Nobody wants to talk about behaviour. Here’s why.

23rd September 2013  |  by Greg

Reason #1: It’s embarrassing.

Unlike nearly every other teaching skill you can think of, there is a commonly held view that the ability to manage behaviour is just one of those things that we are just born with, like being tall or the ability to roll your tongue.

Now, because of this commonly held view, many people are not that keen on telling others that they are struggling with behaviour and could do with some help.

The truth: Behaviour management skills can be learned.

Reason #2: The floodgates will open.

The fear is that mentioning behaviour will mean that everyone will start talking about it. When people start talking about it, they’ll talk about how school leadership don’t properly support the teachers and how there are inconsistencies across school and how child A, B, and C get way with murder. Etc, etc.

The truth: If it’s been a while since you addressed behaviour, then the floodgates will open but this is a necessary and unavoidable step towards better school behaviour. (And they’re talking about it anyway!)

Reason #3: That’s just what the kids are like.

Considering their home lives, it could be argued that your school does an amazing job just keeping them in the building.

The truth: We create children’s reality. Whatever the challenge, things can always be improved. Miracles do happen; the myth is that they happen overnight.

Reason #4: If you deliver good lessons, you don’t need behaviour management

It’s an old one and I discuss it in more detail here.

The truth: Learning behaviours need to be taught.

Reason #5: We should give teachers the professional autonomy to manage behaviour as they see fit.

I agree to an extent. However, I also think we should give them the support they need to be effective learning facilitators and my belief is that in order to support effectively, we need all staff to adhere to a short list of simple, school-wide protocols.

Good relationships need rules.

Why we should talk about behaviour!

When I deliver whole school training, my main aim is start a conversation about behaviour. I help schools focus on the essential discussions and decisions they need to make to start improving classroom and school-wide behaviour.

If school leadership isn’t talking about behaviour, you can bet that the rest of the staff are, and this is exactly why it’s so important to be leading the conversation, asking for solutions and creating the very best place for learning.

Let’s start talking about behaviour.

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