Count to 10 and keep the plates spinning

13th February 1998 at 00:00
Teachers should count to 10 before ranting at bad classroom behaviour, a new study claims.

Threats and commands from teachers such as "sit down" or "shut up!" are unlikely to improve pupil behaviour and could make it worse. Pupils also respond badly to sarcasm and negative judgments on them. Instead, teachers should anticipate trouble and pause before reacting.

The advice in a study Managing Classroom Behaviour by Chris Watkins of London University's Institute of Education was issued today by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. It compares maintaining classroom discipline to the work of an air traffic controller.

Sheila Dainton, of the ATL's policy unit said: "Managing discipline is about keeping one thousand and one plates spinning at the same time. It is an enormously complex process."

Dorothy Lepkowska

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today