Behaviour Management Tips

Behaviour Management Tips for ECTs

Classroom Behaviour Management Tips for ECTs

Creating a mutually respectful relationship with your pupils and developing an effective classroom environment are two of the biggest challenges for newly qualified teachers. We’ve set out some of our key behaviour management tips for ECTs to help them to get the most out of their teaching time.

1. Develop classroom rules and responsibilities as a class

By involving pupils in the process of creating classroom rules, you empower them to take some control over the classroom’s atmosphere, and show that you trust in their decision-making skills. Kids are used to being told what to do and when to do it, so by including them in this process, and giving them ownership over what is happening in class, you can help to build their confidence and give them some autonomy within a safe environment. It also means that if children start to stray from these rules, you can remind them of ‘our rules’ rather than ‘my rules’ so you don’t appear to be the ‘big bad adult’.

2. Be fair and consistent

Whilst seeming like a simple task, being consistent can be difficult in practice. However, to maintain the respect of your class it is important to treat each pupil equally and be consistent in your praise and censure. For example, if you have a well-behaved pupil and a disruptive pupil both breaking the same rule, for a first-time offence both should receive the same punishment. This means that the disruptive pupil won’t feel victimised and it shouldn’t lead to an escalation of the problem, as they will feel that they’ve been treated fairly.

3. Encourage openness and honesty

Encouraging pupils to be honest about what they do or don’t enjoy in class can have positive repercussions in other areas as well. Why not try sitting down with your pupils and asking them what their favourite part of the day was, what they didn’t like doing, and how they are feeling about the projects that they are involved with? If you take on board the negative feedback without taking it personally, and make positive changes as a result, your pupils will see, not only that their opinions are valued, but that you will take on board their honesty without being angered by any negativity. In the future, this will make them more likely to come to you with any issues and encourage honesty when dealing with disputes.

4. Make a bigger fuss about rewards than punishments

It’s easy to get annoyed with a pupil who has consistently disruptive behaviour, but it can be more effective to keep your responses to poor behaviour low key whilst being more public with rewards for positive behaviour. More subtle techniques like ‘the look’, pausing when you are speaking to let a pupil know you have noticed their behaviour, or moving around the class to let them know that you are keeping an eye on them, can be more efficient ways of preventing poor behaviour. Then when you do need to give out a harsher punishment, it comes as a shock, and makes the pupil less likely to repeat such behaviour in the future.

If you would like to read more strategies regarding managing pupil behaviour, SecEd has some great online resources.

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