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Promoting Positive Behaviour during a lesson 16 + age group

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by violetrose, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. I have recently qualifed as a teacher and am new to teaching the 16 - 18 age group. In order to manage behaviour I feel I need to get to grips with managing the period of transition as students do not recognise they have moved into the world of further education. Many of the students I teach arrive at the lesson with a host of social and emotional issues and I can see from body language and facial expressions they are angry, de-motivated, defensive and at times use all manner of tactics to avoid participating in doing any work.Naturally I am aware that dealing with negative behaviour takes my time away from focussing on the students who do want to learn. I am working on supply and I now have a good knowledge of how behaviour is managed from speaking with other tutors. I am reading around the subject to research new and effective tecniques to use in calming down strategies, motivate my students and nurture their learning capabilities. Any further suggestions would be a great help, thankyou.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have never used a quote before. I feel liberated.

    You are describing most teenagers. Just remember that you are not there to be a friend, counsellor or psychotherapist. You are there to do a job. If the students prevent you from teaching or others from learning they are breaking the rules and sanctions, according to your institutions policies, should be applied.

    Or you could spend most of your time understanding their issues and put all that unimportant teaching business on the back burner.
  3. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Fair advice from QS, above
    Keep your eye on the prize: the lesson. Teach away, and if anyone impedes you from doing that, then you need to apply pressure to them. Keep them behind after the lesson to talk to them about what you did and didn't like about the behaviour. Call them out on it: if you can, inform them that anyone who doesn't follow the simple classroom rules won't be permitted to continue the course.
    Too many teachers forget that year 12 pupils were year 11s a few weeks previously, and while we can make allowances for their emergent adulthood in terms of tone, content and language, many still need the reassurance of clear boundaries and a clear structure to the room; so make your expectations clear, and make sure they all know what the consequences of success or failure to meet those expectations will be. They're not adults yet- some might be- and they need you to be the grown up, no matter how frighteningly old they might appear!
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.
  4. I usually do a 'class contract' - you basically thrash out the rules between each other, and they can be different from school eg mobile phones - thay are not to be used in class, but if they are doing something like making a poster then they can have their phone out to play music but only if they use headphones.
    You will be suprised at what they think is unreasonable. The key to it is that the rules apply to the whole class including you.
    Get the rules printed out and put up on the wall.

    You are mtheir teacher not their friend. If they don't want to learn then they can leave.

  5. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    I've never tried this with a student this old... but it has worked with younger ones.

    When a student turns up at my lesson and is not participating properly with the lesson because they are annoyed, or defensive I ask them if I can have a quiet word outside. I then ask them if I've done anything to upset them, apologizing for having done so along the way and asking what it was I did... They, of course, are totally taken off guard and tell you that you haven't done anything wrong but it was... their maths teacher or the girl who's going out with their ex or .. well, whatever. To which I respond by asking, if I haven't done anything to upset them then why are they taking out their bad mood on me? I don't take out my nightmare Y9 class on them!

    I then go into a short explanation that I'm not just responsible for teaching my subject but also helping them prepare for their life outside school when they start work, and she can't behave like that when she starts work so she really needs to get a grip on things and be able to focus when she arrives at the lesson.

    I know it sounds like a lot of effort for one child but if the one conversation can have an impact on the rest of the year then it's worth doing. If she arrives in a bad mood again, ask her to take a minute outside the classroom to gather herself before coming in.

    If this is a group of students it might be worth having the initial conversation in the classroom with them all present and explaining to them all that, although you understand there are times they will feel upset or frustrated, they need to get a handle on their emotions before they enter your room. You might add that if they have a serious problem and need someone to talk to you will be happy to meet with them outside the lesson and offer whatever advice you can, or point them in the right direction.

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