Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsYeasmin Mortuza: Hi everybody so this is the end of the Behavior Management course, it's been amazing, absolutely amazing. It's really sad actually that we're coming to the end, this is the last video diary for myself and Jane. And hope you've enjoyed the ride, and of course the course is open for anybody who wants to continue to absorb the materials. So this week Jane and I had a chat about what are the important things coming through. And we thought that commitment to action and being consistent is quite a good thing. So I know that I'm gonna hand over to Jane to talk about a good example so over to you Jane.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsJane Winter: Yep, well we've had this comment from Rachel and I think a lot of people can identify with it. And this is basically about the perceived unfairness when children see that rewards are unfairly going to those children whose behavior isn't usually good. So if they just pull something good out of the bag, they get that certificate, they get that sticker, or that praise and they feel a bit hard them too. And I think an awful lot of us can identify with that, and I can remember talking to my friends when my children were at school.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsAnd they used to feel affronted that their children were being passed over, they used to say you're very poor, you got lots of rewards. And if you were gifted and talented so that you kept coming to the teacher's notice for that reason you got lots of rewards. If you're in the middle just doing the right thing everyday you didn't get any rewards. So this is a common sentiment that Rachel's expressed for us, so thank you for that Rachel. So going back to our themes of this week, which is about that commitment to action, that relentlessly following up. And remember what we're relentlessly following up isn't the poor behavior, it's the good behavior.

Skip to 2 minutes and 2 secondsIt's the commitment to the 99% and letting them know that you have noticed, acknowledging their behavior.

Skip to 2 minutes and 12 secondsAnd commenting on it where appropriate rather than noticing just those odd sparks of acceptable behavior, because they're rare, from one or two children. Remember what we spoke earlier, about commenting most on the behavior you want to see, and that's in all children, not just the ones who find it difficult. And being relentlessly positive all the time, relentlessly positive to all children. So now you're not going to be saying negative things to anybody, but you are going to be saying lots of positive things. To just those middle of the road children that come into school and do the right thing everyday acknowledging that behavior.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 secondsAnd now there's also a little bit of discussion, we're going to come on to this a bit later in this diary about having different standards for different children. And I know up to a point it's about having, this is the standard, we are not dropping below it and this is the standard where you're rewarded. Having said that being the teacher of a reception class you really notice the difference between those children coming in. And I used to have children that were 48 months when they started school and some children starting in the same cohort that were 60 months and I really couldn't have the same expectations for both.

Skip to 3 minutes and 35 secondsOne might be quite mature, they're beginning to read and write, able to sit and concentrate. Another one's not much more than a toddler. She's 48 months. They can't sit still for that long. And those children that are going to be always that little bit behind, just as they get to the stage of they can sit for ten minutes and concentrate. And that's what got the reward before, lo and behold they've moved the goalposts and they're never going to catch up with them. So to be relentlessly consistent you do need to have different standards up to a point. And I'm going to come and talk about that a bit more later on. So Yeasmin?

Skip to 4 minutes and 15 secondsYeasmin Mortuza: Okay, Jane, thanks for that, I really like the use of your word relentless. I think that's a really key term, I'm gonna pick up on that whilst talking about a comment made by Lesley. So she was worried about what do you do when you have lots of children who, for example, in her case, they didn't do their homework? So 15 children out of 30, so that's half the class, so her problem is, how is she going to follow up on so many kids? So I'm sure we can all relate to that, 15 just sounds like a nightmare doesn't it.

Skip to 4 minutes and 54 seconds15 reminders an hour after court, just chasing them up, who's in detention, who's not, giving them a message and so on. And then the last bit that Lesley mentioned there is also what sort of makes it depressing, if you like, is then repeating the whole cycle. The whole thing for the students who didn't turn up. Okay, so what do we do there? Where does the consistency come in there as well? Well I think, one way is we still need to be relentless, okay? But this is relentlessness with a view of coming out of a tunnel at the other end, so that something changes.

Skip to 5 minutes and 35 secondsSo we're not talking about for the rest of our lives [LAUGH] for professional careers following up 15 children out of 30. No that would my goodness that would make me suicidal I think. But rather, maybe go for a purge, okay. So a purge is a managed, focused, blast at dissolving a particular issue. And the idea is to get the students at a steady state where there's not so many of them offending, [LAUGH] let's say. So that it's just easier to chase up, so go for a purge period. So a purge period is a bit different to what we do all the time. A purge period is where the teachers decided things have got out of hand.

Skip to 6 minutes and 23 secondsThere's just too many kids not doing their homework or too many kids turning up late, let's say. So we're going to focus on this. So you might give them a warning, okay? It might be a letter home. It might be an announcement in class, it might be that the group of offenders themselves are informed that this is going to happen. And what the teacher would do then is relentlessly follow up those 15 kids, but with support if needed. Okay, so let's tell our colleagues, I'm having a purge, ask them for support. Offer to give them the same support back and pick the time of this purge at the time most convenient for me or for you.

Skip to 7 minutes and 8 secondsSo you might deliberately pick that time immediately before students have a break period. So you can hold them back for a few seconds to explain what's going on. [COUGH] Or just anything that's most opportunistic for the teacher. And then be relentless, relentless, relentless, relentless because there is light shining at the other end of the tunnel. Now, in my experience, I've found that if it's done very, very seriously the offending students, if you like, the numbers fall dramatically. They won't know what's hit them. It still has to be professional, it still has to be positive, but the students know that you mean business. And hopefully that will work itself out of the cycle.

Skip to 8 minutes and 5 secondsIt's possible to do mini purges if it's for any reason it's just not possible to do a big purge. It is possible to work on groups of students at a time. But there is a disadvantage to be aware of, and that is, to students, there may be a perception of unfairness. And unless the teacher explains on what I'm dealing with some students this week and a different set of students next week.

Skip to 8 minutes and 31 secondsIt's a bit tricky it's much better to go for the full scale purge if possible, so that's my advice on consistency. I know that Jane, you've got an example from Martin. Shall I hand it back over to you to explain your example?

Skip to 8 minutes and 47 secondsJane Winter: Thank you, I love that idea Yeasmin, of girding your loins. It's a bit like if you're going to run a marathon, you just got to get your head down and get it on with, haven't you, when you have one of those purges. I mean, that's a great idea. Anyway, this is a comment from Martin. Who says in one is school they did give out rewards according to school policy. So the policy was that every child had to have a turn at getting one. And he says how difficult it was to think about that nugget of something you could send that reward for that child. We were just searching and searching and couldn't find anything good enough.

Skip to 9 minutes and 26 secondsAnd so this is that idea of giving false rewards. Should you do it? What's the purpose? And let's look at this, both sides of the coin. Why should you do it? Well as I mentioned before when I was talking about Rachel's comment, children do have different needs. If I was to send a letter home for this child that's 60 months there's no way that this boy that's 48 months will ever be able to reach that high standard. So sometimes it's appropriate to have different standards. Moreover, can you imagine being that child that never, ever gets the reward? It's just an unattainable goal. Got to meet the needs of those children. They're in your class too. Why shouldn't you?

Skip to 10 minutes and 11 secondsWell you shouldn't because it's blooming unfair to those children who, or they perceive it as unfair. I sat still for ten minutes and nobody said anything. And little Johnny sat still for five minutes and he's got a letter home. And so it can lead to resentment and feelings of unfairness. And let me tell you, those parents will be talking about it as well. And let me tell you about my own experience I once saw an excellent teacher. I spent a day in her classroom, and she had this idea, she used to give a star of the day cup.

Skip to 10 minutes and 46 secondsAnd at the end of each day, she went around the class, so on a particular day, one child was crowned star of the day and they got to take the trophy home. And I thought I'm going to do this, and I bought myself a trophy, little engraving, star of the day. And I kept a little tick list to make sure I gave it out fairly. Well once I'd got to about 15 children, the first mother would come in, why does my so and so never get star of the day trophy? And I explain, one will get a turn. And that wasn't the first parent that came in.

Skip to 11 minutes and 21 secondsObviously children are going home they were distressed, they were distressed because they are were getting the trophy. And when you think about it if you've got 30 children in your class 29 times that child got to sit there and watch the trophy go to someone else. And they don't think my turn will come or I had my turn. They're very aware of the times they don't get them.

Skip to 11 minutes and 45 secondsAnd again, I would be left with a little hard core children though my colleague and I, we were scratching our head, what can I possibly give this child a trophy for? Now my response to that was very radical indeed. I went on some training, I discussed it with some people and I got rid of the star of the day trophy. That went in the dressing up box to be part of our treasure. I stopped giving stars, I stopped giving certificates. And for the last ten years I was teaching, I never, ever, ever gave a physical reward, which is perhaps quite a surprising thing to hear that a reception teacher did.

Skip to 12 minutes and 19 secondsYou imagine early years teachers just giving stars and stickers left, right and center. Instead I started to acknowledge children. I didn't praise them, I acknowledged, I noticed. And I would notice in a very specific way. So thank you Joseph, I've noticed you sat all the time during that story and I know you find it hard, thank you. And Mary, I noticed you opened the door for the whole class to walk through. Thank you for that. Really, although these were four and five year olds, the same sort of language I'd be using when talking to an adult, completely non-patronizing. But lots of acknowledgement of behavior, and very specific and focusing on the positive.

Skip to 13 minutes and 0 secondsAnd do you know what, I've never ever looked back. It's relentless, but it is fair. You're talking to children about what's pertinent to them. And it's a different approach some people use, but I can recommend it if you think that would work for you. And so I do think if you give material awards it's always going to be inconsistent because you're busy teaching. How can you as well as teaching, notice the behavior of all the children in your class and notice when somebody deserves a sticker or a reward, or a certificate? You're just not going to do it. You're going to be unfair. So how about just smiling, acknowledging being specific all the time to everyone.

Skip to 13 minutes and 49 secondsThat it worked for me anyway, what do think, Yeasmin?

Skip to 13 minutes and 52 secondsYeasmin Mortuza: I think those are very, very wise words and the key things that stood out for me there, Jane, was that you mentioned about recognizing. So recognizing, I mean because it's educational, it gives them a lift, it does the job. I think that is the essential ingredients of when we talk about praise and recognition. So, yeah I think that really ties in with our theme for this week. I hope that's really, really sent home a message that both Jane and I feel passionately about. So the summary is commit to action, don't cave in, be relentless. Be consistent as well, but also not forgetting to be positive and optimistic and so on. So just to finish, wrap up there.

Skip to 14 minutes and 41 secondsYeasmin Mortuza: Right, so there was a Q and A a video which Jane and Becca where Jane and Becca addressed part two of everyone's question. So many of those questions were answered and the video is showing up on Step 5.1. And there is the link there, that's not lively so, I'm afraid you have to type in, but hoping it's short enough to help. So I hope you've all enjoyed the course keep writing in keep giving messages to each other and supporting each other. And it was absolutely fantastic take care and thank you, Jane.

Skip to 15 minutes and 22 secondsJane Winter: Yes, thank you very much, and goodbye.

Skip to 15 minutes and 26 secondsYeasmin Mortuza: Bye.

Jane & Yeasmin's Video Diary

Jane & Yeasmin reflect on the preceding weeks.

As an experiment, and inspired by the use of weekly feedback videos used on some courses from Monash University, we’ve invited Jane & Yeasmin to have a go at reflecting on some of the things that have caught their attention in the preceding week.

Do anything of the things they mention resonate with you? Use the Comments below to share your thoughts.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Managing Behaviour for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre