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I don't know what the fuck is happening in my school.

(52 Posts)
HarrySnotter Fri 19-Oct-18 21:25:01

The behaviour of some of the children is just so appalling. 90 % of the kids are fantastic, but there is a smallish cohort of children - most Y8s (middle school) who are just behaving so badly that I can't see how it's going to change.

Current head is very much about restorative practice but these kids are literally laughing at him - 'let's see who behaves so badly they get to go for a chat with the old fucker'. Etc.

I walked past a classroom today being taught by a truly wonderful teacher of 20 years - there were two kids standing on tables, another couple standing with chairs above their heads. Shouting, screaming, swearing. He was standing in the middle of it all looking like he might cry. (I called for SLT, who took the offenders off for a chat and a biscuit). I don't know how to deal with it any more, my behaviour management has always been good but these kids are a whole other kettle of fish.

OP’s posts: |
MissMarplesKnitting Fri 19-Oct-18 21:29:38

This is just awful. And exactly why so many good teachers are leaving the job.

Sounds awful but a change of school may be in order. I went from leafy(ish) suburban school with a growing number of smartarsy spoilt "you can't touch me" kids to rural school and I LOVE it. There's nice schools out there.

attentionspan Fri 19-Oct-18 21:40:27

You've answered your own question there. The SLT took the offenders out of class for a chat and a biscuit.
1. They get taken out of class - great, that's what they wanted, they didn't want to be in the class getting on with their work anyway.
2. A 'chat'. Not an almighty bollocking then?
3. A biscuit? Tell me they didn't get a reward as well.

noblegiraffe Fri 19-Oct-18 21:45:42

I think most kids need firm boundaries that they are wary of rubbing up against, not a restorative conversation that they really don’t give a shit about.

The sort of bollocks described in the OP is what has led to the rise of schools like Michaela.

Littlelambpeep Fri 19-Oct-18 21:49:02

Only option here is to leave and go to a school where the teacher is valued.
Rewarding that behaviour is actually disgraceful.

sweetkitty Fri 19-Oct-18 21:53:33

I feel your pain. Management take them out chat to them, calm them down then they are back in. No repercussions at all. Including for things like lamping another child in the playground.

TheFifthKey Fri 19-Oct-18 21:54:16

I find it amazing now I’ve moved to sixth form college teaching to see the change in behaviour. My college is in an area with a few schools with extremely poor behaviour, and due to the subject I teach I by no means get kids from the top of the academic or behavioural pile. I wouldn’t say my lessons are more interesting than at school - quite the opposite, as chalk and talk is completely acceptable. And some of them are still young enough to be at school if their birthday fell elsewhere in the year.

And yet I have hardly any behaviour issues. It’s not because I’m great, because I had some terrible times teaching in school. It’s because if they misbehave, we log it, and if they get lots of logs, they get kicked out. Yeah there are action plans and stuff before that but forget all the detentions (“I can’t do Tuesday, I’ve got a PE detention then”) which just mean you get indigestion from eating lunch too fast, all the being-removed-from-lesson (cue half an hour later - “I think Simon has something to say to you, don’t you, Simon?), all the “go and stand outside” so they can pull faces through the door and disturb the rest of the class.

I don’t know what this says really except that unless there’s an actual consequence they give an actual shit about, nothing else will ever work. And schools seem not to have any of those.

Piggywaspushed Sat 20-Oct-18 07:25:38

I blame Paul Dix for this. Well, not him exactly. The SLT who have been on one of his courses and interpreted his ideas as ' we need to be nice to the kids and really don't have to do anything where possible'. the chat and biscuit approach is a by product of the 'never shout at them' appraoch.

On the plus side, at least your management turned up. I actually got a bollockinglecture a couple of weeks ago from a DH because I asked her if she could support a colleague by fetching a boy who had threatened to stab another boy. He ended up with a departmental detention...

Allyg1185 Sat 20-Oct-18 07:29:21

Not a teacher but what the hell is a biscuit going to solve??!

MossyOilTank Sat 20-Oct-18 07:34:31

My son was held down and punched in the face a few weeks ago. The school did nothing - nothing at all, I didn't even get a phonecall. The behaviour of the other children had deteriorated over the preceding months but that was the final straw. I ended up going in there and making the point that if the school couldn't deal with it all I would be left with was the police. Strangely the school seem to have now dealt with it. It's the other kids who suffer, I'm all for restoration and avoiding shame but sometimes for the sake of the greater good someone surely has to put their foot down?

Labradoodliedoodoo Sat 20-Oct-18 07:36:21

What underlies the poor behaviour? Are the children struggling with the work/dyslexic/difficult home lives? I would gather up a few teachers (experienced and less so) and go see the head asking for a working group to resolve the issue. Book a meeting with the head. Flag it with the chair of governors afterwards.

Bestseller Sat 20-Oct-18 07:37:43

I work with excluded children and a lot of what we do is of a chat and biscuit nature. However, we have the time and resources, to aren't trying to deal with a class of 30 and whilst progress is monitored, there's not the same pressure on results as mainstream schools. Also our children are usually damaged, not "naughty".

Anyway, I was talking to a DH who has transformed behaviour in a local comp, to the extent that we don't see their children anymore.

He said there was real friction when he started because of his tea and biscuits methods. His principle is if, in a real example, there's a group of children who are always on the school roof, you don't try to stop them getting on the roof you look at why they're not in class. They don't get kids on the roof anymore.

Simple really but too many people think it's all about harsh discipline. Does that work in any other walk of life? E. G does a harsh boss get the best from his staff?

Is this a new head? Things will have to get worse before they get better but results can sometimes be seen quite quickly

Verbena87 Sat 20-Oct-18 07:42:17

Our school was like this behaviour wise because SLT never followed up behaviour or when they did, it was sporadic and inconsistent (sometimes the ‘have a chat’ approach, sometimes roaring at them for 10 minutes then no further follow up).

We now have a new SLT and a consistent behaviour policy where misbehaviour triggers a text to parents and spending social time with SLT the next day (so no departmental detentions and the extra work that creates for classroom teachers anymore either), and students who have gone above and beyond get praise sent home to parents too - same kids but it’s like being in a different school.

Labradoodliedoodoo Sat 20-Oct-18 07:43:46

The head goes need to suspend and call in the police when needed. He needs to systematically work through all the naughty children and get them dyslexic tested and bring the parents in to lay clear expectations and explain there are serious problems with things at present . He can also move the disruptive children around in different forms/classes for a fresh start as it very difficult to make changes sometimes when kids have got into patterns of behaviours with peers/teachers.

I don’t think a head teacher has to be scary to be effective. The head needs to have clear consequences and high expectations

Labradoodliedoodoo Sat 20-Oct-18 07:48:27

I also found phoning home very effective. I suggest the teacher or head of year/department phones home and outlines the poor behaviour in detail. This needs to happen every time behaviour is poor so that parents know exactly what’s going on and everyone can work together to resolve the issue

Labradoodliedoodoo Sat 20-Oct-18 07:51:21

In fact the teachers can email head of year daily creating information for a daily phone call home to specific parents (worst offending kids) which outlines how the day went.

Labradoodliedoodoo Sat 20-Oct-18 07:53:58

I also think tea and biscuits is fine. The kids needs to feel listened to and emotionally secure as there could be underplaying issues that need resolving.

Bestseller Sat 20-Oct-18 07:59:24

I agree consistency is important but for most badly behaved kids you're not going to make any lasting changes until you understand why they do it. Presumably the head is aiming to do that by talking to them

HarrySnotter Sat 20-Oct-18 08:07:45

1. They get taken out of class - great, that's what they wanted, they didn't want to be in the class getting on with their work anyway.
2. A 'chat'. Not an almighty bollocking then?
3. A biscuit? Tell me they didn't get a reward as well?

All of this is exactly how it is. The Head isn't new, this is his fourth year. This school used to have a reputation for excellent behaviour and had a lovely 'feel' about it (my own DCs went there). Now it has a rep for appalling behaviour and we had another parent pull their child out last week because she was actually scared in class and didn't want to go to school. That's really not ok.

I'm all for a chat and listening to the kids, but right now the only kids being listened to are the ones who do what the hell they like, while the rest are being completely let down.

Unfortunately, this is my new school.

OP’s posts: |
ColdAndSad Sat 20-Oct-18 08:21:39

The head goes need to suspend and call in the police when needed. He needs to systematically work through all the naughty children and get them dyslexic tested and bring the parents in to lay clear expectations and explain there are serious problems with things at present

So you think dyslexia might be the cause of this misbehaving?

AdventuringThroughLife Sat 20-Oct-18 08:30:13

My childrens school seems to be heading this way and I really dont know why sad

HarrySnotter Sat 20-Oct-18 08:38:16

Parents have been spoken to, most don't give a shit. I quote 'not for me to worry about when he's not with me'.

All of the 'main players' have been assessed at one time or another. I genuinely think the problem is that there really don't appear to be any real consequences for their actions. All the kids in the school are important and I feel that a vast majority are being let down, all the staff feel that apart from SLT. For those kids who are sitting in a class wanting to learn and can't - how must it feel if the Head comes to remove someone and enters the classroom chuckling and says 'come on then mate what have you been up to this time?'? This is in a 'nice' semi rural area where a majority of the children are just nice normal kids. I feel bloody sorry for them.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sat 20-Oct-18 08:42:16

A school with nice kids can turn Lord of the Flies fairly rapidly if behaviour isn’t managed effectively.

Everyone can think of a reasonable class that has gone to hell when taught by an NQT who doesn’t know what they’re doing. That can also happen on a school-wide basis if the systems aren’t in place to deal with it.

It doesn’t have to be dyslexic kids, or damaged kids. It can totally be caused by crap management. The whole ‘behaviour is an expression of an unmet need’ thing never seems to acknowledge that the unmet need may be the enforcement of clear boundaries.

EvaHarknessRose Sat 20-Oct-18 09:09:08

This sounds awful. If you can’t get anywhere with SLT can you whistle blow to Governers? Sounds like this would be a good situation for an unnannounced OFSTED.

peachandmango Sat 20-Oct-18 10:48:05

The whole ‘behaviour is an expression of an unmet need’ thing never seems to acknowledge that the unmet need may be the enforcement of clear boundaries.

THIS.

Our LA, in the guise of 'inclusion', has slashed SEN and PRU places and is demanding that there are zero exclusions. The cohorts we have coming up from primary schools include several children who shouldn't be there. These children cannot be disciplined like a mainstream child.

Unfortunately, this has snowballed into the rest of the cohort. In years gone by, yes, they would have been tricky, but with our good, highly experienced teachers, we could have intervened.

OFSTED won't help a spineless SMT- they'll put all the blame back on teachers.

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