Positive behaviour management – is there any other type?

1st January 2012  |  by Greg

There really shouldn’t be any other type of behaviour management than positive behaviour management, should there?

However, there are few things we can do to make sure that we really are as positive as we can be.

1. Avoid punitive consequences

Consequences designed to make the teacher feel better and get their own back, cannot be described as positive behaviour management. Our consequences need to be fair and delivered for the right reason. That reason is to help get students back on track. A detention used to catch up with work missed in class or missing playtime because of dangerous behaviour are examples of fair consequences. We have a duty to ensure children complete an appropriate amount of work and that the majority of children are safe at breaktime.

2. Explain the reasons for rules and instructions

None of us would say “because I said so”. The thing is, we sometimes don’t explain enough about why we’ve asked children to do something. (There are only two reasons actually – we want to keep them safe and we want to help them learn.)

3. Move away from rewards towards recognition

Recognising effort is so much more positive than giving a child a sticker, a stamp or a merit. They’ll take the sticker gladly but what they really want is for significant others to recognise their efforts.

4. When you do use rewards, use class-wide rewards, not individual ones

Giving Johnny a Mars Bar for not throwing chairs, just isn’t fair. Nor is it positive for Johnny or his onlooking classmates.

Find out more about class-wide rewards in The 50 Minute Behaviour Course.

5. Tell children what you want, not what you don’t want

Thanking children for following instructions should be the first way to direct children towards your expectations. Use “Thanks for…” – lots.

6. Use your emotions positively

Put your positive emotions into your teaching and into building relationships. Forget anger, disappointment, exasperation and the rest. In my experience, they just get in the way.

You’ll be glad to hear, I’m positive these work.

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