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To wonder if they are nasty to most teachers ?

(207 Posts)
Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 15:52:25

I've been in a new school for 3 weeks. To be fair it's a challenging school in a deprived area, but i've had so many nasty comments.
What annoys me is then when I see the nasty students being nice and showing respect to other teachers !
I follow the behaviour policy and apply C3s for both poor behaviour and work that is not complete or to a poor standard, and extreme issues I have them removed by on-call.
I'm shocked to see just how nasty some students are.
I've had quite a few nasty comments about my appearance, picking apart my face, analysing the way I walk, my voice, anything. Making fun of my mannerisms, things I didn't even realise I did !
Today a girl I have never taught shouted at me that my hair was a mess.
I've been told 'you peck head, you bore me' all sorts of stuff. Sworn at, told to shut up. If you ask them a simple instruction they about, "alright, jesus christ chill !" at you and make comments about how their old teacher is so much better, can actually teach etc.
Fortunately there are some lovely and hardworking students who I have never had issues with.
I've had 2 girls pretend to throw up when I walked past and say out loud "she's horrible".
I've managed to get some students on side and they know I expect the work to be done or it will result in a detention.
I had a class who behaved brilliantly and my last lesson with them I bought some biscuits. One girl whispered "Why the fuck is she handing out biscuits she's fucking weird".
There are of course known troublemakers who play up for every single teacher, but I feel like a failure when I see the other teachers getting so much respect, as I feel I am very fair.
I've only been there 3 weeks and don't know if I can take the constant nastiness and rudeness. If a peer were speaking to me like that I would just shut them down, but in school we have to be the example and be professional. What would you do ?

bookishtartlet Fri 24-Jan-20 16:00:31

How long have you been teaching? Whilst not acceptable, the trickier kids always push boundaries with new staff, even those teaching for years. I tend to kill this type with kindess, and pay more attention to the majority who are opting in. Is it possible that they know their comments are getting to you, therefore keep doing it? What process do your school follow for this kind of thing? Just keep being consistent, kind and yourself.

bookishtartlet Fri 24-Jan-20 16:01:57

Also, if you have witnessed their good relationship with other staff, speak to that teacher and ask for what works in their classroom. Have had experience on both sides of this.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:05:59

This is my NQT year but I have a few years experience of working as a TA and teaching adults.
I try to ignore them and have recorded it on the system. They tend to whisper a lot of it but make it obvious by looking at me. Mainly nasty older teenage girls. They have had an assembly about how abuse to staff is not tolerated, but they don't care.
One of the boys said i'm cross-eyed even though i'm most definitely not !
I try to reward and thank the hardworking ones.
Also have my door kicked every day by different students, it's just so sad how they act.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:08:20

I don't see other teachers doing anything groundbreaking, they just seem to have that respect. I try to be very fair yet firm, don't scream at them, don't exactly give them arduous work. Just don't get it.

RB68 Fri 24-Jan-20 16:12:58

Its not a popularity contest - sorry but why are you handing biscuits out - kids know a bribe and they also sniff weakness - they did what they were supposed to do don't reward it. Keep up consistency in the other things and ignore the rest unless serious enough to be a discipline issue then you need to work out the process for getting these kids sorted for the poor behaviour.

ShinyGiratina Fri 24-Jan-20 16:16:42

Joining part-way through a year is so tough. I did a lot of long term supply so did it many times.

In my last school, I joined at this time of year after a long sucession of supply teachers, my classes were very demotivated and it was a timetable where it was the low stakes classes (lots of weaker end KS3). Three years later and my relationships were much stronger and more positive even with pupils that had been total nightmares in that first year.

Keep going. Use the behaviour policy. Sometimes they get grudgy about it, but plough on. Focus on the positive and reward where you can. Try to sway it so the attention is on the positive not playing up.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:16:54

I gave them out because it's my final lesson with them I won't have them again, also because one student is moving to another school, there's nothing wrong with that

Sadly they don't all attend detention or seem to care. I think I will just have to come down harder on them.

Wattagoose90 Fri 24-Jan-20 16:18:51

They're testing boundaries because you're a new face and trying to see how far they can push you.

It can take a little while to establish yourself. Be firm but fair and stick to your guns. You mention that other teachers are automatically respected - I bet they've been there longer and have had time to establish and build relationships.

My advice would be: don't go out of your way to please them. Be firm with anyone who is disrespectful and make the boundaries clear.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:24:55

It's sad how these kids feel they have to test boundaries rather than saying, this is a teacher, I need to do as I'm told and show respect.
I think they have been there longer. It can't be just me as there are some kids who are lovely to me and respectful no matter what, I know the supply opposite me is having a nightmare too.
Hopefully it will get easier with time, ill follow the advice.

TellMeDinosaurFacts Fri 24-Jan-20 16:25:31

Not only are they testing boundaries, but they're also finding out whether they can trust you, and whether you will stick around. It does take time (months or even a year or two) but kids' behaviour changes when they see you as part of the school, not an outsider/newcomer, and when they know you're going to stick with them. In the meantime, remember nothing is personal (even if it's personal, iyswim) and give yourself lots of treats!

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:30:27

It's disgusting when i've been speaking to a table of girls, I walk away and they start giggling and whispering about me and how I speak/look. It's just not acceptable, but when I try to speak to them about it they deny they have said anything. I think next time I will record it as verbal abuse. Even if it was whispered, it's still offensive comments.

LolaSmiles Fri 24-Jan-20 16:30:51

There's lots of factors in behaviour management and many ways staff get good behaviour, not all of them conducive to good learning or respect.

For example here's 4 hypothetical teachers who you'd see good behaviour from a distance (assuming the school has a clear policy and good SLT):

A follows the school behaviour policy firmly and fairly. The students know the boundaries and A has proven themselves to be fair and consistent. A is also friendly with students and because of these good relationships, students like and respect A. Students learn lots. They view A as a trusted adult if they needed someone.

B follows the school behaviour policy to the letter. They have good behaviour management and a calm classroom so students can learn. B is stern and prefers a distance between them and students to the point where they are aloof. Students respect B as a teacher and they learn lots, but they wouldn't go to B if they needed pastoral support.

C ignores the behaviour policy, usually deciding that they have their own ways of doing things. Students behave for C and because C is a reasonable teacher there's good learning most of the time. Students respect and like C, but C runs into difficulty with challenging students because they quickly realise they can play C and other staff off against each others. C isa nightmare for staff because their ego and need to do their own thing causes problems for colleagues because students regularly say "but Mr/Mrs Blogs ..." C can often be seen/heard saying "oh Jimmy is fine for me..." C likes to make excuses for their pet students and why they couldn't possibly be expected to behave, whilst blaming other challenging students for poor behaviour that any sensible observer would see is exacerbated by their inconsistent approach.

D ignores the behaviour policy because they think that building positive relationships means being mates with your students. They blur professional boundaries and students will talk about how cool Mr/Mrs Blogs is and how good their banter is. D places a lot of value on being a cool teacher. D may not suffer from disruptive behaviour, but they don't get much learning occuring as they tend to operate on the cult of personality. D also struggles to hold the line when difficult situations occur because students take it personally having thought that D was their mate/was meant to be sound or on their side.

Sometimes new teachers try too hard to be C or D. You want to be either A or B.

SharpieInThe Fri 24-Jan-20 16:31:22

I'd avoid the biscuits and other such tactics, looks like you're desperate to be the popular, cool teacher.

It's playground behaviour. You're better than that and you need to rise above.

gingergiraffe Fri 24-Jan-20 16:34:25

Many years ago I started at a new school, after three years in my first job. Like you, it was in a deprived ares. I came home in tears every night for weeks. From yr 11s I would get nasty comments and they would tell. me how much they liked their former teacher. One day they started saying that their former teacher was coming back. I had had enough. I told them that their former teacher was not coming back. and why was that? She couldn’t wait to get away from them! Things somehow seemed to improve after that. I stayed for six years.

Keep doing what you are doing and don’t crumble in front of them. The first year is always the hardest. Keep telling yourself that you are not there to be liked though we all know it helps. You will get there in the end. Believe me, even the most respected teachers have had initial problems like you when they start a new post. Chin up and try to develop a thick skin. Also, try to find an unofficial mentor/ally who could give you a bit of advice and lighten your heart. Difficult in today’s school climate I know but sharing a few of your frustrations with a sympathetic ear will give you the confidence to know that things will get better. Good luck.

Wildorchidz Fri 24-Jan-20 16:34:30

It sounds very difficult.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:35:21

The biscuits was not some tactic, it was my final lesson with them and a sort of goodbye party for the leaving student as I mentioned.
I always apply the behaviour policy, I was told to shut up by one girl, I records it as verbal abuse and absolutely nothing came of it.
I think I need to start ringing more parents, the problem is that some are not supportive and will automatically believe the child over you.

SquareAsABlock Fri 24-Jan-20 16:35:42

Again with a 'teacher' using AIBU to moan about students. If you're having problems in your 'educational setting', perhaps deal with it in the manner you have been taught during your training. What precisely do you want MN to tell you in terms of dealing with 'naughty teens'?

DisinterestedParty Fri 24-Jan-20 16:36:40

You are frustrated and I get that. But you're expecting way too much if you think they should just respect you because you're the teacher and that's that. A lot of these kids are just not brought up with that mindset.

You can't change them. You can only change yourself. Keep being consistent, don't let them get to you and eventually they might stop being dicks. They might not at the same time and that's fine too.

WeeSleekitTimerousMoosey Fri 24-Jan-20 16:36:57

It's sad how these kids feel they have to test boundaries rather than saying, this is a teacher, I need to do as I'm told and show respect.

It doesn't work like that. They aren't going to automatically respect you, respect is earned. You sound very naive, they're teenagers, pushing boundaries is what they do. The other teachers will have earned their respect over time via consistent, firm but fair, behaviour. You haven't done that yet.

misskatamari Fri 24-Jan-20 16:37:24

It's shit. I remember my NQT year and it was hellish, like this. It is no reflection on you, and unfortunatly some kids attitudes suck, and you just have to stick it out and it does get better eventually. Dealing with poor behaviour in a challenging school is such hard work though, and it does grind you down. I left teaching after ten years and honestly don't think I could go back to it now. Try not to let it get to you, aim to be calm and consistent and I'm sure things will get better. Hats off to you though, it is hard hard work

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:37:46

It's fine if they don't stop being dicks ? Fine for who ?

recrudescence Fri 24-Jan-20 16:38:01

These children are not “testing boundaries” FFS, they’re leaping immediately beyond any acceptable line into deliberate and nasty abuse. Get your QTS and leave as soon as you can. Ultimately, get out of the utter shitshow that the teaching ‘profession’ has become.

billy1966 Fri 24-Jan-20 16:38:36

OP, it really isn't you. There have always been children who like to give new teachers/subs a tough time.

It's bratty, testing your threshold for pain, and actually a sport for some kids.

Ease off on the being nice and overly fair.

You are not their friend, you are there to teach.

Call out the rude kids, throw them out of class, give detention, report them, asking them to repeat what they said and throw them out of the class.

They will see very quickly you mean business.

My boys had a brilliant English teacher who was 4'11 and the most petite woman. In a class full of lads that were 6'3 and 6'4 they wouldn't dare look at her sideways.

Be less nice and roar if you have to.

Respect is key in teaching IMO.

Werkinggirl Fri 24-Jan-20 16:39:03

No i'm not 'very naïve' but thanks for your real helpful advice...

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