Peer pressure

1st October 2004 at 01:00
Liz Henning is associate adviser for Manchester local education authority.

A former head of maths in Rochdale, she is a troubleshooter, giving support in behaviour management and maths teaching strategies to teachers in the city "Some children feel there is nothing good inside them, that it's only their bad side that gets them noticed. Gaining any attention, even of a negative kind, is better than no attention at all. I think all children are begging for teachers to be interested in them and it's always worth looking for the goodness in them.

"When I'm in lessons I don't want to negotiate. I want to teach, and setting out a positive framework, giving positive attention to pupils who crave adult acknowledgement, is always a good ploy. I will also take it to another level, seeking out the sly ones who are causing the trouble but not getting caught themselves. Outside of lessons I would find time to get them together and question their motives, getting them to look at the nature of their friendship to the pupil they are getting into trouble."

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