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Lessons are boring. How to cope with whining from Year 9.

(16 Posts)
WhenSheWasBad Sat 26-Sep-20 10:27:22

I teach science and my year 9 class are driving me mad. Interrupting every 2 minutes to complain that they don’t get it, or it’s “boring”

Tore a strip off them in the end, explaining that the reason they don’t get it is due to the constant interruptions during teaching. And yes Jocasta (not her real name) sometimes things are boring. Ionic bonding is not a laugh a minute, but you are just going to have to suck it up and do the work.

Anyone have any advice. I think this lot have spent the whole of lock down plugged into an XBox or YouTube. They have no attention span, claim they can’t read two lines of text and are generally driving me mad.

OP’s posts: |
MrsHamlet Sat 26-Sep-20 10:41:55

My year 10 complained yesterday that I won't let them watch the film - every other class is dicks I told them that of course they could ... in their own time ... and that I'd concentrate on teaching them how to pass their exams. Rage and gin.
If they genuinely can't access text, then that's a conversation to have with the senco.

WhenSheWasBad Sat 26-Sep-20 10:47:22

If they genuinely can't access text, then that's a conversation to have with the senco

I’ve talked to the senco. They can read, they just find it “boring”. It’s only two paragraphs.

Then I stand up and say “so let’s talk about ions” que

“But I don’t get it miss” “what’s on ion”

Maybe if they actually let me explain instead of talking over me. They might get somewhere.

Sorry I’m having a rant about them. They just pissed me off, it’s only about 5 of them too. They rest of the class are pretty good.
Bloody year 9

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MrsHamlet Sat 26-Sep-20 12:04:14

Not very PC perhaps but my response would be "you can. You're choosing not to. Get on with it". But I'm an evil old hag.

looseddaughter Sat 26-Sep-20 12:21:45

I had this this week from Y11, FFS! 'You need to engage us!' and 'You can't just drill us!' Obviously I do try my best to make the lessons engaging and I don't think what I'm doing constitutes drilling but they are so poorly motivated, partly because they are convinced that their exams will be cancelled. I've told them that even if they are we'll be asked for evidence but they don't seem bothered...Can't believe the things kids say now.

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Sep-20 12:36:38

You're an NQT...'this is boring' is standard fodder from kids who want to piss about and blame the teacher for it.

My response to 'this is boring' (and I've had it from Y9 this week too about BIDMAS) is 'I'm a teacher, not a children's entertainer. Boring or not it will be on your exam so you'd better get on with learning it'.

Or 'you're here to be educated, not entertained, this is not a social occasion'.

NQTs get tested a lot. They know that you are slightly unsure of yourself and take advantage. Letting them know that you acknowledge that you find it boring and you don't care is taking back that power from them.

Use the behaviour system for constant interruptions during teaching.

If they don't get it, you need to assess whether the class doesn't get it, in which case more examples and explanations are needed (and if they piss about during this then stop the lesson and bollock them for not making any effort to understand it), or if a small group don't get it, in which case set the rest of the class off on your task in silence and do more examples/explanation for those who don't get it (in non-covid times you could get them up to your desk but obviously this is much trickier these days).

When you are going through your examples/explanation, pause after each step and use questioning of multiple students to check understanding before moving on.

Dogsaresomucheasier Sat 26-Sep-20 14:40:17

I have a bottom-middle set year 11 where the usual subjects have been full of it this week.

“Thank you 2/3 of the class who are doing their best and putting in the effort. If we have to use teacher-assessed grades again this year I am noticing who you are.”

The ones who were full of hot air were,

“You can’t dooo that” and probably went home and whinged to parents, but were very subdued the following day!

CallmeAngelina Sat 26-Sep-20 14:44:26

Do you remember a few years back, that Head who was taken apart in the press, when part of his zero-tolerance policy included not allowing kids to say "I don't get it."
Only those of us at the sharp end "got" how much it can be used as a deliberate technique for disruption from some pupils.

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Sep-20 15:11:29

Yeah, part of my 'spiel' at the beginning of the year is that kids aren't allowed to say 'I don't get it' as an excuse for not doing any work. If I see they haven't done any work and they say it's because they didn't get it, I will ask them exactly what they did about it and sanction them if they just sat there.

If they put their hand up and say 'I don't get it', my automatic response is 'Which bit?' and when they say 'none of it' I'll start back at the beginning and individually question them about each section.

Make 'I don't get it' mean work for them.

CallmeAngelina Sat 26-Sep-20 15:18:03

If I suspect someone is swinging it, I offer to go through it with them in detail during their break time. I've only ever had to carry that out once.

noblegiraffe Sat 26-Sep-20 15:21:28

What you shouldn't do when a bunch of kids says they don't get it is to not offer them any further explanation or support (even if in their break time) and only tell them off for pissing about.

That leads to parental complaints about how you're not helping stuck kids.

(learned on my NQT year)

WhenSheWasBad Sat 26-Sep-20 16:14:47

Thanks so much for your advice.

One of my little pearls of wisdom to one of the kids was “sometimes life is boring”
So annoying when they complain they don’t get it, when we are only 5 minutes into the lesson.

I don’t think they know I’m an NQT, I’m a career changer so I’m in my 40s. I am new though and am flailing about a bit trying to get to grips with the school.

Thanks for listening to me complain, my school is really supportive, thank god.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sat 26-Sep-20 16:41:16

Looking older than your standard NQT is good, but they also test any new teacher to the school. Don’t take it personally when they play up, call your lesson boring, suggest your teaching isn’t up to scratch or (and this is a popular one) that last year’s teacher did x or let them get away with y. A class’s favourite teacher is always the one they had just before you rocked up.

CraftyGin Sat 26-Sep-20 17:25:34

Science has a dreadful reputation for being boring. Maybe your predecessors were boring and the students have learnt this.

As a science teacher, I do the minimum of whole class input, and turn it over to the students for active learning. I can then use my time to help students who “don’t get it”.

“I don’t get it it” is so frustrating. They will read the text book once, not bother with the Free Science Lesson clip or BBC Bitesize, and generally take no responsibility for their own learning, They expect you to give the answer, as if they will apply it to any future exam.

I’ve been teaching for over 25 years, OP, so it’s nothing to do with being a NQT. Welcome to the club.

Hercwasonaroll Sat 26-Sep-20 18:09:42

You've been given a masterclass here by noble.

Take no shit. They do get it, they just can't be arsed to think!

Lots of modelling and questioning after every TEENY bit of teaching. Check they get it before moving on.

Check for prerequisite knowledge they may have missed due to lockdown.

If they continue, make "I don't get it" hard work for them.

Hercwasonaroll Sat 26-Sep-20 18:11:32

Be kind to yourself also. You've essentially missed the bit of your training year when you get decent and develop quickly. Ask a trusted colleague to drop in and give you feedback. Script responses to "I don't get it" so you aren't on the back foot.

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