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Lost all confidence in my abilities

(9 Posts)
SagelyNodding Thu 02-Feb-17 20:04:15

Wrote a massive post but lost it...in a nutshell, please please please help me by giving me your behaviour management tips-especially for my most awful class of year 9s-they are making me want to quit teaching and run far far away (especially as the parents are as bad as the kids).

Im not a qualified teacher (in forrin parts) I'm studying for the exams while working and raising a family and I think I might break soon-so stressed and anxious I've lost 6kg, cry about work, dread certain lessons...surely it shouldn't be this hard?

KinkyDoritowithsparkleson Fri 03-Feb-17 15:10:01

I'm assuming you follow the behaviour policy to the letter with no wiggle room - be ultra strict.

Teach in rows, not in groups. If tables are set out as groups, reorganise. They all need to be facing you, not each other. If you must have group work, they can move (but, if they are difficult, do no group work until you have a handle on them). You seat them, ideally boy then girl - do not let them choose their own seat.

Move quickly through tasks. Have something on the board that has to be copied into books as soon as they get in. Make it clear they will stay behind if it is not done/they need more time (for faff reasons, not SEN obviously).

Minimise your own movement - stay where you can see and set tasks they can do that you can oversee from the front or back (standing at the back, where they can't see you but you can watch over them can be very effective). I know this is not ideal, but it is the way to establish your authority and control of them.

Have everything prepared on PowerPoint/Notebook so you don't need to turn to write on the board.

Lavish praise - praise everything you can see that is good behaviour, on task, good work, good attitude. If there is no rewards system, get some stickers to give out.

SagelyNodding Fri 03-Feb-17 18:06:41

Aah thank you! Useful tips! I do follow the (vague) behaviour policy, but I probably don't praise them enough! I need to keep my own stress levels right down which is easier said than done at the moment...I also like to move around a bit too much to check on written work etc.
I need to rethink my lesson plans too-keeping things moving and giving simpler tasks will definitely help.
Thank you again for the advice ☺

teacher54321 Fri 03-Feb-17 18:13:04

Get them to line up outside before the lesson starts-don't let them come into the room until they're quiet, and it stops them coming in in dribs and drabs-it's so disruptive to learning. You get them all sitting down then noisy johnny who's always late to every lesson walks in, trips over a chair on purpose and all hell breaks loose...wink

High expectations, lots and lots of praise but no nonsense. Try to find some common ground with the more tricky ones; e.g. 'Mrs jones told me how well you're getting on in science, is that your favourite subject?' And that can be surprisingly effective.
Humour, get them laughing with you. Pick a topic that you think they'll really engage with and use that to get them onside with some really fun activiTies and then hit 'em with the tricky stuff once they're a bit more onside.

It's so exhausting, but if it's any consolation, my naughtiest classes have always ended up being my absolute favourites and usually once you find your mojo with them, they will defend you to the hilt. Sending you lots of virtual cake and wine to help!

SagelyNodding Fri 03-Feb-17 18:51:30

Thank you for the wine and cake! I do line them up outside, greet each one individually, make them stand behind their desks silently and greet the class in English with them replying together in English before letting them sit. That works-and my starter activities usually work too-any late arrivals get sent to the school office as per the behaviour policy. They are just so easily distracted! Even when they love the topic (Victorians at the moment) anything will set them off! Gah!

teacher54321 Fri 03-Feb-17 18:57:40

Teaching full time whilst having a family is a whole new world of exhaustion unlike anything else I've ever known-and when the kids are being tricky it just makes it so much harder as you don't have endless time to give to planning a million amazing laminated activities differentiated to every individual child in the class. Studying at the same time? You might be my hero! Sounds like you're doing a grand job under tricky circumstances.

SagelyNodding Fri 03-Feb-17 19:14:16

flowers I'm doing my best-never one to back down from a challenge, but this one is breaking me a bit...I need to have a serious think about work/life balance...

teacher54321 Fri 03-Feb-17 19:39:08

Never show fear-it's like working with tigers grin I'm sure you're doing a much better job than you think you are-all teachers are perfectionists!

SagelyNodding Fri 03-Feb-17 20:57:16

I don't fear them individually-I've worked with them in a different (friendlier) capacity for 2 years before switching to teaching! I fear the group effect though...

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