for it.
  19. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    the above post has a type (forgive)

    Instead of 'once they get too the top' should be once they get to the top.

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