It’s nearly December, a ridiculously busy time for teachers and parents alike. Sickness bugs are sweeping the school, nativity nerves are increasing, and the Christmas excitement is building, the last thing you need is students challenging your authority.
During this time of year, it’s more important than ever to continue the momentum on behaviour for learning established on day one.
So, how can you best go about this?
1) Maintain routines
We all have our own little routines, from a glass of wine on a Friday night to brushing our teeth before bed. Routines for children are especially important, helping them understand the balance between enjoyable tasks and functional tasks, as well as reducing stress by placing them in a predictable environment. When the winter draws in, it’s vital you don’t let the routines of handing out books, setting homework, and lining up the class fall by the wayside. Setting routines in the classroom allow you to teach better for longer and once embedded free up time to catch up on anything missed in the earlier stages.
2) Express your love for your job
We know, it can sometimes be difficult to love your job every single day of the work week because, well, life often throws obstacles at us. However, showing your students how much you love teaching them and enjoy your job brings them comfort. Expressing to your children that you know they won’t misbehave and you trust them builds a positive relationship, reducing the possibility of poor behaviour.
3) Keep your eyes peeled
Having eyes in the back of your head is a skill almost all teachers have mastered, having to avoid the temptation of checking that quick email or getting drawn in by protracted conversations. You’ll have already scoped out the best position in the classroom to monitor your class by this point in the year, being able to put out disruption smoothly and calmly. Remember, anything nipped in the bud now with the minimum of fuss will establish a culture of your classroom for the year to come.
4) React in the right ways
As a teacher, there’ll have been times you’ve had to hold your tongue or assess what would be the correct reaction. Understanding when and how to react to inappropriate behaviour is a key skill all teachers need to have. A good example is if a child shows they know an answer by shouting out despite knowing they should have put their hand up. If you take this answer it shows poor acknowledgement for those abiding by the rules and encourages bad behaviour. By tactically ignoring the answer and looking for answers from compliant students sends a powerful message to your class. We also recommend the eyebrow raise or the dreaded stare…
5) Don’t fear the sanctions
Sometimes it can be tricky when it is the right time to hand out appropriate sanctions to pupils. Being overly harsh can turn students against you but you need to establish what is and what isn’t acceptable. Most schools have fantastic systems in place to deal with poor behaviour, issuing support and training on the subjects where necessary. Sanctions can establish boundaries, especially if you’re a new teacher- you will find it much easier to back off later than introduce a system later down the line. Just remember, don’t overuse the system as a way to tackle the behaviour, there is often more to the story if a child’s behaviour is especially poor.
If you put time and effort into establishing the rules and routines laid out above, you will see a difference as a foundation is set for the year ahead and expectations are established.
If you need any extra help in managing your classes behaviour, we have a variety of training packs available to teachers and pupils on ranging issues and subjects.
Please contact us on 0333 2008705 if you would like to discuss further.