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Year 5/6 teacher seekings advice re behaviour - sorry it's long

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Trapin1, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    I'm a year 5/6 teacher in a small school in an area of socio-economic deprivation and would be grateful for advice about whole school approaches to behaviour for a forthcoming meeting.
    Many of the children in our school, and particularly in my class, have no morals or conscience and are persistenly in trouble. I only took over my class in January this year and after initially struggling with behaviour, took advice from Tom Bennett via the behaviour forum and imposed a zero tolerance approach with my class which has had great success especially with my worst offenders. I have a fabulously supportive TA to help me out and we outlined every manner of unacceptable behviour which basically means they can't move without permission or they face the sanction of losing time off their lunch/dinner time. Each misdemeanour earns a 1 minute detention. This meant initially that even generally well-behaved children got the occasional detention, say, for swinging on a chair, but that the worst offenders often spent a great deal of time with me at break or dinner to start with. Nevertheless, they didn't complain because they liked the fairness of it (previously I would overlook minor misdemeanours from 'good' children and was always met with 'It's not fair....' Now, I don't know whether it's because it's nearly the end of the year and post SATs but behaviour of my 'naughty boys' has increased and so have my sanctions (each misdemeanour now equals a 2 minute detention) but some of the behaviour this year has been so bad that they have had to be sent to head (I have been called offensive names, sworn at, humiliated, had offensive facebook remarks posted about me, etc). However, the head (whom I really like and get on well with) has a very different view of how to deal with these boys and children from other classes who regularly really overstep the mark - she favours a diffusive/let's all calm down approach, takes them off for a chat and then returns them to class. Twice have any of my children actually been excluded.
    Staff are becoming frustrated with this because we feel that there is no deterrent - child is really naughty - exhausts class teacher's sanctions - goes to head for nice chat - comes back. To quote head 'Being fair doesn't mean treating every child the same'. She says that because we have so many seriously naughty children who all come from homes with major family poblems, we should cut them some slack otherwise she'd end up sending lots of children home regularly. I disagree. What favours are we doing these children in letting them think that when they're older they can behave like they do with there being any consequences.?I feel we actually have a duty to make them understand that there are consequences for all of us if we act inappropriately.
    As a result of an incident yesterday where I made a decision and told a group of boys I was not prepared to take them on a local outing this week as a treat, head decided that because one of the boys is not one of the regualar 'naughties' and apologised, he could come. Consequently I had a very angry parent of one of the other boys on the phone complaining it was unfair.
    I have previously briefly taught the year 4 children I am going to inherit and some of them simply walk out of class when they don't like being reprimanded and | personally think it's because they feel they can just go to head, have a chat and then return as if nothing's happened.
    We have scheduled a meeting to discuss behaviour on Monday and I would be grateful for any thoughts/advice.
    Sorry it's long.


     
  2. Being undermined by your Head after you have made a decision about a trip and who is going is not good. Also, the re-inforcement when a child is sent to the Head doesn't sound too good either. How is behaviour dealt with in other classes and at lunchtimes? If there are inconsistencies then this doesn't help. I agree about trying to push for a large scale review of behaviour policy and involving parents, children and all staff in this process. For your own class you might want to consider adapting your approach next term after some summer holiday reflection! If you are finding yourself constantly increasing sanctions it might be worth considering why. What are the patterns in children's behaviour during the day?/ any subjects more difficult than others?/ when do they listen and engage the most- how is this lesson different? etc. If you have time, take some circle time with the class next week, have a drink and biscuit and ask them about the class and what they would like in September to stay the same and to change. Explain the things which are important to you and why. You may be able to create a behaviour code with them which they buy in to. Write to parents to explain what you and the class have discussed and ask for their views and share these with the class- keep behaviour on the class agenda and celebrate when it improves. If you don't already, have a behaviour target for each lesson and a reward for achieving the goal for the whole class so everyone feels they are contributing to a cohesive whole. Providing more and more sanctions won't work and you'll be exhausted. Good luck!
     
  3. Try and get to know the children. Once I was thrown in with a crazy class and I decided to take them to the beach and had some fun with them and then they started to trust me and we had a great year. Thinking outside the classroom and school walls about the characters you are spending time with helps. Acts of unconditional kindness go a long way with vulnerable children. You may be the only positive adult in their lives.
     
  4. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thanks again, Transilvanian - and I agree completely and thought I had forged good relationships with these boys; one has changed his personality remarkably and is far less aggressive and moody. But I'm afraid there has been a ringleader who has exercised enourmous power of his 'gang' and despite very best efforts on my part to 'get him on board', I think he is basically quite a nasty piece of work with absolutely no morals whatsoever. I guess it's just a case of some you win, some you lose.
     
  5. How did the meeting go?
     

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