I have 30 children in my class and sometimes that’s hard to deal with. I have 30 children and 12 of them have very strong personalities. These 12 distract the others in the class and sometimes I find my blood pressure increasing just because it’s taking me 15minutes to do the register.
Now behaviour hasn’t been bad, it’s just not good, it’s not outstanding and it’s something that has slowly but surely been getting slightly worse. Some of the children have been getting a little bit too comfortable, ‘God, this is boring’, one gifted and talented 6 year old said the other day. Speechless . I would find myself having to repeat instructions 5 times before even half the class were listening. The final straw came last week when an 18yr old first year BA student observed in my class and said at the end of a very ‘shouty’ lesson, ‘aw, do you want a hug?’ She then went on to give me behaviour management tips. I smiled calmly and said ‘thank you for your advice. Don’t hug me.’ My TA then came up to me at the end of the week and said that for the first time since September, she was embarrassed to be with the class. Now this is exactly what I needed to hear. I trust my TA, she is honest and has years of experience, to see her face and hear her say that just made me sit up and listen. She said we had to get on top of behaviour and stop being so soft.
And I have been too soft. I smile a lot, I am cheerful and bubbly. I show an interest in the children and I indulge certain behaviour that i would never tolerate with my own future children, let alone my class. At uni they told us ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ and with hindsight, I realise that this was a tip that should have been followed in my situation. So after many talks with other teachers, advice from a past Head, they all lead to the same conclusion. This week I am going to be Mrs Trunchbull.
Today was day 1 and guess what…. IT WORKED! Behaviour was not outstanding- but it was better than good. I would go so far as to say it was excellent.
The children came in and I didn’t smile once. I did’t reply to any of their excited chatter about the weekend, (this was very difficult and made me feel bad inside!), I introduced the ‘thinking spot’, names were written on the board and positive behaviour was overly praised. I will be posting exactly what I did that was so successful in another post; but for the first time, in a long time we had a pe lesson in the gym without a word during the warm up. Normally, the children are running around, wild and excited and I have to talk over them. But not today. No, today was perfect and just goes to show that children really do need boundaries, discipline and structure. Why has it taken me so long?!
NQT 1: Kids 0