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Behavour management problems

(9 Posts)
Feelingratherembarrased Wed 06-Jan-16 13:30:53

Have name changed for this as I'm feeling pretty embarrassed. I started in a primary school as a PPA cover teacher in Sept. I'm a teaching a subject that has been very badly taught in the past. As a result, it's massively unpopular. I'm working really hard to prepare fun and engaging lessons and to raise the profile of my subject and I think I'm gradually turning things round and making it more enjoyable for most year groups. I feel that the children are actually making some progress now. However, I'm really struggling with behaviour among the year 6 classes. They often don't stop talking when I ask them to, shout out and on several occasions when I've explained that their behaviour is stopping us from getting the work done, they've actually cheered. They just don't understand why they have to do this subject and the lack of respect that they show me is quite shocking. I only see them for an hour every fortnight (so only 8 lessons so far since September) so it's taking time for me to change their attitude to the subject. I've had children shouting at me, refusing to sit down and obviously have dealt with these as they've arisen, but worse I think is the general and fairly consistent low-level behaviour that's holding up the lesson and me constantly going on about it is making a pretty negative environment which isn't improving their enjoyment of the subject! The school has a very strong and consistent behaviour policy which I stick to and I have sent several letters to parents but I'm feeling really ground down with it all. I feel pretty powerless as, being a new, part-time, non-class teacher I don't have a high profile in the school and some children think they can walk all over me.

I'm an experienced teacher and have had my own class for years in other schools with no major behaviour problems so this is all a bit of a shock and I'm really starting to question my own ability. Can anyone give me any pearls of wisdom?

Euphemia Wed 06-Jan-16 16:37:27

What does the class teacher say? And the management?

SisterViktorine Wed 06-Jan-16 16:42:51

What incentives do you have available to you? Could you, for example, book the ICT suite or class set of Ipads for your lesson and have 10minutes free time available on them at the end for anyone who follows a very black and white set of rules. (Finishes work, follows instructions immediately, put hand up to talk etc).

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 06-Jan-16 18:27:52

What are SMT doing? Are they removing children from class? They need to take out the troublemakers and read them the riot act.

I would have them in rows and strategically isolated, if possible. (And as a classroom teacher, I'd support you in doing it). I would praise praise praise anyone who looked as though they were getting on task with really visible, privileged rewards.

My class are like that all the time, with an added bonus of enjoying flying furniture games- it is really, really hard.

Feelingratherembarrased Wed 06-Jan-16 18:33:46

The management are saying they are going to support me, but we haven't met yet to specifically discuss it. I want to be able to make suggestions to them when we discuss it. The class teachers follow up any consequences that need to be carried out the next day.
An incentive at the end of the lesson is a good idea. I think we've got trapped in a bit of a negative spiral to be honest. I'm conscious of the fact that they are very behind where they should be at this stage and I've been wary of losing time but actually getting the iPads out could be a great incentive.

SisterViktorine Wed 06-Jan-16 18:38:20

Better to have 50 minutes of productive learning and then waste 10 minutes on ipads than 60 minutes where nobody does much of anything.

Feelingratherembarrased Wed 06-Jan-16 19:41:59

I've got them strategically placed around the room thetroublewithangels, although not in rows. Maybe I should try that. In fact one of the issues I had last time was loads of complaining and a couple of children refusing to sit where I'd placed them because they weren't happy with this seating arrangement. All behaviour/sanctions are logged on the system and persistent bad behaviour is flagged up to SMT. Not sure what happens though. I'm concerned that me giving lots of sanctions looks as though I can't cope.

thisismypassword Wed 06-Jan-16 20:29:30

Don't worry about covering the curriculum. Sort the behaviour out first, as trying to get through the work when no one is listening is counter productive. Maybe move away from the subject slightly and do some quiz type lessons, perhaps just general knowledge . You could also have a behaviour lesson or task when you set out your stall again. Sounds like you need to go back to basics with this class. Easier said than done. I work in a challenging schools and you really need the senior leadership in your side. Get the headteacher to sit in on one of the classes of you can stomach it.

Feelingratherembarrased Wed 06-Jan-16 21:07:21

Thanks thisismypassword. I did exactly that last term when I realised how big the problem was. We did some computer work vaguely around the topic and I did a quiz with them. That did help but every time I stray back to the actual subject they really struggle. The DH is going to work with me but the trouble is, if the DH is in the room the behaviour is going to be fine! Still it's good to know that the things people on here are suggesting are things that I'm doing on the whole.

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