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NQT just starting, erring behaviour sorted

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by DucklingsClass, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Does anyone has any advice?

    I am starting with a Reception class in September and at the moment, all I can think about is behaviour. I want to make sure that I manage them effectively but I do not have the experience people who have been teaching many years do. We also have OFSTED due in September so want to get the children into shape straight away!

    What tips can you offer?

    No stickers allowed! Thanks for any tips :)
     
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Get them into a routine from the first day. Ignore anyone who tells you to spend days at the beginning on 'settling' or 'getting to know you' activities - start your timetable immediately and help them settle into the way you want them to work and behave from the very start.
    Remind them constantly of what you want and how you want them to behave - on how you want them to move around the room, line up to go out/come back, go from sitting at tables to sitting on the carpet, where they sit on the carpet. And don't be afraid to allocate spaces on the carpet so they don't jostle for position!
    Everything you do and they do needs to be carefully controlled and they need to know signals rather than use of a loud voice - you putting your hand up and them imitating and becoming quiet (as a secondary teacher, I've always been grateful to my primary colleagues for training the children in this technique!), etc.
    A primary head friend tells me that carpet discipline is crucial - she advises that you get them to adopt their 'listening position', with legs crossed and one finger on their lips. Constantly praie for good sitting, good listening, good lining up.
    Obviously, follow the school's behaviour policy - use rewards if they are specified within this, but good ones if not are marbles, team points, etc.
    To summarise - start as you want them to go on and do not deviate.
     
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Explain how they should behave in different situations - don't expect them to know what to do. If you show them what it looks like to sit nicely on the carpet, you can then praise children for getting it right, rather than telling them off when they get it wrong.
    One thing I didn't do enough of as an NQT was pulling them up on very minor behaviour issues. They will be testing you, finding out what is and what isn't allowed, and if you let the little things slide, they will continue to push the boundaries until they find the limit. Better that you give them very strict limits to begin with, because it should help to avoid any proper misbehaviour.
     
  4. I would also suggest that you share your behaviour strategies and expectations with all adults supporting you in the classroom. This alleviates the problem of adults allowing children to "get away" with things that you would not. Children will soon realise that everyone is using the same strategies and will not play one adult off another.
    Good luck with your new class.
     
  5. What types of things should I not let them get away with?

    E.g. If I tell them we line up for assembly silently and someone makes a noise, do I make them all sit down and do it again?
     
  6. What types of things should I not let them get away with?

    E.g. If I tell them we line up for assembly silently and someone makes a noise, do I make them all sit down and do it again??!
     
  7. Firm but fair is the key. Pupils need to know exactly what is expected of them.
    If a pupil makes a noise in the line for assembly (given that I remind them exactly how I expect it to be every morning) they will spend five minutes (perhaps 2 minutes for reception) of their break on the bench. They soon get the message.
    Generally it is not a good idea to punish the whole class for the mistakes of one, the 'good' ones will then think they might as well misbehave as they are being punished anyway. Of course sometimes it is unavoidable but try to keep this to a minimum.
    A tactic I have found very useful is to get the pupils to explain how things should be done. For example I would ask the question 'How do we walk to assembly?', the pupils give me the expectations you have already shared with them.
    Praise is of course very important. Perhaps arrange for another teacher to comment when your class does something well (e.g. whoever is taking assembly to say how nicely reception came in).
     

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