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Dear Tom - Practical Behaviour Management for In-Class Support Staff

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Rozzaj, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Hi Tom, just saw that you are at Raines (round the corner from me) and wondered if you had any experience of the effectiveness of practical behaviour mangement sessions for in-class support staff. I work in a Primary school in Hackney (I'm an LSA) but suggested strategies for in-class approaches don't seem forthcoming to us or to the teachers. The only real frame of reference for us is the behaviour policy and behaviour is an issue. I have a couple of focus children but obviously work closely with others in the class and feel there is a need for an agreed approach so that we're basically working the same way but adapting our strategies accordingly.
    Any advice? If you wouldn't mind a visitor sometime, I'd be interested to see you in action.

    Roz

     
  2. Hi Tom, just saw that you are at Raines (round the corner from me) and wondered if you had any experience of the effectiveness of practical behaviour mangement sessions for in-class support staff. I work in a Primary school in Hackney (I'm an LSA) but suggested strategies for in-class approaches don't seem forthcoming to us or to the teachers. The only real frame of reference for us is the behaviour policy and behaviour is an issue. I have a couple of focus children but obviously work closely with others in the class and feel there is a need for an agreed approach so that we're basically working the same way but adapting our strategies accordingly.
    Any advice? If you wouldn't mind a visitor sometime, I'd be interested to see you in action.

    Roz

     
  3. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi Roz; nice to hear from you
    In-class support staff are often overlooked, and it's a shame, because they can work with the teacher to make the management twice as effective. Unfortunately, many schools overlook the possibilities of this relationship, and ICSS end up winging it, or reinventing the wheel, as you have found.
    1. Every room needs a primary authority figure. While it's perfectly reasonable for you to share in that authority (and morally right), that figure needs to be the teacher. Once this primacy is established, classroom structures can emerge. This isn't a way of implying that ICSS are inferior in any way- they simply have different roles, and giving a room of children two equal masters confuses them and complicates the rules of engagement.
    2. The teacher and the ICSS need to work out their relationship first before they work out their relationships with the class. So there should be a formal meeting- and by formal I don't mean that cuff links must be worn, but that it should be dedicated, designated time to discuss this. A quick fist bump in the corridor won't do, because it's important. And if you're going to be in a class for any length of time, it needs to be done, and done seriously.
    3. Discuss what your role is, and what you need from the teacher. The teacher should also be explicit about what he/ she needs from you. Out in the open, expectations can be met more easily, and misconceptions dispelled.
    4. Prepare pre-emptive strategies for those that need them; decide- in advance- what will happen if little Jason throws a fit, or a chair, or a gang sign in the air- where will he go, who will take him, what are the procedures?
    5. Once per term, this meeting should be replicated, to discuss any emergent difficulties or possibilities. What's changed? What's working well? Who needs a straitjacket? That sort of thing.
    It's amazing how useful these chats can be; united, you become a real force to be reckoned with; divided, you pull against each other, and everyone loses.
    Hope that helps :)
    Tom
    PS Because I have a lot of requests to visit and observe, I have to keep a clear boundary between my duties to my kids and my alter-ego with the TES, so I hope you understand if I can't mix them up. If any possibilities come up, I'll let you know. It's important to me that I stay a teacher first and foremost. I do run some training sessions with the TES on weekends throughout the year if that helps?
    Read more from Tom on his blog, on Twitter, or on the Behaviour forum
     

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