Manage challenging behaviour

It is my role to facilitate a positive learning environment at all times. One where students feel safe and able to contribute to the learning experience with each other.

I use a number of strategies in order to manage challenging behaviour when it arises.

At the beginning of working with a new group or at the beginning of a new term, I work together with the group to establish a code of conduct - A do’s and don’ts list that is analysed and agreed upon by the group. This code of conduct is made visible and able to be referred to at all times. This also creates ownership by the group of these standards

Aside from the poster I get students to write or take home a copy of the behavioural points as a contract which they take home sign and then get read and signed by a parent or guardian they are then accountable for their behaviour at all times.

I also have seating plans where I split up students that tend to have behaviour and concentration issues when seated together. I set up this seating arrangement to be as non confrontational as possible.

Here are some good tips I have gleaned and employed in my management of challenging behaviour.

Give a clear and non confrontationally discreet sanction giving space for the student to process the request rather than waiting around for them to do so.

Use a countdown to get students motivated to finish what they are doing and come back to attention

A closed request with a thank you. Such as:

“thank you for putting your chewing gum in the bin.”

“Thank you for putting your pen down Marcus”

Be a presence forging a positive presence and positive relationship with students outside of the classroom, such as playground and on duty having interactions in non formalised classroom settings.

Develop mutual trust by giving students an active role in helping out in the classroom, giving them simple tasks such as collecting papers/giving them out. This creates a sense of responsibility and purpose to each other.

When students display secondary behaviours to reprimands, be calm in the moment and record the behaviour and deal with it once the emotion of the behaviour has diffused.

Think about classroom layout and how it affects student interactions with each other as well as with the teacher. Too often desks in a row and smart boards can easily lead to students disengaging with the teacher and other students.