It’s safe to say that becoming a teacher can be challenging. No one would deny that there’s lots to consider – lesson plans, subject knowledge, educational issues for starters. And that’s without mentioning the students! At the forefront of a classroom teacher’s mind is the need to prevent disruption and maintain good discipline to facilitate students’ education. There are rumours, though, that not everyone in the classroom shares this objective… Read on to hear some of our suggestions about how good behaviour can be achieved.
Leading by example
There is a natural hierarchy in a school which, when used positively, is a potential force for good. Teachers at any stage in their career can take advantage of this. However, with rights come responsibilities, and successful teachers take this seriously.
Looking the part is important. You should aim to appear smart and professional. You want everyone to know you mean business. Whether you’re in the classroom or out and about every interaction is an opportunity to manage and reinforce good behaviour. Getting to know students outside the classroom is hugely beneficial. Through less formal conversation they will learn what is acceptable within the school context and with the adults in their lives. This is your responsibility – and a proactive exercise. You might not feel like having lunch alongside the students every day, but it will pay off in the long term.
Trust and responsibility
Year 7 can often seem to have transformative powers. Primary school children arriving in September often come on in leaps and bounds (sometimes literally!). Becoming small fish in the big secondary school pond might not be straightforward. Many of them will have enjoyed the responsibility they had at primary level. There may not be the same opportunities to get involved in classroom management in year 7, but if you share tasks and responsibilities it will encourage a culture of mutual trust, and lead to a sense of shared ownership of success in the classroom.
There are times when a teacher simply must be the centre of attention in his/her own classroom and understanding this makes life more comfortable for everyone. If you wait until you have the attention of everyone in the room, you underline this principle in a powerful and meaningful way.
Some of our teachers find a countdown technique useful. By counting down from 5 or 10, with positive but targeted prompting throughout, students are given advance notice of what’s coming, and it is more realistic than demanding an instant response. If you back up the countdown with praise and reward and use it regularly this really can be an effective way to settle a class and get ready to move on.
Other teachers find varying techniques of their own which they incorporate in to their daily teaching and learning practices; whatever works for you will have a positive impact on your students. The trick is to keep it positive and encouraging. Just make sure you stick to any sanctions that you establish with the students. Be consistent and fair.
Schools are all about nurturing students and giving them the information they need to succeed in life. Teachers obviously play an enormous part in this and can have a massive impact on their students. By establishing a secure environment where rules are expected and positively reinforced, teachers can set their own standards and focus on the lesson plan rather than crowd control.
Hourglass Education’s Managing Director, Louise Brown says ‘When I had taught for a number of years, I set myself a personal rule not to shout at pupils. This was initially difficult but made me far more positive and creative in the behavioural boundaries and guidelines I set with pupils.’
Finally, every school will have its own overt and thorough approach to behaviour management. You should take advantage of the expertise of those who have more experience than you. Stick to the school’s policies and make sure that your own strategies adhere to the school rules too.
Well done you!
You have worked hard to get this far. Your first years as a teacher will be challenging and should also be rewarding. You will learn yet more about yourself and how you can positively impact the lives of others. It’s genuinely exciting! Hourglass Education can help you take the first steps in your career. We give practical application advice, and will make sure you are seen by the right schools. We know our schools and take time to understand which will suit you best. Don’t forget, our job is your job! Making sure you’re in the right school at the right stage of your career is what we’re all about.
To find out how Hourglass Education can help you to find your NQT or other teaching role, contact Maria Pownall:
|Phone:||0800 014 2688|