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Managing behaviour in the classroom

Teacher training adviser, Jane Wilkinson, asked aspiring teachers about their top classroom concerns. In her Get into Teaching article she tackles their questions about behaviour management

While I know that the majority of students will be well-mannered and well-behaved, how do I manage more disruptive behaviour?

Managing behaviour is a learning curve, and exactly what a teacher training course is designed for, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right every time.

Whichever teacher training course you choose, you will be offered practical guidance and support to allow you to make your classroom a harmonious learning environment.

It’s all about the relationships you build with pupils. If they know they’ll ‘get away’ with disruptive learning, they will disrupt learning! Set and communicate firm (but fair) boundaries and follow up on infringements, regardless of how long it takes to reach the result you intend. However, don’t threaten anything that you can’t/won’t follow up with (i.e. detention for the rest of your life!)

Try to reward good learning behaviours, and plan and deliver fun, interesting lessons and activities. Boredom is the passport to low-level disruptive behaviour.

I have a quiet voice and I’m a bit of an introvert. Will I be assertive enough?

Your teacher training course will allow you to experiment with the best tone of voice for your own teaching style. Observe as many teachers as you can and cherry-pick the techniques and skills that they use for your own classroom.

I found that having a quieter voice required pupils to listen more actively. It was an excellent way to manage behaviour!

I’m worried about remembering all their names quickly!

Knowing a child’s name is a really powerful behaviour management tool, so learning names is essential for building strong relationships.

Making sure pupils put their names on the top of their page provides a helpful prompt for you. You can also make a seating plan and keep that handy. Doing an ice-breaker activity with new classes where pupils say their names and something that is unique to them is a great technique too.