How I Manage Behaviour in the Classroom

Kabir AkmalManaging behaviour in a classroom is a very contextual thing and varies from case to case. I feel as though there are moments where ‘following the book’ in regards to behaviour management is necessary, but in other moments, applying some common sense and understanding that the students are humans, not machines, is very important. Human interaction is part of our daily lives. Treating students with respect is important, as it shows the student you see them as a person and concurs with the famous saying: ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’.

I have found in my albeit limited teaching experience that this works with many students and results in an all-round better-behaved class, as the students show the same level of respect back. While there are students who take advantage of this, before screaming the school down and issuing those students with detentions, a serious one to one private conversation can do a lot of good. The reason I say this is that these particular students are often the ones who are desensitised to the school’s behaviour management policy so something different is needed, which can show them that you care. I have done this myself with a few students in my first placement and it has definitely helped with their behaviour, but wanting permanent positive long-term change in students takes time, which brings me on to my next point. Building this rapport with the students is a long-term thing, so, what can you do in the short run?

I have found that clearly stating your expectations as soon as you have a new class and, within reasonable limits, sticking to them gives out a clear message but be prepared to reiterate these expectations when students do not follow them, particularly when you are still new to them. I have two main expectations: do not talk over anyone and raise your hand if you have something to say. At the beginning of my placement, I found that I was reiterating these expectations a lot but as the weeks went by, and a few necessary last resort detentions later, the classes were quite used to these expectations and would neglect them a lot less. I look forward to seeing how my ideas on behaviour change as I progress in my teaching career.

By Kabir Akmal