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Sitting on behaviour

(35 Posts)
phlebasconsidered Fri 07-Mar-14 19:14:10

How long? How long should it take? I've forgotten.
I've had my new class two weeks now.The Ta says they are improving. She says she doesn't dread coming to work now. We've had PSHE circle time and they've identified what they are improving on ( neatness in work, amount of work) and what they need to improve ( listening) and so on.

But, they listen fairly well, but never fully, and I wait until everyone is ready. No fiddling, no talking, death stares. Sometimes takes minutes. Eats into every lesson. 10 minutes upwards.
Am using behaviour chart assidously. Children don't care.
Am marking work every night to give feedback and NS, children don't care.
Speaking to children individually, setting individual behaviour targets, children don't care.

Tried contacting parents. Only a few care.
I have wandering, talking, arguing, answering back, fights at playtime that spill over into class, and many social issues. 3 SEN kids who really need one on one but don't have it. 3 others in need. Kids who throw furniture, who punch.

Today I identified 2 hungry children.

I would say that 2/3 of the class are really trying for me now, but don't have the discipline to do it full time, and that last third are making me cry. What can I do with a child who is literally headbanging?

I've been a bit weepy this week.

In circle time they said "we are getting better at having teachers". They've had 3 since Sept. I welled up.

Hints, tips, i'm in work at 7 leaving at 5 and my own kids hate me.

Sorry for length. Friday download.

Littlefish Fri 07-Mar-14 19:17:43

What year/how old?

It sounds like you are doing really well. If you are their 3rd teacher since September, it will take a while to convince them that you are here to stay.

What support is available through the SENCO? Is it possible to arrange for the learning or behaviour support team from the local authority to come in, observe you and the class, and help you develop some additional strategies?

phlebasconsidered Fri 07-Mar-14 19:40:36

Year 5. I hope the LEA Behaviour lady is in next week. Before I have a breakdown! She came in week one wholeschool and basically told me to do what I was doing anyway. I suppose i'm lacking confidence. A few other staff members are helpful, and the school is supportive as a whole ( it has to be, SM!)I suppose I just feel outnumbered!

This week we have had had circle time about learning behaviour, identified strengths and weaknesses, i've organised the day so it's regular every day, they've all got new books to a set standard, i've chased homework, marked every night etc etc.

I've sorted out a book corner, given them a GR timetable, all drawers, seating plans, Kagans, etc, none of which was in place. They seem to like it. They are better in very controlled lessons: the old school, here are questions, do them. The sort we are not allowed to do anymore. They are happy and secure doing that. They feel like they can achieve. When we have to do "now" lessons, with interactivity, groups, partners etc, they fail because they don't have the discipline or the skills. i feel like I should be allowed to "train" them first with "bad" lessons, but SM means no, I can't. They themselves admit they can't "do" active lessons. They love questions and workbooks because they can focus. I'm sort of stuck between what I know would work and what is alllowed. I have had an Ob in week 1(!) which said it needs to be "wow" and so on.

I suppose I feel pressured because i'm new to them and we are SM, the heat is on.

On the plus side, three students have come to me and said they like school now.

Nonplussed really. And knackered. Every Sunday i can't sleep and I can't leave it alone.

bigTillyMint Fri 07-Mar-14 19:59:10

It sounds like you are doing brilliantlysmile

I would say don't take their attitude personally - they have had a crap year so far. Don't try to "get them to like you" by being nice/too lenient - stick to the rules, fairness and being consistent, but make adjustments for SEN, obviously. And don't forget how effective praise/rewards can be in getting them to do what you want them to do - verbal, stickers, certificates, class reward time, etc.

And look after yourself - you need to relax and unwind at the end of each day if you are to be calm and consisent enough the next daywink

gloucestergirl Fri 07-Mar-14 20:09:23

Oh my god! It sounds like that you are doing a great job. As a teacher (secondary), there is no way that I'd have the energy to do all that you are doing. Give yourself a break. They sound like a confused and "challenging" class (hate that expression but so much nicer than the one I have in my head). You are getting positive remarks from the kids. That is like gold-dust! If you work really hard like this, then it will pay off later and then you can relax (a little bit).

I feel for you about the lessons that you know work and what you have to do. Pain in the arse.

I hope that the rest of the year gets better and remember that friday nights are for big glasses of wine wine.

phlebasconsidered Fri 07-Mar-14 20:20:34

Thankyou! I am pouring a big glass after spending an hour dog training with my kids. Feel calmer now. It's so all consuming!

I just feel that I will take the rap for non progress this year. When actually, it will be progress if their learning behaviour improves, they are ready to learn, and aware of it.

Teaching is not how it used to be. I still love it, but I don't know how I can ever have enough hours for it, a needy class, and my own young family. Every weekday night is work, every weekend evening is work.

And the crux of it is, I am taking this class home. I really love them already. I had a supply today while I had a meeting and I was all "They've been doing really well, I really want them to continue, here are the stickers" in LOUD voice. And he said they were brill. They were all hanging on approval when I got back. They really want to do it, but they can't do it quickly or without constant reminders.

I am with them till July. I want them a team, a working unit, and individually functioning as kids who want to learn by then. i am an idiot and idealistic. If I can do that, my own kids will hate me because I will never see them!

superlambanana Fri 07-Mar-14 20:33:02

If you've achieved that much in two weeks, when they've had two teachers before which will have unsettled them, I'd say you're doing pretty darn well! I'm sorry I don't have anything constructive to as but just wanted to say that you sound like a fab teacher smile In terms of lessons, I would say do what works. I've come to the conclusion that you're often damned either way with Ofsted so go with the way that is most likely to benefit the children and make sure you can justify it.

fatcheeks1 Fri 07-Mar-14 20:34:43

The last bit of your post resonates with me as that is exactly how I feel.My home life is suffering so much and I don't have young kids but your kids always need you.I think you are doing really really well.I would join you with a glass of wine but it means I have to go out and get some and I'm knackered:>(.

SpecialCircumstances Fri 07-Mar-14 20:48:44

I think many children who feel insecure about themselves/ school like 'old fashioned' style lessons- no surprises, don't have to struggle with working as part of a team and they can see exactly what they need to do.
Not much help with ofsted though!
I use a timetable for each session with symbols of what kind of activity we'll be doing, introduce things like talking partners, whizzy stuff slowly and use lots of what they're comfortable with.
Is there any budget for snack? Daily toast and milk can have a huge impact on behaviour, social skills etc. Also forest school/outdoor learning is great if you can and when you can trust them a bit more.

phlebasconsidered Fri 07-Mar-14 21:23:42

Thanks so much! I would love milk and snack. We can always pick up the KS1 free snack leftovers, it just needs organising. It'll be the hard pears no-one wants! I have just devised lesson plans for the SEn that show what will happen in each lesson, I must do a big one for the non-sen! I will try outside, I suppose I am leery of it given their behaviour, but they might surprise me and be fab!

SpecialCircumstances Sat 08-Mar-14 17:28:04

Ps are you an Ian m banks fan by any chance?

phlebasconsidered Sat 08-Mar-14 18:20:26

I certainly am, Special Circumstances.... you too? I recognised it! I am such a IMBanks geek.

SpecialCircumstances Sun 09-Mar-14 14:22:34

Yes! I love banks- player of games is my current fave

phlebasconsidered Sun 16-Mar-14 16:55:31

Reanimating this thread!

So, I got for that initial observation, only a few days into my new class, a Level 3 with hints of 2.

All behaviour related and the starting task wasn't "wow" enough. Since then I've had endless pop-ins and the Head informed me that she'll give me a week and then the "proper" obs start. Nnngh.

Anyway, I think I have made progress. The TA told me that she no longer feels like crying every day and she thinks they are responding. I have about 2 / 3 of the kids starting to say "Ssh!" to the naughties. The naughties are no longer getting the attention from their tables so they are racheting up the naughty behaviouor: I've responded sccording to school policy and dealt with it. They will get worse before they get better. I've phoned home. I've handed out awards and fanta to the writers, mathematicians, and behaving kids. I've held circle time every week, we've designed our own rules, and i've made a board on the wall for their own peer awards. We have totally new dispays, we have totally new books.

But: they still shout out, despite never getting a response, they still wander, and the naughties still won't work. I've got one that walks out of the class, another who barks, and one who throws things. I am distressed in that I will fail the next obs, as even though some of them have made progress ( through weekly mental maths and daily grammar), if I am obs, then the naughties will make it a fail.

We had a lovely lesson last week where they all gave speeches as a group, demonstrating clearly that they had "got" the features of the writing, but then the next lesson it was chaos. Anything "up" and active, then means the next lesson is a write off. I can't do a whizz bang lesson with them yet.

Plus the parents are unsupportive: one of them told me her child never did anything wrong and berated me in front of the class until I managed to wangle her out of the room to SMT.

I think I did the wrong thing in returning to work. I'm marking as much as I can: I'm in at 7, working till 5, having a few hours with my kids then up till 11. But I can't keep up and I have no life. I said to myself that I would have Sunday off, having spent Sat planning and levelling writing, and i'm sat here worrying.

Plus the school is edging out teachers left right and centre using all sorts of methods. I am sad.

BUT: the kids did design us a class doorplate, and when I said they had responsibility for 2 display boards and it was completely up to them, one of them said "But everything we do is shit Miss". Now they love that corner, they leap in of a morning and ask to do stuff for it ( they are decorating it with book characters, maps from books, reviews, and their own comic strips).

AAARGH! Sorry for rant.

TawdryTatou Sun 16-Mar-14 17:06:25

You are inspirational.

Fuck Ofsted, focus on the kids.

And give yourself a break. At the end of the day, it is a job. A vocation, yes, but also a job.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 16-Mar-14 17:10:26

Have you tried Whole Brain Teaching?

phlebasconsidered Sun 16-Mar-14 17:14:34

Thankyou Tawdry. Am pouring a glass of pinot to have with tea.
Funky BoldRibena: class name. Nope, will google it!

fatcheeks1 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:53:27

It sounds like you are doing a smashing job, I've been thinking of you and wondering how you were getting on.I'm in exactly the same position but have a reception class, would never get a 'good' even though they are making progress:>(.

phlebasconsidered Mon 17-Mar-14 21:17:51

Well, the post is up for perm. in September. I was in the classroom when a lady came round to see it. I restrained myself from shouting "RUN AWAY!" I don't think i'll be applying, although I have been "invited" to. I would rather go to supply. After July I am going to give serious consideration as to whether I want this anymore.

I had a look at WBT. It's mad! I pinched the rules though. But the parroting back would lead to more chaos I fear. I can see it working in the USA but not in my school, where it's all child led and groupy tasks, if you want to succeed, whizz bang every five minutes. No rote allowed. We are already Kagan'd up to the hilt to the extent that I am pretty sure the kids, as well as me, want to yell "I am not a number!"

At least when I was on supply I didn't bring home such piles, and I wasn't expected to perform miracles. I know one thing, I'll be backing off sharpish from any academies. After a bit, they'll all be like Logan's Run, populated entirely by teachers under 28 who are willing to work for 24 hours a day and no rights, perpetually creating amazing IWB shows. "Cull" is not too strong a word for what is happening.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 17-Mar-14 21:51:58

Oh my goodness you are doing such wonderful things for those children. Observation criteria make me want to weep. Those kids are going to remember you for ever.

breatheslowly Mon 17-Mar-14 22:17:05

Other than telling you to improve, is your head giving you any practical advice to help you improve?

phlebasconsidered Tue 18-Mar-14 21:13:28

I've had a behaviour specialist in, who said I was doing everything that I was meant to be doing.
No other advice.
I always seem to have pop-ins the lesson AFTER they've been working really well.
I was thinking of going for the perm post but i'm really put off now.
No staff members smile.

breatheslowly Tue 18-Mar-14 21:40:53

Don't run yourself into the ground. I think you need to look for some way of stopping this from eating up your whole life. In the end, the children will be best served by you lasting until July, even if you need to cut something back a bit to acheive this.

phlebasconsidered Tue 18-Mar-14 21:53:47

You are right. I need to take a hint from your name! I have just had a chat with my OH and we spoke about the imapct of work on my kids, us. It is overwhelming. Supply, whatever the pay implication, will mean we are all happier. I shall focus on making the class feel they are growing and progressing, and try to smile!

breatheslowly Tue 18-Mar-14 22:08:31

The best lesson I ever observed was by a teacher who worked on a cycle of 2 weeks of outstanding lessons, 2 weeks off sick. The pupils would have been much better off with a "good enough" teacher who was there consistently. She then went off to work in teacher training, which I thought was probably potentially damaging for the trainees.

The culture that you are working in sounds pretty toxic. As an individual class teacher you won't really be able to have a positive impact on it.

Is the head new or was the OFSTED during their headship?

I find it odd that head teachers can be so poor at coaching and supporting their staff. They should have transferable skills from their own teaching experience that enables them to support staff better than your head is doing. You'd hardly ask a pupil to improve without providing them with support, skills, resources etc. It sounds like the head will be looking for scapegoats.

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