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Relationship with y9girls breaking down

(22 Posts)
harpering Sat 05-May-18 21:06:43

I have a class of y9s. Have got on well with them since I took over the class but it’s breaking down.

Constant talking. I say ssh, they argue.

“It wasn’t even me
“Oh my god, yeah, it’s always us isn’t it”
Huffs, sighs, eye rolling.

It’s getting to the point where I avoid speaking directly to them because they are so rude. I’ve tried speaking to them individually and trying to rebuild things but when they are in a group it proves impossible. Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
bridgetosomewhere Sat 05-May-18 21:29:15

Is it all the girls or one particular group?

If it’s a group could you split them up? Move tables so they are spread out.

Walk around and speak/ teach from where they are in the class so you can nip any talking in the bud with a quick shoulder tap and shh to whoever does the talking?

Or give them a warning that any more disrespect/rudeness will lead to x y z and follow through after first warning. Miss break time or stay in over lunch writing something.

Once they’ve done that once or twice they will hopefully be less inclined to continue.

harpering Sat 05-May-18 21:30:43

The talking does stop but it is the resentment they respond to towards a polite shush I’m concerned about.

OP’s posts: |
castasp Sat 05-May-18 21:48:38

if I get comments along the lines you've described (like "it wasn't even me"), then I say to them "are you arguing with me" (in a VERY strict tone of voice), and then I say "because if you are, you'll be in a detention for arguing with me" - and then follow through. If they carry on trying to answer back - give them a detention, throw them out if necessary (if you have such a system in place).

They are showing a complete lack of respect and defiance and they are trying to become "top dog" in the room - but you are, and you have to remain so!

MyOtherUserNameIsAUnicorn Sun 06-May-18 05:02:01

It could be the polite shhh that's coming across too polite? Maybe ask someone you trust to observe you now... (nip it in the bud) and suggest they focus on shhhhh-ing/ how you communicate that they should stop talking.
The "you -always-pick-on-us" loud, boundary pushing year 9 girl is a tough one at the best of times. They are pushing to see if you are setting strong boundaries. I would start with positive comments - we are being quiet now. Then just wait. Try not to shhh.
Then as soon as they are working pay them all the attention and laud their good work. (I KNOW This seems counter-intuitive, but if they believe you like them and think they are doing well, then this works miracles) Then as soon as they stop, just wait until they work again. They'll soon realise that it's more fun to work and gain the positivity that comes with that!

I hope this helps.

harpering Sun 06-May-18 09:13:33

Well, I do understand what people are saying, but I’m trying to avoid punishments.

For whatever reason, they have the impression that I dislike them and am “picking” on them, obviously it’s absolute nonsense, but fourteen year olds do sometimes think like this.

So we are now in an unpleasant cycle of something very minor happening - yesterday, for example, towards the end of the lesson, we were packing away and someone took Libby’s water bottle. She squealed “give me my water bottle back!”and because I was busy collecting books, I said “oh, Elizabeth, give her her bottle back.” Elizabeth then became enraged because it wasn’t her, it was Imogen. Lots of squabbling “oh yeah, you only ever pick on me, it’s only ever me!” confused

OP’s posts: |
MyOtherUserNameIsAUnicorn Sun 06-May-18 11:38:32

In the beginning ignore the low level and
Celebrate when they do something good. They don't really believe you are picking on them, they are testing your self belief!
If they continue though you must use the consequences outlines in your behaviour policy. They aren't "punishments" as such... they are a consequence of their actions.

MrsBartlettforthewin Sun 06-May-18 11:51:57

First time talking give a warning. If they argue first step of behaviour policy (level 1 and name on board) if no arguing then second time talk gets them the level one etc. Then work through behaviour policy. You just have to be consistent and do the broken record approach with them.

I had this with my year 9 at the start of the year. Clear expectations and consequences means they now toe the line first time of asking. It was hard and tiring but worth the lovely lessons we now have.

EleanorHooverbelt Sun 06-May-18 11:53:37

For whatever reason, they have the impression that I dislike them and am “picking” on them, obviously it’s absolute nonsense, but fourteen year olds do sometimes think like this

They don't sound sensitive at all. They are playing you.

RowenaDedalus Sun 06-May-18 11:55:19

I think this can be a thing with girls, especially Year 9s. The PP who said about top dog is right. Can you notice somethinggood a girl has done and call home and tell parents they've impressed you with their work on blah? sometimes I'll say quietly to one on their way out 'you were fab today, that answer on blah was really interesting'. Obviously not too much as they'll smell a rat, and obviously continue with behaviour policy etc. But they have to get over the whole OMG miss HATES us thing.

RowenaDedalus Sun 06-May-18 11:56:02

They'll find something else to whinge about mind you grin

HidingFromDD Sun 06-May-18 12:24:46

Not a teacher, so can’t advise on that, but as a Mum of 2 yr 9s (now thankfully young adults) I can say it’s a horribly year for girls. All the friendship groups rearrange, there’s constant drama and always someone falling out with someone else. So don’t take it personally 😁

Piggywaspushed Mon 07-May-18 08:02:05

Hmmm... I have had this with a year 10 girl this year (probably worse : she was and is very rude ). I am not a detention giver myself . I lost my rag with her at one point , have to admit.

In the end , I decided she was essentially a toddler seeking attention so I went for tactical ignoring . It hasn't entirely worked but it has reduced my stress levels. Girls tend to do the sulking and manipulation bit more than boys . I would say leave them out of the limelight. Don't give them any oxygen in public. Not sure I agree name on the board will work : they'd love that as written evidence you are picking on them!

This is definitely a bad time of year for year 9 and 10 girls! And probably 8!

Have you tried holding back some of the key girls for a 'motherly chat' without an audience?

ps am presuming those weren't their real names you usedd OP?

Piggywaspushed Mon 07-May-18 08:07:27

To give a concrete example, I would have just ignored the whole water bottle thing. The squealing was done to gain attention from you and others in the room. The bell was about to go, so you could have just left them to continue squealing at each other en route to the next lesson/ lunch/ home...

Don't sweat the small stuff, as they say. (although there are some zero tolerance gurus who say ' we sweat the small stuff' of course!! They are generally consultants and not in a classroom with irritating year 9s)

noblegiraffe Mon 07-May-18 20:12:17

I tend to go for a bright ‘absolutely I’m picking on you. Today I picked on you because you were talking when I was talking. Now I’m picking on you because you’re being rude and wasting lesson time. Do you know what you need to do to stop being picked on? That’s right, behave yourself and give me nothing to pick on. Quite happy to phone your parents and tell them about your behaviour that results in me having to tell you off. Do you want that?’
‘You don’t like me’ gets ‘I don’t like your behaviour’
Basically, they want you on the defensive and trying to justify yourself. Put it back on them and their behaviour.

MrsBartlettforthewin Mon 07-May-18 20:44:13

Noblegiraffe I like that. I have always gone with that sort of idea.

Forget trying to appease them OP they should be toeing the line you set and if they can't there are consequences ( in line with department/school procedure) their behaviour is the issue here and that's what needs addressing.

samlovesdilys Tue 08-May-18 22:00:20

I definitely agree praise is the way to go if you can, I would separate them, talk separately about this giving them an opportunity to get it right, (have you got gcse options coming up? Might be a good way 'in' to the conversation??) accept that they 'feel' picked on but be really clear of your expectations.
Have you spoken to tutor/head of year?? You could also observe how they are in other lessons?? Or speak w someone who manages them more successfully??
A call home could also really work with my yr9s...but I would try to divide and conquer first, if you 'win' even a couple the rest will crumble...
Lastly, I guess just remember they are children and you are the adult...sometimes helps gain a little perspective??

Phineyj Tue 08-May-18 22:08:54

I use noble's method. If it gets bad, I tend to stomp up and down narrating myself e.g. 'this is the bit where I talk and you listen'. Manic grin. 'Now it's the bit where you write some stuff on paper'.

I have discovered year 9 like being given useful jobs to do. My most annoying year 9s turned into a team of useful elves helping me staple and hole punch stuff for sixth form, put year 7 books in alphabetical order and even, once, Windowlene the filthy windows!

Anyway, it's not you, it's the time of year, the temperature and the hormones. If all else fails, make a large chart somewhere they can't see with the remaining dates you have to teach them and cross them off with thick black marker pen. Childish, but satisfying.

MaisyPops Tue 08-May-18 22:11:27

I’m trying to avoid punishments.
And they know this so having realised ypu're trying to get in their good books are starting to treat you like a doormat. You are there to teach, not try to appeal to a y9's version of likeable.

For whatever reason, they have the impression that I dislike them and am “picking” on them, obviously it’s absolute nonsense, but fourteen year olds do sometimes think like this.
Very few 14 year olds ACTUALLY believe you are picking on them.
Most who claim 'miss/sir don't like me' are the ones who try to deflect from their own poor choices and dislike being told they can'r behave how they like.

Last week a similar age student told me that I pick on them. It would seem my crime is expecting them to turn up on time like any other child in the school and be polite to others. Their 'evidence' that I pick on them is that I never tell anyone else off for being late. On pointing out that's because they are the only student who arrives late and they argue back, suddenly they decided I was picking on them. Total bullshit.

In my experience if left to their own devices, Y9 girls who develop pack mentality like that often become y10/11 girls who get increasingly unkind to their peers, spend most of ks4 stirring up drama and become more disruptive in lessons.
Nip it in the bud.

Buxbaum Wed 09-May-18 09:56:26

Don't shush, ever. It doesn't work and it interrupts the flow of your teaching.

New seating plan. Reseat every kid to avoid any accusations of unfairness.

Make sure your room is arranged so that you can easily circulate. If a child starts to chat, move next to them and continue teaching. If they still continue, place a hand on their desk (never on them or their chair). Only if they still persist do you use your voice to issue a sanction.

Star chart for the whole class. Y9 is not too old. I have used one only semi-ironically before now with Y13.

Greet at the door. Catch them being good and praise wherever you can.

RexManning Wed 09-May-18 10:01:05

She squealed “give me my water bottle back!”and because I was busy collecting books, I said “oh, Elizabeth, give her her bottle back.” Elizabeth then became enraged because it wasn’t her, it was Imogen. Lots of squabbling “oh yeah, you only ever pick on me, it’s only ever me!”

Oh, and sorry, but this was a rookie error! Don't turn around, don't engage, simply say "could the person who has taken X's water bottle please return it in the next ten seconds, thank you."

faithinthesound Wed 09-May-18 23:15:41

Agree with the poster who pointed out that they've picked up on you not wanting to give punishments.

Knickers to that. Give punishments. Dish out as many consequences as you have to to make it clear that what you say goes. You're in charge, and they need to feel it.

I'm teaching kids who are a year younger than yours (if the year system matches up, not sure as we are likely in different countries) and I had some similar problems with "you just hate me" or "you're picking on me, it's not fair" whenever I tried to call something out. So I just pulled on my "I don't care" pants and started throwing people out every time they defied me.

That said, a vague disclaimer is no one's friend, so I made it perfectly, painfully clear BEFORE I started throwing people out, what would happen if they defied me, so that they couldn't later say "that's not fair, I didn't know" lol. I told my class, they learn to sit still, listen, and not talk while the teacher is talking in their new entrant year, so if they can't manage it now, at the top of the school, that obviously means they need to go and spend some time with [NE teacher], with whom I have a prior arrangement.

It's nice if your kids like you, but it's far more important that they respect you. Having said that, I've found that having such clear boundaries hasn't necessarily turned my kids off. They seem to really enjoy me (based on, they seek me out for conversation, they wave to me in the playground, they invite me to join their games, they get excited at seeing me out in the real world, etc).

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