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Year 8 girls taking control of my lesson

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by nandos33, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. nandos33

    nandos33 New commenter

    This is a bit of an embarrassing issue really. I would like to know how I should have dealt with it because I'm just not sure how to react should it happen again. I have a difficult year 8 class, mostly due to a small group of girls, though many pupils in the class are difficult (five of the class are lovely). When I started in September I went in too hard, giving lots of sanctions, phoning home as soon as the same pupil had had three detentions from me etc. which damaged my relationship with the group.

    On Monday last week, I took my jacket off in class. The group of girls then started to make comments about me having BO etc. I made it clear that they were being rude and they needed to stop, which minimized it but did not entirely eradicate the issue. The next lesson was Wednesday, when this same group turned up to class with pegs on their noses. I told them they needed to put them away and if I saw another peg they would get warnings. I followed through on this, and they did put them away, though clearly very pleased with themselves.

    I didn't want to make too much of it because I didn't want to show I was bothered by this but at the same time I obviously had to sanction them. It seemed too vague to send them out on, but I should I have sent them out to another class? I told my mentor (I'm an NQT) who agreed that it was the way to go, but is this right? Is there anything else I should have done? What they are doing is totally puerile but it feels like they are in control because I'm not sure how I can deal with this decisively. They're the sort of class that just decide to ignore everything I say and are not bothered about detentions (and I have spent whole frees adding detentions and following up). Phone calls home do not have much of an impact either.

    I've only got two weeks left of this class - and this school - but it's very demoralising. Thanks.
  2. re

    re New commenter

    They are looking for any weakness and need to be told that their behaviour is totally unacceptable. This is planned rudeness to a member of staff and needs reporting. If you don't report it things will escalate.

    This may sound puerile (nice to see that word), but it is part of a dominance game which you can't afford to lose, even if you are leaving the school soon. Think of their next teacher!
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are right in not letting them see you upset - don't give them any emotional hand grenades to lob in your direction. However, as re rightly states it is a planned rudeness to a member of staff and needs to be reported.

    Report it to the HoY, HT or ask your mentor who to report it to and have a meeting with these girls with a senior member of staff so they can aplogise to you and, in addition, be given a stern warning for them not to do it again.
  4. I'm about to post on a similar topic!

    Follow through the normal procedures of your school and do not let their pettiness get to you.

    Make the biggest fuss possible, but of course with utmost professionalism.
  5. j_pink

    j_pink New commenter

    I had a similar experience once after taking over a young male supply teacher (he looked like a boy-band type) and they HATED me. I found 'wicked witch Smith' in my books etc. Here is how I deal with manipulative little rats like that...

    I start every first lesson with a drill-sergeant style briefing on my way/my rules.

    Each lesson, I throw in some really valid compliments without sounding too gushy e.g. "If we think back to Hassan's sophisticated explanation of...earlier in the lesson..."

    With packs of kids (like this one) I pull each one aside and break them up. Begin with the ring leader. They need metaphorically squashing. Have you read Tom's Behaviour Guru book by the NUT? It's ace. I would have a stern chat and put the fear of god in them. Can you get SLT's backing?

    Then after I've done that I focus on building bridges back one girl at a time. Chances are if one 'gives miss a break' the others will. It's a pack mentality and girls are fickle. Nothing builds those bridges back like a class trip!

    For on-going minor behaviour or rare incidents I walk past the child and say..".lovely work but can we have a brief chat at the end". I don't give them time to answer and just say, thank you. So it sounds like question, but really they don't get to answer.

    Praise needs to be at the foundation of your teaching. Maybe even humour, if it suits? You probably know this.

    As you know, kids see through shallow praise, They like specific, memorable compliments. I get the kids to write poem about mum/gran etc. and then phone mum to say 'Your son wrote the most beautiful poem about you! Would you like me to send his book home? ' Etc. It works a treat to get the kids and parents really on side.

    I agree with all the post above too.
  6. nandos33

    nandos33 New commenter

    Thank you, all your posts are really helpful. I've started wrong with this class and can't get anywhere with them but I will print this for my next school. I really appreciate it and it's good to know I'm not alone - was beginning to think I just had this horrible effect on kids! x

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