Chatroom - Help needed

23rd January 2009 at 00:00

Posted by k.grant

I teach in a rough secondary and have been here since August. Since then, I have had problems with behaviour. Kids talking all the time, answering back, throwing things, hitting each other, swearing and threatening to kill me. I have no support from PTs or head of house. I have tried techniques that the few people who have listened to me suggest, but they didn't help. Most pander to the idea that I should treat these disruptive pupils nicer! What about the poor kids who do want to work? Should I forget about them cause they are quiet? I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. I hate going to work, I hate seeing most of these kids.

Posted by missknowsbest

I feel for you - difficult kids and an unsupportive set of colleagues. First, don't think you are the only person having problems. If those kids are bad for you, chances are they are bad for other teachers. Often teachers are afraid to admit they are having problems. I was told something that worked for me in an extremely demanding school during my NQT year. "Say what you are going to do and do what you say you will. Always follow through, never lower your standards and just keep chipping away at them." Remember to reward good behaviour. Let pupils know your expectations and the consequences if they do not meet them. It takes time and patience. I would also say don't ask for help, demand it! Let SMT know what is happening and ask them what they intend to do about it. If they don't help, then I would move school.

Posted by Dominie

If you are not being appropriately supported and things are so bad you are at risk of assault, you should contact your union for advice.

Posted by morrisseyritual

Two methods for consideration:

1. Solution focused. Imagine you have the class one day when it is more tolerable, more open to your teaching or "under control". What would have made this impact on the class? If you dissect what could, you may find the answers and know what avenues to pursue.

2. Group work. The whole class may be acting like a gang. Try dividing them into groups, facing each other and tackling a group at a time, attempting to ignore low-level stuff going on about you. This is a good form of "chipping away" described earlier, and stops the confrontational potential of attempting to lecture the class as a whole.

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