If you want to improve your behaviour strategies, first you need find out where you are

25th January 2012  |  by Greg

We all have bad days and bad lessons – the ones we’d rather forget about. However it’s helpful to evaluate where we are in general terms with our behaviour management skills. If we know what level we’re at, we can then concentrate on the skills that can move us to the next one.

Where would you put yourself on this scale?

1. You don’t want to go to work. Lessons are chaotic and you feel like you have no control whatsoever. You feel relieved if nobody gets hurt or causes any damage. You are looking to leave the profession.

2. You dread the classroom but occasionally have moments when some of the class engage with their learning.  The pupils largely determine what goes on. You know your influence is very limited and even the “good” children behave badly.

3. There is major disruption and many pupils pay little attention to your presence.

4. Your control is very limited: it takes time and effort to get the class to listen. You try to get on to individual written work quickly in order to get their heads down. Pupils talk while you are talking, and minor transgressions go unchecked because too many occur. Your efforts are spent trying to work with those who show some interest in their learning although this proves difficult.

5. Your control is often limited, and there are times when you would be embarrassed if the head walked in. The atmosphere is rather chaotic at times, with several pupils obviously not listening to you. However, pupils who want to work can get on with it, if they can put up with some minor distractions.

6. You can usually maintain a cooperative working atmosphere and undertake most of the less risky forms of classroom activity, but this requires thought and effort.

7. You can maintain a relaxed and cooperative working atmosphere most of the time with a good range of classroom activities, but this usually requires thought and effort. Some forms of lesson activity may be under less control than others.

8. You can maintain a relaxed and cooperative working atmosphere nearly all the time, if you choose the right activities. Sometimes the risky, out of seat, active learning sessions can feel a little chaotic.

9. You feel completely in control and can undertake any sort of activity but you’re not always as relaxed as you’d like to be about it.

10. You feel extremely relaxed taking risks and feel completely in control undertaking any sort of activity. You don’t really deal with behaviour. Your focus is invariably on learning, and building and maintaining relationships.

The mistake we sometimes make is to try and move from 2 to 9 in a week and then feel disappointed when we fail.  (Same applies to exercise and losing weight too.) If we know where we are then we can set some realistic goals for moving forward with our behaviour strategies.

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