Why teaching is like flying a plane

15th March 2013  |  by Greg

There are good reasons for planning what to do and what to say

You might not know it, but you need a script. When you’re dealing with behaviour in class and you stumble over your words, you inadvertently communicate that you don’t know what you’re doing. This isn’t good. I think you’ll agree, students genuinely want to know that the teacher leading their learning really does know what they’re doing.

When we have a script, we communicate that we’ve thought about our approach in advance and that we are good at our job.

When learning or safety might be affected in our classes, we should already have thought about what our reasonable, proportionate reactions should be.

When we’ve thought about what our reasonable expectations are, and what our reasonable reactions are, then we can develop our script. (Being reasonable is one of The Crucial Four elements of behaviour management.)

Here’s how to write your script

  1. Decide what you want.
  2. Describe it.
  3. Rehearse the words you’ll use to describe what you want to see.
  4. Decide what you’ll do when students display behaviour that could endanger the safety or learning.
  5. Rehearse the words that you’ll use to describe what happens when students endanger safety or learning.

Airline pilots don’t wait until they lose an engine before learning how to land a plane without it

They groove their response to this rather stressful scenario in advance. This is what teachers should do. The worst time to formulate a reaction is when you’re stressed; it’s much better to think about it beforehand. The worst position a teacher can be in is the be faced with behaviour and not know what to do. You can get rid of this stress.

When it comes to behaviour, don’t improvise! Get a script.

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