Pupil Behaviour: how do we promote a culture of positive behaviour in our schools?
Date: Thursday 23rd August 2012
Hosted by: @Dailydenouement
I thought tonight’s #ukedchat was going to be a challenge to moderate. As a secondary English teacher, I had spent much of the day becoming increasingly angry and frustrated by the GCSE results debacle unfolding around me. However, I was refreshed and energised (as always) by the enthusiasm of colleagues who gave up their Thursday evening to come together and share ideas on how best we could create a culture of positive behaviour in our schools. There was an interesting discussion about the role of the form tutor. Various contributors shared their experiences of vertical tutor groups and one teacher shared their school’s model of having support staff involved in the form tutor team. A varied range of staff, from the Head’s PA to the caretaker, all have small tutor groups and this generates a positive consistent approach to behaviour and expectations throughout the school. (Speak to @lewis892 for more info.) Consistency was a message that came across very clearly. Whether you are an individual teacher trying to get behaviour right in your own classroom/area, or if we are thinking about the behaviour of the wider school population more generally, the message was simple: be consistent. People spoke about using consequences, sanctions and a variety of rewards. Everyone was in agreement that these should be applied fairly. Pupils need to know where they stand. Modelling the behaviour we expect our pupils to demonstrate was another strand of the debate. It was widely accepted that we must offer pupils an example of positive behaviour in order to encourage them to behave positively. There was an interesting discussion about whether or not saying ‘please’ makes you sound weak, with some contributors preferring to thank pupils (“Put your phone away, thank you”) to encourage compliance rather than ask them (“Please put your phone away.”) I got the feeling this could’ve almost been the subject of its own #ukedchat debate! People spoke about making time to speak to parents about both positive and negative behaviour. It was acknowledged that finding time to do this can sometimes be a challenge. One primary colleague spoke about taking his class out at the end of every day in order to catch parents/carers and have regular conversations with them. A secondary colleague shared their tactic of calling two parents of pupils in their form each week to ensure that throughout the year a regular dialogue was ongoing. Praise and reward were discussed. Some colleagues shared concerns that in the transition from primary to secondary, some of the positive praise and culture of high expectations that pupils are used to can be lost. Others spoke of their worries that we are too quick to praise ‘naughty’ pupils for behaviour we expect as standard from others. Again, the message was one of consistency. There were some great pieces of advice shared throughout the hour-long discussion and I have done my best to give you a flavour of these in the tweets I’ve highlighted below. I hope those of you who joined in enjoyed the discussion, and if you weren’t able to make it tonight then I hope you join us in future #ukedchat weekly discussions. There’s always something to learn!
Notable Tweets from the Session:
@ukcreativeed: Some teachers reward challenging pupils’”good” behaviour when the same behaviour is merely expected of others=lack of consistency #ukedchat@lewis892: What about focusing the attention on rewarding thegood behaviour rather than finding the “best” punishment for bad behaviour #ukedchat @tmeeky: Model it, praise + recognise good peer modelling, … quiet rep, loud praise @davidhunter: #ukedchat evidence shows that ‘rewarding’ effort erodes intrinsic motivation. Maybe we should stop rewarding! @chris_j_fisher9: Raise aspirations, insist on high expectations & don’t accept less, be a positive role model & be consistent inapproach 2 this #ukedchat @rebeccagcole: #ukedchat include lunchtime supervisors inbehaviour mgt training for a whole school culture. No point in it justbeing seen inside class. @caroljallen: It is essential that we consider individual learners rather than ‘theclass’ to maintain natural enthusiasm for learning #ukedchat @lewis892: Get the form tutor right & you start to improve the overall culture students WANT to show good behaviour to their respected tutor. #ukedchat @Edutronic_Net: Positive behaviour definitely starts at the top, we tend to get what we give in that respect. Coercion leads to rebellion #ukedchat @oldnick103: #ukedchat Observed teaching in Uganda & Ukraine: all adultsautomatically respected; families expected nothing less. @redgierob: Always teach in an engaging way and with enthusiasm – if you are not enthused why would a child be? #ukedchat @Leading_in_PE: #ukedchat teachers must model respect in every aspect of their job,especially to disrespectful pupils. How else will they learn to respect? @Gally_22: +ve behaviour must become a norm; sanctions and attitude mustbe clear and consistent thru whole school, not just in class. #ukedchat @markhodges: relationships. Build them, maintain them. Takean interest in the students, and their lives. Humour is crucial #ukedchat @NQTnewbie: I would really push Olympics and top athletes like Hoy, Wiggins, Pendleton to demonstrate positive dignified behaviour. #ukedchat @Edutronic_Net: Remembering that we encourage what we attend to. If we pay a lot of attention to poor behaviour, we are cultivating it. #ukedchat @mrlockyer: Keeping pupils busy, interested and enthusiastic helps, but constant positive reinforcement nails behaviour for me #ukedchat @Grevster73: #ukedchat it’s what and how we praise and reward rather than not praising or rewarding. @headguruteacher: #ukedchat SLT need to a) set/model the tone – ie assertive EI approach, not shouty/ autocratic b) ensure back-up systems work consistently. @jodieworld: Community is important. If children are made to feel outside of thecommunity then they are no longer bound by community rules #ukedchat @DidgeH: Friday assemblies parents are invited tocelebrate achievements; work and behaviour. #ukedchat @headguruteacher: #ukedchat The Ninestiles Behvr for Learning system w incremental warnings/sanctions is great for raising bar w minor niggles. @jamesdhobsonuk: I try to be different, unpredictable in a good way, positive evenwhen not feeling it, avoid emotionally charged encounters #ukedchat @MissMidgley: Peer pressure to misbehave in lessons is removed if you make bad behaviour uncool #ukedchat @KempsterD: We all have a perception of what a school should be. We need tochallenge those perceptions and make them learner friendly. Not places where there is a them and us culture, draconian systems of punishment and reward and systemic failure for most. #ukedchat @ukcreativeed: importance of stimulating/engaging topic – If UR excited 2 teach it & it’s challenging/relevant that’s 1/2 the battle (other half=rapport) #ukedchat @KempsterD: Read @ThatIanGilbert ‘s book Essential Motivation in the Classroom if you haven’t. Changed the way I looked at behaviour #ukedchat @jamesdhobsonuk: I use “thank you” a lot but “please” never. Create a positive attitude without sounding weak #ukedchat @lewis892: I often thank students for doing something before they have done it. Thank you for turning your phone off etc..#ukedchat @Edutronic_Net: Tell a new colleague: always follow through after issuing warnings and always follow through after offering rewards. #ukedchat @Dan_Aldred: #ukedchat reward the positive. Praise positive behavior. Give students a choice. Either come in and work or carry on..and… @cherrylkd: #ukedchat Developing emotional intelligence isimportant for staff as well as children. Vital for a happy school. @TopTeaching: #ukedchat avoid confrontation, be polite, buildgood relationships, be firm but fair, smile, be assertive & non-aggressive, ask for help. @SparkyTeaching: #ukedchat Ignore any ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ advice. Bepersonable. Use humour carefully, but do use it. See @HYWEL_ROBERTS ‘s ‘Oops’ @SteveThursby: #ukedchat Reward system 4 positive behaviour, firm consistentboundaries, respect, enthuse, challenge, active learning, relevant curriculum! @Good_2_Go: #ukedchat most children recognise inappropriate behaviours inthemselves – they just need the skills and confidence to makepositive choices
Tweets of the Week:
There were lots of potential tweets of the week, but here’s a few:@lewis892: We have caretakers, clearners, associate staff as small vertical formtutors. What a difference to behaviour and attendance #ukedchat @ukcreativeed: stamp out ignorance, teach students about difference, tolerance & respect 4 others, involve students in this teaching process #ukedchat @AntonyHird: SLT need to be in classrooms sharing achievement. Not ‘patrolling’. #ukedchat @LiamHinkley: Very clear policy of sanctions and rewards essential so teachers can apply without disruption. Has to be crystal clear/consistent #ukedchat @MissMidgley: I always look at students with fresh eyes each lesson, it preventsbad behaviour sticking to the classroom #ukedchat
About The Host:
I’m an English teacher in a school in South Liverpool. This will be my fifth year in teaching, having had another career in the private sector previously. I’m passionate about teaching and increasingly frustrated by the politicisation of our education system.