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Reflect on your learning with Jane & Yeasmin

Your course mentors provide their summary of the first two weeks' discussions. Share your reflections here.
YEASMIN MORTUZA: Hello, colleagues. My name is Yeasmin Mortuza and I’m here with Jane Winter. We are the course mentors for this current course on managing behaviour for learning. So Jane and I will be looking at some of your comments, highlighting your contributions. And this is the first of two video diaries. So our first comment comes from Helen. Thank you, Helen. So Helen describes her feelings of failure after a bad classroom experience. One thing about this particular CPD is that when it comes to behaviour management, it often stirs up a lot of emotional feelings amongst colleagues. And we’ve all got a story to tell, too, haven’t we? So the first thing, Helen, is you’re not alone.
Many of us have had similar experiences. And some failures are likely almost inevitable. Teaching is not an easy profession, and we are on a tough frontline. And so it’s good to remind ourselves that, yes, we will come across these things. And it’s important that we’re there for each other, supporting each other. Learning the professional strategies that we need to overcome those problems is something that takes time and dedicated practise. And so while that learning curve is progressing, we would do very well to not be too hard on ourselves since we’re only human, along with the students. So thank you, again, to Helen for your comment. I’ll hand it over to Jane for our next comment from Yulia.
JANE WINTER: Yeah, leading on from what your said, really, Yeasmin, Yulia. Gives us a specific example of she doesn’t approve of shouting. But sometimes, she finds that she doesn’t quite meet the high standards that she set herself. And inevitably, she does shout. And that leads to her feeling ashamed.
And she really feels that she hasn’t been the teacher that she wants to be. I can empathise with this so much. I did not agree with shouting at all, and yet sometimes, I did raise my voice to my children. And it leaves you feeling really, with bad. And I think that however experienced you are as a teacher, you will fail in some way from time to time. So just reiterating what Yeasmin said, be kind to yourself, Yulia. Forgive yourself in the same way that you forgive your students. We avoid putting our students into situations where they feel ashamed because we know that’s not how we get the best out people. And we’ve got to give ourselves the same kindness.
And we’ll talk a little bit more throughout the course about how to avoid shouting at all. And we’ll talk about ways to repair the damage when it’s happened. But in the meantime, Yulia, you’re not alone. Forgive yourself and move on. OK. Back to you, Yeasmin, I think. Oh, no, it’s me again, isn’t it, within Gina and Christina? And they underline the reason why it’s not a good idea to shout. So although we know probably nearly every teacher has done it from time to time, we all are aiming not to do it. Because for the children involved, it is a horrible, horrible feeling. And I can remember back to teachers that shouted when I was a child. I mean, it’s frightening.
And it makes you feel horrible even if you’re not the one being shouted at. I think Gina makes that point. You know, she was a quiet student, but just terrified when she saw other students being shouted at. And also, you can see if the other children your class are being humiliated even if it’s not you, it’s not nice to see. And it doesn’t make it a nice learning environment. And it doesn’t increase your feelings of admiration for your teacher. It’s just not a good place to be. So thank you very much for underlining that, Christina and Gina, why we are aiming not to shout. And now I think I’m moving on to you, aren’t I, Yeasmin?
YEASMIN MORTUZA: Yes, indeed. Thanks, Jane. When it comes to confronting misbehaviour face to face, it can be quite hard. And we can’t get emotional, especially because we may be exhausted. We might be fed up. We may have reached the end of our tether. Or we may actually just be confused on, what do we do next? What do I do? I’ve run out of ideas. So as Nicholas said in step 1.9, it’s really, really important that whatever we do next is strategic and not emotive or not emotional. It’s probably easier said than done. So I think when we’re feeling emotional, the first thing might be to actually do nothing, meaning not to respond to the situation.
And maybe take a step back, and breathe, and give ourselves a little bit of thinking space so that we can process what’s happening, what’s next and generate a better solution as to how to react. So that little bit of thinking space can make an enormous difference between acting emotionally and acting strategically. And actually, this entire course is about, what are the strategies? And being strategic, and keeping ourselves out of that dangerous emotional response. So thank you very much, Nicholas, for that. OK. So I’m going to move on now to some of the uploads that many, many of you have put up on our page 2.8. So these are the three rules posters those that we asked you to upload.
And there’s lots and lots of good examples there, so please do have a look. I’m going to run through just a small selection of good examples. So thank you to everyone who has uploaded. So the first example is from Bev. So Bev’s example, we can see, is very visually simple, straightforward, and memorable to look at. It’ easy to read as well. I like the use of the we, we, we through the traffic lights. And of course, one of the big benefits of saying we is that it’s mutual. It applies to the teacher as well as to the student. So well done, Bev, for that example.
Rebecca’s example is also nice and clear, a very obvious use of symbols here as well. And also I like there’s a few words as well, which is all it takes, really, to get at the main message over. So thanks, Rebecca, for your upload. Jennifer’s example reminds me of the sort of thing you quite often see in secondary schools. It’s still simple, gets to the point. That first rule, follow instructions first time given, is probably quite a key pivotal rule, particularly in secondary schools. But again, even though it’s a few more words there, it’s still easy to process and remember. Thank you, Jennifer, for those. Meg’s rules, again, highlights the benefits of the symbols. OK.
So we’ve got this fire going up the stairs and besides we have a heart. So that use of symbols is mentioned on the course as something quite easy to help us to memorise those rules. And it conveys the feeling and the spirit of the rule as well as the word as well. And the use of single words there as well, all contributing towards simplicity. Well done. And the last example here is from Daleena. And this example is a little bit different. Because what Daleena has done is she’s put the detailed routines next to the rules. So strictly speaking, this is an extended version. But the rules are still there.
And the rules themselves are still meeting our criteria, few in number, very simply described. And I like the use of the P, P, and P. Those words are very clear, prepared. They’re all umbrella terms– prepared, polite, productive. We can probably hang a lot of other sub-rules underneath those. But we don’t need to because those simple words convey the message very, very eloquently. So thank you very much, Daleena, and everyone for your contributions. And as I said, do take the time to go and have a look at more because there’s lots more. So I’m going to hand over to Jane for the next slide. Over to you, Jane.
YEASMIN MORTUZA: Yes. Thank you, Teresa, CK, and Jess for these comments. It’s something a lot of people have said, the importance of saying sorry. And I think this is something that a lot of– especially inexperienced teachers, but some teachers throughout their career think that it’s very weak to say sorry, that if you apologise to your class, you’re going to have completely lost it. And it feels like the something that a weak teacher would do. Not at all– it’s something that takes courage. It’s the noble and correct thing to do. If you have done something wrong, you say sorry to your class.
It’s got a lot of benefits. The children see you as human. It’s modelling what they should do if they make a mistake. You say sorry. You try and make it make things right. It’s showing that anyone can make a mistake. However old or experienced we are, we can all fail to meet our own expectations. And it shows that everything is redeemable, that even if things are wrong, you can do something to make it better. So thank you so much to everyone that’s highlighted the importance of saying sorry to your children. And the first time you do it, it might seem a scary thing to do.
But in the long term, it will help you build relationships, and it will help you to be seen as a strong, fair person and who holds yourself to the same account that you hold your children to. And then Sarah builds on from that. She also talks about apologising. She has a year one class, so that’s age five, six. They’re young children. But even with those young children, she’s found it’s helpful to talk openly about her feelings. Now, I would say this is something that needs to be done quite judiciously, that you’re not giving your children too much detail– oh, I had an argument with my husband this morning. No, we just– sorry, children, I’m feeling a bit tired today.
It helps to model how we can be aware of our feelings, how at different times, it’s harder to behave in the way that we want than it is at another time. I would say beware of making excuses– well, I’m sorry I shouted yesterday but the reason I did is because you were just so awful and you made me feel terrible! And I’ve done that before, perhaps when I’m apologising to my husband. It starts as an apology and it ends as a rant if you’re not careful. So done carefully and thoughtfully, sharing your feelings helps to model to children why we don’t always behave as we would, and what we can do about it.
So thank you very much for that point, Sarah. So moving on, that’s the end of this video diary. Please keep your comments coming. We’re loving how many of you are making use of the lockdown to take part in the CPD. We’re loving reading your comments. Tom Bennett will be answering some of your questions. So if you’ve got a burning question for Tom, please hop over to step 5.1 and post it there. And by the end of this month, by the 29th, he will answer some of them, and you’ll be able to see that. And we’ll have another video diary again posted towards the end of the month. So look out.
We will be asking some people permission to use your comments. So thank you very much, and see you online. Bye.

Jane and Yeasmin recorded their first video diary for the course on 6 May. Thank you to those who have allowed Jane and Yeasmin to use your comments as part of the diary. We hope you enjoy the selection of comments that have been shared.

Reflection grid

Take a look at your reflection grid for this week. This week Paul provided guidance on using routines to achieve consistency in behaviour. You looked at how three rules are better than thirty and created some behaviour management resources for your own classroom. Your classroom task this week was to explore the rules you set with your students and to focus on establishing one routine with your students.
Fill in your reflection grid for this week now if you haven’t already done so.

We encourage you to share what you’ve learnt from this course with your colleagues. On social media, use the hashtag #FLSTEMBehaviour.

Q&A opportunities

Our question and answer opportunities are there for you to ask the educators to elaborate on the course content, particularly relating to your own practice. Look at your outstanding questions for this week and post to the Q&A steps:

Applying ideas from this week to secondary science

Rules and routines for the teaching laboratory are explored further in Managing the practical classroom: secondary science.

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Managing Behaviour for Learning

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