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Schools too soft on disruptive pupils

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My husband and I have produced two successful children, despite the fact that I was born on a very rough council estate and grew up in poverty, my father having abandoned my mother.  My son is very academic, successful at music and has just come first in the whole city in an art competition.  He is not a square and has lots of friends.  My daughter is number one in the county at badminton in her age group and has a high national ranking.  I travel round England with her.  She also does pretty well at school.

Neither have ever had a single negative comment from school regarding their behaviour.  They have both always had very good reports. So what's the problem I hear you say?  Why is it that I have had to come off my job as a secondary languages teacher?  The reason for all this is that I can't stand the disruptive behaviour of many of the pupils.

I went into teaching because I basically like children and also wanted to help "deprived" children to get a good education and hence have better chances in life.  I have been doing this job for nearly twenty years, but it has become so bad that I cannot stand it any more.

In the past couple of years I have been increasingly verbally abused, insulted, ignored and sneered at.  So have my colleagues.  More and more pupils want a free ride and are not prepared to do any real work.  Neither are they prepared to listen.

Teachers have to pussy-foot around in case they "say the wrong thing".

No wonder employers are concerned about the lack of basic skills - I'm not surprised.  Some of these kids must get such a shock if they manage to land a job, by any miracle.  Senior managers in the school are becoming more and more faceless and have no guts.  They walk around in their suits speaking to terribly-behaved pupils in a compromising, softly-softly manner.  No one wants to take issue with these thugs, because it is too much hassle and too "confrontational".  Teachers have to pussy-foot around in case they "say the wrong thing".

I don't totally blame the kids, but the society that has let them down by failing to draw the line and say "enough is enough, you cannot speak/behave like that any longer".  What favour are we doing them by allowing kids this young to be in control of the situation?  What are they learning?  I heard an expression once about children not liking a "house without walls".  They need the security of having some rules that are adhered to, or facing a consequence.

School teachers unable to cope with disruptive pupils My most radical idea recently is that all secondary schools which are experiencing problems with behaviour and attitude should be divided into two, with one half for the anti-social pupils, who would be kept in line by ex-army types supporting the teachers and the other half for kids who want to learn.  When the thugs behave in a more acceptable manner, they can go back into the "nice" half of the school.  If they don't, they have to go back to the square-bashing half.

If the response is that there is no money, then it would be a damn sight cheaper than all the money thrown into useless, waste-of-time projects.  You might also find that a lot of kids stopped needing personal classroom assistants, who work on a one-to-one, spending all day trying to control one child while sitting next to them all day!  Once these children were shown how to behave, they might learn how to continue like this.

How many children 50 years ago would have needed someone to sit next to them all day in the classroom?  It is laughable to think of! And that was in the days of extensive poverty.  What is going on in this country?  What is wrong with people?  Why can't people sort out their own children and families so that conscientious teachers like I was are not forced to go off with stress.  I now face the prospect of no job and no career.  What did I do to deserve this?

By: Annaliza


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hazza

hazza

Yes. The more teachers are lenient on these kids, the more encouragement it will misbehave. The popular kids are the kids who don't care about the life ahead. There was one kid I knew. He bullied me in my first year of secondary school, and he broke into my garden, and the school didn't even do anything! They just gave him an insolation. But, about year 9, he started getting into drugs (I think it was drugs) and he took them all the time. But then the police caught him, and he was sent to a young offender's prison for a few months. He didn't even get expelled, just a week of isolation when he came back! But then he just misbehaved - and he got kicked out finally. The teachers that don't punish kids, in my view, is just going to encourage them to do it even more rather than stop it. They need to be more firm and show THEY are in charge, not the kids.
hazza
13th May 12 09:25

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Goody two shoes

Goody two shoes

I was a nerd in school. Kept my head down, passed my gcse exams and never mis behaved and all I got was a certificate and a book voucher.
The psychos who were the ones who always mis behaved, smoked, bullied other students and gave the teachers grief got day trips to Alton towers, concert tickets and buffets for 'improved' behaviour. I'm not joking they got all this special treatment and the good students got sweet f a.
What about the good students?
Goody two shoes
21st Jan 12 17:26

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5
DSG

DSG

This gripe reminds me of an old phrase my Science teacher used to tell to the class:
Aut disce aut discede. It means either learn or leave.
DSG
15th Apr 11 22:38

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Annonymous64

Annonymous64

@Elisa: "Even the high school delinquents in hong kong are actually better equipped/more intelligent than some of the college students here." Well if you like the way it is in Hong Kong so much, why don't you go and live there then?
Annonymous64
1st Mar 11 00:52

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Angie

Angie

Have been thinking for a long while about what has happened to discipline & respect in schools. There seems to be a lack of common sense much of the time, I also do not think its doing the kids any favours

I thought about a 'common sense' political party, is there one?

I do agree with David Cameron it makes me feel sick at the thought of prisoners having the vote, why do they have to have the right to vote if they are criminals? most of the prisoners probably don't even care about voting, they are just harping on about the right...Don't even get me started on the compensation culture
I was cross to read that more is spent on prisoner's food (some have more than 5/10 choices at meal times) than on school kids food, is this still the case?

This country is too soft (still a good place to live & still has a lot of good going for it) I wish it would get tougher on crime and anti social behaviour (build more prisons if we need them)and make it a better place for the rest of us

Bringing back common sense might be a start, I think we are letting the kids down, being too soft doesn't help them later on & what about those who want to learn & do behave well.... perhaps we are failing the caring, decent, hard working citizens of the UK while concentrating too much on those who don't care and don't want to care.
Angie
20th Jan 11 16:44

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DSG

DSG

I totally agree with this article.In my History class [note:I am in year 8],There re a lot of troublemakers who try to disrupt the class as often as possible.When the teacher does tell them off,however,they whine and moan about how a b***h she is.I just get my head down and get on with my work.The education system needs a thorough refurbishing,with tougher punishments for bullying,disrupting lessons,etc.
DSG
10th Dec 10 19:06

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Not fair

Not fair

When I left school I took a job in a hair salon and every Thursday this chav from my old school came to 'help' us out for the day. It was day release from school and it gave her the chance to gain a qaullification too. (unpaid of course!) Apparantly she couldnt concerntrate in the classroom so they stuck on this course. Good idea? Errr no not really. You see this chav had behaviour problems and was always getting into trouble at school and she gets this special treatment? The salon manager pratically licked her bum; buying her lunch and make-up and slipping her a tenner and giving her freebies on the sunbed not to mention free hair cuts! She wad a trouble maker so why did she get this privilege? I would have ki11ed for this position at school but I was too well behaved for this privilege.
Not fair
7th Nov 10 22:15

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Not fair

Not fair

The gang of disruptive kids at my old school got given a special buffet in a classroom one lunchtime and then had a day out watching the Manchester Giants. They were a group of around 10-14 of them and they made students lives hell including mine. They then got a day at The Chill Factor for 'noticed improved behaviour'. Was that before or after one of them emptied the contents of my school bag down the bog and stole my watch?? What did us 'swots' get for our behaviour? A certificate at the end of term and a well done that's all.
Not fair
7th Nov 10 22:08

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GFF

GFF

I fully concur with what you say. Education has been ruined by well-meaning, but inexperienced educationalists. The difference between selective schools and other schools is now greater than ever = increasing social disadvantage. A clear message has to be sent that bad behaviour is childish and socially unacceptable, leading to poor job prospects,
GFF
5th Oct 10 19:50

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Reginald Merritt (New Generati

Reginald Merritt (New Generati

I run college that works with children from 16+, I have many friends that work in secondary schools and I can categorically say that your experience is not unique.

However, I also have many friends with children at secondary school who are finding the new measures taken to solve the problem far too drastic. For example, children going to Francis Combe Academy, Watford, Herts., which has had a history of poor attendance and disruptive classrooms, now uses the isolation method. This method involves placing children in a box with an opened front. Whilst this method has been proved useful in many cases in America the school in question use it far too often. The experience our children have at school will last with them for ever. Methods such as the isolation box can be a useful tool, but we must do more to fight the root of the problem rather than creating a detrimental experience for the school children.
Reginald Merritt (New Generati
4th Oct 10 11:09

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ButtleorTuttle

ButtleorTuttle

I used to teach in a futher ed college. Too many students were unsuitable, on the wrong course (but enrolled anyway to make up numbers), disruptive, rude etc but were tolerated to meet various 'targets'. I saw several good students quit because they were getting very little from the system wheras the majority of the EMA collecting timewasters were tolerated and 'helped' through assignments (many times) so that they could pass the course (another tick in the box). Senior managers - strangely never seen!
ButtleorTuttle
7th Aug 10 15:38

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BJi

BJi

The comments you've made really hit home with the secondary school I work in. I have had a career change from a store manager going into the world of teaching. To gain experience I am currently employed as a T.A at my old high school. From the time I was taught there in comparison to how it is today I was appalled to see the nasty attitude students dish out to teaching staff. The dicipline is completely lost, teachers are constantly verbally abused, ignored and disrespected. The students I work with have extremely poor behaviour problems, yet the approach I hold is very firm but friendly, for which I do get respected. But nowadays even the school dont believe these 'special' students should be spoken to in a firm way but a 'softly' approach which is just ridiculous. I sympathise with the teachers and support them whenever I can with bad behaviour but its just not enough. It really does make me doubt carrying on with this career but I do feel it is a challenge I would want to tackle head on. I do feel a change needs to be made, this kind of poor treatment to staff is just inexcusable.
BJi
13th Jul 10 21:20

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kids are meaner than ever

kids are meaner than ever

I see kids make fun of kids who are in special ed/needs calling them retards, thats disespectful, How would they like it if someday they have kids themselves who are diffrent from other kids and there made fun of. kids today are meaner than when I was growing up. with cell phones and websites.these kids use those tools to create hate pages.
kids are meaner than ever
10th Jul 10 22:31

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frightened to say anything

frightened to say anything

I keep seeing disruptive children get away with murder! smashing property,books,and you get is there,there,there,! ( I won t say where I work but believe me ,you & me decent people are paying for this in council tax) When will this culture of rude ,lazy,disruptive,little kids end.you tell me...
frightened to say anything
9th Jul 10 21:49

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Sarah

Sarah

I read this and I couldn't agree more. I have recently been accused of bullying a pupil by the boy and his father simply because I was trying to getvhis gcse coursework out of as he continually missed deadlines. I have had no support from my school. It seems everyone is scared by abusive parents and lazy rude pupils
Sarah
18th Jun 10 18:38

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