“It’s just looking at things from a different perspective…”
So began my pitch to the senior leadership team when I decided that I wanted the chance to roll out the behaviour management techniques which had worked so well for me for a decade to the rest of our staff.
And as soon as the words were out of my mouth I realised that it wasn’t ‘just’ anything – rather, it was a completely different way of looking at teaching, the classroom, the students, everything. As I expounded on my theories of behaviour management, and described case studies of students known to them where these techniques had served me well, I was slightly distracted by what my Strictly Positive Teaching actually was.
I’ve been considering this for a while now, reading around the subject, looking at teaching handbooks and educational theorists, and blogs, articles and letters, and I haven’t found yet a comprehensive exploration which puts all the different aspects of Strictly Positive Teaching together into a cohesive whole.
So that’s what I want to do.
I did get the chance to talk to the whole staff about positive behaviour management techniques, and I have gone into classrooms and watched these techniques put into practice, with success.
They are known to nearly everybody but not necessarily put into practice in as consistent a way as is needed for success. As with any set of techniques, it is easy to try them out half-heartedly for a while and then abandon them proclaiming that “they don’t work” or it’s “too much like hard work”. Some people just plain get them wrong. But for some they have, as they did for me, transformed their classroom practice.
Strictly Positive Teaching is not only about behaviour management though. I want to discuss how remaining Strictly Positive can help in every aspect of a teacher’s professional practice, and how, after consistency over a period of time, can become self-sustaining, rewarding and enjoyable.