As you gain experience through your NQT year, you’ll find that certain behaviour management strategies fit nicely with your teaching style, and that your pupils respond better to some than to others. Here are three tried and tested techniques to set you on the right path.
1. Individual writing tasks
Individual writing tasks ensure that a pupil’s focus remains very much on their own work, unlike discussion or group work, where the emphasis is on solo engagement with the work. These kinds of activities are a great way to calm down an overly-energetic class and allow you to re-gain control over their behaviour.
When setting individual writing tasks, you’ll need to ensure all pupils are able to access the work. To do this, you can provide clear success criteria, sentence starters, or writing frames, minimising the chance of disruption.
Narrative has a special place in human experience, so telling a story to your pupils nearly always grabs and holds their attention. This gives you a chance to lead the learning, and has great effects when it comes to easing away from an unruly atmosphere. Remember to plan what will happen after the story finishes – you’ll need something engaging ready so you can neatly move onto a follow-up activity without losing your pupils’ focus.
3. Providing a choice
Whenever a pupil is behaving in a way that is different to what you would like to see, give them a choice: “you can either continue behaving like this, or you can choose to start the work and show me your best efforts.”
Doing this signals to the pupil that they can decide how they will act, showing that they always have a chance to change their position and the situation by making a good choice.
Mike Gershon is a teacher-trainer and author of Growth Mindset Pocketbook