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Teachers- may I ask why some do this?

(66 Posts)
Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 11:18:12

Apologies for the brief OP but waiting to be called in for an appointment.

Why do some teachers move ‘naughty’ children next to well behaved ones with the hope that the better behaved one will influence them and settle them down.

It’s unfair on those children to now have to sit next to a disruptive pupil.

This happens to my son and they ruin lessons for him, chair being kicked, swearing, etc etc. I’ve seen it on Educating Greater Manchester this week too.

What’s the rational behind it? Thanks.

HolidayHelpPlease Fri 13-Oct-17 13:47:31

Exactly what you just said. Hoping the good ones will be a positive influence on the badly behaved ones, or to break up friendship groups in the class so they don’t disrupt one another.
Seating plans are not set in stone. Tell your child to go and have polite and quiet word with his teachers - providing he is being reasonable most teachers would move him.

Whinesalot Fri 13-Oct-17 13:49:46

It makes for an easier life for them. But make your opinion quietly but firmly known and they should do something about it. If not escalate.

seven201 Fri 13-Oct-17 13:52:19

Because if you put all the naughty ones together no one is going to learn anything. Unless there's a good leadership team who will help deal with the 'bad' ones. Depending on your dc's age either you or he needs to ask the teacher to change the seating plan. I've always changed mine if asked.

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 14:24:56

Just seems unfair that because he’s quiet and listens he has to put up with abusive toe rags who can’t control themselves.

He’s in the first year of high school so year 9.

Eolian Fri 13-Oct-17 15:52:47

It's not so much that they are putting a naughty child next to a specifically well-behaved child, it's usually more that they are trying to separate the naughty ones from each other, which is a perfectly sensible thing to do.

BarbarianMum Fri 13-Oct-17 15:57:25

How much learning do you think your child will be doing in class if all the disruptive kids are sat together? That's what happened at my old school and believe me, this is much better. If the child your son is partnered with is particularly obnoxious then he /you could ask for a swap.

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 15:59:44

No it’s been presented to us as ‘hoping ds will be a good influence’.

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 16:00:51

It’s more that he’s already an anxious child (he has in school help with this) and this isn’t helping that.

SipsiCat Fri 13-Oct-17 16:02:05

I think it comes from the concept of 'positive role modelling', the disruptive child copying the positive behaviour of the other child. Of course whether it works or not is another thing.....

Smartiepants79 Fri 13-Oct-17 16:04:12

Separating those children who struggle to behave in the classroom hopefully dilutes the issues and makes learning possible for most of the time.
The better behaved ones also can be role models and prevent behaviours from escalating as the child is not getting the response they were after.
It can work quite well with younger children but I don't know how effective it is in the age of child you're talking about.
A good teacher should be swapping the children around every so often so no one child deals with the distractions for too long.
There is no perfect solution to this, all classes have challenging children and staff and children alike have to develop strategies to deal with it.

Yvetteballs Fri 13-Oct-17 16:07:03

I think that because your son is an anxious child they have made a wrong choice. Contact head of year. Let them know the detrimental effect and ask for a seating change.

Yvetteballs Fri 13-Oct-17 16:08:50

Also, your son won’t be a good influence if he’s anxious. He’ll become withdrawn and the other boy will seek entertainment by shouting across to his friends on other tables.

BlessYourCottonSocks Fri 13-Oct-17 21:02:19

It is very difficult, to be frank. As others have said, putting a group of disruptive children together means no one will learn. Sometimes you have to go for damage limitation.

One of the worst things to deal with is low level disruption. Constant chat, giggling, off task etc. I have found that if I arrange my seating plan so that pupils are next to someone they genuinely do NOT want to talk to this often helps. So, quiet little girls may be seated next to daft boys, and gobby girls next to studious boys they despise and don't want to chat to.

I understand it can be not nice for some kids - but what can the teacher do in some situations?

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 21:23:52

How do you think those quiet little girls or studious boys feel about it? Or don’t you care? Do you just feel they should get in with it and adjust to any situation you throw at them?

Ds has some subjects now that he really dreads. He has just about settled with the change of schools and now the anxiety of sitting with these gobby boys is shredding his nerves.

I think I will draft an email to the teachers concerned this weekend. Sometimes they don’t know best. Not for my child anyway. It may be great for the wayward ones but that’s not my problem. I have to be an advocate for ds.

BlessYourCottonSocks Fri 13-Oct-17 21:40:50

You asked for the rationale behind it.

I generally find that it quietens the class down. Gobby girls often want to sit and gossip about stuff with their friends. They don't particularly want to talk to a studious boy who is getting on with his work. So they don't disrupt him - or the rest of the class. Bored, with no one to talk to, they generally then settle down and get on with what they should be doing.

If I leave them near their friends - or the daft boys - they giggle, chat, and don't get on, and my attention is then having to be on them and sorting out the behaviour. Meaning I can't actually teach, or help the quieter pupils who do want to learn, who are anxious about their learning being disrupted, and who may not understand something - but cannot get help whilst I am being forced to deal with low level disruption, instead of teaching. That's the rationale.

If he was next to someone who was swearing and kicking his chair they would be removed from the lesson instantly however.

musicalmama Fri 13-Oct-17 21:53:29

It depends on the severity of the problem. One very disruptive child gets sat alone in my class. Any more than that and it's a seating plan for the whole class, nice kids and bad ones mixed in. If it's just a small group of chatty low performers I sit them together and then get on with the rest of the class before visiting their table to provide extra support once the lesson has started. I'd ask the teacher if the kid can be moved elsewhere, or at least on a weekly rota so not to disturb the same child all the time, in this case, your ds. Parents have all the power and if you don't ask, you don't get.

cansu Fri 13-Oct-17 21:59:08

it's surely not that hard to work out?? A chatterbox next to a child who doesn't chat much is bound to encourage chatterbox to talk less. A disruptive child next to a child who is a hard worker is bound to lead to less disruption. The teacher has a responsibility to get the best out of every child including the disruptive child. As mentioned earlier if the disruptive child is wasting lesson time, this is bad news for everyone in the room. It would only be an issue if it didn't work or if the same child was seated next to the disruptive child all day, every day. A good seating plan allows for a harmonious classroom where everyone can work. Seating all the well behaved kids together is not necessarily the best practice.

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 22:00:29

I know I did and I do understand from the answers here so thank you.

However, it’s probably as I thought, it’s done with my son’s best interests at the bottom of the pile so I need to say something. I though I might be missing something and they could be trying a two pronged approach but essentially it’s because it makes life easier for the teacher. I get that it could make the class easier to teach and therefore more learning, however the opposite is the outcome for ds.

Appuskidu Fri 13-Oct-17 22:02:30

What do you think the class would be like if all of the loud and more challenging children were all seated together?

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 22:13:50

That’s not my job to sort. My role is to make sure my son is not made to feel even more anxious about school than he already does. What do you think will happen to him if he is continued to be subjected to this?

BlessYourCottonSocks Fri 13-Oct-17 22:27:40

It is not done with "your son's interests at the bottom of the pile". Nor is it simply to make life easier for the teacher. Teachers have to maximise the learning of every student in their class - and so a good seating plan will take this into account. It does not mean that every single one of the 30 students in there will get their ideal seat or companion. What it means is that the teacher has looked at the variety of personalities and abilities in there and tried to work out what will work best for the majority. You can't please all of the people all of the time. If they move your son to where you would prefer, perhaps next week they will have 3 parents phoning to complain. Teachers can't win, often.

However, you don't appear to understand what lots of us are telling you, so that's fine.

Snap8TheCat Fri 13-Oct-17 22:35:35

Well I do understand. Just because I don’t agree with it doesn’t mean I don’t understand.

Postagestamppat Fri 13-Oct-17 23:05:45

I understand where you are coming from. I would also be very upset as a parent if my son was becoming anxious as a result. But as a teacher I also know that sitting plans like this are an effective way of dealing with behaviour problems. Every teacher knows that if 1-5 kids -- little shits-- were excluded from their class then the other students could sit with whom they liked and the teacher could teach wonderful lessons. But that's not reality.

It sounds like your son has been used as the "positive role model" in several different subjects. You should absolutely contact the school. But be careful how you go about it. Some schools live in fear of parental complaints, while others treat parents as children and have a "how dare you question my authority" attitude.

Ask your son which subjects. Email the subject teacher directly with the head of department cc-ed. And then the head of year. My advice is to emphasise the effect on his learning as well his anxiety. Most teachers are conscientious and caring so would hopefully move him out of empathy, but some may need to motivated by the potential of dropping grades.

Also an sympathic yet comprehensive approach with appropriate language will yield much better results than going in all guns blazing. That only alienates and is easier brush off as that parent.

If this doesn't work move up the chain to SLT. Accept your son may have to suck up one subject in which is he sitted next to a trouble maker ("more disruptive student").

And remember if your son is moved another quiet kid gets his place.

lozengeoflove Fri 13-Oct-17 23:14:25

With all due respect, postage, the suggestion that SLT would even entertain the thought of trying to sort out a teacher's seating plan is rather ridiculous.

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