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Low Level Disruption - I'm tired.

(21 Posts)
Feebeela Fri 27-May-16 21:25:53

Have struggled this year with Y5 class share. The class has a large group of very early adolescent, moody girls. We have other behaviour issues too but this is my bugbear. Think eye rolling, constant chatting, not really listening, interrupting me when teaching, arguing with me ("We go to lunch at 12!" "No, we go at 12:30. Get back to your work, thank you!") They are horrid to others, go to the toilet or ask at least twice a lesson. Their work ethic is poor although they are a fairly bright bunch. One to one, I have a decent relationship with them but as a group I am finding myself having to check my rising temper. It makes me so sad that these girls interrupt other children's learning. They have sucked my attention away from children that need it and take away learning opportunities from the class as a whole. We calculated that we lose on average 10 minutes each lesson, which is one lesson a week in Maths and English.
I've tried tactical ignoring but that leads to rising noise levels and they just cluster round each other discussing the latest drama.
Today, I realised, I'm tired. I haven't enjoyed this class this year. I haven't taught my best because I feel so frustrated. How do you deal with this kind of behaviour? Does your school have a policy about such low level disruption?

Acopyofacopy Fri 27-May-16 21:32:50

Sympathy, but not much advice as I teach secondary.
Do you know class dojo? I have used this successfully with unruly year 10 year 7 classes.
Phone call home roulette? Make a big mysterious show of drawing one name at the beginning of the session, reveal name at the end, "winner" gets a positive or negative call home, up to them.

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 27-May-16 21:48:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feebeela Fri 27-May-16 21:49:21

Thank you for your suggestions. Our HT doesn't like extrinsic rewards for behaviour we expect anyway and, having been through "stay on green" and dojos, I agree. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bravado "I don't care!" when I say that I'll talk to parents at pick up. TBH, I think that the parents are just as frustrated. There hasn't been a lot of 'NO" in these girl's lives......

Feebeela Fri 27-May-16 21:55:41

SLT aren't much use; in fact, I heard one of the girls say that she loved going to the DH as she's not strict and all you need to do is sit and write a letter! hmm My PL is not a pleasant person to ask for support. She's belittling and will use it for laughs down the pub with her 'gang'. But that's another thread!
As for waste my time/waste your time - yes, yes but this is part of why I'm tired. I haven't had a proper lunch break (i.e without any chn in my room all year)
Attitude I got in spades!

jeavcike Fri 27-May-16 22:16:52

I haven't got much to offer apart from sympathy. I had a class like that, in a school where the SLT didn't seem to give a fig, and it sucked all the joy, passion and enthusiasm I had for my job. I left that Easter and have been on supply pretty much ever since.

clam Sat 28-May-16 00:53:09

When you say class share, who are you sharing with and for what proportion of time? Do you have the same expectations?

Sounds to me as if you're maybe being too nice! Don't feel guilty about getting a little sharper with them. Sounds like you all might benefit of you did.

And remember, only a few more weeks until the year end! smile

SisterViktorine Sat 28-May-16 07:26:16

How many of them are there? Can you sit them all separately? Have rows instead of groups and dot them around- reserve a desk in the corridor for the ringleader during independent work?

Do you get on with your job share and are they having the same issues?

I would have thought SLT and PL would be keen on getting this sorted now considering they are about to go into Y6.

Lizziewarmington Sat 28-May-16 07:30:53

My class this year are exactly the same although we also have parents who baby them and have low expectations; " Don't worry darling if you're too tired for homework mummy will tell the teacher" I'm frustrated more than tired as I've had to turn into the teacher I don't want to be. I've had enough too and wish I'd sorted it sooner. As of 2 weeks ago it's been zero tolerance and 4 very strict class rules that we stick to without exception. Exhausting but it is beginning to pay off. Must be great to be in a school with a clear, consistent behaviour policy.

cansu Sat 28-May-16 07:38:58

Something for them to be doing every minute of timetabled time. Eg come in in the morning do spelling sheets and handwriting. Finished early do word search or other extra task. I find when they have loads to do they are better. Very structured lessons. Zero tolerance using whatever behaviour system or warning system the school uses. Massive rewarding of those doing the right thing. Very descriptive praise eg that's a great answer, just what I was looking for. I like what you said about ... Send little notes or postcards home for those doing well. Don't make a big thing out of it, just do it without mentioning it. The kids will tell the others and you may find you change the culture into a more positive one. Apologies if you are doing all this and they are still awful. Sometimes the class just doesn't gell or function well due to the mix of kids. I have also experienced this. I also go with the fake it approach. Try not to show that you find them frustrating. I tell my class that they are a lovely class even when I may not think so. The last thing you want is for them to have the oh she hates us approach as this can make it harder to get the good ones and the parents onside.

echt Sat 28-May-16 08:59:21

Your share teacher is your first call. You need to have precisely the same expectations.

echt Sat 28-May-16 09:07:36

Sorry, just read SLT don't have have your back. Sorry, you're fucked. sad

Doowrah Sat 28-May-16 09:17:14

You have my sympathy...something similar in my class this year...I am a nice person who has been very mean all year just to get them all where they need to be...it is tiring, the entitled precious princess syndrome and their parents are usually the first ones in complaining they are not learning...that would be because she does not shut up or focus ever...oh I am sorry of course my mistake it is me I am just crap.😌

IoraRua Sat 28-May-16 12:07:52

Cansu has given excellent advice.

Phone calls home are huge imo. Ring the parents, let them know what is happening. I'd also call some parents of the good kids to praise them. Keeping the well behaved ones onside is key.

Have clearly laid out rules and expectations, and pull them up every time when they step out of line. Dojo points etc are good.
I'd also change the seating layout in the room, sometimes shaking it up can be good to help reset the atmosphere, so to speak.

One year one of the resource teachers in my school used to take any kids who reached a certain amount of behaviour points out of the room for half an hour on a Friday to do cooking, art etc while I kept any in that hadn't hit the target and we worked. Even if you were able to divide the ones who messed and send them into other classes with worksheets to sit down the back you could do it. You'd need to speak to other teachers and principal about it obviously though.

Low level disruption is absolutely shit, you've my sympathies. I had a few classes like that where it was absolutely joyless having to work with them.

PurpleAlerts Sat 28-May-16 13:48:16

Calling the parents with the child present is a good strategy. Explain the problem to the parents and watch them squirm! They might be all bravado and act like they don't care but hearing a cold truth about themselves, especially when you explain how they are damaging another child's learning opportunities, quite often has the desired effect.

You have my sympathies- year 5 is the worst for this especially at this time of year when they are nearing the top of the school.

momtothree Sat 04-Jun-16 15:41:09

We have raffle tickets - the more tickets the better chance of a prize

Also Dojos -

Phone calls home

Star of the week

Class champion for hard work

Secret praise for doing something good without being asked - nominated by students - read out in assembly

A behaviour sheet for reflection of their behaviour

Writing out class rules

Kept in at break for not finishing work

Strikes for the next big event - school disco or trip - 3 and you miss it

Apology letter to teacher for behaviour (they hate it)

But you need to be consistent

And YY to boggle or a long word to search for smaller words (exemplary - play me marl etc - easy and quick) same for maths - like count down.

Effic Sat 04-Jun-16 16:00:43

Partner class with younger (but not much younger) class - I'd go for year 3. Have a table put in the back of this class and give the teacher work packs that cover the whatever you are teaching.
Do a circle time style lesson every day first thing about what learning attitudes they need to be ready for y 6. Focus on maturity and independence - it may not be 'cool' to be 'good' but it's definitely not cool to be immature and "need more of teacher's help because you are still so immature". Make any that "can't cope with you expectations of maturity" sit with you to "help them." Lots of praise for the "grown up mature ready for y6" girls. Talk to these other girls like younger children and explain to them (and the class) why you are doing it. Over do the "pity" that they are just SO babyish - poor things. Just not grown up enough to cope or behave!
And when you've had enough - send them to year three teacher who can say the same things & then they can work at a table in the y3 class.
Try everything you can to make this behavior not cool because it's so immature and take this route with the parents too.

Good luck - it's really tough. If you are in England - not long to go!!

kesstrel Sun 05-Jun-16 11:18:36

Just curious here... do any of you think they would be better off sitting in rows facing the front most of the time at this age, rather than around tables? Not only would it help with disruption, it would make it easier for the children who have to twist around in their chairs to see the teacher or the whiteboard. Also, when my daughter was bullied in Year 5, I'm sure sitting at tables was a contributory factor.

IoraRua Sun 05-Jun-16 16:00:54

When teaching 4th, 5th or 6th class (Ireland - that's ages about 9 - 13) I often put them in arranged seats in a horseshoe shape, with empty space in the middle or single desks for troublemakers. It did help a lot with behaviour management - so yes. And I found they liked it as it was reflecting seating in secondary, rather than 'babyish' primary group tables. But it depends on the class.

kesstrel Sun 05-Jun-16 16:50:22

Yes, I can remember feeling very grownup when I was old enough to move from tables to desks (this was in the U.S.). But I've read several teachers commenting that they wouldn't be allowed to arrange the tables in rows in their schools here. I do think it's a shame - it really should be up to the teacher's discretion.

IoraRua Sun 05-Jun-16 17:29:41

Oh I can absolutely imagine some schools being very strict on seating. I think the English system is generally more rules focused than ours, that's the impression I get from here and people I know working in it.
Real shame if that's the case though as it genuinely does work with difficult classes! And there's nothing preventing pair work. As for group work, you can always move tables again.

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