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Supply teachers dealing with behaviour management

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by erinm14, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. I've just recently started working as a supply teacher and as you would expect am dealing mostly with behaviour management, I'm having trouble with classes in the schools where it's my first day working there and find that they are too often getting out of control. Are there any tips, resources or pd for supply teacher that you could reccomend?
    I'm struggling with just having a class for one day as it means I don't get to a) enforce most consequences that I would in a normal teaching position and b) have time to build a more positive and respectful relationship with difficult students so they respond to instructions.
     
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi erinm14

    I can highly recommend a company to you called Pivotal Education run by Paul Dix. You can google Pivotal Education and you will find their web site. They are specialists in providing behaviour management courses and I took one of their online courses called Taking Care of Behaviour ( there is also a book of the same name that goes with the course and you can buy that as a reference). The course is reasonably priced and you can do it online and take six months to complete it although you can take less time; it took me about six weeks to complete. I can honestly say that course saved my sanity.

    What you are experiencing is quite usual for people new to supply since as you know managing or leading classes you have never met is quite different to teaching classes you know: you only have seconds or minutes to make decisions and many times the schools won't give you the information you need. However, the more you do it, the better you will get at it ; you will get better, but it will take a lot of work and resolve. My tips are the following:

    I know this sounds rather basic, but look at what you are wearing. If you look presentable in a suit ( and it doesn't have to be an expensive one) you are going to have more confidence and it is a signal that you mean business.

    Think about your posture and where you are standing. When the students arrive, ensure everyone is seated before you start and ensure you are standing in the centre of the room making eye contact with all the students. If you have time before they arrive, write your name on the board, and your three top rules. Mine are:

    Follow instructions fast

    Stay on task

    Work without disturbing others.

    Explain that your first instruction is for the class to remain silent while you are taking the register ( while you are taking the register, then they can be getting out their books and writing the date and title of the work). You can also say that your expectations is that everyone is to work to the best of their ability and you will be writing a report at the end for their teacher. Act confidently even if you don't feel confident. Be pleasant but in your tone of voice communicate that there is work to do. Focus on that: the work that needs to be completed.

    Whatever you do do not talk over students. Wait until you have everyone's attention.

    The school will have a policy on behaviour of some kind. Something like two verbal warnings and then you can call on call to have them removed or ask for assistance. Sometimes, I ask students to step outside the class to think about their behaviour.

    Write scripts and memorise them on what you are going to say to students: " I saw you throw the pencil across the room. This is a verbal warning. You are off task. You need to make a better choice". If they know they will be leaving after two warnings, then they may make a better choice.

    Do not be afraid to send a reliable pupil to get help. There will be students in classes where they are removed on a regular basis and the school will know this.

    Once you get everyone working, go around the room and once you see someone producing some excellent work or showing positive behaviour, sign their planner/diary and put a sticker in it. Take their name and ensure you leave a note for their teacher.

    There will be some schools where the behaviour is so bad that might not ever crack it completely, or decide you don't want to go back.

    In the good schools, if you leave a note for the teacher or head of year stating what problems you have had, the best schools will follow it up and speak with the class. In the worst schools nothing is done.

    The appalling behaviour is not just a problem for supply teachers ; it is a major issue facing all teachers. No one teacher can do it alone. Again, in the best schools there will be people to help you and it is not a sign of weakness. I have helped others and people have helped me.

    It is a frightening place to be in when you have almost lost control of a class. Give yourself ten minutes to settle the group. If in ten minutes after all your strategies have failed, send a reliable student to reception to ask for assistance. It is the right thing to do and no one should expect you to cope with the impossible on your own. As I said above, the best schools will support you and the worst ones won't care. As you go, you will decide which ones you want to work at and the ones you won't go back to.

    Hi erinm14

    I can highly recommend a company to you called Pivotal Education run by Paul Dix. You can google Pivotal Education and you will find their web site. They are specialists in providing behaviour management courses and I took one of their online courses called Taking Care of Behaviour ( there is also a book of the same name that goes with the course and you can buy that as a reference). The course is reasonably priced and you can do it online and take six months to complete it although you can take less time; it took me about six weeks to complete. I can honestly say that course saved my sanity.

    What you are experiencing is quite usual for people new to supply since as you know managing or leading classes you have never met is quite different to teaching classes you know: you only have seconds or minutes to make decisions and many times the schools won't give you the information you need. However, the more you do it, the better you will get at it ; you will get better, but it will take a lot of work and resolve. My tips are the following:

    I know this sounds rather basic, but look at what you are wearing. If you look presentable in a suit ( and it doesn't have to be an expensive one) you are going to have more confidence and it is a signal that you mean business.

    Think about your posture and where you are standing. When the students arrive, ensure everyone is seated before you start and ensure you are standing in the centre of the room making eye contact with all the students. If you have time before they arrive, write your name on the board, and your three top rules. Mine are:

    Follow instructions fast

    Stay on task

    Work without disturbing others.

    Explain that your first instruction is for the class to remain silent while you are taking the register ( while you are taking the register, then they can be getting out their books and writing the date and title of the work). You can also say that your expectations is that everyone is to work to the best of their ability and you will be writing a report at the end for their teacher. Act confidently even if you don't feel confident. Be pleasant but in your tone of voice communicate that there is work to do. Focus on that: the work that needs to be completed.

    Whatever you do do not talk over students. Wait until you have everyone's attention.

    The school will have a policy on behaviour of some kind. Something like two verbal warnings and then you can call on call to have them removed or ask for assistance. Sometimes, I ask students to step outside the class to think about their behaviour.

    Write scripts and memorise them on what you are going to say to students: " I saw you throw the pencil across the room. This is a verbal warning. You are off task. You need to make a better choice". If they know they will be leaving after two warnings, then they may make a better choice.

    Do not be afraid to send a reliable pupil to get help. There will be students in classes where they are removed on a regular basis and the school will know this.

    Once you get everyone working, go around the room and once you see someone producing some excellent work or showing positive behaviour, sign their planner/diary and put a sticker in it. Take their name and ensure you leave a note for their teacher.

    There will be some schools where the behaviour is so bad that might not ever crack it completely, or decide you don't want to go back.

    In the good schools, if you leave a note for the teacher or head of year stating what problems you have had, the best schools will follow it up and speak with the class. In the worst schools nothing is done.

    The appalling behaviour is not just a problem for supply teachers ; it is a major issue facing all teachers. No one teacher can do it alone. Again, in the best schools there will be people to help you and it is not a sign of weakness. I have helped others and people have helped me.

    It is a frightening place to be in when you have almost lost control of a class. Give yourself ten minutes to settle the group. If in ten minutes after all your strategies have failed, send a reliable student to reception to ask for assistance. It is the right thing to do and no one should expect you to cope with the impossible on your own. As I said above, the best schools will support you and the worst ones won't care. As you go, you will decide which ones you want to work at and the ones you won't go back to.

    Hi erinm14

    I can highly recommend a company to you called Pivotal Education run by Paul Dix. You can google Pivotal Education and you will find their web site. They are specialists in providing behaviour management courses and I took one of their online courses called Taking Care of Behaviour ( there is also a book of the same name that goes with the course and you can buy that as a reference). The course is reasonably priced and you can do it online and take six months to complete it although you can take less time; it took me about six weeks to complete. I can honestly say that course saved my sanity.

    What you are experiencing is quite usual for people new to supply since as you know managing or leading classes you have never met is quite different to teaching classes you know: you only have seconds or minutes to make decisions and many times the schools won't give you the information you need. However, the more you do it, the better you will get at it ; you will get better, but it will take a lot of work and resolve. My tips are the following:

    I know this sounds rather basic, but look at what you are wearing. If you look presentable in a suit ( and it doesn't have to be an expensive one) you are going to have more confidence and it is a signal that you mean business.

    Think about your posture and where you are standing. When the students arrive, ensure everyone is seated before you start and ensure you are standing in the centre of the room making eye contact with all the students. If you have time before they arrive, write your name on the board, and your three top rules. Mine are:

    Follow instructions fast

    Stay on task

    Work without disturbing others.

    Explain that your first instruction is for the class to remain silent while you are taking the register ( while you are taking the register, then they can be getting out their books and writing the date and title of the work). You can also say that your expectations is that everyone is to work to the best of their ability and you will be writing a report at the end for their teacher. Act confidently even if you don't feel confident. Be pleasant but in your tone of voice communicate that there is work to do. Focus on that: the work that needs to be completed.

    Whatever you do do not talk over students. Wait until you have everyone's attention.

    The school will have a policy on behaviour of some kind. Something like two verbal warnings and then you can call on call to have them removed or ask for assistance. Sometimes, I ask students to step outside the class to think about their behaviour.

    Write scripts and memorise them on what you are going to say to students: " I saw you throw the pencil across the room. This is a verbal warning. You are off task. You need to make a better choice". If they know they will be leaving after two warnings, then they may make a better choice.

    Do not be afraid to send a reliable pupil to get help. There will be students in classes where they are removed on a regular basis and the school will know this.

    Once you get everyone working, go around the room and once you see someone producing some excellent work or showing positive behaviour, sign their planner/diary and put a sticker in it. Take their name and ensure you leave a note for their teacher.

    There will be some schools where the behaviour is so bad that might not ever crack it completely, or decide you don't want to go back.

    In the good schools, if you leave a note for the teacher or head of year stating what problems you have had, the best schools will follow it up and speak with the class. In the worst schools nothing is done.

    The appalling behaviour is not just a problem for supply teachers ; it is a major issue facing all teachers. No one teacher can do it alone. Again, in the best schools there will be people to help you and it is not a sign of weakness. I have helped others and people have helped me.

    It is a frightening place to be in when you have almost lost control of a class. Give yourself ten minutes to settle the group. If in ten minutes after all your strategies have failed, send a reliable student to reception to ask for assistance. It is the right thing to do and no one should expect you to cope with the impossible on your own. As I said above, the best schools will support you and the worst ones won't care. As you go, you will decide which ones you want to work at and the ones you won't go back to.
     

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