There can be a variety of reasons why pupils can begin to misbehave in lessons and it does not matter how much of an experienced teacher you are, it does not reflect on your capabilities and it happens to the best of us.
Within this guide, we are going to go through some tips to manage behaviour in your lessons.
1. Get them involved
Whether you work in a primary or secondary school, have a think as to why that student could be misbehaving.
It could be down to the child struggling to understand and getting frustrated, creating a distraction, or being embarrassed to admit in front of their peers.
Or they could find the lesson a little less stimulating and are bored. We all learn differently and have different ways we take in information best, think about this when planning.
Why not get the children involved in planning your next lesson? Give the class some responsibility and discuss how they would like to learn. This is a good idea during the beginning stages for that term’s curriculum.
If the class has been particularly unhelpful and their behaviour has not been up to standard during your class, ask the class if anyone would like to reflect and take responsibility for their behaviour.
Put the behaviour back into their hands and allow conversations so they can decide how to put things right for next time. What would they do if they were in the teacher’s position? This also allows them to own their behaviour and the consequences that comes with it.
2. It’s not you, it’s me
I’m sure we have all heard that one before…
But remember, it is you that will have an impact on the class from the get-go.
We all have bad days, but you cannot let that effect your time with the students in the classroom. Being a teacher is a bit like acting, and you need to regulate your emotions and always act professional, even if it’s not really how you feel in the moment.
Remember it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Tone of voice and body language will both have a huge impact on how your students will perceive you.
Get it right before the class has entered the classroom, ensure they are welcomed with a smile and greeted positively.
If you get the children in a habit and routine that they can only enter the room quietly, you can gauge the mood of the class before the lesson and this also allows you to show your positive mood to the students so they feel welcome.
If you know your lesson is after a break/lunchtime, it can take a while to regain some focus. Create a routine at the start of every lesson that allows the students to take a drink and get comfortable. This starts the lesson off positively having that extra added ‘freedom’, they will feel trusted and then you are ready to grab their attention for the rest of the lesson. Give a time frame and embed the routine.
3. Build relationships
From sticking to points above, you can gain the trust from your class. We are not saying you should befriend you students, and you should still establish your ground rules within your classes, however, the positive student-teacher relationship will develop over time with a positive balance between being personable and a good leader.
As adults, we can tell a forced, superficial relationship, and the one with the students will build over time once the mutual respect has been developed, which is vital for a good, working class.
Little tips like:
· Ensuring you know their names
· Show an interest
· Understand your pupils
4. Praise and Encouragement
We all like to know that we are doing well in our job, being given positive feedback gives us that motivation to keep going and do more.
It can be frustrating sometimes, and students’ behaviour can put a right downer on that lesson you worked so hard to plan.
But remember, think about it rationally – those 3 misbehaving students are taking all your attention. There are 14 other class members who are behaving well and willing to learn. Ensure to encourage the positive behaviour and divert your attention to them. Give praise and build a happier environment, the other students should all begin to follow.
5. Make it visual
As said previously, we all like to learn in different ways and there is no harm in bringing technology into your teaching (hey, we have all had to move into the virtual, this year especially!)
Use strategies that will add some friendly competition and make it visual when good behaviour is rewarded.
There are particular apps that can be used which notifies parents in regard to behaviour points but can also directly communicate positive behaviour and rewards, this is helpful for the parents that can be difficult to get hold of.
6. Communication and Community
As previously mentioned, making the children involved will give that sense of responsibility and will make the lesson feel more like that of a community and more meaningful.
This is also important in how you communicate with the students. Do not just shout over bad behaviour, pause, and show you are not acknowledging it. Reminding the students about these disruptions will result in the reminders becoming redundant.
If the pause from you has not been enough, this could encourage a nudge from a fellow student which will hopefully get the message across.
If a child seems to be distracted as they don’t understand, encourage by working in teams, or pairs – this allows them to get involved and they may learn from their peers explanations and also elevates that feeling of being left out. Create healthy debates, going back to that friendly competition. This will encourage everyone to get involved.
Do not stay stagnant in your stance – show your pupils that you are in charge, but also move around the classroom.
Circulating will allow the students to know that you are considerate of every pupil, moving so everyone gets the chance to feel involved and allows your voice to travel.
We have found these helpful guides from the government website/ the Department of Education. If you are looking for further guidance, click here!
If you are finding your current class is not for you or you are ready for your next venture, or maybe you are looking at working as a behaviour specialist, these may be signs to resign. why not get in touch today so we can support you in finding your next role.