Positive behaviour management strategies are essential tools for helping children learn how to control their behaviour.
Teachers learn a ton of positive ways to deal with behaviour during their training and we all know what we should be doing in class to create that positive atmosphere.
But teaching is tiring. There’s no way around it; that’s just the way it is.
And, if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes in a Primary classroom, you’ll know that one of the first things to suffer when you get tired, is your patience.
And the more stressful your day is, the closer you get to half term… the less patient you can get.
We all have days when we feel like losing our temper – and most of us have days when, despite our best efforts, we DO lose our temper.
And when it gets too much, it’s so tempting to fall back onto easier, short-term solutions such as table points and reward charts. But these behaviour management strategies only solve the problem temporarily; they teach the child how to behave for you rather than how to behave.
So how do we give ourselves the best chance of sticking with our positive strategies?
Setting up a positive behaviour management plan starts well before the beginning of the Autumn term so it’s never too early to start planning.
You’ll need to lay the foundations on the first few days of term and review them constantly throughout the year.
To get you thinking about positive behaviour management, here are 3 great articles about setting up and maintaining a positive plan for your classroom:
Tom Sherringham talks about his struggles with behaviour and gives a clear run down of highlights from Bill Rogers’ work.
The black dot in the white space: How it’s very easy to let the behaviour of one (or a few) children affect the way you view the whole class.
Behaviour Management is an emotional issue: How to recover and rebuild relationships if you lose your temper.
A great overview of the importance of good organisation, processes and structures to help you succeed with positive behaviour management.
Using the language of choice: How the words you use and the options you give a child can drastically impact their choice of behaviour.
You cannot control anybody else’s behaviour but your own: How trying to control a class against their wishes can create a hostile environment.
A selection of different techniques and tricks to use instead of your voice… and the importance of consistency.
Low key responses: How to use looks, proximity, touch and signals rather than your voice so as not to interrupt the flow of your lesson.
Rights and responsibilities: The importance of developing an understanding that rights are accompanied by responsibilities.
It’s tough to keep your cool when some children seem to spend every moment of the day desperately trying your patience.
For me, the easiest way for the children to understand positive behaviour management is a combination of all of the great advice above but particularly to focus on their rights and responsibilities.
Teaching a child that every right they have comes with a responsibility teaches them to think of others and helps them develop empathy.
Instant Display have a great set of posters covering the Rights & Responsibilities of a Child. It makes a great discussion point and, if displayed in the classroom, is a useful reminder for children to think about their choices.
You can download it here:
What would be your best piece of advice for maintaining a positive classroom?