Behaviour continues to be a concern for teachers and it is unlikely that this will ever change. What will change however, is the strategies and approaches taken to combat it.
We understand children more now than ever before. There is now no longer such a thing as a naughty child, instead they are a child that’s behaviour is naughty. We realise that factors contribute to a child’s behaviour, such as their experiences, relationships and unmet needs. Of course this doesn’t mean there is always an excuse, yet there is often a reason.
In recognising individuals we can employ the appropriate strategy. There is no one top tip to eliminate negative behaviour, it is trial and error, it is perseverance and it is about identifying what the child needs. In my placement I used a point system one day as part of a lesson competition, this worked so well at encouraging good behaviour that I kept it up all day. The rewards were points, simple as, and at the end of a lesson, one table of children were declared winners. Most children’s behaviour was already of an acceptable standard, truth be told, I kept this up because of one child, known to be disruptive. The sanction I introduced was to remove points, unfortunately for my lessons, this one child soon became desensitised to the whole thing. These types of systems can work temporarily, a strict regime however, is not a long term solution and I found, did not encourage the child to self regulate his own behaviour.
As I develop my own understanding , I have come to realise that positive relationships are a huge part of moderating behaviour. Building relationships founded on respect and understanding, recognising needs, making a personal connection with children and seeing what they bring to the classroom to make it a positive environment is crucial.
Behaviour will manifest itself in many ways, chatter and telling tales isn’t comparable to violence and aggressive behaviour. Sometimes it can be influenced by the home life, parents may be divorcing or siblings may be aggressive. Some children have learning difficulties, this can make them unpredictable at times, many children can be already. Or, a bad morning can turn a normally well behaved and enthusiastic child into a disruptive and disobedient one.
The question we have to ask ourselves as teachers is why? And we shouldn’t just ask ourselves, we should ask the child. Why did you behave that way? What can I do to help?
There is no quick fix for bad behaviour. Trust me, I’ve checked.