10 Tips for Behaviour Management
😡 Managing Behaviour has always been a key element to effective teaching and is a never ending journey of refinement. As with any teacher I have had to deal with many different situations where students behaviour is unacceptable. From an Early Education point of view I believe we should see these moments of rule-breaking as developmental. Children are in an environment where they will test boundaries and it is up to us to provide support for them to reflect deeply about their decisions.
Here are 10 of my favourite tips.
- Use positive reinforcement - If a child is misbehaving I look for the children doing the right things next to that child and praise them first, this can sometimes help attention seeking children change and copy the correct behaviour of others. "Wow you are sitting so nicely John, I wonder who else I could see in the room doing the same?"
- Carpet spaces and Tablespaces can be useful in not allowing some children with strong personalities to be next to others that disrupt and distract their learning.
- Think about your language, reverse the negative so instead of 'Don't run' say 'well done for walking'. Think about how this could adjust your class rules.
- Little children love a puppet or cuddly toy. I have a toy mouse and he sits on the table that is sitting 'quiet as a mouse'. Could you have a toy that the best-behaved children get to look after during the lesson?
- Use more praise than negative narrating (speaking out loud about what you are seeing the children doing and naming them), don't be afraid to overdo the positives, children respond well and love hearing they are doing the right thing and you have spotted them.
- Simplify your instructions for some children, multiple instructions can be confusing for students who get easily distracted. Use one instruction at a time until everyone has finished then move on to the next part. E.g. Put your pens down...Close your books...
- Play games and competitions, boys versus girls, children versus the teacher. Who will line up at the door before I count down from 10 and turn around? Allow the children to win and put points on the board, keep a score throughout the day.
- Make an effort to invite parents in and tell them the positives at the end of the day, often it is easy to just update parents about injuries and bad behaviour but sharing amazing work and showing you are proud of their child creates powerful relationships.
- Get children's attention in different ways, ring a bell, shake a tambourine, start singing a song, do action movements, keep it fresh and fun, save your voice, if you are shouting over the noise you are wasting your voice, clap a rhythm instead and get the children to copy whenever you clap.
- Allow children time to reflect upon their behaviour using specific questioning, simplify your class/school rules so all practitioners have a consistent message.
If you wish to learn more tips then watch my video below where I share 25 of my behaviour tips from over 10 years of teaching.