Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsBehaviour management is a phrase that you will commonly hear in relation to teaching. The behaviour of young people in schools is always framed in a way that implies that it needs to be managed. I want you to begin to think about behaviour in a different way. Whilst I believe it is important for teachers, behaviour should not be something that scares or worries us. In its simplest terms, I want you to think about behaviour as a form of communication. Just like any language, the things that we do all of the time can be called behaviour. For humans, we reveal this language of behaviour through the words we use, the intonation, the gestures, the body language, the context, and so on.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 secondsAnd we make these judgments all the time. We use our skills in reading behaviour to decide whether we have bored our friend in the pub, or whether we think somebody fancies you, or whether the job interview has gone well. This is no different in schools. The role of the teacher is to begin to make sense of the complex nature of the language of behaviour. And at the same time children and young people are experimenting with their identity and their expressions of behaviour. For example, is the child yawning throughout your lesson exhausted or are they finding your lesson incredibly boring?

Skip to 1 minute and 34 secondsThere is not a simple answer to this question, but developing skills and Behaviour management is about learning to interpret things such as this. Often, behaviour management in schools is presented in very simplistic ways, as though it is about applying the right technique or strategy at the correct time. Think about the culture of the classroom. What does it feel like to be a student in that environment? Are pupils able to ask questions, make mistakes? Is there flexibility? Is there a mixture of learning opportunities? Can they easily get support? Is there a sense of belonging? Creating a positive atmosphere in classrooms is critical. Alongside this is the relationship teachers have with students.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 secondsBehaviour is easy to manage when teachers know the individuals in their care. Take time to get to know their specific interests and what is important to them. No student or newly-qualified teacher is ever going to describe himself as a behaviour expert, nor is it something that you could learn fully in an initial teacher education course. Rather, it is a career-long learning process. I hope to have communicated that behaviour is pretty complex. Once in the classroom though, you are never alone. Know the kind of teacher you want to be and try to locate this right now. Think about the kind of classroom you would like to create, and what the steps might be to do this.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 secondsWorking with children and young people around behaviour means that no two days are the same, and this is really exciting. You must see behaviour management as another thrilling aspect of being a teacher.

Behaviour management for beginning teachers

In this video, Mark Sackville-Ford, an experienced tutor in working with primary and Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) pupils explains the importance of behaviour management and how we view it as trainee teachers.

Mark explores the different issues that affect behaviour within the classroom other than just ‘telling pupils off’. What do you think are the most important things a teacher can do to build a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom?

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Preparing for Teaching

Manchester Metropolitan University

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