Social and emotional learning is a vital element of student development with clear research showing the positive impact on academic results. However, with all the curriculum content teachers need to cover, many teachers are asking how they can possibly add social and emotional learning to their load. Here are 8 easy ways.....
The beginning of the school year is undoubtedly exciting, but it can also be an overwhelming time for new teachers, or even for experienced teachers and if you are changing schools, teaching a new grade level or a new subject area or going back to teaching after a break, this time can be even more stressful. There are three things that will make a huge difference to your classroom, your sanity and your students’ success and they are not about curriculum, they are about behaviour.
How positive reinforcement can help students behave You can improve student behaviour 80% of the time if you use positive rather than negative feedback. Don’t believe me?
Discipline must come through liberty. . . . We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.
Many schools have a hierarchy of consequences that increase the level of punishment as the behaviour escalates. While that approach works with 75-80% of the population, a student with behaviour issues will not respond to increasingly negative penalties.
The way we are working isn’t working for teachers. ‘74% of employees are experiencing an energy crisis.’ Tony Schwarz ‘I have so much time to do all the things I need to do’ Said no teacher ever!! Time for all the marking and the lesson plans and the meetings, and creating resources and the parent meetings and time for that student who is falling behind, and the student who is miles ahead.
One of the key takeaways from the Teacher Wellbeing Workshop in 2017 to reduce workload, was prioritising tasks to use your time and energy more effectively. Deciding what tasks you need to do and what can be left undone can be very freeing. As can realising that you can say no: no to students, to colleagues, to parents, and (even!) no to your boss. Teachers are notorious for saying yes to far too many projects and then burning out. It’s a downward spiral.
Here is an outstanding list of Behaviour Management Resources for Teachers.
Put these 7 strategies in place to reduce parental anxiety (and your own) in meetings with parents.
Engagement is characterised by appropriate behaviour (behavioural engagement), positive feelings (emotional engagement), and, above all, student thinking (cognitive engagement).
Your guide to solving behaviour problems in the classroom A Year 5 boy is in trouble again. He continually refuses to do his work, he wanders around the room annoying other students by touching their work and talking about random topics, he talks to the teacher in a disrespectful tone and uses some low level swearing in class. When the teacher approaches him, he moves away and threatens to leave the room.
The end of the year is fast approaching and if you are like any other teacher ever, you will be checking up on how much content you have taught this year, how much you didn’t get done and frantically trying to assess students for their learning so that you can write an accurate report for the end of the year.
When students don’t listen or follow directions, or they roll their eyes when you speak, or they talk while you are talking, it can seem as though they don’t care what you think of them. This is a misconception. Young people do care what adults e.g. parents and teachers think of them. They care very deeply even when they don’t show it. The more it seems they don’t care, the more they do care.
When I first started teaching (many years ago!) I was struck by the cookie cutter approach of the education system, that seemed to knock any individualism, originality and enthusiasm right out of young students. Any student who didn’t fit in was poked and prodded (figuratively) till they were made to fit.
ONE: Use their interests to make the learning relevant, meaningful and engaging. TWO: Give them choice in their learning indicating that you value their input and perspective. THREE: Give them opportunities to voice their concerns and their point of view about issues in the classroom and the school.
While we cannot eliminate all change from a student’s school day, we can put some strategies in place that help students to cope and hopefully prevent difficult behaviour or meltdowns that may result from their anxiety.
Creating a classroom environment where students and teacher really listen to one another in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding may be considered idealistic.
Have you ever had a student who displayed challenging behaviour that baffled you? None of your usual behaviour tricks and tools seem to work. The student responds positively to you one day, but the next won’t do anything for you. Or they love your reward system for a couple of days and then refuse to participate in it.
Some teachers will say that it is not their job to teach students how to behave, or how to regulate their emotions, or how to make friends or what to do when they feel angry. However, if you don’t teach them these important social skills at school, how will they learn?
The classroom environment can contribute to problems between students as well as reduce student engagement and learning. When teachers and schools give careful thought to how the environment is arranged, authentic learning is enhanced and incidental behaviour issues can be prevented.