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Establishing my own rules!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by GeogTrainee1905, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. GeogTrainee1905

    GeogTrainee1905 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am a trainee teacher and mostly loving my experience of school so far - very busy but very exciting as well and I'm learning a huge amount every day :)

    However, I am really struggling with one of my host teachers - he is very friendly and, what I would say is, soft on the students. They are a very naughty, unfocused class and he doesn't do much to reign them in... which of course is fine as that is his style. I am very nervous to take them on though and try to establish my own set of rules and routines.

    Does anyone have any advice for me on how to go about this? They are by far my most challenging class that I will be taking on and I think it will be great practice learning how to behaviour manage... but I don't want it to go completely wrong!

    Thank you!
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi GeogTrainee1905

    There is a book I always recommend to people for behaviour management and it is called Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix and is one of the best book on behaviour management I have read. Also anything by Bill Rogers is a good investment, but I would start out with the Taking Care of Behaviour book. It is available on Amazon for about £15 and is well worth your money.

    You are right to think about establishing your own rules. You need to communicate to the class in a firm but friendly tone that you have three rules ( taken from the book) and they are:

    1. Follow instructions fast
    2. Stay on Task
    3 Work without disturbing others

    Ask the students to write these in the front of their books so they can refer to them an make a poster or write them on the board. Don't let the students tell you what rules they want, but these are your rules for the entire class so that everyone has the opportunity to learn. You can explain it to them in a friendly but firm manner.

    Ensure you communicate your expectations to the students: have routines for entering and leaving the room. If you school allows it and if you think you can do it, ask the students to stand behind their desks when they enter the room and wait until you invite them to sit down. Take the register in silence. That can be part of the routine and they can be getting out their equipment, silent reading, starter whatever while you are taking the register or setting up.

    Do not speak over anyone and do not start until you have everyone's attention and they are following your instructions.

    Also in the book are scripts you can use to give warnings and a stepped series of sanctions when students are breaking your class rules. Use scripts and follow through with the school's sanctions.

    For example, " Bonnie, I saw you throw a whiteboard marker across the room. You have broken rules 2 and 3. This is a verbal warning, and I need you to get back on task. You are able to make intelligent choices. Thanks. Then walk away, give her take up time and then go to the next step. If she follows your instructions fine. If not, then go to step 2....( it is all in the book).

    Ensure that you are as organised as possible. Take extra pens, pencils, paper, whatever you need.

    Wear a tidy suit and ensure you have ironed your shirt, have a smart tie on, shoes are shined, and you look presentable.

    Resolve in your mind that you will remain calm no matter what the students say or do since they know you are new and they will try to see how far they can push you before you explode. Show them that you are in control of your own behaviour and that is why you need a plan with rules and scripts.

    There are times when you need to slightly raise your voice or speak sternly or even shout if it is something serious like someone in danger, but generally speak in a calm and measured voice.

    Take stickers if appropriate and every class ensure if you give rewards when they have been earned. Do not give out sweets and use other rewards like praise, stickers, free time or post cards home.

    Remember that there may be difficult students in your class and sometimes they will difficult because they find the material hard or their family situation may no be the best. You can be kind without being their best mate and try to see things from their point of view and remember in the end they are children.

    Trust some of the above helps and if you can let me know if any of the above helps it would be great to hear from you and it may help others just starting out.
    missrturner and GeogTrainee1905 like this.
  3. m4thsdotcom

    m4thsdotcom Occasional commenter

    Have you established why they are naughty and unfocused?
    From experience poor behaviour (outside of extreme cases) comes from:
    (1) A lack of understanding of expectations.
    (2) A low level challenge to work set.
    (3) No incentive to work and work hard.
    (4) Kids feeling they are not valued.
    If you can address these in a positive, non confrontational way you should begin to establish yourself as a teacher students will feel they want to learn for.
    GeogTrainee1905 likes this.

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