The noise was getting louder and louder. The kids were having a right old laugh and just weren’t ‘connecting’ with me. One boy in the class said something to me that I can’t remember, and I replied with the confrontational “Are you taking the mick?“, which was met with a chorus of laughter from the class.
Then, I was rescued. My supervisor for this class stepped in and took over, with rather a loud voice. I was safe, at least for now.
Illustrations by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongphati
We’ve all had our fair share of lessons that just ‘went wrong’. My PGCE year was peppered with moments of cringe-worthy ineptness on my part, the example above being just one of them.
As time goes by, however, we develop our own personal styles of teaching and we discover (or at least we should discover) what works and what doesn’t when itcomes to behaviour management. There are things we can do prior to, during and after a lesson to encourage, reward and promote good behaviour.
Harsh experience has left its battle scars on me, but it has also taught me the things I must do get my teaching right every time. So allow me, please, to share some golden nuggets gained during those moments when I fell and fell badly, often with many eyes looking upon me in my moments of behaviour management chaos.
The rules I am about to go through have been earned through many battles. They’re not a complete list, but they are the basic fundamentals that will solve most behaviour management issues in your classroom. You’ll definitely come across a few students who come to school with major problems that they’ve picked up from home and their local community, and they may even have mental health issues or Special Educational Needs that manifest as (perceived) poor behaviour. These types of students are best helped by Individual Education Plans (IEPs), which should contain advice on ways to intervene and help such individuals.
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