What to Do About Disruptive Behaviour - Part 2

Disruptive Behaviour 2

What to do about… Disruptive Behaviour: Part 2

In the second part of our serialisation, we look at how to sense a disruptive mood in the classroom.

Part 2: Sensing Disruptive Behaviour

Developing the ability to sense and evaluate disruptive moods is a fundamental skill when addressing disruptive behaviour. We are not always conscious of the subtleties of our moods. It is easier to identify very strong feelings, less easy when our feelings are vague. Take a look at the chart below. It identifies mood and possible behavioural outcomes.

Disruptive Behaviour - Moods, Indicators and Behavioural Characteristics

Carl Rogers, a pioneer of humanistic psychology, along with others in the field, emphasized the importance of working with feelings or mood. His views have had a universal impact on education. He was not just a theorist but also worked with educators helping them achieve a more meaningful learning environment: be it in the classroom or lecture theatre.

His research and practice revealed that if feelings or mood could be recognized by the individual and integrated as valuable aspects of experience, then behavioural change could result.

The following illustration may increase understanding of the research. A class teacher is aiming to conduct a science lesson which involves a significant amount of practical preparation. During the last part of the lunch hour she gets under way with the preparation but is aware of a toothache that has been nagging all morning. The lesson starts well but Daniel begins to play about with the equipment. A confrontation develops between Daniel and the teacher whereby he becomes more defiant and the situation becomes more and more unmanageable. On reflection, the teacher is aware that she is less patient than usual and could have diffused the situation by a more light-hearted approach. If prior to the lesson, the teacher had been able to clarify feeling low because of the nagging pain, she may have questioned her effectiveness in conducting a lesson which would demand so much by way of preparation and teaching.

Clarification of feeling in this case may have led to a more realistic evaluation of the teacher’s resources. She may have been a little easier on herself and planned a less demanding and potentially less disruptive lesson. It’s not always easy to reschedule lessons or adapt them to be less demanding. However, such a course of action may limit disruption.

If teachers can develop the skill of clarifying and working with the prevailing mood, both of individuals and the class as a whole, it’s a further step to restricting the dynamics of disruptive behaviour. In Part 3, ways of working with feelings will be explored.

It sounds relatively simple to develop awareness of feelings but, as already stated, the more subtle the feelings; the less easy they are to detect. Most would recognize the stomach churning feelings of a driving test or a dentist visit but what about feelings generated when a change of plan has to be implemented or when a comment made in the staffroom is perceived as criticism. These examples relate specifically to adults but experience would show that children likewise are not always good at detecting what is going on in their inner self.

The following practical skills are a means of becoming more familiar with mood or feelings.

Disruptive Behaviour - Becoming Familiar with Mood or Feelings

The copy in this blog post was taken from the book ‘What to do about… Disruptive Behaviour’ written by Judith Warren and published by Primary Teaching Services.

To download a PDF copy of the entire Disruptive Behaviour guide, please email us at chat@primaryteaching.co.uk

Take a look at our brilliant behaviour management schemes here.

Back to blog