Remember that moment when you get home from work or back from a night class and your partner’s in a bad mood? How long does it usually take you to work it out? Hours? Minutes? A few seconds?
Most of the people I ask say a few seconds, some even go as far to say that they can tell before they’ve even stepped foot in the room. However long it takes you, students are no different, they’ll make up their mind whether the lesson will be enjoyable or not within the first five minutes. This can mean the difference between an engaged learner and a disruptive one, and once an opinion has been formed it can take a lot for that to be changed.
Do you have one class that you just can’t seem to build any rapport with? Is their behaviour difficult to control?
Here are some great tips from the world of professional speaking that will give you more certainty, confidence and conviction when it matters most. David Hyner delivers student and staff training workshops on presentation skills, and the use of gesture and body language to gain rapport and manage the classroom.
The audience or students need to “see, hear and feel” that what you are telling them is true for them to engage with you.
Effective and positive behaviour management is achievable through the combination of a well-designed, robust IT system and properly supported teachers following a clear and fair behaviour policy. Sounds like a simple strategy, but putting a software system in place that enables a school to record, monitor, analyse and manage pupil behaviour can be problematic.
Teaching, learning and behaviour are inseparable issues in school: without good order in the classroom, effective teaching cannot take place and pupils’ learning is inhibited. Even low-level disruption in the classroom is a significant source of stress for teachers. Poor behaviour, whatever its severity, impacts on every aspect of school life, from exam results to teacher and pupil wellbeing. As a result, managing pupil behaviour effectively is at the centre of a school’s core business.
Since 2006, the Education Inspections Act has made it the legal responsibility of every headteacher to ensure their school's behavioural policy addresses the prevention of bullying in all forms. This is a huge responsibility and cannot be taken lightly. Have you taken time recently to consider how your school is confronting bullying?
Throughout Anti-Bullying Week 2012, Bully Watch, the anti-bullying experts, will be providing us with five tips (one per day) that you can follow or use as a basis to help form your own school anti-bullying plan.
When we understand how something works, we can manage it better and are more likely to use it to good effect. The same is true of values, which impact every aspect of our lives but so often we are not consciously aware of their significance.
Take, for example, identifying what makes you “click” with someone. Start by considering what it is that you have in common and what it is that enables you to enjoy each other’s company and want to work together. How does the “clicking” manifest in terms of:
Over the last few weeks, lots of bloggers have been giving advice to incoming NQTs about how to deal with behaviour in their first year of teaching. Whilst not wanting to compete with this advice, as the advice comes from more experienced teachers, I would like to give my own personal tips to NQTs, as it is only a year since I was in that position myself.
There are a number of things which I wish I'd known last year, which would have made my first year a whole lot easier.
- Know the procedures inside out - Unless you play it by the book, you're going to struggle, and the students will know you're struggling. For example, if there is a discipline code of conduct, get to know it and follow it.
The success of two Lancashire Short Stay Schools (PRUs) demonstrates the importance of effective monitoring and analysis of pupil behaviour. The Oswaldtwistle School and Shaftesbury House School are short stay schools for pupils displaying challenging behaviour.
Oswaldtwistle is a short stay school for pupils temporarily removed from mainstream education. It can accommodate up to 65 pupils at a time. Head teacher Mark Bocker introduced the IT-based monitoring system IRIS at The Oswaldtwistle School to facilitate a change of emphasis to the overall behaviour management strategy in the school. Shifting to a rewards-based approach allowed Bocker to focus the daily staff de-briefing on reinforcing positive behaviours and sharing good practice, rather than discussing negative behaviour.
Today ClassDojo, the digital character building and behaviour management service for teachers, is launching the first-ever mobile app designed to help teachers build specific positive behaviours and character strengths in the classroom. The iOS app designed for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices is an extension of the ClassDojo platform that leverages innovative and easy-to-adopt tools for teachers to create a comprehensive learning environment and reinforce character strengths – the same strengths that have been shown to be the best predictors of future success, happiness and health.
The ClassDojo iOS app will make it easier than ever for teachers to monitor and track behaviour in real time. The free app allows teachers to register for an account on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, set up and view all of their classes, and assign personalised avatars to each of their students. Teachers can then walk around the classroom and reinforce positive behaviour by awarding students with feedback in real-time. These feedback points are instantly displayed in the classroom with audio-visual cues allowing students to see how they are progressing individually and as a class.
When I used to provide sessions on classroom management to our regular cohorts of trainee teachers, one thing I noted was how poorly they prepared themselves to deal with misbehaviour. Though they all planned their lesson content - their starter activity, plenary and so on - virtually none had a plan for how he would respond to bad behaviour.
Yet misbehaviour in lessons is almost certain. If you enter a classroom without a clear idea of how to respond to it, you will have to make things up on the spot.
This is generally not a good idea. For one thing, a punishment contrived and applied on the spur of the moment can be as much of an inconvenience to you as to the miscreant. “Right, you can spend your lunchtime with me!” Oh dear, that’s your well-earned lunch break spent in a classroom with a warm sandwich and sulky teenager.
Every classroom I've been in has rules. Some are phrased as a positive statement: "We are good listeners". Others are more clear cut: "Don't rock on your chair". Teachers view these as the backbone of their classroom. Their proverbial rod of iron, so to speak. In one class I went into they had a full display board of rules. Fifteen of them. In my opinion, that's way too many.
As an NQT, my main focus was to be a good teacher by ensuring my teaching 'happened'. I needed rules that allowed me to teach the lessons I'd planned. Nothing unusual about that. But the interesting thing was, one year, I didn't put up my class rules display (I had 7 rules on my display) and the strangest thing happened... The class did as I expected them to, without the big list of rules.