Great behaviour management strategies are already in your school…

25th February 2011  |  by Greg

… but are they used consistently by everyone, all the time? This is the hard bit. It’s especially hard when you haven’t sat down and agreed what the approach should be.

Let’s remind ourselves of some basics. There are two reasons pupils don’t follow instructions:

1. They don’t know what the rules are.

2. They choose not to follow them.

Therefore, there are just two things that schools need to agree on and then communicate to the pupils:

1. What the rules are.

2. What happens when pupils follow the rules and what happens when they don’t.

Obviously, it’s a great idea to consult the pupils through class/ school councils, circle time and assemblies on what they think the rules should be. I’ve never been in a school where the rules haven’t heavily involved the two things that should be at the top of every educators priority list- creating a great learning environment and creating a safe environment but they can invariably be boiled down to these very simple three rules:

1. Follow instructions.

2. Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself.

3. Use positive language.

(If you’ve got stuff like “Look after our school” and “Do your best”, I think these should be part of a school code not part of the school rules.)

Agreeing these rules and agreeing to use this specific language is amazingly powerful. There are a thousand ways to tell children what we want from them. It’s much better if we can agree to use the same language, all the time. We’re then on the first step to a consistent set of great behaviour management strategies across school. Then, everyone’s life is a lot easier.

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