As a teacher or a school, one of the biggest challenges you will face is to manage and improve the behaviour of the pupils in your classroom. Like many schools we work with, behaviour in school can be a real challenge and many factors come into play when it comes to a child’s behaviour. Life outside school usually plays a major part. Here are our “Top 3” tips for managing behaviour in the classroom.
Behaviour management tip 1
“Let’s all agree”
In the very first lesson of the programme we, as a class create an agreement or rules, discussed and created by the pupils themselves. These rules often start with ‘Be polite, no bullying’ etc. but also include listening while others talk, raising your hand to ask a question and offering encouragement to fellow pupils. Straight away we see the benefits of giving responsibility to our pupils for their own behaviour, and if an incident occurs, a quick reminder of the signed agreement should be looked at.
Behaviour management tip 2
Begin the day with a group discussion. If it’s a Monday morning, a great way to engage the class from a long weekend and start the week well, is to sit as a group and have a discussion about each individual pupil (if they feel comfortable sharing!). These questions are often very informal like ‘what did you do at the weekend?’ or ‘how was school last week?’ ‘did you have any behaviour issues last week?’. This gives each pupil a chance to share with the group their thoughts / stories and it provides the teacher with an opportunity to offer any advice or to the pupil about their behaviour. While one pupil talks the rest of the group must listen unless asking questions. This also completes Behaviour tip 1.
Behaviour management tip 3
When designing the layout of your room you also need to consider the interactive whiteboard and computer screens. With pupils in rows and the teacher sitting behind their desk, there are many hiding places for pupils to escape to. Try creating a more dynamic classroom by pushing tables together and having small groups or teams and maybe even sitting amongst the pupils!. This can raise the competitiveness of the class and with it the behaviour of your pupils, by offering teamwork and leadership opportunities. We all work better in teams!
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