TS7a: have clear rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms, and take responsibility for promoting good and courteous behaviour both in classrooms and around the school, in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy
TS7d: maintain good relationships with pupils, exercise appropriate authority, and act decisively when necessary.
‘The teacher’s behaviour and the student’s behaviour have a reciprocal effect on each other and on the ever present “audience” of peers.’ (Rogers, 2011).
This quote immediately struck me as interesting during my reading research, it proposed an idea that I had not previously considered when thinking about behaviour management; I as the teacher must reflect on and modify my own behaviour first. I had always perceived behaviour management to begin with the question “Why are they misbehaving?” and thought that many behaviour issues stemmed from alternate sources outside the classroom, however it makes perfect sense to me that what happens in the classroom affects behaviour and as a highly influential figure in the classroom, I should review my own behaviour for best results.
- avoid asking ‘Why’ bad behaviour happened – instead “What are the school rules on…?”
- direct away from immediate classmates – avoid embarrassment and “Greek Chorus syndrome” (audience)
- be aware of unnecessarily high voice level/volume at normal times as this can cause problems when needing to project a firmer or slightly louder voice.
- Contribute to creating a relaxed and calm learning environment by ensuring your normal voice is not excessively loud and does not sound continuously annoyed/irritated as this can add tension to the atmosphere. A tense classroom could ‘inhibit effective teaching and learning, even if the teacher falsely believes he or she has “good control”.’ (Rogers, 2011).
- Avoid overusing negative language “don’t” “are you?” “mustn’t” “why?”
- be aware of the impact of non-verbal communication for positive relationships
- Build a sense of cohesion- “We’re all in this together”. Explain the reasons behind lessons/activities/subjects, give choices, demonstrate manners, sense of humour…
‘One of the most powerful and influential aspects of a teacher’s relationship with individuals and groups of students is the teacher’s willingness to empathise.’ (Rogers, 2011). TS7d
Reflections and Targets
I am now acutely aware of the effect my own behaviour as the class teacher can have on the children’s behaviour and subsequently on the creation of a relaxed classroom environment. My next classroom experience will be during practice 1b, I will be aware of the volume/pitch of my normal voice and will aim to make sure that I do not convey negative emotions so that the classroom feels relaxed and safe for learning. This should also help to create an impact in the event that I may need to raise my voice to be heard.
The suggestion made by Rogers (2011) that children should not be reprimanded in front of their peers may be difficult for me to exercise in the primary classroom setting, however I will aim to test this idea by speaking to children away from crowds where possible and particularly whilst on the playground as it is very easy for an audience to form when a teacher raises their voice for individuals/ groups.
ROGERS, B. 2011. Classroom Behaviour. 3rd ed. London: SAGE Publications.