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What are your 'go to' phrases?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by StarbucksCovfefe, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. StarbucksCovfefe

    StarbucksCovfefe Occasional commenter

    I'm wanting to take some time to reflect on my stock sayings and go-to phrases that I use in the classroom.

    Do you have any favourites, or great ones you've heard?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Interesting question. Do you mean for anything in particular?

    A favourite of mine that a school I used to work in used for older students was: I'm accountable for your results but you are responsible.

    We then discussed that accountability meant sitting with the headteacher explaining what I had offered to support each student but that overall responsibility for action and eventual success, lay with the student themselves.

    It worked quite well.

    In my experience phrases like, "I'm still waiting," or "I've asked for silence," can be usefully replaced with things like "please finish your conversation and be ready to listen," or "let's move forward now. For that, you need to be listening."
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    When making requests or giving instructions, I use few words and say "thank you" rather than "please". For example, "Pens down [pause and scan the room], eyes on me, thank you [stand still and silent]." Like being an actor, delivering their lines for maximum effect.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Everyone has their stock phrases and some classes will pick this up very quickly. We all have phrases we use for dismissing a class - from "Stand up - chairs in - file out" to "Off you go." Heard tell of a needlework teacher in days of old who always said, "Right girls, fold up and pass away" - and never realised what she was saying......
    pepper5 and Bumptious like this.
  5. Chicken_madras

    Chicken_madras Occasional commenter

    I tell mine (reception) "turn your voices off"when they need to be quiet. I didn't think it was unusual to say until a lesson observation where SLT thought it was sweet.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Chicken_madras

    Chicken_madras Occasional commenter

    Another thing I seem to do a lot is ask questions rather than tell them when I know they know for example "where should your hands be?" "How should you be carrying the scissors?" "How should you be moving around inside?" When a child is for example annoying another child, carrying scissors improperly or running inside.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. sadscientist

    sadscientist Senior commenter

    I knew an English teacher whose standard reprimand for swinging on chairs was a raised eyebrow and "Four legs good, two legs bad!"
    Pomza, ferretmasta, tigi and 6 others like this.
  8. mh41st

    mh41st New commenter

    A go-to system for achieving silence in Secondary is to drop in a line from a song while you're trying to get their attention - the ones that hear will be perplexed and might actually stop talking, until they cotton on that is. Hopefully they'll start to think that you're barking mad and, trust me, that's a plus. Years ago my mentor told me to develop my 'crazy lady' persona - it worked. It's the unpredictability, see? Like training army recruits really!
    angelahorn likes this.
  9. ladylyra

    ladylyra New commenter

    This is one for me! in one of my school's it was very common as head was an ofsted inspector who believed children were shushed too often at home and we shouldn't carry that on so they knew we would listen to them. It goes well with the sign for silent!

    One for me (in my class of impulsive students) is 'I'm talking, then you' and also 'I'm pretty sure I asked X to talk/answer that question. '
    Also 'That's a funny sounding silence.' Tends to work well as a casual warning

    Same as bumptious, I say thanks a lot at the end of my instructions. One student's picked up on it and replies 'I haven't done it yet' so now a new saying is appearing. 'No, but I know you will.'
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. jameshunt72

    jameshunt72 New commenter

    Right guys! Pens down, eyes this way.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. Northern_Miss

    Northern_Miss New commenter

    "I expect that you have now...."
    "Five, four, three..."
    "Eyes on me"
    "First, do X, then do X."
    "It would be unfortunate if..."
    "That's one minute of break time gone... " [silence] "let's see if you can earn that minute back..."
    pepper5 and suzyshepster like this.
  12. katherine_livesey

    katherine_livesey New commenter

    I often use 5,4,3,2,1 during transition periods or a simple clap pattern which the children repeat. These both seem to work well at getting instant attention. Sometimes I sing "Are you listening?" to which the children reply "yes we are." If some children continue to not listen I then sing "No you're not" to which they sing "yes we are." By this point they are all listening and quiet.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. Teapot345

    Teapot345 New commenter

    I know I can trust you to [do this] but I wonder if I can I trust you to [do this]? I will know I can trust you because I will see...and I will hear...
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. ferretmasta

    ferretmasta New commenter

    Best teacher I've ever seen was an old PE teacher who was as dry as a bone. My two favourites of his, "what's going to happen next is this..." Which can be used to instruct anything but works as the last thing you say is what you want the students to do and avoids students starting the action before you've fully finished. His second which was said in such an understated casual way so went under the radar apart from the most attentive kids was "now then you sad little lunatics". As the students knew he was so funny and they liked him so much they never cried foul or took offense. Maybe it's worth noting he had taught most of their parents and grandparents at the same school and as such was very well known and got away with many humourous comments that others wouldn't. A lesson in longevity and staff retention and consistency perhaps which is priceless in terms of staff student and parental relationships and trust built over time. When I was a kid my economics teacher said to me "I don't have favourites...I hate you all equally." I try to work that in at least once a week mainly when speaking to SLT.
    NIHistoryTeacher and pepper5 like this.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi ferretmasta

    I am going to use "what's going to happen next is this.." on supply.

    Thanks for sharing.
  16. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

  17. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    "I give instructions, not reasons" great anwer to an awkward "Why?".

    "Ask me again in 5 minutes" good for toilet requests (if they really want to go they'll remember).
    NIHistoryTeacher likes this.

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