Welcome back to school! For some of you it will be your first year as a newly qualified teacher and for some it will be yet another new school year. No matter which stage of your teaching career you are in, classroom behaviour is sure to be on the top of your mind as you face a room full of new faces.
According to behaviour management expert Dr Bill Rogers “the establishment phase of the year is foundational in the development of a class group (and even the school as a community). In terms of basic group dynamics there is a psychological and developmental readiness in the students for their teachers to explain, discuss and teach how things will be this particular year with regard to expectations about behaviour and learning, in this class with this teacher.”
The truth is, sometimes the challenging behaviour you need to manage is not the students’. As NQT induction expert Dr Sara Bubb puts it, “there are lots of fantastic people in schools…But every now and then you may be on the receiving end of behaviour that is less than helpful or encouraging…Assertiveness training is well worth considering – even if you just read a book on it. When you’re assertive people know where they stand with you – and neither you nor they will get upset.”
You may wonder what managing classroom behaviour has to do with time management. Sue Roffey explains this – “you may believe you have no time to promote positive behaviour, teach expectations, foster good relationships or run individual interventions for students. Some people take the view that they should not have to do this as part of their teaching. They then have to find time to react to repeated incidents of unwanted behaviour. Planning brings the control of situations back to you and within the boundaries of your own time management. Being proactive about behaviour management does not mean you never have a crisis but it certainly reduces them.”
Read chapter 3 of The New Teacher’s Survival Guide to Behaviour on how you can make the most of your resources in order to be effective with all students but especially those who are more demanding of you and your time >>
At the start of the new school year it’s always helpful to go back to The Teachers’ Standards. Managing behaviour relates to ensuring a good learning environment. As Director of the National Education Trust and former HMI of Schools Roy Blatchford states, “when pupils feel secure in their school environment, their self-esteem and motivation are lifted, and they are more likely to be ready for positive learning and engagement with their teachers.”
Keep a copy of The Teachers’ Standards in the Classroom 2e by your side for easy reference of the standards, along with suggestions and reflective practice questions to self-evaluate your understanding of them >>
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The SAGE Education Team