Teachers who adopt a positive approach to behaviour are more likely to have improved wellbeing through increased job satisfaction since they are not looking for a quick fix, but recognise that like all learning, we need long term solutions that take the needs of the student into account.
Planning does not just mean preparing your lesson content, but giving thought to how you want your students to behave before, during and after the lesson. Here are 5 simple yet highly powerful ways to create positive behaviour change with your students.
When you are giving instructions, think about the words and tone you use. There is often a more positive way to say most things which will provide a better learning opportunity for your students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Student voice and choice. Creating a classroom environment where students and teacher really listen to one another in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding may be considered idealistic. But what are teachers if not idealists? If students feel accepted and free to express themselves they are more likely to take risks with their learning. They will feel ok to say, “I don’t understand” or “I don’t get it” and to ask for help. To develop a non-threatening classroom climate takes time, effort and effective, consistent practices.
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.
Where students and teacher get on with the business of learning and growing with the least amount of fuss and disruption. Where students are engaged and excited about the learning. Where there are clear ground rules for how to behave, how to treat each other and how to learn.
8 Easy Ways to Differentiate the Curriculum for Your Students - If you think of differentiation in terms of content, process, product and learning environment and begin by providing difference in one aspect, you can reduce some of the associated stress.
When you teach students with challenging behaviour, prevention is your most effective tool. Here are 5 ways to prevent challenging behaviour in the classroom
As teachers, we are always looking for ways to optimise the learning for our students, whilst also taking little extra preparation time. Simple, effective ways to engage your students that won't require any extra work for you!