Poor behaviour does not happen in isolation – something is driving it, and a one-size-fits-all approach to behaviour management will not work. Sarah Long, an assistant headteacher and SENCO advises in SecEd.
When I started thinking about behaviour, I was transported back to my time as an NQT – a long time ago! I started remembering the diametrically opposed advice I got off other teachers about how to manage children’s behaviour:
- Don’t smile ‘til Christmas.
- Never say anything negative to any child you work with.
- It is like a war and you are the officer in charge.
- Display the behaviour that you want the children to mirror back to you.
- Do not let the little monsters grind you down and make sure you are a bigger bitch than them.
- If you treat a child with respect, they will remember you forever.
- Children are like dogs – they sense fear.
All these little gems of wisdom were very interesting, but they did nothing to help me decide, as an NQT, how on earth I was going to control the behaviour of 30 children.
Lots of children, sadly, live in a reality where they think no-one likes them and feel that they are unlikeable. We sometimes forget that behaviour does not just happen in isolation, something has to be driving it: unmet special needs, a lack of boundaries and direction and sometimes, even more sadly, it is learned behaviour observed from the actions of people around them.
I do not underestimate how difficult it is to manage behaviour with the ever-increasing complexity of the children in schools. However, sticking to some basics makes the job a lot easier:
Get to know your children before they walk in your classroom door – know their levels, their SEN, any home circumstances that might affect their behaviour (this comes back to treating children’s behaviour on an individual basis).
Have very clear expectations and routines from the very first lesson and stick to them.
Communicate frequently about behaviour (good and bad).
Read more advice for making the job easier and what alternative approaches you can take A discussion about student behaviour
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!