Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsYour awareness of the emotional and rational brain and its effect on student behavior is central to your understanding of your own behavior and its impact in the classroom. We change others by changing ourselves. Change two aspects of the way you interact with students in the next week. And think carefully about how that has provoked change in student behavior because in the management of behavior, there really is only one thing we have absolute control over. And that is our own behavior.

Interactions with students

You can only control yourself. It’s a fact that you can’t make anyone do anything without their permission or choice to complete the actions you require.

Your knowledge of the emotional and rational brain will help you understand why students do what they do and why your actions can influence their choices. We can only change our own behaviours. In turn, by making those changes, you may be influencing others to change their relationship with you. Attempting to control others is fruitless, giving away that control for them to manage themselves is less stressful and potentially life-changing.

Classroom task

Changing your interactions

Deliberately plan to change two aspects of the way you interact with students who demonstrate poor conduct. Choose something small and manageable. Have a brief look through the activities from Week 1 and find adjustments that suit your context. Alternatively, pick two from the list below:

  • Meet and greet with a smile at the door.
  • Deliberately catch students doing the right thing and acknowledge them for it.
  • Explain the behaviours you want as you explain a task or activity.
  • Use the phrase, ‘I need you to’, when giving instructions to individuals.
  • Change the way you end the lesson and send students off.
  • Write a list of the names of students who are behaving brilliantly on the board.

Note the effect this has on the behaviour of those around you.

Share your experiences via the comments on this step. In your post tell us what two aspects of your behaviour you changed and the impact it had on you and on your learners.

Please remember not to mention individuals, schools or other organisations by name. Please respect others’ confidentiality and privacy at all times.

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This video is from the free online course:

Managing Behaviour for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre