Tough Young Teachers (2014) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

This programme contains some strong language.
School can be tough.
A usual class would be screaming, shouting, things thrown out a window.
And not just for the students.
Respect is a basic thing, man.
Respect is a basic thing.
Bloody idiot.
50% of teachers leave the job within the first five years.
Come on, get out.
Despite this, some of the country's top graduates Mia, come in.
Find your place.
are determined to give teaching a go.
It is crazy, but it's exciting.
It's not safe, you're not sitting behind a desk.
You need to sell this location to me.
I want to make a difference, so The catch? They've had just six weeks' training and are now being let loose on the kids.
SCREAMING I wouldn't want to be the reason why Tommy didn't get his A, because Miss just was rubbish.
What's the worst that can happen? Somebody told me that someone threw a chair at them on their first day.
Are they up to the job? It's just a simple issue of respect.
- Don't walk out.
- Respect is something that's earned.
Louis! I'm sorry.
I'm just finding everything really hard to deal with.
Can they change the lives of their pupils? Bottom set, what does that mean to you? Dumb, not very smart.
I'll be Prime Minister one day.
You'll see! Out, out, out.
He has no respect for me.
I will never have respect for him.
Six teachers I knew he was posh.
I knew it, I knew it.
I knew he was posh.
three schools.
Look at my face.
You got a C.
- Oh, my God! - INDISTINC .
one unforgettable year.
This week She's a mental.
the honeymoon period is over.
Well, they're year eights.
Would they be drawing naked women? Every other person in the class wrote it out.
There's no doubt, I'm out of my depth.
Hi, there.
I gave 14 detentions today to one class.
- Oh, my God.
- Really? - Do it! - To one class.
- You'll have to do - Did it work? - Yeah.
- THEY LAUGH Six young trainees are on Britain's toughest graduate programme run by the charity Teach First.
- We have fights all the time.
- Yeah.
So we were in the staff room with some male teachers.
they're like, "Yeah, you get in straight away.
You break it up," Then in comes the females like, "Yeah, you can never break it up.
" - THEY LAUGH Oh, yeah.
- That's so They've been teaching for only a month.
It's a two-year placement where they learn on the job in schools in deprived areas to earn their teacher qualification.
- What? - I've just sworn in a ten.
This lot are based in three London schools.
They always say, "Go in really tough.
" And I thought I did and I didn't.
I let little things slip, just to keep quiet.
'Over the year, you just learn so many different strategies.
'But the hardest thing is that what works with one kid,' doesn't work with another kid.
The trainees have another four weeks before half term.
They'll really have to think of ways to keep the students focused.
I'm going to be really engaging and exciting about the learning.
Think about if you were going to buy these products.
'But the biggest fear I have is I say,' "Please leave the classroom," and they say, "No.
" Like, what do I do? Morning on this fine day.
'If a class is unruly,' I plan on whipping out my death stare.
It's a look that incites fear into kids.
Three, two, one.
I'm waiting for silence.
I grew up under a strict Jamaican thumb.
SHE LAUGHS So there's an element of me that is just quite fierce and quite ruthless.
You're going into your lunchtime now because you've wasted my time.
That's something I've got from my parents, to be quite tough.
Hands up.
Hands up Tomana.
I want to set boundaries.
Right, Joel, wait outside.
'There are consequences to actions.
'If that isn't instilled in my classroom,' there will be mayhem.
'I'm so self-conscious of the fact that I'm a tiny little girl 'and I look like I'm 13, 'that I worry that the kids won't give me any respect.
'So I do have' what I describe as an ice queen persona where I'm just really strict.
'It might incorporate a bit of fear, 'but what I'm looking for is respect.
' 'My ambition is to do teaching' for the rest of my working life.
I know that's a lot of people who will do Teach First might think about doing it for two years and then going on to do something else with their life.
But Meryl's choice of career didn't exactly impress Mum and Dad.
When I was a student myself I was always quite good at maths.
I think my dad sort of saw that as a ticket into investment banking.
If you can get one or two good years in an investment bank she will be financially stable.
But she's quite a steadfast person, you know.
Once she has made up her mind, she won't budge.
When I first told my parents that I wanted to be a teacher, it was honestly like coming out of the closet and saying I was gay.
The look on their faces was like the worst thing had happened.
They were like, "Oh, but have you tried? Have you tried to be an accountant?" It was just awful, it was absolutely awful.
Meryl teaches at The Harefield Academy in North London, along with fellow trainee Nick.
They are both devout Catholics and start the day with a request for help from above.
Dear Lord, I want to pray for all my pupils today.
Especially for the year 11 that I'm going to be taking on.
Dear God, I pray for my classes, that they're able to have a good day, learn something positive and that they're able to do their best to keep up-to-date with their work and not stress about it.
- Amen.
- Amen.
All right, good.
Have a fantastic day, Miss Noronha.
Go nail it.
SHE LAUGHS Yeah, no.
Did you crash this morning? I didn't, but I was retaking going in, I did stall.
- Did you? On the way in? - I stall parked.
What an embarrassment you are to Teach First(!) I know, shocking.
The Harefield Academy is based in a traditional working class area and specialises in sport.
The Harefield Academy is a beautiful building surrounded by farms and greenery.
To look at Harefield you might not assume it, but they definitely have the same struggles that an inner city school will have.
- Morning, Meryl.
- Hiya.
- Morning.
So far, Meryl has coped well with her higher set English classes.
Charlie! Thank you very much.
But she was surprised by the level of ability of her lower sets and has found it hard to keep them focused.
Here, James.
James, be a nice person.
Why is your book closed? Libby.
There's nothing in your hair.
Open your book, please.
Blake, sit down.
LOUD CHATTERING How would you describe your class? Different to, like, all the other classes.
If you went and filmed another year ten class .
they wouldn't be as outrageous as this one.
Oh, yes.
You wouldn't see dictionaries being thrown across the classroom.
Oh! Oh, my God.
Oh, oh.
'The class is literally out of control.
' LOUD CHATTER CONTINUES 'And evenit's her first year, they've given her that class.
' I'd want to leave after like, a week.
- Charlie.
- That was you! Who told you it was her first year? She's got pass plates on her car.
She's plainly a new teacher.
Can you tuck your chairs in under your desks, please? - I was just standing.
- Phillip! - Bad boy.
Back row, can we tuck chairs under desks, please? SHOUTING Ah, that was by far the worst lesson I've ever had with them.
I thought they hated me before, but, like, this just proves it.
They just do not even care.
I don't know If they had a different teacher, I don't think they would pull what they pull in my class, to be honest.
This is someone's math's book.
they're not even doing English in my class.
I can play it more than that.
You all going to come and sit down? Down the corridor, however, things are a little different.
Can you make a nice line? Someone said something to me once which is, you know, "If the class is bad, it's never the class.
"It's always the teacher.
" I think that's so true cos I know that I was bored by teachers and if their classes were boring, I'd definitely mess around and I don't blame them.
'An excellent teacher should be able to turn that around.
' So today we have a special visitor because, as I said to you all last lesson, I'd be showing Mrs Gadd your books.
The best five books, I chose.
'A very exciting lesson today with my year seven Life Skills.
' 'Last lesson, we told them that there's a possibility 'we're going to extend school till 5pm, 'which had them in outrage.
'So we wrote a letter to our head teacher, Mrs Gadd, 'and I told them that the five best letters, I'd take to her.
' So over to you, Mrs Gadd.
Thank you.
Well first of all, students, congratulations.
Sir explained to me the trick he'd played.
I'm going to make the students, the five that Sir chose, star students.
There's some real wow words here.
Is it Lu-chee-a or Lu-see-a? - Lu-chee-a.
- Lucia.
"Thank you for reading my letter.
"I hope I have persuaded you not to keep year seven "for two extra hours.
" I love that word, "persuaded.
" That's a really good, powerful wow word, isn't it? So there's your sticker.
And congratulations, well done.
I think you should clap yourselves for doing so well and I think you should clap Sir for just thinking slightly differently about a great start to the lesson.
So let's all have a bit of a round of applause, shall we? Well done, students.
How do you feel about Mr Church's lessons? They're actually really fun cos we get to do different things each time and we don't always stick to the same thing.
And have you guys ever had Mrs Gadd give you a sticker before? ALL: No.
So this was a first time for all of you? ALL: Yeah.
So who reads the newspaper here? Hands up.
'It's going extremely well.
And he can build on that success' and make sure that goes through all of the lessons.
It's looking good.
25 miles away is Lanfranc School.
It's a rundown comprehensive in Croydon that was built for 800 pupils but now squeezes in over 1,000.
OK, once you've written it down and it's in your planner, I will let you go.
Charles has a heavy timetable with 400 students a week to teach.
If it's not in your planner and you don't show me your planner as you leave, I will not let you go.
There's no doubt, I'm out of my depth.
Well, I'll give you a sheet 'I'm not going to lie, this is a learning experience for me.
'But that's why I'm doing it, because I think' that I can be an inspiring teacher.
Excellent, Zurab.
'If I don't believe that,' how are my kids going to believe it? Not of all of his kids do believe it.
Since the beginning of term, Charles has had numerous clashes with 15-year-old Caleb.
He's just arrived from a pupil referral unit, a special centre for disruptive students.
Go and write it out.
Caleb's been forced to take RE, a subject he doesn't like.
- Every other person in the class did.
- .
every single other word for? Every other person in the class wrote it out.
Yes, you are cos you're one of my pupils and every one of my pupils writes down their homework.
What do you want me to write? The whole thing.
I just wrote, "Jesus's teaching is not realistic.
Do you agree?" Is that what it says? - "Jesus teaching - Of? - .
is not realistic.
" - Why do I have to write that? - Because that's the most important part.
- This is not work.
This is my planner, where I write homework.
- That's the most important part of it.
- No, it's not.
I don't have any reason to write it, so I'm not going to write it.
- You still haven't written the quote.
- But I don't need to write the quote.
- Yes, you do.
- That's not homework.
It is the homework.
It's just a simple issue of respect.
Caleb, don't walk out.
I don't like him.
He just needs to lighten up and stop thinking that he gets respect just like that.
He's just, "Oh, yeah, respect.
" And "do this, do that.
" You can't just do that.
You can't just do that, brethren, cos you're not my dad.
'Caleb contributed some clever points,' said some useful stuff, didn't write any of it down, was disengaged for parts of it, was shouting out the whole time, refused to put his hands up and was disrespectful at the end of the class.
Senior staff have become alarmed about the deteriorating relationship between Charles and Caleb.
They've called a meeting to thrash it out which they've asked us not to film.
The main purpose of the meeting is to get them both to talk about what is difficult about their relationship in the classroom and to resolve that difficulty.
- Hi, Miss.
- Come on in.
Hi, Caleb.
How are you doing? It's 3pm - home time for most.
But for some unlucky pupils and trainees, that means after school detention.
So can you all just write an apology for your behaviour today and the behaviour that I expect to see from you next lesson.
So I want you to write, using persuasive techniques, about everything that annoys you about Justin Bieber.
To get you in the mood, I'm actually going to play some Justin Bieber for 25 minutes.
I will walk out.
My detention, my rules.
Look, do you know this? Do you know that? All right, it's a wobbly pencil, this one.
Can you help me tidy up my classroom, please? I'll pretend I can't see your shirt, Alfie.
I found learning difficult as well, when I was at school.
I never liked learning And my French teacher got my mum into school one day and told her there's no way I'm ever going to get in to any of the good schools.
So then I worked hard.
That's the bit that you find difficult, isn't it? Work.
MUSIC: "Somebody to Love" by Justin Bieber Please cut it off.
I'll write if you turn it off.
What's not to like? - Pardon? - What don't you like about Justin Bieber? Everything.
He's annoying.
All right, write that for me.
God, please turn it off.
You've got to think a bit about this, yeah? And the thing is, Kye, and that's why I care about you, is you've got a brain and you could do really well.
I reckon you could get an A in GCSE maths.
And now If you got an A or an A, you could go and do A-Level maths and that would mean you could get a really good job.
"He has a high-pitched voice.
" OK, how could we turn that into an even more creative piece either using a simile or a metaphor? Do you like chess? Are you good? You're not allowed to beat me, though, cos that would just be really embarrassing.
Here, I'll give you some white pieces.
Oh, cheeky.
- Checkmate.
- What? - Checkmate.
- Oh, no way! So you could say, "Justin Bieber has a high-pitched voice "like a bird.
" Or, "Justin Bieber's voice is as high-pitched as a bird.
" Can you write both of those examples down for me, please, Aaron? Why not? Check.
Oh, yes, he's done it! I have, haven't I? I think so.
HE LAUGHS Aaron, do you not see how this is relevant - for your controlled assessment? - How? You need to write about something you love or loathe - Can I write about something I like, then? - .
and - by having a stimulus of things that you dislike - Yeah.
it can help generate creative language for you to be writing.
Now, we could have just written about why you hated Justin Bieber and not had any music on at all.
I don't want to see you in here again.
OK? Hopefully they know that I'm being serious now.
'I genuinely enjoyed that detention.
' I'm hoping that word will get round that if you have a detention with Miss Noronha, she's so weird, she'll play Justin Bieber for half an hour.
- AARON: - I definitely don't want to go back there again.
She's a mental.
After 20 minutes, Charles is out of his meeting with senior staff about Caleb.
He was slightly confrontational at one point but we managed to calm that down.
He was acting totally different from how he acts in class.
And he's a good little actor.
I just sort of said to him that we're on the same side.
We all want the same thing.
We all want him to succeed and that requires both of us to do that and to work together to do it.
- Do you think you're similar, you and Mr Wallendale? - No.
Well, maybe.
Well, he's still kind of my age, you know? He's not a big man.
He will get there eventually, I think.
I hope.
I don't know it, but I hope it.
Do you think it's a bit of a battle then, - between you and Mr Wallendale? - Yes and I am not winning, at the moment.
What does it mean to win? What do you need to do? The power of winning, isn't it? Right, time to go.
10 secs 'I've been told not to smile till Christmas.
'I look quite young and I'm really small.
'Like, half the year sevens are bigger than me.
'If I go in there trying to smile and be friendly' they'll just take me for a ride, they will.
So, I'm not their friend.
You know, they have friends.
I have friends already.
I think I'll still crack the whip.
Thank you.
Last week, Claudenia lost control of her class.
Right, I have some name tags for you, today.
This time, she's handing out name badges to help her identify who's who, in order to keep control.
You have five minutes to try and work out, with your partner, how you can use what I've given you to demonstrate how sound travels.
And she's determined not to take any grief.
Put your equipment down.
Everyone looking at me.
But it's a message that's a bit lost on Alfie.
If we can't handle simple practicals, I will not be able to trust you with anything else.
If I stay "Stop" and it takes this long for you to stop, we will not do anything else in this classroom.
OK, year eight, enjoy your lunch.
'Yes, more positive about that lesson.
' I think I was a bit more firm, which seemed to work.
Alfie "Sir Cheese.
" I don't know what that is supposed to be.
I don't know if that is what I think it is.
SHE LAUGHS Well, they're year eights, would they be drawing naked women - year eight? Is this what I think it is? That drawing.
I don't know.
- What's that relating to? - Nothing.
He'd done that of his own accord.
Sir Cheese? Yeah, but what's that? Do you think that's? What, you? That's not you.
- Yeah, but - Did he do the work? - Yeah.
I mean, but - Forget about it.
Just forget about it? It's not that major, is it? It's not like he's written Is it not boobs or something? Well, he'll say that's eyes, wouldn't he? And a mouth.
Do you know Alfie? He drew this in my lesson.
I don't know if it's what I think it is, like a naked big woman or just a face? - No, that's an inappropriate picture.
- It is.
- That's - Definitely inappropriate.
I'd find him and then just show it to him, like, and say, "Oh, you know, I saw this and I'm just a bit concerned "cos that's the time you should be learning.
" I'd definitely do something about it.
OK, so I've finished marking the rest of the P1s and you should be working on either P2 or M1.
If you feel Have you ever failed at anything in your life? Yeah, of course.
Yeah, I've failed at things.
'Remember that quote I did,' "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
" Climbing a mountain in Israel, fainting and then getting the cable car is a failure to me.
Oliver teaches at Crown Woods with Claudenia.
So far, his GCSE and A-level classes have been a breeze.
But his BTEC group are a different story.
But if I see your phone out then I have to take it away.
He wants to encourage them to work on their own.
- You should not be listening to music while in class.
- I'm not.
Read this, to here, to me, out loud to me.
- But it don't make sense.
- It doesn't make sense? But this approach isn't working for his students.
A few things you need to change.
'I don't think he's the best teacher 'because before we do any independent learning, 'we need to learn the basics' and the actual thing what we're writing about.
When we get understanding, then we can write about what we need to know.
I don't think this is your best attempt at a first draft.
'My metaphor for this is that I think the BTEC class 'are like a newborn baby.
' When it cries, you have to let it cry and cry and cry for the baby to learn that it needs to stop crying on its own.
I'm not here to write 25 essays.
No sentence structure, no punctuation.
Why are you 12 minutes late? Because my bus took long.
This is from Wikipedia, this is from tutor2u, this is from smarter.
Now you're singing? I'm not, I was talking to myself.
- .
can be.
- Ow! - Oh, sorry.
'What is the point of coming to my lesson,' if you're not going to do the work? How behind are they? It's like the horse at the Grand National running with two legs.
So far behind.
Half term is only two weeks away.
We're going to carry on with our research section of our course work.
OK? - Sir.
- Tatron, can you take your coat off? - I'm not Tatron, Sir.
- You're not Tatron? - No.
What's your name? Michael.
- OK.
- Thank you, Sir.
I get confused, you know, - I only teach you once a week.
- I look nothing like Tatron.
I teach lots of Tatrons.
I teach lots of Michaels.
I'm waiting for silence, year eights.
The first question, can someone help me? As part of their course, the teachers will be trained, supported and assessed by senior staff.
It's five weeks into term and we're still on P1 for a lot of you.
That is unacceptable.
And by the university who will award them their teacher qualification.
A good, good solid lesson.
You think about what could even be better.
I guess it's just having that being aware of what might crop up? 'I'm a bit nervous about being assessed as a teacher.
'I find it a bit off-putting.
'I think I'm best' when I'm just, sort of, left alone to work with the kids and having somebody, you know, peering at me, making notes is going to make me really on edge.
- Liam! - What? Can you sit in your seat? - Yeah.
- Aaron, good afternoon.
We need to turn to act three, scene five.
And it's not just anyone doing Meryl's observation today.
It's the head, Lynn Gadd.
Remember, back in these days, did women go to work? Yes or no? - No.
- Probably not.
So they're not necessarily bringing any 'Is it normal for the head to come in?' 'I don't think it's normal.
' So I think it's nice that she has popped in.
- Hi, Meryl.
- Hi.
Look at you, you poor thing.
Come in.
The following day, she's asked Meryl to pop up to her office.
So I thought it would be good just to have a bit of a conversation - about that snapshot of a lesson I saw.
- Yeah.
A few things to suggest that might help.
- Please! - The first one is about the marking of the books.
- Yeah.
The only real way to give them feedback and to check their progress - and to encourage them is through that marking.
- Mm-hm.
The student I sat next to, his book, you know, it wasn't underlined.
- Yeah.
- It was not good, but then you're not guiding him - OK.
to excellence, you know.
And you've got to demand the best out of them.
Whenever you can, give them these reward points.
- You should be constantly writing up - Yeah.
you know, one point, two points.
"Hey, you've got three points," you know, "Well done.
" I think, as adults, we've got to use standard English all the time.
You just happened, when I was in the room, to say daughter without the "t".
- Yeah.
- You were saying daugh-er.
- The child that can't spell daughter - Yeah.
isn't going to spell it properly if they hear you saying daugh-er.
- Enjoy the rest of the day.
- I will do, thank you.
'We need to try and guide her 'to start to make some crucial improvements pretty quickly.
'Otherwise, the longer some of the improvements are left,' the more difficult it's going to be to turn things around.
At Crown Woods, Claudenia is determined to get to the bottom of what 12-year-old Alfie was doodling in her lesson.
Hi, Alfie.
You all right? So I found this on your desk, yesterday.
- BACKGROUND CHATTER - I just wanted to know what it was about.
What's Sir Cheese about? - I don't know.
- You don't know? What's it a drawing of? - You sure you don't know? - No.
It's just a person.
It's a person? Is it an appropriate picture to be drawing in school? No.
If that was sent home, would your parents be very pleased to see that? No.
If I see anything else like that again, I'll be having to contact home.
All right.
I'll see you on Wednesday.
I'm not sure.
Like, some teachers said, "Oh, it's not really a big issue.
" And others said, "It's not appropriate.
" SoI'm not sure.
He didn't really seem embarrassed or anything, but I didn't want it to just go past, but I don't think I really I didn't give him anysanction, so It's gone now, it's finished with.
Zoe, can you take a seat for me, please? Following her talk with the head, Meryl needs to get a grip and fast.
Can you do it now, please, cos my lesson's actually started.
But over several lessons, class behaviour goes from bad to worse.
'Every single lesson, there's just behaviour issues.
'People - they're using the blinds to hit each other.
'They're having arm wrestles.
' Shit, come off it! 'Swearing.
'I tell them all the time that they do inadequate work.
'It is just poor across the board.
' - Can we pay attention at the back, please? - I need a wee! Even the teaching assistant lends a hand in trying to get Meryl's class under control.
They're not working, not paying any attention to you.
They're colouring in, doing what they want.
- So they all need to go up.
- Right.
- How many times have you asked them to work? They all need You'll be joining them if you don't get some work done.
Yeah, and like I just said 'A usual class would be, like,' screaming, shouting, things being thrown out the window, things being lobbed across the classroom.
Can I have quick word with you, Charlie? 'She moans at us for not doing work but then, like,' she, like, don't really try hard enough with us to, like, do the work.
So, I don't see how that's fair, to be honest.
That pen nearly took one of the gentleman's eyes out and I'm not kidding.
Do you think Miss Noronha is ever going to, kind of, get the respect off you guys? - I don't know, like - Yeah .
if she tries getting a bit more stricter then, like, maybe - Oh, yeah.
- If she's more firmer.
But I'm giving my respect to her, because obviously she's given her time up to teach us.
- Like, I think - Which she gets paid for.
- Well, she gets Well, still, she doesn't have to be here.
Yeah, so Yeah, I'm giving my respect to her, unlike someone, who got kicked out the class.
I'm probably, like, the one who, like, distracts the lesson and that.
Behaviour like this is unusual at Harefield and will not be tolerated.
Lynn has seen enough.
I'm going to go through the answers.
From now on, extra teachers will be sent in to Meryl's difficult lessons and she'll get more training on how to tackle bad behaviour.
putting your hand up.
'It's slightly worrying.
' Like, I'm sure Nick probably doesn't have as many people popping into his lessons and whoever's on stand-by come in at the start of the lesson.
'In order for them to have the best possible chance, 'they need the best possible teacher.
' I'm not just letting myself down, but I'm letting down the students that I'm teaching and that's really unforgiveable.
- Hello.
- Hi, there.
Claudenia lives in South London.
This is such a feast.
She's invited Nick and Meryl over for a spot of occupational therapy.
- Do you think doing it's easier or harder than you thought it would be? - It's harder.
I thought an advantage for me would be I'm working class - That's what I'd say.
- Yeah.
- I'll be able to relate to these kids.
- I know what they're going through.
- It doesn't work.
- And I know squat about what they're going through.
It's gotten to a point where I feel that I've been observed so much and I've had so much feedback that'sunderstandably it's not going to be great.
At home, we used to talk about, I don't know, what is good about public school, cos there are some things.
Nicholas went to Harrow, a ã30,000-a-year public school a few miles from Harefield.
Famous old Harrovians include minor royals and no less than seven British prime ministers, including Winston Churchill.
If I look back on my experience of public school, we were never made to worry about whether we were going to get a job or not.
It was just like - Going to university? - No, we were all going to go to university.
- Exactly, where you were going.
- We were all going, - it wasn't a worry.
- And to a good one.
- The question was, - "Which one are you going to?" - Yeah.
Where the public school part of me has had an effect, I don't know.
It's more instinctive than anything that I can observe.
- Do you never feel that pressure, though? - No.
- Cos I feel like I just don't I refuse to feel the pressure for the moment.
- I feel the pressure.
- I feel it.
I never do any work outside of school.
- I do.
- I have to.
- So I leave at eight and then once I'm home, it's like I'm home, that's it.
Cos also I know when I'm tired, I start being really grumpy with my kids - and that is, like, a spiral thing.
- Yeah.
- True.
- I've got no patience right now.
- Cos positive behaviour management works.
- Positive behaviour management really works.
- True.
- If you can just be like, "That's really good, well done.
" - Yeah.
- It just turns everything round.
- It changes them.
- I need eight hours of sleep and I'm not getting it.
- Yeah.
You're going to start in a minute, when I get these boys in.
It's the last day before half term.
In an attempt to get his year 11s to knuckle down, Charles has set them a short test.
'It's a reality check for them.
' If you keep on working the way you have been working so far, this is the grade you're likely to get.
Caleb, you can come in.
Write a name on your test.
He's also moved Caleb next to his top student, Abigail, in the hope her good behaviour rubs off.
Caleb's got anger management.
My sister and brother, they've both got anger management and then, like, they've got different characteristics so I know how to deal with it.
No shouting out.
Put your hand up if you have a question.
You've got 30 Caleb, that's a warning.
This is a test now, yeah? That means we don't talk.
Yeah, he has to be in the mood.
It depends on what he did the day before.
Like, if he went to bed late, he doesn't want to work.
If he went to bed early and he had a very nice chat with his friends, then he would want to work.
It looks like last night was a late one.
BELL RINGS OK, can we put our tests in the middle of our tables, please? - THEY CHEER - See you after half term.
Right, everybody can go.
See you after half term.
I fell asleep, but that's not a thing because I had finished my test.
So it's not disturbing anyone.
It's not letting anyone down.
- See you after half term.
- Bye.
- Bye.
No, I did stuff.
School's just boring.
Can you tell us what you're doing with your half term, Sir? I'm going to New York to visit my brother.
Au revoir.
I'd like to congratulate you cos you've all got through your first half of term.
After eight long, hard weeks, both teachers and students get a break from one another.
I mean, that's really good.
And me too, me too.
So to congratulate you, I'm going to break the rules cos I've got some sweets.
ALL: Yeah! I'm not Does anyone like these? ALL: Yeah! OK, the sweets.
Lewis, hide it.
I don't want you to eat it.
Put it in your pocket.
Put it in your pockets.
- Sweeties.
- No, not at all.
I'm doing it cos I like you all.
- Bye-bye.
- Have a really good half term.
- All right then, see you later.
- All right, bye.
- THEY CHEER - Excuse me.
It's also their first chance to properly catch up with family and friends.
Eh! Yeah.
Nicholas did a four-year engineering degree before Teach First and today, he's graduating.
It's the first time he's seen his old uni mates since they all started their first jobs.
- Who else? - So Nick, how's it going at the school? - Teaching? - Glug it in.
- Teaching is hard work.
- Yeah.
- Ooh! - Whoo! - I arrive at school at seven and then leave at eight.
- You work an hour? - THEY LAUGH - Yeah, Phil(!) - Do you have? Let's have a toast.
This is for graduating.
- Cheers.
- Graduating, yeah.
- Whoo! - To surviving.
- Making it uphill.
- THEY LAUGH You're from a very different background to the kids you're teaching.
- Yeah, I know.
- How does that work, because you kind of? - Actually, it's had such little effect up until now.
On Tuesday, the first time, a girl was like, "Sir, you've got such a posh voice.
Have you got a posh voice?" And I was like, "I might do.
I just speak normally.
"You should try to speak like that.
" THEY LAUGH How do you see that you have to adapt your style of teaching - to do all that? - Completely.
You've got to literally just, like, give them really easy stuff then tell them how amazing they are and then, like, slowly bring it up.
And you've chosen to take probably the biggest pay hit out of everyone sat at this table.
- Yeah.
- And was it worth it? Well, at the moment it's worth it cos I'm doing something that I feel I'm being exploited for, in a good sense.
In the sense that I'm doing things I love and I'm with children all day and I feel There is the feel-good factor.
You can't carry on living at home, though.
And you're going to be faced with that problem of needing to take up a large chunk - of your salary - Yeah.
- .
and put that on rent.
- No, exactly.
At the moment, your parents are being generous - and allowing you to stay at home.
- Well, exactly.
What it does, it makes the financial factor of that choice - have a larger influence.
- Do you think you'll gain? Which it doesn't at the moment and it didn't when I left Imperial.
'When he decided to do Teach First, 'he knew what salary he was going to be on.
'He could be have on 3035,000.
He's on 22.
' On the other hand, if he decides to leave teaching, he could go and do anything that he wanted to do, just like the rest of us.
He has the same skill set that we have and he could go on to achieve great things if he wanted to and earn a lot of money.
If I was going to bet, I would say that he'll leave teaching.
- To civil engineering.
- Yeah.
Oliver has gone back to Leeds to visit his mum and dad.
My parents are overjoyed that I'm doing Teach First and I'm being a teacher.
'My dad wanted to be a French teacher.
' It's frustrating when I don't feel that they actually, like, want to learn.
That's kind of a challenge.
Especially with the BTEC class because I think some of the students feel quite de-motivated and this is difficult and I need to keep, you know, pushing.
I mean, I'm never going to get complacent at this, because every day throws you a new challenge that you have to, you know, defeat.
And despite how early it is, if I asked you as to whether you could see teaching as a long-term career for you, what would you say? I don't know how long, but I can see myself doing this for five years plus right now.
I'm just happy that you're both so awesome.
THEY LAUGH One person Meryl can turn to for a bit of support is the reverend Stefan Chrysostomou - Hi.
- Hi! - How are you? - How are you? .
her boyfriend.
'I sometimes characterize her as a tough cookie.
' It's astounding to me the amount of time that Meryl spends on her work.
OK, what do I need to do today? Lesson plans.
'She brings her marking, her laptop,' her lesson planning notes with her and works here.
How are the year tens being at the moment? - Worse than - Worse? - .
I've ever seen them.
- Really? - Yeah.
Well, how much worse are we talking? Every lesson, I feel like I can barely teach them things because I'm just waiting for something to kick off.
I don't have a lunchtime, because I spend my lunchtime putting their books in place.
- Opening - They can put their own books in place! Oh, no, no, no.
The books need to be ready for them cos otherwise it takes them ten minutes of learning time for them to get their books out and all of that.
- Yeah.
- You work every hour that God sends.
This is the longest that you and I have sat down without, you know, having a conversation over your marking.
- I know it's - Yeah.
Do you want a hug? Yeah.
Do you want to finish your pasta first? THEY LAUGH Yeah.
Alfie, quickly.
On your next page Right, good morning, everyone.
Did everyone have a nice half term? THEY MUMBLE "Yeah Yeah, it was all right.
" Saskia, how lovely of you to join us.
OK, so well done.
- Did you all have a lovely half term? - Yah.
- Make sure you've got everything you need for your lessons this morning.
Have a look in your planners.
Bye, guys, have a good day.
OK? I only want to hear nice things.
Good morning.
Don't log onto the computer yet.
Not yet, don't log on.
- Just come in and sit down.
Thank you.
- Morning.
- Morning.
At Crown Woods, Oliver is being observed with his failing BTEC class.
Today, we're going to start looking at P4, which is due, first draft, a week today.
All right.
Pretty disorganised, don't you think? Would I accept a folder like that? - No.
- No.
Do you have feedback? Have you got an example of your feedback from the last time? - No.
- Where is it? I don't have it.
'His other classes are making better progress than this one.
'He looks a little deflated, I think.
' Brilliant, thank you.
'They're a more difficult group' cos they may have lower aspirations than the GCSE group have.
'It's difficult to drag 22 people with you,' rather than bring 22 people with you.
And there's a bit of dragging and pushing at the moment.
Meera? Today, Charles is handing out the results of the test his year 11 class took before half term.
Look at your handwriting? HE LAUGHS Some of you are closer to your target grades than others.
If you've got a few grades to go up, you need to really think about working extremely hard for the next six months.
What would you like to get? Like, a B or C.
Do you think you can? Yeah, I could.
But I don't think I will.
What's Caleb aiming for? He wants a B.
Caleb can get a B.
I can see why he won't, but you also .
I think, you know, that's possible.
I know it's not reality yet, but sometimes I think in my head that everything's just going to turn out good, no matter how lazy I am.
I know the reality is that it won't.
But I still can't get myself to change.
I don't know how to teach a BTEC class.
They are my Everest.
I think that they hate me because they just expect me to just give them all the answers, just like spoon-feeding them over and over and over again.
It's just plagiarism-mania, as well.
Just like, "How many websites can I copy and get away with? "And let's change every second word so he doesn't realise.
" Like, it's just - I don't know how - What does that tell you about them? That they're willing to cheat to win? No.
Their problem currently is they don't know the information sources.
From my perspective, you went through survival, service provision, stakeholders, breakeven, growth for 25 minutes.
Not all of them could even remember the five points that you covered.
I would have only done one and then expect them to work on that one.
It's short, it's sharp.
"Here are four information sources "that you could find good quality information about breakeven points "in relation to a company.
" So you're actually improving their research skills.
Your approach is quite similar to that in your GCSEs and the frustration comes out, "God, it worked with them.
Why can't it work with you?" OK, I need to go to outside, sorry.
He kinda stormed out.
He's not happy with the feedback, obviously.
He's not happy with the class.
He'd like it to be perfect.
He'd like to be able to click his fingers and make it work immediately.
After hiding in the toilets for five minutes, Oliver returns to his empty classroom.
I feel like I've failed for the first time in a long time.
I had a little cry in the bathroom a minute ago and then I decided and I wrote a song in the bathroom.
I couldn't deal with my emotions, so I wrote a song in the bathroom.
To make me feel better.
It's actually funny, as I was writing it, I realised that it's the best song I've written in like, a year.
"I'm sinking like a wounded ship and falling with my broken wing.
" Then it gets a little more personal.
"Help me find my way through the roof.
"Get myself on my feet.
"I thought I was a star but instead I'm falling deep.
" Thinkingfalling? Whatever, I wrote it in five minutes.
The date today is Friday 9th November.
The title is "The Problems of Urbanisation.
" You're still talking.
Our title is, "The Problems of Urbanisation.
" Boys, I'm still waiting.
Birdle's still got a jacket on.
Troy is facing the wrong way.
'It's a very personal thing, teaching.
'That was one thing that shocked me when I went in, 'how emotional your response is.
'Because you're standing up there delivering something that 'you've prepared and if they then don't care,' or say, "it's boring", or don't bother doing the work, it's quite I actually swear I've quite an emotional response to it, which I didn't expect.
I thought it was good I'm still waiting seven minutes in.
'Then there's always the lesson where it goes wrong 'and when one of them decides' to jump out the window, or throw a table over, or decide he's just not going to do it, he doesn't care.
No, no, no.
I'm talking to you now.
I've said your name three times now.
- I know, I know.
- You've ignored me.
- Yeah, I know that.
'I think, "Oh, I'm terrible at this job.
' "I can't do this.
Why doesn't he care about my subject?" And why isn't this kid working well for me but he works well for everyone else, and you can become very critical of yourself.
What's up with sitting here? No-one even I talk to is on this table.
In Charles's RE class, Caleb's refusing to sit next to Abigail because she's got a cold.
Caleb, wait outside, please, if you're not going to move.
So you don't have to sit next to her but I want you on that table.
- No, I'm not going there.
- OK, wait outside, please.
That's a shame.
It's not going to help you with your GCSEs.
- Sorry? - Neither is getting the cold.
Joel also gets sent out for refusing to work.
He's a waste, man, of a teacher.
He's not a good teacher at all.
He needs to go back to uni and study again, cos he is crap at teaching.
He's crap at being a teacher as well.
He's just crap all over.
The guy's brain doesn't even work right.
I feel like he's mentally ill.
After ten minutes, Joel is allowed back in.
I can see lots of you care about your GCSE result - unlike some people.
- Who? I don't know.
I'm not naming names.
There are just some people in this world who don't care.
Charles calls the deputy head for backup.
He needs to stay outside still? Yeah, Caleb's decided he's not going to move seats because somebody's got a cold on that table and he doesn't want to sit next to them.
So I said, "if you don't want to sit where I've asked you to sit, "then you can not be in my lesson".
- She's got a cold? - Yeah, and I'm not getting it.
The whole world's got colds at the moment.
Look where I'm sitting, sir, I'm not sitting next No, no, no, no.
This is not about a cold.
Look at me.
- It is about a cold.
- No, no, no.
This is about you looking for something as an excuse or a way out of not doing something.
Cos I was doing my work when I was sitting there, sir.
- OK, can I ask you a question? - Yes.
Yes, you can.
- Do want to now have a conversation in my office, please? - Pardon? My office, please.
Let's go.
- You want me to go to your office? - My office, please, come on.
Charles's lesson isn't the only one that Caleb's been causing trouble in and the school is starting to get worried.
Have a seat, please.
You're wasting a lot of people's time in education.
You're now not in a frame of mind at all to take on the rest of the day, are you? - Are you, really? - How do you mean? Well, look at that for a start, OK? I'm concerned about you.
When you're in that lesson, and I've observed you with sir, you have given some fantastic answers.
You have also been one of the quickest to take up his concepts, cos you're bright.
It's when YOU decide not to cooperate that there suddenly becomes a bit of a problem.
I'm concernedwhy that is.
Why is it? Why do I have to move seats? Because he's the adult and you're the child.
- We're not equals.
- No, you're not equals.
- There's no equality.
- You're not equals.
That's ageist.
That's an ageist thing to say.
Oh, no.
You are not his equal.
He asked you to do something.
You refused to do it.
- Yes, I did.
- That becomes disruption.
- And I still will.
- OK, OK.
That becomes disruption.
- So if you're telling me you don't want to be there - Yes.
That is you saying to everybody else, all right, "I want my way.
" So you're more important than everybody else.
Now, is that equal? You're more important than anybody else, is that equal? No, it's not at all.
The reason he wants you to learn is cos he's a decent person, like most of the staff here.
Join usor don't bother.
That's where it's come with you now.
Join us, or don't bother.
Right, go outside sir's door now.
Please, thank you.
The conversation's finished.
I'm just a little youth.
I have no say in my life, what happens in my life.
So what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to make a change if I can't do anything? I have to take orders from the next man which is just somebody else's son, just like me, another human being with blood, flesh and tears and just like me and I can't do nothing about it.
Cos I'm just a little youth that was born a couple years ago.
Like I don't have a mind and a heart and shit that I want to pursue in my fucking life as well.
Well, fuck that, I'm going to do what I want to do.
I don't care about school.
I don't care about nothing.
I can be anything I want.
I can be anything I want when I'm older cos I've got them skills.
I don't need nobody.
I need no family, no teachers, nothing, I don't need shit cos I can go out there and make way more money than they're making right now.
Ultimately, there comes a point where he wasted time in my lesson there, you know? I didn't get through as much as I would have done.
So he's disrupting other people's learningwhich isn't fair, and so there's only so much effort that I'm going to put into convincing him thathe's making the wrong decision.
12 secs I'm never going to be some of these teachers, you know? Some of these teachers are either, you know, they're really strict and they've got that respect and, you know, maybe I'll never be someone like that and some teachers are reallysuper positive all the time and really energetic and maybe I'll never be that kind of teacher, but maybe I need to find out where I am on the spectrum.
Harefield management also wants to find out where Meryl is on the spectrum.
Just a few days into the new term and Meryl is already under scrutiny from vice principal Gavin Henderson.
OK, you've got some pictures on the board.
He wants to know if all the extra support from the school and Teach First has had any effect.
- And when will you? I've been there like, five times.
- Lenny.
Top right and then the bottom Top right is Watford and then bottom left is Ruislip Manor.
No, top left is Harrow, what you saying? - Archie, why are you standing up? - Will you go sit down now? Sit down.
Right, Archie, stop throwing.
Aaron, sit down! And I'm doing good? - Hi, sir.
- Are you all right? Yeah, that wasnot good.
How does that compare with other lessons you've had with them? To be honest, behaviour was actually, I felt, worse.
- Worse? - Yeah.
- OK.
Good, I'll leave you - Thank you so much, sir.
- I'll leave you to it and we'll catch up later.
- Of course.
- OK, thank you.
- In your office? - Yes, please, yeah.
- OK.
See you then.
- Righty ho.
It is really important that, you know, the feedback that I'm getting suggests that I'm moving in the right direction.
This is something that's kind of like a long-term career thing, so I do want to know that I'm, you know, on the right track.
We're going to start afresh.
We're going to explain what "break even" means.
Oliver's decided to take a new approach with his BTEC class.
And then after 20 minutes, we're going to share and we're going to discuss what people have written so that we're all on the same page.
I don't know if that's right? I looked over your shoulder and I've read what you've written and it's all great, really.
Looks good, so far.
It is much easier that way.
I think he's got it right this time.
This time.
OK, guys, let's do some share time.
OK, what is break even? Daniel.
Where a business's total costs are covered by the total sales.
Because he, like, went step by step, it was good.
A business could fail.
Maybe Mr Hartnett had a little bit of a word with him and told him you need to do some things in order for us to improve.
I feel like a new man, very, very good.
The new technique is working really well, which is great.
12 secs - Hi, Gavin, how are you? - How are you? Take a seat.
- Thank you.
After a trying week, Meryl is called to the vice principal's office for the results of her observation.
As you know, the purpose of this meeting is to talk over the kind ofwhere you are at, at the moment.
What we've done is we've been in touch with Teach First.
- They need to sort of have a judgment from us of - Yeah.
of where you're at.
What we've done, to not beat about the bush, is we've flagged you as a cause for concern.
- OK.
- OK? Some of those lessons that we've observed, you know, if you were to ask the students as they left, you know, "what did you learn in the lesson?" It wouldn't be complimentary.
- OK.
- OK and so Cause for concern acts as a final warning.
If Meryl doesn't improve, she could lose her job, and her career as a teacher would be over.
- You know, get yourself very organised.
- OK, then.
- OK.
- Thank you so much.
- Yes, OK.
Righty ho.
Yes, it's just so embarrassing cos anybody who knew me knew how much I wanted to be a teacher and I told everyone, you know, "I'm finally getting that opportunity.
" It's the only thing I've ever really wanted in life, is to be a teacher.
Thank you, Gavin, bye.
If the school asked me to leave I'd be heartbroken, I really would.
Who's still talking? Next time, the teacher's try a spot of bonding.
I knew he was posh.
I knew it, I knew it.
I knew he was posh cos that's what posh people do.
"Oh, yes, let's go shoot some plates.
" Exam pressure becomes too much for some.
And I was thinking, "Look at all these lines.
"I have to fill up all of these lines," And, you know, I just couldn't handle it.
No-one can ever be ready for an exam.
- Go.
- Gordon.
- Go.
- No, put the chair down.
And Meryl's neck is on the line.
To be quite honest, it didn't seem to suggest a great deal of progress.
Bloody idiot.
It has crossed my mind that, like, my school would fire me.
I feel like they're that disappointed in me.