The behaviour question

Tom Bennett

In my class of six- and seven-year-olds I have a particularly challenging student. He has no boundaries at home and is allowed to have his own way all the time. Therefore, at school, whenever he does not get his own way he throws a temper tantrum. These are violent and have resulted in him throwing furniture, hurting adults and generally displaying aggressive behaviour. I have tried so many strategies and am running out of ideas. Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom? Or something to make me feel a little better?

What you said


When a child is removed from my class I go down to their eye level and use positive behaviour to ask why they are doing what they are doing. I let the child calm down before going back into class by keeping them occupied - for example, helping to set up the milk and water for snack time, having a walk around school, maybe going outside to have a run around and get some fresh air. Alternatively, get the child to choose a book that they enjoy reading.


Take the child away from the class to do some one-to-one work with him and praise whenever possible to encourage the good behaviour. If this still does not resolve the issues in the classroom, try getting the child's parent in to school to watch him in the classroom and then see if they have any other suggestions.

The expert view

Removal is absolutely the right thing here, not just for the student's sake but for the whole class around him. Have a prepared strategy in place for when this happens, and take him out with minimum fuss. Don't then simply leave him cooling his heels - he needs some quality one-to-one time and a sanction. Make sure he realises that reintegration is dependent on good behaviour, and subsequent misbehaviour will result in more sanctions and removal. Then repeat until the seas run dry. This might be the most powerful and vital intervention this child gets in his life, so make it count. And don't give up.

Tom Bennett is author of The Behaviour Guru and Not Quite a Teacher. Read more from Tom on his TES Connect blog (bit.lytombennett) or follow him on Twitter at @tesBehaviour. His latest book, Teacher Proof, is out now, published by Routledge

Post your questions at www.tesconnect.combehaviour.

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Tom Bennett

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