Today was the first day where I was able to take stock of how far I've come with my unruly, disruptive and, frankly, insane Year 9s since Sept.
Weeks 1-3: Chaos. It took 15 minutes for them to quieten down sufficiently for me to give instructions, even then nobody listened. I was issuing detentions and sending notes home almost every day.Week 9: After 2 minutes standing in front of the class silently with my arms folded across my chest, staring wildly and malevolently the class are, finally, silent. I call this technique 'The Pirate Stare', I imagine that I am about to make them walk the plank. If they disrupt this quiet again I just say, very softly, 'that's fine, I'll just come and fetch you at the end of the day to make the time up, you know I'll do it'.
And believe me, they know. I have pursued them relentlessly, like a hound on a scent, since September. With 21 kids out of 30 on the school's special needs register (mostly for behavioural difficulties) I have to be on my toes and work them like a drill sergeant.