In the classroom, what we’re aiming for is that students’ mental health and wellbeing are cared for, so that they feel good about being there and want to do their best. This in turn should positively affect our own wellbeing and mental health as teachers.
To do this, we want to look for good rather than bad and encourage our students to WANT to behave well. What we are doing in seeking to manage behaviour is to enable students to make the right choices, and when they get things wrong to help them address their behaviour and set them up again to make the right choices next time. Over and over again if necessary.
Behaviour management is the area of teaching practice where poor or negligent practice can seriously impact not only on students’ mental health but also that of the teacher. It’s is a crucial part of the teacher skill-set, and arguably the easiest to get wrong.
There are many techniques which can be used to affect behaviour management positively, and these are techniques which can be deployed before, during and after lessons:
- Planning for behaviour – organise the environment, furniture, display, equipment, resources, props
- Have clear rules and routines for behaviour – explain and recap regularly the rules of your classroom, emphasising the positives
- Have high expectations of behaviour – recognise and applaud good behaviour; do not pretend not to notice poor behaviour, but deal with it in private
- Use Strictly Positive behaviour management techniques
But it all starts with an absolute will to be POSITIVE.