As teachers, we release that we cannot have direct supervision over every single student when delivering a lesson, resulting in lapses in concentration for some. This is why it is crucial that students are aware of what is expected in terms of good behaviour within the school. Here, we discuss our top 5 strategies to help with behaviour management in the classroom.
1. Know the school behaviour policy inside out
Our first tip is to ensure you are fully aware of the whole-school behaviour management policy. These vary widely from school to school, so it is essential that you know the wording of the policy, whether it be a “C1” or a “first warning”, and what this means for pupils. This is imperative for two reasons – firstly, to ensure that you are applying it fairly and correctly, and secondly, to remove any discussion or protests from the child.
2. Apply the policy consistently
Don’t give out pre-warnings, don’t give chances, and avoid any discussion about your decisions there and then – just apply the policy fairly, calmly and consistently. Pupils can feel that they are treated or fairly or that they’re always the victim of the behaviour policy, which can lead to discussion and further disruption to learning. Avoid this by using direct wording from the policy, applying it to every child who requires a sanction, and doesn’t get drawn into discussions during the lesson.
Another thing to consider is the tone of your voice when delivering the sanction – be clear and calm, and avoid raising your voice any louder than you normally would. Shouting at a child can often put them in defence mode, which could lead to an escalation of the situation. By remaining calm, you remain in control of the scenario.
3. De-brief where necessary
This leads us to our next point – sometimes pupils don’t understand what they’re doing wrong, either because they’re not aware of their behaviours or they’re not pulled up on it in other lessons. Spend some time after the lesson explaining what their behaviour was, why it breached the policy and the consequence for this.
Explain that the policy is a whole-school procedure which all staff must follow. This separates the behaviour from the pupil and helps them to understand that you’re not punishing them as a person, but rather their behaviours. This can help to reduce incidences of disruption in further lessons.
4. Avoid whole-class punishments
Sometimes it can be hard to identify the main perpetrators if a class is particularly disruptive, but it is essential never to punish a whole class of children unless you are sure that the entire class are responsible for the behaviour. Take control of the situation by warning the class as a whole, then start to apply further sanctions to individuals who stand out. If two pupils are talking, ensure both have a sanction. This should help to bring the situation back under control without punishing the innocent pupils in your classroom.
5. Reward good behaviour
Finally, ensure you apply your whole-school reward policy just as rigorously as you apply the behaviour policy. Praise pupils who always get it right, praise those who are now getting it right and sanction those who do not get it right. Keep in mind the old saying “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” and ensure you catch the pupils being good. More often than not, pupils want to get it right and want to please you, so make sure this behaviour is acknowledged so that it is repeated.
These are our top tips to ensure your classroom management strategy is effective to support a meaningful learning environment. The main theme is being calm and consistent, always!
If you have students who completely disregard their learning within the mainstream setting and you think them learning in on online alternative provision would benefit both them and your school, then check out EDClass.
The platform is an effective behaviour repair solution and helps positively reintegrate students when appropriate. Call the EDClass team on 01909 568 338, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free online demonstration here.