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to desperately want to leave my job (on verge of walking out) because of this?

(190 Posts)
woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:07:13


I do hang around here, mainly on the weight loss chat boards, but I've had to name-change due to the content.

I am a teacher and I am hugely struggling with one of my classes, to the extent that I am going home crying whenever I have them (three times a week.)

It is a GCSE class. For some reason they have no respect for me and treat me like i'm a big joke. It's very hard to put into words - constant smirks, shaking with laughter, covering mouths, looking away (as clearly looking at me would be so hilarious they just wouldn't be able to cope.) Shouting across the room, then when I follow the school system arguments ensue - "OH MY GOD, I was only TELLING x that I wanted to lend his pen off him!" then discussions with other students about the unfairness of it "She just gave me DETENTION for asking x to lend his pen!" which leads, sometimes, to arguments from others - "You're being unfair!" I do follow the system we have (two warnings/detention) but we can only remove a child in extreme cases and I'd have to go out, phone for help and fill in a referral form and to be honest it's difficult (impossible, really) to do that with four/five kids.

Have contacted home, to no avail. It worked temporarily - most things have a temporary effect - but while I can deal with the more obvious disruption (shouting out) it is the more insidious forms of behaviour that are really upsetting me just now - the constant laughing at me, the mocking of my voice, the accusations that I don't teach them well.

I have them twice tomorrow - I hate Wednesdays.

I will have them this year and next unless they all leave or I do and I just don't know, I have had the most awful year and came close to just walking out Monday. I cannot cope with it any more. Please help me sad

Halfrek Thu 12-Dec-13 06:18:33

I have an awful class this year but the difference is I have supportive management. I think in your situation I would have to leave. The stress would eat me up.

Millenniumbug1 Thu 12-Dec-13 08:56:17

Follow the discipline procedure to the letter.
Talk to colleagues who also teach this class, find out what they do & do the same.
Don't get emotional.
Here's another angle, if you're not in control & an emergency happened, how would you get them to safety? Would they follow your instructions?
You have to take control of this situation OP, you are the responsible professional here.
Be proactive, talk to your colleagues, team up with 1 if need be.
Good luck!

woodlandfairycreature Thu 12-Dec-13 16:35:29

I didn't say I wasn't in control, I said they were being nasty! Bit of a difference? And, how many times now have I said I follow the discipline system??

Slutbucket Fri 13-Dec-13 09:35:48

Why do you think because you lead the department that you can't ask for support from your team? Is it a cultural thing in your team? How would you react if a member of the department came to you and said they had a serious problem? What if you brought it up as an agenda point? Ie how are you finding year eleven because mine are a nightmare? If you can't get support like this you are in the wrong school.

SpottyDottie Fri 13-Dec-13 11:20:30

How is this class with other teachers? Is it just you? If so, how are the other teachers disciplining them or what strategies do they have in place? If it isn't just you, but others too then there must be something as a collective you can do about it? You need to find out exactly what it is and gain back control.

Good luck op flowers

Mumsyblouse Fri 13-Dec-13 11:39:57

I know exactly the kind of behaviour that you mean, I teach in HE but every now and again, have a little group, mainly girls, who sigh, huff, roll their eyes, whisper and giggle, look my clothes up and down and then laugh and generally try to make me feel a bit embarrassed about myself. I just do the silent waiting til they've finished, but the eye rolling and exchange of glances continues.

However- the trick is -to simply refuse to feel bad! Why should you feel picked on or embarrassed by some very silly childish young adults who are, to be honest, perhaps not the best students and have to find some other way to bond and look cool. They are just not all that, despite their bravado, why not just think- I'm a professional successful (HoD) woman and they are...not. I don't mean look down on them, I mean see them and their behaviour for what it is and know that you are better than that.

I also pretend I haven't noticed the slumping/eye rolling etc- I just act as if they are perfectly normal members of the class. So, if a question needs answering, and they are messing about or whispering, I say 'let's hear from this group' (the too cool for school group) in a very genuine manner - of course they have nothing to say and look right twerps in front of the class. Again, I don't mean be mean to them- just behave as if they are not doing all this stuff and you simply haven't noticed.

My own feeling is that you are feeling very delicate and upset for some reason in your own private life (sorry if too personal) and this has left you feeling vulnerable to them.

The only way back is to pretend like you are your old self who doesn't give a shit whether they like you or not while being really professional (and a bit distanced) about teaching them.

Orangeanddemons Fri 13-Dec-13 11:43:33

Our H o D has had difficult classes. We recognise that groups can interact badly. If you are HOD can't you organise for them to be moved into other groups? It's quite normals to shift kids between classes to break up difficult groups.

I have found that a class who is horrid in Year 10, can often calm down in Year 11.

I have also found with groups like this, that if I sit at the front and pick them off one by one that can help.

This too shall pass.....what happens if you are really really nice to them, and laugh at them rather than bollocking them? Also telling them openly that you are aware of exactly what they are trying to do. That often stops them in their tracks

Orangeanddemons Fri 13-Dec-13 11:44:21

Is it mainly boys or girls who are causing the problem?

Orangeanddemons Fri 13-Dec-13 11:45:14

Also telling them they are nasty often helps too....

Mumsyblouse Fri 13-Dec-13 11:50:23

Dirtydancing- that's kind of what I was getting at.

If you really don't like your job, I'd look about. But if you have liked it up til now, like most of it now, but just feel very vulnerable, I'd chalk it up to a bad class, put some coping strategies in place to get through the year and carry on.

Orangeanddemons Fri 13-Dec-13 12:19:52

Woodland Fairy, I think you can send a student out for sneering, making comments about you or laughing at your. It's a poor attitude to learning and is downright rude. In fact I think it's one of the main things you CAN send them out for.

Go for it girl...give as good as you get, they have no right to speak to you like this, and I would say have no right to have the privilege of being taught if they are choosing to sneer.

A colleague was observed by a member of Smt in our school. He sent 5 kids out and still got outstanding....can't you just send them into the corridor or email someone to come and get them, rather than going out to phone. Also have somewhere lined up to send the horrible ones to, and then warn them at the start of the lesson about their rude attitude

MaitlandGirl Sat 14-Dec-13 22:38:22

Woodlandfairycreature I have a 15 year old daughter (yr 10 here in NSW) and I read her your first post. She has friends that behave the way some of your class do and she's horrified at the way it's made you feel. She had no idea how bad it can be from the teachers point of view.

She doesn't like teachers that yell at badly behaved students, but she really appreciates the teachers that just stop and wait for the class to be quiet while staring pointedly at those messing about. She also likes it when the teacher asks if that group has anything to add to the class discussion (as mentioned by Mumsyblouse).

She says it gets the rest of the class on side as it disrupts their lessons and by yr10 they, mostly, all want to learn.

BohemianGirl Sat 14-Dec-13 22:44:36

Harsh but, I want my child taught by someone in control.

If you are the only class out of control then that is an issue regarding you.

If it's the majority of classes, then I'm moving my child to a school with discipline

woodlandfairycreature Sat 14-Dec-13 23:40:25

I was in a particularly sensitive mood last week maitland - feeling a bit chirpier now! It IS hard, as I had someone come into a lesson that wasn't going so well (as much because of me feeling unwell and rundown as anything else) and this seemed to lead to a bit of over scrutiny and dare I say micro management. It's easy to feel very stressed and anxious in such instances - I'm sure many of you would if someone was watching you doing your job, waiting for a slip up.

Your DD sounds lovely smile

Bohemian - I don't think you've read the thread. Some people have chosen to interpret it as me having no control but this isn't my complaint at all. My complaint is that I've been treated really nastily by a small group of children in a class. Sorry but it is upsetting and it is destroying to confidence over a period of time.

The problem is I didn't really start the thread asking for advice on my classroom management as it isn't a classroom management issue - I'm following the system and I haven't got packs of wild children charging about. It is more the general atmosphere.

Anyway - I think I've said all I can really, schools are different places, that's all there is to it really, so demanding to know why I can't put children in other rooms/send them out/whatever isn't helpful.

gobbin Sun 15-Dec-13 23:50:12

If control is not the issue then the only way to deal with 'nastiness' is to be unfailingly positive in every interaction and be confident in the understanding that you're there to teach, not to be liked. Chalk this one up to experience.

Addressing the behaviour, not the child, takes it out of the personal realm of 'they don't like me' which is frankly irrelevant with a class like this.

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