How Do You Manage Behaviour In The Classroom?
Behaviour management is no doubt one of the main concerns each trainee teacher has, myself included. I have often been told by experienced teachers this could also be a daily battle. But now after 4 months in my 1st placement and 2 months at my 2nd placement school behaviour management appears on almost my every lesson observation form, as one of my strengths.
It is intimidating if you need to take a new class and you don’t remember everyone's names, or even worse you go to an interview and you just meet the whole class for the first time. I’m sure everyone has read or has had a lot of training on Behaviour Management, the common golden rules being: have a good relationship with the students; consistency and following your schools’ behaviour policy. On top of that there are three particular points which have helped me to manage classroom behaviour effectively before a strong relationship has been built.
1. Each time I take a new class I spend at least 5 minutes to explain why I am here today and to explain my expectations for behaviour. I make it clear that whilst I am an easygoing teacher I keep to my one rule simply and clearly:
“Do not talk over me or other students whilst they are speaking”
This worked particularly well with any new class before we start building strong relationships. During the lesson if some students break the rules I find asking the students to refer back to my one rule is powerful. This one rule is easy to remember and allows me and the students to remain consistent.
2. The students need to be able to feel that I am a real person. For example, if something
funny or unexpected suddenly happens in the classroom, the natural reaction would be to laugh, then I will laugh too. Students will be able to feel you are a normal human being as well. They will know I have a good sense of humour, I do not object to everything. This helps build the relationship and helps the students to follow my one rule.
3. When you are challenged by a student Always keep calm. Follow your school’s behaviour policy and calmly state “this is your warning for talking over me” and then carry on your lesson. This works particularly well when I can place this warning in between my normal teaching sentences. This shows the whole class consequences are happening for students who cross the line but will not put a spotlight on the challenging student. The student will know they achieve nothing if they keep challenging and you are able to keep calm. Soon they will lose interest in challenging the rule.
By Vanessa Beaumont