What you say

1st October 2004 at 01:00
What you say

* "This isn't a strategy; more of an anecdote which I often recount in PSE to highlight the other side of peer pressure. An S3 (Year 10) boy would register in the class across the corridor. The others looked up to him and feared him as he 'slagged' others who could not afford foreign holidays and designer labels. When he came across to my S3 English class, you could physically see the change in his posture. He became quiet and polite. It was nothing to do with me or the subject. I simply had one of the nicest classes I have ever taught, and he sensed that his arrogance would not be tolerated. The pupils themselves have the power to positively change the behaviour of others, if only they would believe it." LisaF

* "The hardest thing in the world is to ignore bad behaviour, but sometimes it's an issue of survival - yours. I'm not advocating allowing bad behavior to go without consequences, but if you have students who 'play the violin', it's sometimes better to put them in their own part of the room and let them know that when they're prepared to act rationally or reasonably, they can come and join the rest.

"It's also not beyond the realm of imagination that children will change their attitude when you put them in a situation where they have stronger, more powerful role models. Last year, I worked with a student for whom the term 'gang banger' would be an understatement. He negatively influenced the behaviour of four other boys in the room, made the other students feel threatened and made my life hell. So for 10 weeks he worked after school with another male teacher. They played golf and basketball together, hung out, and went on specially arranged field trips, and we slowly saw a change in his behaviour.

"His attitude is still far from perfect, but he had a pack mentality and wanted to be alpha male; we simply changed his pack and knocked him down a peg or two." Higgi17

* "As a newly qualified teacher I was given two classes that were described as being very difficult. After 10 days of my taking the hard line (detention, referral, and the rest), they settled down and are now working - some boys actually came to see me to say that they were happy to be working. I believe that pupils are grateful to those teachers who do not let them have a choice. That way, they work - which they want to do - but keep their street cred.

"It's the stick and the carrot, the oldest recipe in the book." Lorelei131 If you want to contribute to next week's behaviour forum, go to www.tes.co.ukbehaviour

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