One of my biggest classroom fears has always been behaviour leadership and management. I’m a self confessed push over at times, and have even been told by a year 6 student in the past that “if you’re going to have a class of your own, then you can’t be so nice!”. That’s not to say that classrooms descend into anarchy in my presence, but I certainly know that my current behaviour skills leave a lot to be desired.
We’ve now had our seminar on behaviour leadership and thankfully I already feel much better. We’ve been given some very useful advice, tackled misconceptions about shouting and tried our hand at responding to given scenarios. I now feel like I have an armoury of top behaviour leaderships tips that I can pull out on placement…and will hopefully work!
- A calm voice is often more effective (and more chilling) then a loud one. Children are likely to hear shouting at home. Don’t add to that!
- Pick your battles! Being in control doesn’t mean that you squash every ounce of negative behaviour in your classroom. Sometimes an all guns blazing approach just creates more problems. Get to know your pupils and asses whether something is worth dealing with.
- Have respect for your pupils. Starting with a trusting relationship will show them you care and don’t assume the worst in them. This will (hopefully) encourage a positive relationship between yourself and your pupils and in turn create a better classroom atmosphere.
- Never stop listening. Before allowing low level disruptions to annoy you, think about why that child may be behaving in that way.
- Give them a choice. We’ve all heard of those ultimatums disguised as choices “do this or else you’ll miss your break time. It’s your choice!” Well that is not a good way to deal with an issue. It’s negative, aggressive and leaves you with no other options if they still refuse. Give your pupils a real choice if they feel they can’t work in their current situation. Allow them to read a book in another class or move seats. Sometimes being listened to and understood is all they need.
- Be consistent. If you allow children to call out one minute and then not the next you cannot expect consistent behaviour from them. Set clear expectations and stick to them from the get go.
I know it’s easier to write these ideas down then it is to actually put them into practice, but everyone has to start somewhere! I now have one week left until I start my first placement. One week does not feel like enough time at all, but placement is coming whether I’m ready or not!
Wish me luck.