Behaviour in my current school had been fantastic for 18 months but as we close towards the end of this academic year a few members of the class have started testing the boundaries and pushing staff into the limits of their capability. This post deals through reflection on my current practice with what I feel are the five key components of effective behaviour management.
Every aspect of education is linked to communication and behaviour management is no different. Communication between staff, parents and pupils is the lynchpin of a good behaviour management system.
In terms of communication with staff it is vital to spend time discussing and agreeing a behaviour management system that all staff understand. It is also important that staff are able to communicate in practical situations within the classroom use the behaviour management system as agreed and evaluating together its effectiveness.
Communication with parents can be difficult as parents can refuse to listen to what staff say however it is equally true that staff can be guilty of sending more information than they receive. It is therefore important that when discussing the behaviour of a child all sides are comfortable in the discussion and it is clear throughout that the behvaviour management system is there to aid and not restrict or indeed punish the learner.
Although a behaviour management system may be created to cater for one child and indeed it may be important to have personalised behaviour management systems to take account of individual differences between children the system or systems will effect every learner in the class and also depending upon size impact upon the whole school. A rewards based system can seem unfair to learners who consistently try their best in class and do not achieve as many rewards.
Patience is a key factor as poor behaviour can be very upsetting to staff especially as is the case in my current workplace they are not used to it. An element of patience is the ability to not get emotionally involved and this may mean allowing learners to have the last word or giving the learner longer to respond to a request. It is better to spread out warnings and give the learner the opportunity to process the information they are receiving.
Unfortunately even with good communication and high levels of patience learners can refuse to follow correct behaviour protocols and it is our role as educators to deliver an education. In order to encourage learners to commit to the behaviour that will ensure a positive climate for learning it can be necessary to offer rewards.
As mentioned earlier the administration of these needs to be well considered. It is important to use rewards as part of praising good behaviour and also important that other learners are not distracted or confused by why a learner who normally displays poor behaviour gets better rewards. In the past few weeks a learner in my class has been rewarded regularly for good behaviour by being given time on the computer (learner selection of reward is critical) a reward that is not available for the rest of the class. The fact that this learner missed the school trip will probably not be evident to other learners and it is therefore important that the extra rewards the learner receives are not evident either.
Good communication, patience and a well thought out reward system can help develop the relationship between staff and learners and this is an important next step in the development in the learner of more positive behaviour. If a learner has a good relationship with a member of staff they will be less likely to display behaviour that inconveniences them and more likely to display behaviour that will gain the approval of staff members. This ideal though of course goes back to patience it may take years to achieve this and it may not ever happen but it is our duty as educators to put strategies in place to attempt to achieve this.
Clear communication, high levels of patience, effective rewards and a strong working relationship will lead to a level of mutual understanding. This echoes the point made about relationship but understanding is also important within school and returns to the area of communication. Staff, parents and even outside agencies need to accept that behaviour management strategies take time to implement and that it is through working together and effective evaluation that the behaviour of individuals can be changed for the better.
The Past Week.
Star – The levels of engagement shown by two recently disengaged boys in Year 6 when designing and making a new sport.
Wish – To have communicated better with staff a new behaviour management strategy that I implemented midweek.
The past week has primarily involved learners designing and promoting a new sport in small groups. Overall this has been achieved very successfully and learners showed a good level of engagement throughout the week. We also had a trip to Llangollen which went very well and was a good reminder of how well behaved our learners can be.
The Week Ahead.
The last week of the 2014/2015 academic year and a chance to wish year 6 well as they move on towards the secondary education. This year will be a more difficult goodbye than last year as I have had two years to get to know these children and developed some really strong working relationships. A summer party is being planned to give the week a celebratory feel.