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Tips for Behaviour Management at new and challenging school?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by karlz, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. karlz

    karlz New commenter

    Hi!
    I am about to start a new PGCE placement at a more challenging school.
    The current placement which I am at has generally very well behaved children therefore behaviour management has not really been an issue.
    However the next placement I will be attending will has been recognised to be more challenging in terms of behaviour of pupils. A previous PGCE student currently in attendance there has given examples of some behaviour that I would be quite shocked at! Im thinking that some of the behaviour management techniques I have might not work on them e.g. waiting for silence, hands ups etc.
    I am excited to go because I am not afraid of a challenge and the school does sound like it could be very rewarding but I wondered if anyone had any tips on behaviour management in this case. I will only have a few months at the placement therefore I want to be able to focus more on the academic side of things for the children eventually and dont want to spend my whole time there focusing on behaviour management (that is my fear! Lol)
    I want to be firm but fair and be able to build relationships with the learners as I want to help they enjoy my lessons, learn and become independent thinkers. I dont want to be an agressive teacher that shouts (as I dont believe in that approach) but it sounds like a danger of what could happen if I dont get my behaviour management right and I get extremely stressed as a result!
    Im waffling now but I hope you get the gist! =)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated in terms of techniques, coping with disruptive pupils and also the stress that may accompany it.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. karlz

    karlz New commenter

    Hi!
    I am about to start a new PGCE placement at a more challenging school.
    The current placement which I am at has generally very well behaved children therefore behaviour management has not really been an issue.
    However the next placement I will be attending will has been recognised to be more challenging in terms of behaviour of pupils. A previous PGCE student currently in attendance there has given examples of some behaviour that I would be quite shocked at! Im thinking that some of the behaviour management techniques I have might not work on them e.g. waiting for silence, hands ups etc.
    I am excited to go because I am not afraid of a challenge and the school does sound like it could be very rewarding but I wondered if anyone had any tips on behaviour management in this case. I will only have a few months at the placement therefore I want to be able to focus more on the academic side of things for the children eventually and dont want to spend my whole time there focusing on behaviour management (that is my fear! Lol)
    I want to be firm but fair and be able to build relationships with the learners as I want to help they enjoy my lessons, learn and become independent thinkers. I dont want to be an agressive teacher that shouts (as I dont believe in that approach) but it sounds like a danger of what could happen if I dont get my behaviour management right and I get extremely stressed as a result!
    Im waffling now but I hope you get the gist! =)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated in terms of techniques, coping with disruptive pupils and also the stress that may accompany it.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  3. First things first.
    If this school has experience of challenging behaviour, they must have a behavour management policy. Get a copy of it, learn it by heart. Now that you know how the chain of authority, sanction, support is supposed to work, talk to the people responsible for backing you up.
    Whatever your classroom techniques may be, in a challenging school they will be challenged. Especially with a newbie who's not yet established their authority within the school. So you need to be clear in your own mind that you will use any and every support from outside the classroom to create the best possible learning environment within the classroom. Until you've established your own reputation with students, you have to borrow from the reputations of staff whose reputations are solid.
    Until you've absorbed the details of the school policy it's a bit hard to advise on how to 'cope' with disruptive students. On my part, there's no coping about it. Students who try to disrupt others' learning get the boot. But the policy will tell you what your scope for action is in this area. As for specific techniques, read the policy first and see which ideas of your own and those you hear from others will best marry with the schoolwide process.
    As a general principle, I think Tom and others will probably recommend that it's easier to start out firm and highly controlled and then relax as things fall into place. It is much more difficult to start out easy-going and tighten up control later.
     
  4. Hi Karlz,
    I am a PGCE students in a similar situation, and I just wondered whether you had any advice you could give, and what has/hasn't worked in your new placement? Hope that your placement wasn't as bad as you were expecting!


     
  5. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith New commenter

    What age group are they? Things like behaviour charts often work in primary schools but generally don't in secondary for example.
     
  6. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Glad to see you're being proactive and positive about your training experience- the best way to be.
    You're also entirely right to speculate about the different nature of schools, and the different strategies that are required in order to deal with different situations. At one level this should just be intuitively true- would you have the tactics for calming a riot as you would for settling an argument between old friends? There are no one-size-fits-all strategies that suit all classrooms, and developing a sensitivity to the needs of the situation is part of the craft of becoming a teacher, rather than merely bringing your one trick to the room. No DJ would play the same records to every crowd (unless they were in Father Ted) so neither should we.
    Waiting for silence will be shredded by any class less amenable than the Railway Children. Hands up only is a noble goal, but don't hold your breath while you're breaking a class in. The problem is that in more challenging schools, many kids don't want to be there, don't care what you think of them, and have no problem with open confrontation. The paradigm is completely different from amenable schools to aggressive ones.
    In tough schools, these principles should be your breastplate:
    1. Good behaviour management is your first, second and third priority. Everything else is secondary, because it can't happen until they behave. You may hope to work on your teaching and learning, but the kids will have other plans, believe me. They won't be working in groups or role playing until you can get them seated, facing forward and quiet.
    2. Go in tough and stay tough. Don't smile until Hell freezes over, let alone December. Don't be nasty, or mean, or hard. Just be tough, because you care enough about them to be so.
    3. Make your boundaries clear from the start. Tell them what you expect, and what they can expect if they don't provide it.
    4. Stay calm. Never blow a gasket, never lose your cool, never show them you're upset or annoyed. The best emotions to convey are sombre disappointment when they let you down, and calm respectful appreciation when they succeed. After that, your default emotional state should be serious and stern. Once you get relationships with them, you can crack the odd smile, and if the relationships are there quickly then by all means get happy. But never forget that the more they think you're Santa Claus, the less they'll see you as an authority figure.
    5. Set sanctions every single time they cross a line. And make the sanctions meaningful, not something cosy and tender.
    Good luck! It'll be tough- remember that, and never give up.
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     

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