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Silly things teachers think will work

(370 Posts)
NAR4 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:59:50

One of the teachers at my child's school (he is in sixth form) thinks giving out yellow cards and red cards for 'bad' behaviour in class will somehow motivate 17 year olds.

At my 14 year old's school (a different school) he was asked to write a letter to Father Christmas during an English lesson. The teacher was dead serious. REALLY?

I pressume that nether of these teachers have children of their own, but should surely have been taught at uni that these things were completely age inappropriate.

exoticfruits Sat 17-Nov-12 19:34:25

It is about the only thing that I think is good about league tables. 6th forms in our area are very competitively marketed, and they jealously guard their position, so they would be asked to leave. They are monitored first which would mean that they took a report card to every lesson and the teacher would have to award marks for effort, results, homework done etc and if that doesn't work they are out.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 19:39:49

When education becomes compulsory to 18, then the issues change, because once again, like GCSEs, you will have a number of captives that want to be released and are not allowed to be free. Then treats, rewards and cajoling to elicit good behaviour may well be necessary, along with detentions and exclusions.
Currently if you are at 6th form it is because it is your choice.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:44

But surely almost all 16-18 yo's are currently in education, even if it's vocational, such as hairdressing, or bricklaying?

Non academic DC aren't going to be forced into staying on at school...they will move on to the local colege to do what suits them best, won't they?

Won't the only difference be whether or not they can claim certain benefits?

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 21:06:16

They might even learn how to spell college correctly.

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 21:09:33

Writing a letter to Father Christmas is a nice, low-key way of introducing persuasive writing. I am 100% convinced the teacher did not at all expect them to believe in him! But it's a fun way of teaching the structure of an argument and how to use language in a persuasive way.

I thought it was only children who thought teachers lived at school and not in the real world, but apparently it isn't.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 21:16:38

My DD is studying A level history at our local college. Occasionally she comes home and says that they watched Horrible Histories. Last week she said that they listened to the Horrible Histories songs. Apparently you can tell the students who have younger siblings.
They all love it and they are aged 16 and above.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 21:55:03

OMG if A level students are learning History from the watching Horrible Histories then no wonder our education system needs overhauling. That's a disgrace.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 21:56:13

We use Horrible Histories in Y3 and 4.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 21:57:44

I don't think there's anything wrong with using Horrible Histories as an introduction for older students. They're generally pretty accurate and it can liven up a class a little bit.

casma Sat 17-Nov-12 22:02:29

DD sometimes watches the songs in history - in a long double lesson I think a bit of light relief in the middle is good to keep everyone going.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Nov-12 22:10:40

Writing a letter to Father Christmas may a nice, low-key way of introducing persuasive writing, but I would have thought this would have happened in Y2 for the most able DC at definitely by Y5 for the average DC. Usually the introduction to persuasive writing is to write to the head teacher, requesting something they have pre-agreed with the class teacher, isn't it? The head teacher writes a letter back, blah, blah.

I wonder if the 14yo's got a letter back from FC. Not so much an introduction in Y9 (they wouldn't do this in Y!0, would they? hmm)

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 22:11:56

They're clearly not learning from Horrible Histories - it's a bit of light relief and could provide a different point of view to the textbook version. I've shown Blackadder to classes when we've been reading about WW1; yes, it's funny but the sets, costumes and the general attitudes shown are all pretty accurate.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 22:13:48

chloe74 by the sounds of it Horrible Histories is used as a fun break in their lessons. Just because they are studying A levels doesn't mean they can't have a bit of fun.

BrianButterfield Sat 17-Nov-12 22:16:49

When I used to have my Year 13 last lesson on a Friday they loved me getting out the felt tips and sugar paper so they could make revision notes, mind maps or key word posters for the walls of the classroom. It was fun but they were really useful display items to have and I used them in teaching afterwards.

waitingtobeamummy Sat 17-Nov-12 22:23:44

We have behaviour points and achievement points and right up to year 11's love them. My form live that we have sweets, star of the wk etc. As long as you know the level of the students then nothing is right or wrong.
However op, I don't have any of my own children so naturally I know chuff all. The fact that I have worked in education for the past 10 yrs counts for nothing hmm

joanofarchitrave Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:02

Workplaces motivate people by paying them. I don't think saying that 17-year-olds should be able to behave in a class because they would have to at work is that relevant a comparison. I think the red and yellow cards are a great idea due to the minimal disruption to the lesson.

I once posted on here in horror at the idea of using Horrible Histories in a history class. That was before I'd watched any of it blush I now think they are great. If the tv programmes were the only 'source' used, that would be one thing, but it seems unlikely.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:41:20

I can understand the idea of using HH for light entertainment etc and if the kids were pre-teen I would understand, its just depressing that 17 year olds need that sort of relief. In a years time they could be spending a long hard day working at the coal face (metaphorically). Can you imagine a job eg an employe in ASDA saying to their manager " I have been stacking shelves for 40 minutes, I think I deserve a break to watch kids TV".

Dominodonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 22:43:46

OP - MYOB you clearly know nothing about teaching. And I don't see why you think you know more about children (because you are a parent) than a teacher who has probably taught thousands of children.

Both of the things mentioned in your OP sounds perfectly reasonable to me. At GCSE learning persuasive techniques is essential. If you use something like a letter to Santa the students can focus on the techniques rather than the content.
Red and yellow cards also sound like an excellent idea. If you send a students out with no warning they will often complain, as will their parents. As others have said this is an unobtrusive way to give a warning.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 22:46:28

chloe74 yes, but we are trying to inspire people and make learning fun. I want people to WANT to come to my classes, not to feel like, well, it's necessary but it's not a lot of fun.

A lot of workplaces now have table tennis tables and stuff, and it does make people more productive.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:48:00

Haven't read all the posts but I think the op is a bit of an idiot to be honest, not the teachers! Presuming these teachers aren't in a selective school, there will be children with a wide range of abilities. The letter to Santa would be to get them to work on creative writing and would probably be quite good in this consumerist society. Stop sounding so smug.

Myliferocks Sat 17-Nov-12 22:49:22

chloe74 my DD has had a part time job for the past 18 months. In the summer she would do 8 hour shifts. Of course she wouldn't ask her boss if she could have some light relief after working 40 minutes.
Her tutors at college are nice enough to let them watch HH if they have the time in lessons.
There's many a person on Mumsnet during the week who say they shoud be working instead of posting on here.

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 23:37:18

I would accept a teachers opinion on that as long as the kids are achieving their potential in the class. I suppose my opinion is colored by my experience of Primary. My DC is in Y6 and they spend a lot of time on that I consider to be a waste of time and despite discussing with the school over many years that my DC is never stretched or challenged nothing ever changes. Every parents evening I get the same answers, they don't have the time to do more Spellings, Maths, Science etc. My DC regularly comes home bored having spent all day coloring in pictures, sitting through play rehearsals, making drums ...

I just get depressed that it will be the same at secondary all the way through to A-Level.

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 23:39:16

chloe74 I agree that a lot of children aren't stretched at school but if you can see that this isn't happening all you can do if teachers aren't receptive is to fill in the gaps yourself.

There are 30 children in the class normally, mountains of paperwork and meetings and planning and assessment and it is all too easy for teachers to end up teaching to the middle.

t0lk13n Sat 17-Nov-12 23:44:24

Oh dear...don`t come to my classroom where my Year 10s are using playdoh to re-enact scenes from the Bible!!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sat 17-Nov-12 23:57:29

Writing to Father Christmas at 14 as a persuasive writing exercise? At 9 in Y5 my DS1's class had to write a letter to the HT explaining why they felt a particular school rule should be relaxed.

My DS1 chose the 'no chocolate' rule, and based his debate on the scientific merits of eating two small squares of dark (at least 70% cocoa solids) chocolate a day.

If coming up with their own subject for persuasive writing is perfectly possible at 9yo without resorting to Father Christmas, I can't see why it is necessary with a class full of 14yo's. hmm

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