Top Ten Frustrations As A Teacher: Number 1 Being held accountable for student’s poor choices

It’s common knowledge that teachers are subject to appalling behaviour on a day to day basis. Whether your opinion is that it comes with the territory, or that students are running wild and something has to be done about it is irrelevant. The real issue is with how teachers are held accountable for that behaviour.

It is cited that the best tool to use in behaviour management is to give the students choice: they can choose to carry on with the unacceptable behaviour, and therefore they choose the consequences, or they can choose good behaviour which gets them a reward. Making them understand this is the key to managing their behaviour.

Is it though? What if the student consistently chooses the poor behaviour option? Well then, the consequences are applied. But what if it is ineffective and the poor choices continue?

Then, the teacher is blamed. They mustn't have done it right. If they had, it would have resulted in good behaviour.

But it’s not the teacher’s fault. If you’re giving them a choice, and they’re choosing the negative one, then how is that the teacher’s responsibility at all? If one of the choices is not acceptable, how is it a choice at all?

The teacher is either in control of the student’s behaviour, in which case directly responsible, or they give them a choice of behaviours, and they are not responsible. You can’t mash those two things together and get the system that we have now – they are polar opposites.

How do you feel about being responsible for student's behaviour?


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