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.
Here is an outstanding list of Behaviour Management Resources for Teachers.
Engagement is characterised by appropriate behaviour (behavioural engagement), positive feelings (emotional engagement), and, above all, student thinking (cognitive engagement).
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 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.
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.
When a student displays challenging behaviour, teachers usually look for the antecedent or trigger. Simply put, the trigger is whatever happened immediately prior to the problem behaviour and seems to contribute to the behaviour.
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
With a focus on how the school principal and executive can lead their staff in the area of wellbeing by being role models and positive examples, the five ways to wellbeing fit beautifully into school life especially as part of building a positive school culture that supports staff health and wellness.
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!