Teenage girls can be a bullying nightmare for teacher - how to deal with it?

(9 Posts)
purpleapple1234 Sun 01-Jun-14 18:19:39

In my first two years at a grammar school I had to deal with one girl who targeted me. She was backed up by her little gang and destroyed the class. She was well-known throughout the school.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2644830/Classroom-queen-bees-absolute-nightmare-How-female-teachers-deal-rowdy-boys-dread-facing-real-life-Mean-Girls.html

This article reminded me of it. At the time, I had no idea of how to deal with it. I have been teaching for longer now, am more experienced and have become, quite frankly, better at teaching. Which is maybe why I haven't had it since - or good luck.

Anyway, I want apply for a job at an all girls school and am wary of it happening again. How do you stop this? Or are teenage girls so finely tuned - like a shark - that they know exactly who they can go for and who they can't?

TheLateMrsLizCromwell Mon 02-Jun-14 18:02:48

Yes , they are aware of who they can and can't defeat. I have come across this, but the girls have backed down in the face of confident authority. But I have come into the job late, from years in business dealing all kinds of issues - maybe harder if you have only been in school/uni/school.

Cerisier Wed 04-Jun-14 06:34:45

I think age helps. I find the queen bee types don't try it on with older female teachers as they are not in any competition with them and the older teachers have a long track record of success which can't be argued with.

I wouldn't want to be a young female teacher again. Long experience more than makes up for having less energy.

tethersend Sat 07-Jun-14 09:22:37

Finding the ringleader and killing them with kindness works a treat, IME.

Merrylegs Sat 07-Jun-14 09:47:35

At dd's all girls school I get the impression that some girls' ire is reserved for those teachers who they perceive to be not very good at their jobs.

So for eg the disorganised teacher, or the elderly maths teacher who needs the answer book. Or the teacher who never turns up on time.

They like the young enthusiastic teachers, the quirky ones who make lessons interesting, the kind older ones who seem genuinely interested in their pupils.

Teenage girls can perceive slights easily though, and any sense that they might not have been treated fairly, also riles them.

Good luck!

bigTillyMint Sat 07-Jun-14 09:53:58

Merrylegs, your post rings true for me too - the DC are at a mixed comp and they both like "the young enthusiastic teachers, the quirky ones who make lessons interesting, the kind older ones who seem genuinely interested in their pupils."

The teens at their school seem to play up most for young female teachers, in particular those who are not terribly assertive and who get into a flap easily. DD also says that she likes and respects the teachers who take the time to try to get to know her and help her.

Orangeanddemons Wed 11-Jun-14 09:30:48

I teach a very female dominated subject. I have whole classes of girls. In 20 years, I've only experienced this once.

My advice is kindness. I just laugh at them, not in a nasty way, but in a kind teasing way.

Apparently I am reknowned across my school for being good with difficult girls, although I'm not sure how I've gained this reputation confused

purpleapple1234 Fri 13-Jun-14 11:41:35

Thanks for your thoughts. It does seem to be fairly personality-based with teaching ability playing a role. But what students don't know is that the best teacher in the world can't show if the students have turned against them and vice versa a poor teacher can shine if given a well behaved class.

"The teens at their school seem to play up most for young female teachers, in particular those who are not terribly assertive and who get into a flap easily. DD also says that she likes and respects the teachers who take the time to try to get to know her and help her."

This sums up why I had problems to begin with and don't now. I am calmer, much better organised and simply know more about my subject (both subject knowledge, good teaching ideas and how it is examined). I have to admit that I still need to find the time to get to know the students better.

All ideas to take to my next school. Always always learning as a teacher.

bigTillyMint Fri 13-Jun-14 13:11:21

Purple, one of DD's teachers last year was clearly academically strong and had high expectations for her pupils, but struggled a bit with her behaviour management. She has her again this year and things are much bettersmile - just goes to show how reflective practice works!

Sadly DS has a few of the unassertive, flapping ilk and is being a PITA for them. He has been like this since starting school - I think it might be something to do with having a very assertive motherblush

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