Effective behaviour management is an essential aspect of teaching. By understanding how to manage classroom behaviour, you'll not only ensure the smooth running of the lesson, but will develop better relationships with you students, and enjoy your job more too.
However, sometimes you will come up against behavioural challenges that are not straightforward to address, or reoccur time and time again. Having good strategies in place and knowing when to ask for help when needed is a crucial part of your role as a teacher.
Here are some behaviour management strategies that teachers can use
Establish clear expectations and rules
Clearly communicate what behaviour is expected of your pupils from the moment you step into the classroom. It's also essential that you are clear on what the consequences will be if those expectations are not met. Involve students in the creation of classroom rules, so that they take ownership of them and become part of the process.They are more likely to adhere to rules they created after all!
Reinforce positive behaviour
Praising and rewarding good behaviour, will motivate your pupils to continue to behave well. Praise and rewards can be verbal or tangible - they don't have to be big things, just small incentives to keep your students motivated to adhere to the rules, and get the most out of their education.
Sometimes pupils will misbehave if they think you aren't paying attention to them. If this is the case, sometimes all it takes is moving physically closer to let your pupils know you are aware of what's going on to get them back in check. Sometimes simply moving towards them or even a pointed look can work as a subtle yet effective reminder that you are watching and that their behaviour is not acceptable.
Distraction can sometimes work wonders for students who are getting up to no good. If you find a particular student is off-task or distracting others, redirect their attention by giving them a challenge to solve or question to answer that relates to the lesson.
Give clear instructions
Often students will start to play up or get distracted if they aren't clear on what is being asked of them. Rather than try to work it out, they'll simply focus their interest elsewhere or start to misbehave as a way of defending themselves. If you suspect this might be the case, make an effort to ensure that students understand what they are expected to do, by giving clear and concise instructions.
Use a variety of teaching strategies
Mix up your teaching strategies, use different methods, and include plenty of opportunities for student interaction and participation. Doing this can ensure that students stay engaged and motivated, and can also help you get to know the different learning styles of the students in your care.
Provide a safe and supportive classroom environment
Create a safe and welcoming atmosphere, where students feel valued and listened to. Respect is earned and must go both ways in the classroom. If you want your students to respect you and behave, you must also show them respect and kindness while also maintaining a firm line. Sometimes this can be a difficult balance to get right, but in doing so, you can enjoy a positive and responsive learning environment.
Use logical consequences
Where possible, consequences should be logical and appropriate to the behaviour you don't like. For example, if a student is misbehaving during group work, they may be asked to work independently for a set period.
Build relationships with students
Get to know your students, show an interest in their lives, and establish positive relationships with them. Students who feel valued and supported are more likely to behave well in the classroom.
Look after yourself too
Stress, becoming overworked and feeling deflated can be common teacher complaints. Make sure you have self-care strategies in place - doing so will ensure that you can bring your best self to the classroom each day and be ready for any behavioural challenges that might come your way.
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