I’m being interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds today about an Ofsted Report that says how chatter, calling out without permission, swinging on chairs, play fighting, throwing paper planes, using mobile phones and quietly humming was “very common” in schools.
As regular readers of my blog know – I used to be a Deputy Head and Class Teacher for 22 years and I now go into lots of schools in different parts of the country running my Confidence Classes for Kids Workshop or After School Club and I HAVE seen a change in the way kids behave, they way they answer back and their attitude to authority.
Now I’m no fuddy duddy – ( with hair like mine?) but I am a Mum of two and a very experienced teacher and kids don’t do as they are told quickly and easily as they are used to taking their time at home!
Now I’m no fan of Oftsed as they are obsessed with data, testing and League Tables and they make a teachers job unbelievably stressful. My friend’s school even had it written down that a member of staff talked for 13 minutes on the carpet ( Year 1) when the recommendation is only 10 minutes before kids should be getting up and active on their tasks!
However, I do see low level disruption everywhere. Kids dawdle in from playtime, kids waste time in the toilet, kids constantly chatting – this is not full on disobedience but not having the self discipline to control their own behaviour.
Doing as you’re told starts at home !
I work with lots of parents who want to be their child’s friend and don’t want to ‘upset’ them by telling them off or putting in boundaries. Parents who want short term peace, but actually they are really setting themselves up for a long term nightmare.
Children need to do as they are told. They need boundaries so they can learn to self regulate as they grew up and mature.
They feel happier, as they know where they are. (See my sheep in a field analogy in my Parenting Made Easy – How To Raise Happy Children. book. )
But also Ofsted seems to be constantly changing the goal posts and looking for ways to criticise dedicated teachers.
If low level disruption is a problem in 17% of schools surely you don’t need me to do the maths to point out that 83% are getting it right!
As human beings we are always striving to improve ourselves and schools as an institution, should be no exception, but this constant bashing of teachers means that at a time when recruitment and retention in education are approaching crisis levels, this is a particularly short-sighted and destructive approach and doesn’t serve anyone.
Schools need to find that happy balance.
But you as parents can really help make a massive difference too in how you discipline your child at home.
This is simply about firm, fair and consistent discipline where home and school work together to nourish and nurture a child so they can fulfil their true potential.
So just for this week notice:
How do you speak to your children when you are discipling them?
What tone of voice do you use?
What sort of body language are they picking up on?
Are you too tired to follow through?
Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted?
Do you need a bit of ‘Me’ Time to rest, recover and bounce back full of fun and positivity?
Are you clear on what is /what isn’t acceptable behaviour in your house?
What happens if your kids don’t do as they are told?
Do you ASK your kids instead of TELLING them – commands are much more effective than requests.
What small thing could you change this week that would make a big difference over time?
If you need some clarity, ideas or new techniques give me a call 01883 818329.