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Behaviour management tips for NQT

Discussion in 'Primary' started by celago22, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Hi all,

    I am after some behaviour management tips as I feel this is a really important area to get right from day 1!

    So far I have thought about the following:
    -Children to devise their own class charter
    - Use of house points when children exhibit excellent behaviour
    - Table points (quickest table to be ready etc) leading onto table rewards at the end of the week
    - Marbles in jar for whole class co-operation - reward when jar is full
    - Cards to send home when children show excellent attitude/great work

    Is it risky to have too many 'systems'? How are you all setting up your behaviour management systems on day 1?
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Your new school should have a behaviour management policy. Check this carefully before establishing any of your own strategies which may conflict with the school's.
    hammie, Pomza, lardylady and 4 others like this.
  3. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    The behaviour policy loosely describes rewards (certificates, house points etc) so it mainly is up to teachers to devise their own. It is very prescriptive for sanctions so I will follow it for them.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Thank you for your reply.

    Your suggested strategies are all individually sound. As you note, it is risky having too many differing strategies. The only comment I would make is to use them sparingly. The children should understand that good behaviour is an expectation and that a reward for good behaviour is an exception.
    hammie, Pomza, digoryvenn and 2 others like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'd tell the children what the rules are, especially for you as an NQT. You need to set the tone that you are in charge and are their teacher, not their friend. They don't need to devise their own charter...they are year 3, they know what's what. You just need to spell out for them what you expect.
    Be kind at all times.
    Behave in ways that mean everyone can learn.
    That's it. Done.

    I use housepoints for doing something over and above what is expected, not for generally good behaviour. As @nomad already said, good behaviour is an expectation and should bring it's own reward.

    Use stickers for things like showing the school values, assuming your school have them. If not use them for children showing things like kindness, tolerance and the like.

    I wouldn't do marbles in a jar or table points. The really good kids collect heaps of rewards and the one or two little so and sos join in the 'whole class/table reward' with everyone else having done nothing to deserve it. If someone does something fab, they get the reward. If they do something wrong, they get the consequence. You, hopefully, won't use whole class consequences, so don't use whole class rewards either. The collaborative part comes from the housepoints.

    Sending cards home is great, keep them for the very rare moments of totally blown your mind amazing behaviour or work.

    Praise works much better than rewards in bringing about the behaviour you want.
    celago22, digoryvenn and nomad like this.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  7. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Thank you for the replies, they are really helpful!
    I will definitely keep the behaviour management simple and positive.
    I'm surprised that I have been advised not to have a whole-class rewards system such as marbles, because I saw this on placement and it was quite effective (although it was KS1). The teacher asked the class how many marbles they should earn that day and what they needed to do, and when the jar was full they had a a treat such as golden time. Can't really use golden time in KS2, but it would be extra playtime, a reward etc.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have seen teachers give sweets/chocolate on Fridays as a reward...
    Some have watching a DVD as a reward every Friday afternoon...
    However, still not be to recommended.

    Just imagine you are a very hardworking and well behaved child, who shows a lot of kindness to others and untold amounts of tolerance towards those who try to constantly disrupt. You have helped your class gain marbles each and every session, even the ones where little Sophie has been removed from the lesson again for being disruptive.The 'class' have filled their jar with marbles and everyone, including that little Sophie, get the exact same reward. How would you feel then? How is that in any way fair?

    The theory is that children have a sense of teamwork and work together to gain a reward. The reality is that it makes no difference at all and those who would show great behaviour do so and those who find it impossible to keep to the rules, continue to break them.

    You don't actually need rewards of any kind to have great behaviour. My school has housepoints, so I have to go with that system some of the time...but my class all knew they would get way more housepoints for far worse behaviour once they move up to the class above mine. Happens every year. Targeted praise and thanks are far more useful in encouraging children to do the right thing, because it is the right thing. Rewards encourage them to do the right thing to gain something for themselves.
    fly likes this.
  9. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    You make some really good points, caterpillartobutterfly. Definitely feel like you are my online mentor :)

    I've seen a few teachers who have made two lists on the board for the whole class to see: :) and :( faces and writing names down in the appropriate column (smiley face when children are listening etc, sad face when they are not). The school policy indicates that teachers use verbal praise, house points, and a variety of written acknowledgements. The policy also advocates the use of a collective behaviour management system (e.g. table points) but it does not say it is compulsory, so now I really am torn, although I do see both sides of the argument.

    My class' behaviour really isn't bad at all (apparently!!), I have a few who will try to push the boundaries. I feel that I do need to be fairly strict in September and rather than putting marbles in a jar etc when they, for example, line up quietly, maybe I need to explain why they need to line up quietly and enforce the expectation that they need to do as requested.

    Maybe I am overthinking behaviour management. In my final placement I was undermined a lot by my mentor when it came to behaviour management so as a consequence it's an area I want to get right from day 1.
  10. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Also I have seen teachers give sweets etc for achieving great results in spelling, times table tests etc- What are your thoughts on that? Surely it's completely harmless?
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I've seen that as well. And sun, cloud, thunder. And traffic lights. And...
    TES language filters don't allow my to post what I think. :mad:
    You need to find your own way and do your own thing. You will make mistakes. Sometimes through lack of experience, sometimes because you didn't think things through and sometimes because you are human and you will stuff up. This will happen every year throughout your career, so don't ever feel bad because of it.

    As for sweets...bit of bribery can keep you sane on a cold, wet Thursday afternoon in November. But is it a right and proper thing to teach children that food is a reward????? Probably not ideal from a PSHE point of view and might go against your school's healthy eating policy.
    If you feel the need for sweets, then plan a lesson which involves using them and then save waste by letting the kids eat the sweets! Perfectly acceptable then! ;)
    It's easier in year 3 than in KS1 or in Year 5/6, just because they are a more amenable age and yet old enough to know the rules and why. Mentors can undermine without meaning to...I've occasionally done it with BM and instantly regretted it. Mentors make mistakes as well.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    LOLOLOL That would be a terrible idea!
    I have lost count of the number of posts I make that have been deleted for breaking the rules.
    I also have several 'conversations' sent by various mods telling me off for language or insulting behaviour.
    And that's before we get to the number of threads in existence where I have inadvertently annoyed people or upset them.

    Much as I am a very experienced real life mentor (and I think a pretty good one) I don't think I should extend this to online.
    fly likes this.
  13. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I'll stick to my 'box of rubbish' (i.e. party bag fillers) for rewards when needed (when a child has exceeded expectations). I would probably end up eating any edible reward before it was needed ;)

    I agree with the idea of developing my own system. If the behaviour management isn't enough at the start I can introduce further systems but I really just want to keep it simple to begin with.I will just use positive reinforcement, make sure 'good' children know that their good behaviour has been noticed.They really are not a 'naughty' or tricky class, they were an absolute dream on transition day, I just have a few characters who will test the boundaries.

    I'm sure it's tricky to watch a trainee teach your class and not have the urge to step in! Must be very hard to be a mentor.

    In terms of getting the class' attention, would you recommend me to have a few different strategies or stick to just one?

    Sorry, overthinking again :rolleyes:
  14. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Hahahaha! You've been very helpful on here. I'm intrigued- what do you consider a 'good' mentor to be like?
  15. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Just to say, lots of schools are moving away from public shaming of badly behaved pupils by putting their names on the board or a chart or whatever. For some children, it becomes a competition, or a badge of pride, to be on the naughty list. For the others, they are shamed and that’s not great. My school has a traffic light system. The green one is on the board with their names on- the orange and red ones for bad behaviour live on my desk and I have a quiet word with a child if I move them - it’s not a public show for all to see. That way I meet the schools behaviour system requirements whilst not going against my own beliefs.

    I echo the idea of keeping it simple and not having too many systems. One school I worked on had traffic lights, house points, star of the day, VIPs, hot chocolate with the head, golden time...all rewards, plus a similar number of sanctions. COnfusing!!
  16. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    That's a really good point about public shaming actually and I really like your traffic light system.

    I don't think I can get away from some form of public shaming (although I do not agree with it) as names on board is part of the school behaviour policy. It might mean that a child has to be publicly shamed once or twice for their behaviour to stop but like you say, it could turn into a competition/game.

    I'm aware that some schools use 'secret student' and that generally works well but I'm not sure I'd like it in my classroom as it is a bit of a 'stick'.

    That's a lot to get your head around!! I really think that focusing on all the positive things will work and hopefully a simple system will do the trick. We have cards sent home, certificates in assembly, house points etc. I need to decide what warrants a house point! haha
  17. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    No names on the board, ugh! Please no! Lots of verbal praise, with the child named (e.g. "What fantastic looking and listening Bobby!")

    One handy idea is to use lollipop sticks with names on to help randomise your praise a little. Otherwise, it's easy to subconsciously always praise the same children and leave others (often the quiet, always well-behaved children) out.

    I used to make a point of picking out three or five at a time and dole out praise appropriately. If one of my lollipop sticks was not behaving well, I would not name them and just swiftly move on ("oh dear, this person is still talking, but Sophie is looking and listening perfectly!").
    celago22 likes this.
  18. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I don't see a problem with names on the board. If a child is messing about, his/her name goes on the board. If the child is then settled and doing what they should be doing, the name is removed. Works for me.
    celago22 and hammie like this.
  19. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    This absolutely works for some children. However my class clown last year thought it was hilarious when asked to move his name publicly, the whole class was watching him and aware of him and that’s exactly what he wanted. He would make cheeky remarks and announce loudly he didn’t care, or deliberately move his name on to a different part of the chart just to get a reaction. The rest of the class were watching and very keen to inform me he wasn’t doing what he’d been asked, Just in case I hadn’t noticed! A quiet word with this boy, with no one else watching, was far far more effective as he didn’t have the audience.
    celago22 likes this.
  20. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Yes I can see your point and that it wouldn't work in that situation. Last year I had a very biddable Y2 class where I only had to make a great show of picking up the whiteboard marker and suddenly everyone would be on task!

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