The start of a new academic year and a new class of pupils to work with, this is a time filled with anticipation, excitement and slight nerves, especially if you are a newly qualified teacher! If you want the next 12 months to go to plan, and I’m sure that you do, then establishing positive behaviour for learning in the classroom is paramount.
A new class brings with it new personalities, abilities and expectations along with a few worries. This blog is here to help you with some of the behavioural issues you may face in class.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. The teacher who walks into a classroom and gets every child to be actively engaged in their learning for the whole lesson without a peep of disruption started off just like you!
Respect is earned and if you want your pupils to respect you then you have to earn it. Children are extremely good at sensing how you really feel and if you genuinely want your pupils to progress and succeed, even if you have to be firm with them, they will not only respect you but also like you.
Here are a few top tips:
- Read the school behaviour policy: see where you stand and what you can do to stop negative behaviour dominating your lesson.
- Be practical: Be firm but fair and don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t go exactly to plan.
- Reflect, re think and try again: Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was an excellent teacher, you are learning just like your pupils.
- Show you care: Care for your class even when it feels like they don’t notice.
- Learn names quickly, developing an awareness of what is happening in the classroom and get lessons off to a purposeful start.
- Some situations are beyond your control: In these cases, prioritise safety and try and keep the children calm.
- Never give up: Believe it or not you have more will power and determination than you know.
Expect the unexpected: Behaviour can suddenly change for any number of reasons; a perfectly polite and well behaved child might suddenly be rude and dismissive. Those pupils are individuals who have a many things going on in their own lives, so remember to be kind and maybe ask the questions no one else has thought of.
The best tip of all is just get into the classroom, have positive experiences, make some mistakes and learn from them. All new (and experienced!) teachers go through the ups and downs of teaching; what is important is to recognise the successes. Whether that’s a pupil who finally finishes his or her homework and brings it to you or children who put up their hand for the first time in six months and answer a question, these are the successes that make teaching so worthwhile. Have a firm but fair, positive approach and you can’t go far wrong!