Behaviour is complex. Often, the strategies that work for one child are completely ineffective for another, and they have different time periods for which they remain effective.
Budget restraints have always made learning new strategies difficult, but at the moment it seems harder than ever. As teachers, we are adept at finding alternative ways of sourcing things with minimum cost. CPD needs to be no different. Here are my tips for learning about behaviour management without a budget:
1. Talk with colleagues
Organise a get-together with staff from other schools and use this as an opportunity for support. With my group, these gatherings involve cake (an added incentive). People may have experienced similar situations to you and could have strategies or suggestions for wider reading. When you have these relationships, you can just pick up the phone for advice.
2. Seek support online
This is a great option for those who are pushed for time. Twitter is an excellent platform for CPD. Our weekly #behaviourchat is a free tool you can use to discuss particular issues with many individuals worldwide. Starting at 8pm every Monday, this is a 30-minute window in which to exchange ideas and experiences.
3. Observe each other
Go and work with colleagues: observe them in different settings and note down strategies and ideas. You may need to cover yourself, but if you are observing within your own school, you may be able to use in-school cover for free. And to make the exercise really useful, it needs to be a two-way process.
Tracey Lawrence is assistant headteacher and specialist leader of education in social, emotional and mental health at Danemill Primary School in Leicester