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At the end of my tether

(12 Posts)
Musicalmistress Wed 15-Mar-17 19:19:45

Took over a P7 class a few days a wk just before Christmas. They are a large class with a group of boys who completely disregard instructions, think class/school behaviour expectations don't apply to them and are so rude, cheeky and disrespectful when spoken to about their behaviour. They have conversations across the classroom whilst I am speaking/teaching, are forever niggling at each other and telling on each other.The teacher who has them the rest of the week is having the same issues and is feeling the same way.
We are both following the school's behaviour policy consistently but the consequences seem to have no effect. We have spoken to senior management who recommended individual tables in class (limited space & they don't care) then internal exclusion - sent to another class (usually infants) which sometimes has a small impact short term but sometimes my colleague & I would be as well not even being in class for all the notice they pay. We've contacted parents but the majority are not interested & wouldn't come into school to meet with us and the deputy. I didn't allow them to take part in a fun activity with infants yesterday, gave them a written piece of work instead & spoke to them individually about why they had not been allowed to take part, what expectations were & how without changes in behaviour they would not be allowed to take part in future 'fun' activities - seemed to go ok until they got back to class & started complaining that one boy (very much on the periphery & only very occasionally involved) had not received the same consequence.
Dreading parents night in the next few weeks as I'm sure other parents are going to start to complain about these boys & how we're 'not' handling things.
We are both experienced teachers who have taught difficult children/classes but we are at a loss with how to go forward. The thought of another term with them is making us both so stressed and unwell.
Any suggestions much appreciated, just don't know where to turn any more.

Musicalmistress Wed 15-Mar-17 19:20:21

😱just realised how long my post is, apologies.

RandomMess Wed 15-Mar-17 19:24:22

Not a teacher only a parent!

Can they not be sent to work outside the head's office or similar - I mean utterly boring???

TBH I think the head needs to insist that the parents come in...

Pestilentialone Wed 15-Mar-17 19:25:58

Can you get SMT to put two teachers in the class.
Otherwise without the parents on board these kids will be the same in ten years time resitting their GCSEs at FE college.
Or do you have SMT who might decide to do a graded observation.
flowers

Musicalmistress Wed 15-Mar-17 19:27:52

Thank you for replying. To be honest I don't think the head is interested - biding time till retirement & the deputy has torn a strip off them several times but with no real difference. They're both reluctant to force the issue with parents which is leaving us hanging!

Musicalmistress Wed 15-Mar-17 19:30:48

No chance of 2 teachers - the reason I'm in the class & not doing the role I started the year in is because we're so short staffed. To top it off myself & my colleague are part of SMT, although at the more junior end ☹️️

RandomMess Wed 15-Mar-17 19:36:16

sad

How about phoning the parents every day between you, perhaps harassing them means they will at least get told off at home?

RainbowChasing Wed 15-Mar-17 19:44:33

I don't have any advice but just thought I'd give you my sympathies as I am in a similar situation. My class are Year 1 but are uncontrollable. They were dreadful in Pre-school and Reception, and they are just as bad this year- disruptive, violent, refusing to do tasks, constantly bickering, doing spiteful things, telling tales, ignoring instructions etc etc. I job share and I have tried everything I can to get them to behave appropriately. The woman I job share with is also at the end of her tether. Between us we have 30 years of teaching experience but we are at a loss as to what we can do. The headteacher is unsupportive and acts as if we are making a fuss over nothing. Her suggestion is to send the "naughty" ones to her to deal with or to sit them outside the classroom on their own all day which is not at all what either of us want to do because 1) the children don't respect her and don't listen to her threats and 2) they are 5 and 6 years old and should not be left alone outside the classroom. A third of the class have terrible behaviour issues and it is now impacting dreadfully on the rest of the class both academically and behaviourally. Some of the parents are supportive but they can't control their kids at home either so are worn down by it and say the right things but aren't really prepared to work with us, and some of the parents are in denial and blame the others kids. My colleague had confided in me that she is planning on handing in her notice this week as she's had enough of them. She is so stressed that I suspect she will go on sick leave until her notice period ends. I have to confess that the thought of handing in my notice has also crossed my mind. They have destroyed any love of teaching that I have and I can't face another class like this one. The current Reception class also has a reputation and I don't think I can manage another struggle of a year like this one. I feel utterly miserable and despondent about this class but also with teaching in general and I think this class has been the kiss of death to my teaching career. My dh has told me to just leave and get a part time job somewhere else and I am seriously considering this now. It's sad as I've always loved teaching but I am literally at breaking point.

RainbowChasing Wed 15-Mar-17 19:46:50

Should also add that my TA has also just handed in her notice due to this class. It's just a dreadful situation sad

Finola1step Wed 15-Mar-17 19:48:19

If the Head won't back you by insisting that the parents come in, then you are on a hiding to nothing.

So next stage is Divide and Conquer. Separate these boys at every single opportunity. Keep removing privileges. Talk to each one in turn on their own. Make it clear that you know that they are not the ring leader and just following their friends. Don't let any if them.get away with thinking that they are the leader. Keep teaching to the children who want to participate.

But as an SMT member, you need to ask yourself why is your HT so reluctant to tackle this. Look further down the school, are there pockets of this kind of behaviour in younger classes?

BlackCatSmushyFace Wed 15-Mar-17 19:57:28

If the parents won't come in have you considered a home visit yourself?
Might be worth a thought tho I appreciate would take time that you probably don't have.

BlessYourCottonSocks Thu 16-Mar-17 22:13:41

Do you have a system of detention? I found when I worked in a really challenging school that name and 3 ticks on the board meant that I automatically had the pupil removed from the lesson. If I had to have a pupil removed I gave an hour's after school detention every single time. It didn't take pupils long to work out that it wasn't worth pushing the boundaries. I know it sounds simplistic, but basically you need to make the consequences unpleasant enough that the behaviour is not worth it.

I would have thought that as SMT you have the power to be setting out a firm zero tolerance of poor behaviour. Don't follow the rules/behaviour expectations and you will be removed, and make up the time in detention. Don't turn up to detention - it will be escalated to isolation, then exclusion, etc....etc. It worries me somewhat that you are part of SMT and Y7 boys appear to be able to do as they like with no consequences. (Not a criticism of you per se...but I wonder about what's going on in the place if Y7 have so little respect for two senior members of staff - what the heck is going on with bottom set Y9/10 for example?)

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