The behaviour question

4th October 2013 at 01:00

Just occasionally, but without warning, I find myself shouting at a student when their poor behaviour has been relatively minor. I'm always immediately ashamed of my lack of professionalism. I haven't been able to spot a pattern of behaviour leading up to it happening, and if that is the case, how do I identify what is triggering my emotional outburst so that I can redirect myself towards a more constructive strategy?

What you said

pepper5

Low-level disruption is like a drip, drip, drip on a rainy day. Count to 10, walk away, attend to something else, but do not shout. A teacher shouting at children is a sign that they are tired, have tried various strategies without any success and are desperate. We are only human, and the behaviour in some schools can be difficult.

Zadok1

I think it depends entirely on the child and what their behaviour actually was. Is it really unprofessional to shout at a student who has just done something really horrid to one of their peers? I have often found myself, in a raised voice someone else might describe as a shout, saying something like, "What on earth do you think you are doing?"

I would say that at no time are my "shouts" rooted in any form of emotional outburst, but the children don't generally know that and I actually think it's quite important for them to get a response that reflects their actions. If I have just seen a student punching someone, calmly telling them that I am going to fill out a pink slip and send it to the head of year, expecting them to sit down and get on with their work, is simply a dishonest response.

The expert view

You're only human. We all blow off steam. It's good that you've spotted this, though. Consider how it looks to the students: flaky, aggressive, emotional and weak. It might intimidate briefly but the overall effect is very negative.

It would be great if you could be filmed: imagine seeing yourself. You'd be so embarrassed. You're the adult. Keep practising restraint until it becomes habit. It's like giving up cigarettes. You might slip back a bit but the point is you keep on giving 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. Watch his behaviour videos at www.tesconnect.combehaviourvideos Tom's latest book, Teacher Proof, is out now, published by Routledge

Post your questions at www.tesconnect.combehaviour.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now