Every school has a behaviour policy that is used consistently by all members of staff, right? The questions I get asked and I'd like to answer are; how do you employ it? How can you work proactively in your classroom so that you don't have to get to that stage? If the situation does arise, how to use it?
In order to answer these questions, I have split Behaviour for Learning into two phases; proactive and reactive. These will allow you, the reader and teacher, to see the differences in the two approaches, and how you can go about using them in your own classrooms. Both of them involved the key idea that you have to take control, behaviour for learning in your classroom is your responsibility and only you can change it.
For the purposes of this blog;
the processes you go through in order to plan and engage your pupils so that low level disruption and off task behaviour doesn't occur. (I.e. Preventing bad behaviour from happening)
the processes you go through when dealing with a student or situation that arises in your classroom. (I.e. Fixing or dealing with the behaviour)
I've split the two works into bullet points to help explain what can be done in each section. I've had conversations with many other members of staff about what words to fit where, but this is the final draft.
P - Praise - Positivity is a big way of engaging any pupil, in my experience most pupils that misbehave do so because they want attention. So give it to them, positively, look for excuses to give them praise, even for bringing a pen or the correct equipment to their lesson.
R - Responsibilities - If pupils have something to concentrate on as well as their class work then in my experience this tends to take up their spare capacity that they use to misbehave. So allow them to handout books, wipe the whiteboard for you, open the windows if it's too hot, be a team captain of be a team spokesman.
O - Organisation - Seating plans written effectively can manage behaviour before it arises. Don't always allow students to sit next to their friends, but if you have a good rapport with them then it can work in your favour. Also, organise your lesson so that there are no gaps in time for them to fill.
R - Reasonable - be reasonable with your students, a calm approach will work well and shouldn't inflate the situation.
E - Empathy - a little understanding will go a long way, for some pupils that we teach school is the safest place they have. Arrange a meeting with them after the incident to talk through what happened so that both you and the pupil can understand what happened and why to create a plan moving forwards.
A - Always use the behaviour policy - it was written by people with a lot of experience and your pupils will be used to it. Don't be scared to use it, your pupils are your pupils and it's your classroom, so take ownership of it.
C - Consistency - be consistent in your lessons and your behaviour. Being predictable is a positive thing as pupils will know your boundaries and how to behave in your lessons (e.g. What the entrance and exit routines are). If not and one action is acceptable one day and not the next, how will they know how to behave?
T - Talk to others - speak to other members of staff about the pupils you're dealing with, people in your school will be able to get them to work for them. Find out how and why, but don't use this time to focus on the bad, pick out the good things that they do.
I - Intervention - early intervention work with specific pupils will work wonders. Have their behaviours and needs at the forefront of your mind when planning your lessons, therefore you won't give them the opportunities to misbehaviour as they have previously.
V - Variety - vary the tasks that you use, every approach is effective and has it's time and place, but if you use it too much pupils will become bored and restless.
E - Engaging pace - if you give pupils achievable time targets to meet, then they will be engaged to achieve the work required.
I hope that this has helped, by no means am I a behaviour for learning expert, but in hope that this has shed a little light, given a few ideas or even made you think slightly differently about your classrooms.