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Light touch interventions

A ‘drive by’ by the teacher in the STEM classroom or laboratory can be a life saver.

It is the lightest intervention to nudge the student’s behaviour before it becomes a disruption for all. A well timed drive-by is the mark of an excellent teacher. That gentle word, calm presence or humorous aside can be the difference between chaos and calm. Before embarking on the rather unpleasant task of issuing sanctions, wise teachers have a few gentler interventions up their sleeve.

Favourite drive-bys:

  • Offering the student a pen while speaking to another student who is sitting alongside
  • Standing next to the student who is causing concern while speaking to the rest of the class
  • Sitting next to a student while continuing other conversations
  • Adjusting the student’s work while calmly reminding them of the first step in the task
  • Giving simple non-verbal cues to remind the student of the expectations
  • Showing acts of kindness - lend them a pencil, smile and see if they are ok, hold the door open for them, ask if you may hang up their coat

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This article is from the free online course:

Managing Behaviour for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre