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Behaviour Management Advice

The role of the teacher is not only about facilitating young people’s learning but includes managing challenging behaviour which can be daunting and sometimes exhausting.

Recently qualified teachers may find it the most challenging but there are several skills and techniques to learn to keep you in control of classroom behaviour and even eliminate poor behaviour all together.

Examples of poor behaviour

Schools are likely to have a defined list of what is not acceptable and their own behaviour management policy, so it is important to get familiar with these early on as pupils tend to respond positively to the reward and sanction policy which is in place by the school.

Common examples of poor behaviour include:

  • Throwing or breaking equipment

  • Interrupting/shouting out/name calling

  • Getting out of seats or leaving the room without permission

  • Conversations that are nothing to do with the lesson

  • Arriving late

  • Swearing

Firstly, everyone has their own techniques when it comes to managing pupil behaviour, usually down to experience. However, we have provided some hints and tips to help you along the way:

Positivity: Use positive language, smile, use humour where appropriate, explain tasks clearly, avoid shouting and be encouraging.

Stay Calm: Use a normal natural voice, always remain confident and in control, address behavioural issues quickly and effectively. Avoid humiliation, anger, and unnecessary threats.

Patience: Speak only when students are quiet and ready.

Be Authoritative: Use your speech and your body language to assert your authority within the classroom. Hand signals and other non-verbal communication can be just as effective. Don’t be afraid to give instructions and set clear expectations. Eye contact and posing questions are a great way to appear in control.

Be Alert: Monitor and circulate the classroom, try to stick to seating plans where possible. Get out of the habit of sitting behind a desk.

Preparation: Have your own ‘bag of tricks’; pens, pencils, rubbers, board pens, worksheets, a whistle etc. Model the behaviour you expect from them; be punctual, well organised and polite.

Consistency: Be fair and follow through with any sanctions issued during the lesson.

It is important to remember that every school is different, and most schools have variations to their behaviour policy’s. It is important that you adapt to the schools you teach in. It is also good to be mindful of the fact that some students may be exempt from specific policies for various medical reasons, for example:

Toilet passes – All schools will have their own policies regarding using the toilet in lessons. Usually once the pupils are in a lesson they are not allowed to leave for the toilet unless they have a toilet pass. This may be a small number of people but it’s good to check, usually via the school’s online pupil management system such as Class Charts or SIMS.

Leaving lessons early – Schools tend to be strict about only letting students leave on the sound of the bell. However, some pupils may have a requirement to leave 5 minutes early. Usually there is a teaching assistant in the lesson as well to help facilitate this. If you are ever unsure, make sure you ask another member of staff.

Time out cards – To help students avoid getting into trouble, a school may allow some to have a time out card. Students that have difficultly controlling anger use it to take 5 minutes out of a lesson if they feel they are struggling. It’s there to help them calm down and refocus for learning. It is important to recognise this, so you don’t accidentally escalate a situation. Equally, it is important to make sure the student is using it correctly and not as an excuse to get out of doing something they don’t want to do. A teaching assistant should be in the lesson as well if this is the case who can provide more guidance.

Although a lot of behaviour management techniques are sometimes easier said than done. We hope that maybe some of our techniques may be helpful and contribute towards making you feel more confident in the classroom.

If you are a teacher looking for supply work, contact us today.

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