Dull lessons fuelling poor behaviour – could it be the other way around?

28th November 2011  |  by Greg

According to an article in the Telegraph this week, dull lessons are cited by OFSTED as the cause of poor behaviour. I think it could be the other way around.

When we are concerned about the behaviour of a class, there is one thing that more or less always happens – we play safe.

There are lots of options when we plan a lesson and one of the choices applies to risk.

Safe or risky?

1. In seats or out of seats?

2. Writing or talking?

3. Explanations or experiments?

4. You talk or they talk?

5. Writing or making stuff with scissors and paints and glue and toilet rolls and plasticine and loads of other messy stuff?

6. In the classroom or out of the classroom?

It’s obvious that one of the best ways to build relationships (alongside a fair and robust system to manage good and not so good choices) is to deliver good lessons – the kind of lessons that kids want to join in with. However, what happens when we are faced with challenging behaviour day in, day out? Our energy levels are drained and we’re often not able (and sometimes let’s be honest, willing) to pore over the planning for an exciting lesson that we fear may go disastrously wrong anyway.

We can all accept that great classroom management and sensible planning are just as important as great behaviour management strategies. However, the myth that good lessons solve all behaviour problems is just that – a myth. What we can do though, is turn up the dial on some of the above choices, slowly moving from safe choices to less safe ones. We don’t have to do it for the whole lesson and in all areas but when we move from safe to a little riskier we build relationships just a bit too. Good relationships are built on trust and there will never be any trust without a little risk.

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