Behaviour Management Training – TS1 & TS7

On Thursday 20th September 2018 I attended a Behaviour Management course lead by Nicola S. Morgan. I found Nicola to be enthusiastic and informative and I felt like I learned a lot from the course. I liked how when Nicola showed us behaviour management techniques using role play, she not only showed us how to handle a situation but also how not to handle a situation, which I felt was important as to me it highlighted where I was going wrong. Additionally, I liked how Nicola explained that not all of the strategies and techniques would suit everyone and to take away with us the ones that we liked and to dump those that we didn’t.

The day also involved talking, in groups, with my fellow teacher trainees about experiences and thoughts on behaviour management and it was a relief to hear that I was not the only person experiencing bad behaviour.

My week so far felt like three days of repeating simple instructions to the children on how to complete a task/answer a question and constantly repeating myself (sit back down in your chair, no you can’t go to the toilet it’s break time in five minutes, stop talking and get on with your work etc). Additionally, I have a child (student A) in my class whose behaviour is not always extreme but mostly involves constant low level disruption, cheating on tests, lying and occasionally a more serious offence. This has resulted in student A receiving two warnings on the warning chart everyday (if the child gets to three warnings in a day they have to go to the class next door and write about their behaviour in the behaviour book). I have spoken to student A’s parents every day after school this week; they are supportive and have expressed that student A behaves in the same way at home. At this point, I was feeling mentally drained and felt like I had spent more time this week ‘telling the children off’ than teaching, which is not something that I want to do, and I knew that something had to change.

I felt like the combination of a day away from the classroom, sharing my experiences with other trainee teachers and receiving new behaviour management techniques had given me a positive frame of mind and a fresh focus to go back to school the next day with.

At the end of the course we were told to write down three things that we wanted to take away from the course. The three things I chose were;

1) to focus on the positive, not the negative.

2) SAS (go in there, do the job, walk away.)

3) Don’t assume a child’s skill set.

Focusing on the positive, not the negative was the main thing that I took away from the course as I wanted to apply it to my viewpoint, so that I was not constantly looking for bad behaviour and only thinking about that but to also use it as a behaviour management technique. Instead of telling a child who is disrupting my lesson to stop, I will ignore them and use positive reinforcement to reward the well behaved children by giving them praise, for example, “Thank you for sitting quietly, you can have a dojo.” In theory, this should make the child causing a disruption to realise that their behaviour is not appropriate and will adjust it in order to receive the praise and reward like the other children. TS7 – have high expectations of behaviour, and establish a framework for discipline with a range of strategies, using praise, sanctions and rewards consistently and fairly.

If a child persists in disruptive behaviour, I will use the ‘SAS’ approach. Rather than sternly saying their name (never shouting) and telling the child to stop, I will calmly approach them and quietly tell them that this is the first time I am telling them to stop doing what they are doing and then walk way. Dealing with the situation quietly will avoid further disruption to the lesson and waking away will not give the child the chance to answer back. If the behaviour continues I will repeat the procedure, this time telling them that is it the second time I have spoken to them and a third time will result in their name going on the warning chart. This calm approach of dealing with behaviour is also for my benefit as it will keep me in a calm and positive frame of mind. TS7 – maintain good relationships with pupils, exercise appropriate authority, and act decisively when necessary.

Lastly, I will not assume a child’s skill set, this way I will avoid becoming annoyed when a child fails to do something or when they do something that they shouldn’t be doing. For example, to avoid being followed around the classroom by children wanting help or telling me that they have finished etc. I will explain at the beginning of the day that from now on, if the child wants to tell me something then they should remain seated, put their hand up and wait for me. Once I know that the children all know the rule, they should follow it and if they do not, I will follow the ‘SAS’ behaviour management technique mentioned above. TS1 – Demonstrate consistently the positive attitudes, values and behaviour which are expected of pupils. TS7 – have clear rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms, and take responsibility for promoting good and courteous behaviour both in classrooms and around the school, in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy.

Choosing three techniques to focus on rather than trying to remember every technique explained during the day has left me feeling positive as it feels achievable and not overwhelming. Additionally, it allows me to focus on the areas that need immediate improvement.

I would definitely take the course again as I feel that there are always new ways to learn how to deal with behaviour, it would refresh my existing knowledge on behaviour management and it would be interesting to see what progress I have made since originally taking the course.

Focused next steps to impact on your progress or the progress of the children in your care:

  • Follow my three behaviour management focuses (focus on positive not negative, ‘SAS’ approach and don’t assume a child’s skill set).
  • Observe a lesson focusing on behaviour management techniques.
  • In a month’s time, assess how behaviour has changed and what the next areas to address are and how to do it.