Turn on thread page Beta

Do teachers have any authority anymore? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Sorry if there is a better forum for this, D&D seemed too formal.

    Please understand that when I mention trouble-makers and disruptive students I don't mean those who chat a lot or don't do enough work. I mean those students who simply cannot be ignored, who shout, swear and are consistently aggressive and who refuse to follow any orders.


    Over the past year I have become more and more aware of the restrictions that teachers have had thrust upon them, seemingly with the intent of 'protecting' students. It has become apparent that the biggest implication has been on the lack of authority that teachers now posess. It simply outrages me to see the support which 'trouble-makers' are given, especially when it results in reinforcing this type of behaviour in order to be offered exactly what they want; be it time off school (exclusion), one-to-one attention or being removed and placed in a room with other trouble-makers and being given refreshments (I thought this was a joke).

    The repeated discussion between myself and colleagues often follows the same few arguments:

    Teachers cannot disclude students from education. This has lead to continued disruption of the class by the student or the disruptive student being talked to by a lovely person for the remained of the lesson - disruptive student is happy that they are being allowed to talk rather than do the work and the disruptive behaviour is reinforced - disruptive student is placed in a lovely room where they are given refreshments - behaviour is yet again reinforced. Or perhaps the student will just walk out - student is happy that they get to miss the lesson, but are classed as absent and the school's number of absences rises, making the school look bad.

    Teachers cannot physically move a student out of the classroom. Student refuses to leave off his/ her own accord and remains in the room constantly disrupting the lesson - rest of the class benefit less. Or, as I have recently witnessed, teacher is forced to move the whole class to another room in order to 'escape' the disruptive student - far too much time wasted, class is behind etc.

    Teachers can't enforce long detentions??? (I'm not sure about this but it has been mentioned a lot). So disruptive students, quite frankly, are not concerned about the consequences of disrupting a lesson

    So what must one do in order to deliver education to wiling students without being disrupted/ verbally (or worse) abused/ mocked etc etc? Can they do anything? It seems to me that the current laws and regulations have, in effect, given trouble-makers more authority than the staff.

    Currently 'respect' seems to be the buzzword that is forced upon us. I, however, think fear is the only way in which a student can be forced to behave. How, after all, can respect be forced upon anyone? In the past, even as little as a few years ago, it was fear which prevented poor behaviour. Fear of parents being informed, fear of losing free time, fear of being referred to the headmaster. Too many parents nowadays are supprtive of their child's misbehaviour. I've heard everything from 'Put teachers in their place' to 'Well if they try anything, just threaten to report them from something'. Please don't misunderstand; I work in a fairly good school which is far from below average, but obviously these problems are not limited to under-achieving schools

    I'd love to hear from anyone who has witnessed similar problems, especially if they have come up with any ideas with which to resolve this lack of authority.

    What can be done to restore authroity in schools? Is a change in law the only way this will happen? WIll it ever happen?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    At the comprehensive i go to, kids are always standing in the corridor after being thrown out but the other day i saw three teachers and a receptionist try and bully one back into a room. When i passed later he was still there but he had a yo-yo.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shorty.loves.angels)
    ...
    From what my Mum has told me about her experience at work in Primary and Secondary schools, her words echo yours.

    When I was at secondary school, a trouble maker would be 'looked after' by a pretty teaching assistant which he obviously loved. He would be kept behind after the lesson over lunch time while laughing. He would constantly mouth to teachers things such as "Hey gorgeous", "Alright sexy" etc. No discipline was given for this, only a stern look. Demanding an apology isn't acceptable because they have to make up their own mind and a child flirting with someone half a teacher's age just for laughs is just fun for everyone concerned apparently.

    Often class clowns are praised by teachers as well as peers. Despite them distracting others and being disruptive, their behaviour is seen as day-brightening and positive on some occasions.

    Pupils who were persistently violent, aggressive and disobedient were not allowed to be permanently excluded because no-one else would take them. This removes a level of discipline and authority.

    In my Mum's primary school, a five year old pupil punched a female teacher very hard in the back. It actually hurt her. He was only given a telling off. Every other light punishment was made and he was still a tiny terror. He couldn't be kicked out so this means it was free for him to continually defy the rules and be violent with hardly any punishment. Serious offences were dealt with by a gentle educational psychologist who would visit the school to talk to him.

    LEAs and political correctness have removed all authority from teachers.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Not really.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by whitepearlbaby)
    Not really.
    A highly intelligent and thought provoking reaction from the skilled wise woman that is whitepearlbaby.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Considering that neither students nor politicians nor parents take alot of teachers seriously, I'd say that teaching has declined as an institution, teachers have lost alot of authority. They still have it though.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    It's the government with all its ridiculous political correctness.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I agree, but I think its a problem that also extends further into society and doesn't just involve the school but parents aswell. From my experience, the situation is better on the continent than in the UK...
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    no. they have no authority.
    if people want to make a noise, they really cant do anything to stop it, they just get laughed at.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think its problems with parents as much as anything else. In the end of the day, its a parents responsibility to teach there kids how to respect people, as well as other traditional values. If a kid misbehaves in school, and there parents turn a blind eye, then theres not a lot the school can do. Young children learn how to behave at home, and are going to do what there parents teach them, not the school.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    Considering that neither students nor politicians nor parents take alot of teachers seriously, I'd say that teaching has declined as an institution, teachers have lost alot of authority. They still have it though.
    I'm a bit confuse :confused: . It seems to me that you are contradicting yourself.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    They have authority, but not much power.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    The "trouble-makers" used to brighten my day, which would otherwise have been an exercise in pure monotony and tedium. You tell us how completely and utterly outraged you are that kids are excluded because that's just what they want, dammit, but then start frothing that they be given "help" or removed from classrooms. Just what do you suggest? A return to the good old days when teachers could forcibly detain kids for hours or spank them with sticks? A very long post of little substance, but there's always got to be someone frothing at the mouth about something so it might as well have been you today.

    In fact, the roots of any problem are in compulsory education and public education/national curricula. The moment we stop forcing parents to send their children to school, stop forcing children into a one-size-fits-all mold and driving standards down with government dictatorship over education, then we can start to make progress.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by newman24x)
    I'm a bit confuse :confused: . It seems to me that you are contradicting yourself.
    Lost alot, not all of it :rolleyes:
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Aw, come on...why should a teacher attempt to enforce discipline or respect? After all, it's not the student's fault that they have no manner, respect or a basic understanding of boundaries - they are just the victims of a bad home life/misunderstood/have 'problems'. It's just not realistic to expect these children to learn how to behave appropriately, it's against their human rights to be punished for incorrect conduct! (Sarcasm...kind of, there's too much that has a hint of accuracy about it though)

    Teachers do not have the authority that they need, they are also lacking the support of those higher than them in the hierarchy. Teachers and teaching as a profession used to be respected, now it's a joke...but that fits with the curriculum!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I think what pupils need is STRUCTURE, I've been in classes where if the teacher justs a little disorganised or the pupils arent exactly sure what they are meant to be doing then they become disrespectful. I'm not saying teachers are to blame for bad behaviour but I think if they have really organised and clear lessons it would help. Throw in a few lessons where its all 'sugar paper posters, debates and using mini whiteboards' to make 'structure' not seem boring.
    Parents also need to drill into their kids brains that GCSE's are important.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    After yet another day volunteering in a different secondary school, really, my respect for teachers have risen once again.

    I was with a Year 8 group today, and the behaviour was just atrocious - the entire day. The teacher would have to shout for at least 5 minutes before there would be silence. And once she starts calling instructions, at least 3-5 kids would begin muttering or shouting out and disrupting the class again. When they were sitting in a circle, having a class discussion, the teacher had to literally push some students down from jumping around the place! Fights broke out, screaming was everywhere... I imagined being in her shoes, and god I don't know how she kept so calm!

    At lunch, I sat with the other helpers and it turned out that they faced similar problem. Most of them seemed shocked behaviour was so awful, as they were mostly international students. I went to a grammar school myself and it was certainly a (whilst not unexpected) unpleasant change.

    Yes, teachers need to be given more power. The kids know the worst that can be done is a telling off and a 10 minute detention... And whilst I understand why some of them act the way they do - family problems and all - it makes it very unfair on the quiet, consciencious majority who do wish to learn.

    I want to teach to inspire children, but I wonder if that's even possible nowadays. Is teaching just a glorified name for babysitting loudmouthed teenagers ?!
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    My mums a teacher. Alot of it comes down to the parents from what she tells me. If the teachers do anything, they get the parents come up to moan at the teacher. Several teachers have been attacked by parents. My mum who is the mildest person in the world once had a mother shouting and swearing at her over the phone because she told her son off.

    Iam not a fan of corporal punishment in schools although I do believe in judicial corporal punishment as an alternative to community punishments .But the fact is ,it has gone too far the other way now ,with teachers literally not able to do anything. It isn't just a school problem it is society in general. When my parents were at school ,my Dad at least got beaten once or twice, once when he made the mistake of telling my grandad he got beaten around the class room for cheeking a teacher,my Grandad beat him with a belt for giving the teachers trouble.

    Teachers had alot more respect in the past. All authority figures did. Look at how the Police are viewed now (although that is party how the Government have interferred with them) . It's like people just question them.far too much. Part of it I think is because in the past getting a degree was noteworthy as not many people got to university. Now every man and his dog goes.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    All pupils need incentives to want to learn.
    Most get it from home, some get it from school (inspired by their own success or by good teachers).
    Unfortunately, it SEEMS that for some pupils, only fear or humiliation will do the trick...

    What to do...

    I think unruly pupils need to be punished sharply and in proportion to the severity of their misbehavior, but I do think it has to be done in a way that allows them to let off steam and do something constructive, and that at the same time avoids creation of "us vs them" feelings. Otherwise the problems will not stop.

    Unfortunately not even that seems to be possible from what I've heard... e.g. I would make them dig the school pond, or renovate the library, etc.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    It's sad. As a well-behaved student who is often in a class with 10-15 disruptive pupils at a time, pure frustration goes through your mind.

    Powers need to come back. Less of the political correctness and human rights twaddle and more discipline. As mentioned by others, it's just not teachers, but police officers and other emergency workers. Things need more personal common sense being applied to them.

    I'm in Year 11, and despite being stressed at the fact that sometimes you cannot learn properly due to the conditions in class, part of you makes you glow inside when you know that you'll be the one walking away with qualifications, and they'll leave with nothing!
 
 
 
Poll
Which accompaniment is best?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.