Emma Smith

Don’t get held up by bad behaviour

New heads of department can find their lofty big ideas stymied by the daily pressures of managing behaviour. Emma Smith offers some tips to restore balance

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I can still recall the excitement that I felt the very first time I had the responsibility for leading a history department. I was full of bright ideas about how I was going to transform programmes of study and foster a deep-rooted love for history within every single student at the school.

What I didn’t expect was that a dastardly combination of inexperienced teachers and students with negative perceptions of my beloved subject would conspire to derail my grand schemes – and that I would end up spending far more time putting out behaviour fires than implementing my department-improvement ...

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