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Year 8 behaviour

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Greyfalcon1, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    Hey all,

    I have a serious dilemma with some of the year 8 classes I teach, Regardless of the routines I put in place the behaviour still remains inconsistent and they challenge the boundaries. I am trying to ensure classes work quietly but this seems an impossible thing to do, I am also finding limited amount of effort and some pupils who find it appropriate to disrupt the lesson on a weekly basis.

    I do intend to call parents and maybe have parental meetings soon.

    Any help on how to improve poor attitude to learning and blatant disrespect would be appreciated.

  2. KRkazoo

    KRkazoo New commenter

    Calling the parents is an excellent idea. At the parent meetings you can remind both parent and student of the school expectation regarding behaviour and what the consequences could be for ignoring the expectation.

    Any student who takes up class time to disrupt the learning could owe you back time.

    In the mean time, chat with other staff try to find out reasons for negative behaviour for particular students and strategies that are working in other classes.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    What would be te best way to go around ensuring a pupil owes back any lost learning time?

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    This is not just an issue for the classroom teacher - this is a departmental/whole school problem. Make sure you have the full support of your HoD, and any other teachers involved with behaviour.

    Get them into a new seating plan. When they argue about it (as I'm sure they will) point out that you are the teacher, they are the student. You are not under any obligation to discuss or even explain how you run your classroom. If they continue to moan about it, remove them. Wrong attitude. This will send a message to the class that you mean business. For the next couple of lessons, use your seating plan to call the register. Don't let them even shift chairs (Billy, you should be on the left of Jessica, not the right. Please, correct that. does it matter? Yes Billy. It matters because you've been given a direct instruction and you have not followed it. That matters a lot.)

    Enforce a 'one warning then remove' policy. Follow that up with a detention and a long discussion with the parents. I always enlist the aid of a terrifying colleague to support me during conversations with such children because I'm far too nice. My HoD is quite happy to play the bad guy if needed and my colleague in the next room even scares the s*** out of me when they get angry,

    Don't pander to them. Set them lots of work they can get on with in silence. Not 'quietly' (I hate that word) - but 100% without speaking. I insist that if I've explained the work once and then asked if they understand it, they have to try their best. I don't mind them making mistake but I'm not going to explain it to them over and over (which is the other way that classes justify bending the rules.

    When they Do follow your rules, be nice. I tell all of my classes that I'll give everyone who follows my rules two achievement points for just doing their job. I give them plenty of opportunities to show good work, get other rewards, and I also teach the best lessons I can, with lots of humour and variety. I'll even give out sweets as prizes. When they do what they should, I'm a nice guy.

    if they don't, I'm not.
  5. KRkazoo

    KRkazoo New commenter

    You have a choice: start with break time or lunch time. If they should fail to turn up twice, phone home, after school detention.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    When you speak to the parents, give them specifics and not just general comments like "Tina was disrupting the lesson Tuesday". Tell them exactly what Tina was doing: Not following instructions by getting started quickly. She completed three lines of work, when you asked for two paragraphs, throwing paper to the back of the room, fiddling with pens, deliberately trying to get the person she was sitting next to involved etc.

    Carry a small note book in your pocket and jot down the specifics. You won't get it all down, but get down as much as you can. The parents won't be pleased to hear about it and will then take action. Not all parents, but perhaps the majority. You can use shorthand: CO. Calling out. TWIT. Talking while I am talking. OT is off task. DS is disturbing others. NL. Not listening. TT. Throwing things.

    Ensure that the detentions are inconvenient and they attend. I was at a school once and I noticed the students just sat in silence in detentions. I would give them work to do - not copying out lines, but perhaps writing out an essay on what they want to do with their lives and why education is important to that end; and why it is important to cooperate with others etc.
    Not something scribbled but written neatly with correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. What they can't finish in the detention, they can do it for homework.

    You do have to be firm as post number 4 suggests. Have three simple rules which cover almost everything: Also ask for backup from your HOD. There was a post on here recently about a Year 11 class where the teacher was having considerable difficulty and then the HOD became involved and sorted it out by laying the law down. After that, things became a lot better for that teacher and they could get on with their job. The rules I use are:

    Follow instructions fast
    Stay on task
    Work without disturbing others

    Never, write names on the boards to keep track of misbehaviour as that creates more opportunity for drama.

    If your school will allow it, I would go as far as asking the students to come in and stand behind their desks in silence before you ask them to sit down. This is a good routine because it gives them just a few seconds or so to settle and also for you to get their attention and to give them the first instructions. The secret is for you to show that everything in place in the room is for a reason; the reason being that learning takes place and you have set it up for their benefit not because you are a monster.

    Do a survey with your classes to see what rewards they like the best for good behaviour and effort. Some ideas might be post cards home, sitting in the teacher's chair, free time on the computer, or if time and resources allow tea and biscuits.

    Personally, I don't give sweets because of the sugar and other reasons. Also, don't give material rewards since most kids ( of course not all kids) have enough. The best thing about post cards home is that it involves the parents and they can reward their children as they deem fit and it brings happiness to the whole family. Also, it is something tangible the child can keep to look at for encouragement to remind themselves of when they did do well.

    Focus on the positives and the children who are doing what you want which is probably the majority.

    You do have to model the behaviour you want to see. Always say please and thank you to your classes.

    Try greeting them at the door upon their arrival.

    Don't accept the disrespect. Address it each time it happens. Not in front of other children but with the parents or another colleague present.

    Set up routines for not having equipment or anything else that disrupts you from taking the register, setting up etc in those first five minutes which are crucial for setting the tone for the lesson. Have a box of spare things children can use but they need to know they have to return the items.

    All of this starts in your mind. You have to believe that you are the manager and leader of that room and everyone follows your instructions. You can get them to do what you want by enforcement of sanctions, but you want to get them somehow to follow you willingly because they want to and enjoy your lessons and the way you make them feel about themselves.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Beautifully put!
    It's your classroom.
    It's your rules.
    You set those rules because if they are followed, everyone will enjoy and benefit from the lessons.
    If they decide to do anything else, they don't understand how the system works and that needs correction.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Hail @pepper5 !

    Don't despair. Things can be changed. Definitely greet students at the door, have a do now activity for them to get started on as soon as they get in without any intervention from you, insist the start of the class is silent.

    You could also have a look at some of these threads which are very similar. You're not alone and these contain lots of good advice.




    pepper5 likes this.
  9. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Greyfalcon1

    Greyfalcon1 New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies,

    Unfortunately the behaviour of the year 8 groups i teach is very inconsistent - today they were practically unteachable even with some of the strategies put in place. I just cant seem to get them to complete classwork silently without the behavioural issues.

    I am thinking of doing some textbook work for the next few weeks until they can be taught to complete classwork independently without being distracted.

    I have issued many detentions today and called some parents.

    I am just finding dealing with behaviour across the board really dispiriting.

    pepper5 likes this.
  11. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    How did the calls with parents go? Were they supportive? It will be interesting to see if it has any immediate impact. If it does, it can be really helpful to agree with the individual children that you will follow it up with a positive call home if they manage a positive week. Seeing that you will report directly, for good and bad, on their behaviour can sometimes work.

    By textbook work do you mean something they can get on with without any input from you? Making it quite dull can also work! Explain that as a class, they have been unable to work productively with more active and interesting activities so will need to work silently from the textbooks until they have resolved the behaviour problems. Make a point then of going around and supporting any "good" students. Sometimes seeing their peers get attention for being well behaved can have a positive impact.

    It's so hard to balance showing challenging children that you care about them, as we're all aware low self-esteem and attention seeking is usually part of the problem, and making them aware that they lose the privilege of a teacher's effort eventually!
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Is the inconsistency related to time of day? Some groups can be lovely in the morning but terrible in the afternoon (and when I saw the amount of chocolate one lad was eating for lunch, I understood). Planning with that in mind can help.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Working silently from textbooks is a good idea. It is work that they can take their time with and although some people look down on using textbooks, children need to learn the skill of reading and note taking. Perhaps the first 15 minutes ask them to work silently and then if they can cooperate and follow the rules, then move on to other tasks.

    It used to be the Year 9s who caused the most disruption. For some reason, which I cannot figure out, it is the Year 8 groups I teach on supply that are the ones which are bouncing about and hard to settle.

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