Effective and Consistent

Does your style of teaching and managing difficult behaviour conflict, or sit comfortably, alongside the styles adopted by your colleagues? Can inconsistent styles have a detrimental effect on pupil behaviour?

As the new school year begins and the summer break is over, it’s always a good time to both reflect on the past and also to make a positive start to the new term ahead. Individual pupils will always come to mind and your concerns about how they will cope this year in a new class or even in a new school will be high on your reflective agenda. Have your efforts had an impact on the behaviour of those pupils, and how lasting will that impact be? Continue reading

Teaching Behaviour

If we are to agree at the outset that appropriate behaviour should be taught, rather than expected or assumed, then it is worth comparing how, at present, behaviour is actually taught in your school setting. Try comparing the current styles of teaching behaviour with the methods used to teach curriculum areas. A good starting point would be to ask the following:

If Maths/English/Humanities were to be taught in the same way we teach behaviour, how effective would that be?

If we were to teach behaviour in the same way that we approach regular curriculum areas, would we have to make any changes? Continue reading

Alternative work during “Time Out”

Students who find themselves out of the regular classroom or teaching group due to their behaviour are provided with work and activities in a variety of provisions. How effective is the work in making a positive change to their problem behaviour?
Short periods of time out from the general classroom environment are usually spent by the student taking some time to review, consider and perhaps write about their behaviour, whilst also being provided with the work they would have been engaged in had they remained in the classroom. On a short term basis, this seems perfectly acceptable,  and the “thinking time” this style of time out provides will often help the student to reconsider his or her behaviour and return to the classroom prepared to comply and undertake what is required of them. Continue reading

Building positive relationships with difficult students

No matter how tolerant, easy going and organised you are, there will always be the student(s) who you find challenging or as the title suggests, “difficult.”
It is equally difficult to give an exact description of a “difficult” student. For some teachers and teaching assistants, it may be the student who is forever exhibiting low-level disruptions. Fidgeting, time wasting, finger clicking or just generally being awkward. For other adults the “difficult” behaviour can be far more challenging. Arguing, confrontations and refusal to comply with any request, can push even the most tolerant of adults to their limit. Continue reading

Don’t take pupil comments personally!

From time to time situations develop or comments are made which seem to touch a nerve. They seem to be the trigger to an emotional response from you, and that emotional response is not always your best course of action. Many pupils who are described as “difficult” or “challenging” spend a great deal of time working out the best buttons to press to promote the emotional response, and some pupils may just hit on it at random. The danger is not necessarily the challenging pupil, but how you manage your response. Continue reading

Students with “Attitude”

How do you deal with a student whose verbal and/or non verbal attitudes are simply unacceptable?
I suspect that the three word title to this weeks article will already have stirred some memories of past students or even those you are currently managing during every school day. Unfortunately my guess is that you will be recalling not the student whose behaviour and attitude you find pleasing, helpful and enthusiastic. But more likely we bring to mind the student who can, with just one word or phrase, a shrug or change facial expression, change the whole atmosphere of a classroom and be the trigger which creates a situation that  quickly escalates out of control. Continue reading