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An unfortunate term, perhaps, behaviour management, it implies that from the outset there will be poor behaviour to manage, and that we have precluded much about a student or cohort by considering management of behaviour from the outset. 1.0The truth though is that if we have not considered it at all, we will cause problems and noise between ourselves and our students. Much of that which we never would want to occur will occur if we do not, at the very outset, seek to understand; to provide frameworks of behaviour to follow for both the learner and the tutor to build trust and respect on both sides. We must examine what is meant by "behaviour management", the factors involved in broad terms, and what we seek to achieve by it.
1.0 No learner comes to us as a blank sheet. No person is a blank sheet. We are not a blank sheet. We will have previous experience, and based on that previous experience we make a prediction of what will happen next. It will affect how we react, and how our students react. 4.1 Knowing this makes the tutor the most influential part of the learning experience. 3.1Adopting the correct stance and strategy for the psychodynamics at work within a classroom is crucial if we are to provide a positive and effective learning environment and learning experience. 1.0 Getting the dynamics wrong will lead to learners disengaging, becoming restless, attending badly and breaking rules of conduct and discipline agreed at the outset. 3.1 Careful attention to behaviourism in structure, policy and in recognition of it in the learners is fundamentally important for developing an environment that will be behaviourally stable.
2.0/ 3.1 Rules, that need to be agreed with learners if they are to be effective, will include organisational policy rules. These are likely to be rules over which there is little latitude for movement and provide the framework around which the agreements are structured. 3.1 2.0Attendance, for example, rules on bullying and respect, inclusivity and diversity. Assessment methods, professional standards and personal behaviour, roles and responsibilities. 3.1 2.0 They will also include disciplinary procedures that are clear and fair, structured to promote re-engagement and identify causes for varying from the code of conduct so that clear targets can be set to regain good behaviour.
2.0/3.1Without the framework of policy rules would appear unilateral and therefore polarising. 2.0/ 3.1 Understanding that the student and the tutor are bound under the same rules is a unifying experience, and helps 3.1learners build a rapport with their tutor without the interference of an unnecessarily polarised relationship. 3.1Yet the benefit of clear lines and boundaries exist for each party to rely on.
Christine Richmond (Rogers, August 2002) (page 58) 3.1
1.0 As I have said, no learner comes as blank sheet. Most will have experienced positive experiences in education, along with negative ones at times. Others will have had very little positive experience at all. This will affect their expectations of what will happen in their next experience. 1.0 If the rules didn't help them achieve last time, why should they obey any rules this time? 1.0Perhaps not obeying the rules will get better results? 1.0 If a student has been excluded before, they may expect it again, and would rather you just got on with it. 1.0 Some have not achieved well before for a variety of factors, if they feel they are not likely to achieve they may be disruptive to avoid failure in the future; not doing an assignment doesn't mean they were not capable of it, they chose to not do it as a challenge to the rule, taking ownership of failure on their terms in a more acceptable form.
(Miller, 2002)(Andy Miller/Bill Rogers 2002 (page 69) 3.1
The research referred to above relates to addressing this very early, on the first day your students are with you. At this point they have no rapport with you, all they know is their previous experience and perhaps will be predicting that you will be no different from those previous experiences, and that you will not make a difference. 1.0 It may also be social factors and peer expectation, a desire to be included in a groupâ€¦ all these factors are part of what influences individual behaviour initial part of a study course.
4.1/ 3.2/ 3.1 Specifying and explaining a rule is crucial. We could say "no talking while your teacher is teaching" that's the rule. For students with fragile internal controls this is a target to aim at, a button to push( playing into the hands of a passive aggressive type). 3.1We could alternatively say "it's important that everybody hears instructions clearly for the best chance to achieve. Please make sure that you are able to hear, and your neighbours can hear clearly while any tutor is giving you instruction so that you understand". 4.1/4.2 This is explaining the same rule, but is also explaining why there is a rule and the benefits to the learner of that rule. 3.1There is certainly more likelihood of cooperation with rules given in this way, with reason and foundation, rather than as a totalitarian dictate.
(O'Brien, 2002) (2002) teaching leadership and behavioural management; page 93
3.1/4.1/4.2/For some students accepting the rules will need to follow very quickly with a positive result from those rules, reinforcing it is beneficial to them to follow it. This does not follow that breaking the rules should result in reprimand, but more a reminder of the rule. 3.1/ 3.2Moreso, to ask the student what the rule is, and why it is a rule, but without making it a humiliating affair. 3.1/4.2Keeping the event low key de-escalates the any spiralling frustration. Returning to the curriculum and the lesson objective is the only purpose here, not a public win for either side. Returning to the task is a win for the tutor, and a success for the learner in re-engaging 3.1/3.2/4.2. For some students, there will be no solution to behaviour that constantly trucks the rules, only good management of it so that it has least impact on the learning for the student and learners in the cohort. 3.2The humanistic view is that the teacher is not responsible for the behaviour, only the management of it. 3.2/4.2Liberated from the feeling that you must get this class inside the rules leaves you free to focus energy on how to best manage the circumstances and achieve the curriculum.
(Parsons, 2002, p. 117)
4.2/3.2 This does not mean that behaviour should go unchecked, but should be focused on low key solutions that avoid conflict (which is always a destructive force in relationship building) and engage respect, that does encourage relationship building and trust. The rules we make for students must have the aim of safety, trust and respect. We should be making sure our students are reaching the top of Maslow's hierarchy or needs and that all of our rules and policy and dynamics are tilted only towards enabling learning. If they are not then they can be seen as rules without meaning. 4.1 This does not mean that some behaviour cannot be challenged directly and publicly. 4.2 Dangerous or abusive behaviour is often best dealt with quickly and publicly, reinforcing to the group that they can have confidence in your leadership and surety of safety. Always, though, making sure that the quickest possible return to task is achieved. 4.2/4.1 Once the incident is stopped, it is best then to return to low key treatment involving a private tutorial with the learner/transgressor, a "least intrusive intervention" (Rogers, 2002)page 7. Use positive words and statements rather than negative ones (Braithwaite 2001) et al.
(Rogers, August 2002) Christine Richmond 4.2/ 4.1/ 3.1
4.1/4.2 We must de-escalate events and interventions. When a person is angry (Teachers included) they can make poor judgements. Far better to make an intervention that returns quickly to task and give all parties a chance to reflect and calm before addressing discipline or correction in a calm and cool manner, when it is easier to articulate and more readily accepted on all sides (particularly true of active-aggressive types). 4.2This may include a time out, or inviting the student or students to remain at the end of lesson for a tutorial. Remaining neutral and calm can be difficult but it is a professional imperative to achieve it. 1.0Reflect that the event may not be related to the underlying cause of the behaviour and assess it from a humanistic point of view.
1.0 Planning can do much to mitigate risks of behaviour from the outset. Students of different backgrounds, ethnicity, race and religion can be in conflict before they ever take a seat in the class. Some may be bringing pre-existing relationships and loyalties with them from previous schools or colleges, or from elsewhere. Having a policy of rules, across an entire campus, keeps consistency. 1.0 2.0 3.1 It avoids the risk of too many tutors and teachers applying rules confusingly differently giving learners sure ground to rely on.
4.2/1.0There are of course students with varying conditions that will appear often to overstep the line on behaviour and will remain unchallenged. We must be careful that accommodating our group profile does not undermine rules that all others are expected to adhere to, and yet accommodate these students fully, so that they are included fully and have the same opportunity of success. The process should be clear and transparent and include the learner in the planning as much as is practicable. This may include support professionals. (Learning Skills Development Agency, 2007)
4.1/4.2We can do this more easily if all behaviour management is kept low key and designed to re-engage a student to task. 4.2/3.1We must also work towards preventing and label that the learner feels they have been attached to becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. 4.1/4.2Conceptualising behaviour in terms of 'Primary, secondary and residual behaviours' (Rogers) is a useful process that allows refocusing of behavioural issues so that positive behaviour can be affirmed and rewarded. 4.1/4.2/3.2/3.1 This crucial if incremented step provides new experience for the learner, new confidence and eventually the chance of altered behaviour in the future, making all learning more accessible to that learner. Building bridges, not barriers.
1.0 Fundamentally destructive behaviour from a teacher can cause students to be uncomfortable, they will slip down the hierarchy of needs, trust is broken and then there is no respect. Some causes of destructive behaviour are obvious or at least should be. 1.0 Insults directed at a student or group of students, "don't be thick" "Oi, youâ€¦fatty"â€¦. If we used them toward other adults in any other arena they would be unacceptable, and so they are here. They hurt, they are erosive and destructive. 1.0/2.0 Sarcasm is also destructive (as well as likely to be hard to perceive for those with Asperger's/autism). It is a cheap shot, and will not yield long term results other than a degradation of student / tutor relationship. This is such a fundamental and crucial area that it should be part of the organisational policy and not rely on individual teachers and tutors to establish.
1.0 What happens when we start to trade insults and sarcasm with students is a sarcastic and insulting response. We have set the trend by doing this and what follows is our fault. We will lose control of the lesson, the students will at some point say something that pushes all our "buttons" and we will react with anger. If we can't follow anger with apology and a climb-down and regain respect then we should not set foot on the road that leads to it.
It is much the same for management in commerce. 1.0 One could simply not entertain behaviour of such nature and retain respect of staff, colleagues and superiors, nor the all-important customer (which in many ways a student is). At its extreme it is bullying. There are many parallels between classroom management and man management in commerce and industry. It's a people thing, students are people and so are teachers and tutors. 4.2/4.1 Keeping staff focused on their function is crucial to success and the extent of responsibilities must be very clearly understood for all parties. A manager of a workshop will be very clear that a worker is accountable to achieve a given level of output, and we must be clear with students that they are accountable for their output, and in return we are accountable to provide a structure in which that flow of work is constant yet manageable, as is the case of the workshop manager. 4.2Encouraging an environment where the roles are clearly understood, and each understands their responsibility, nurtures a culture of cooperation where hierarchy can be reduced and a partnership culture adopted through mutual trust. This means that instead of competing roles they become collaborating, symbiotic roles.
4.2Environmentally we can control the room layout, and to some extent the temperature and feel of the room. 1.0If it is hot and airless everyone feels stressed, as is the case if it is far too cold, too cramped or learners find it hard to see or hear what is going on. 4.2/1.0We can make an effort not to be intimidating; teachers can be intimidating on many levels without meaning to be. They have excellent subject knowledge, they know what's coming next, they are allowed to ask for your attention and expect to get it, they have voices that carry and they look comfortable in their environment. They can make the work look easy when the student doesn't understand it at all, all these things are intimidating, particularly to students with fragile internal controls.
4.2We can control the flow of information so the student is not overwhelmed, but so that they feel there is plenty to do and do not waste time, thinking that there is only one simple task. 4.2We can communicate clearly, in whichever way the learner accepts most readily. 4.2We must provide them with clear information of what is going to happen when, who we are, who others are and where to find things so that they acquire some ownership and belonging as immediately as possible. 4.2 We can focus on low key interventions that do not leave a student feeling excluded or highlighted in themselves, only in the action away from the task. 4.2Use of body language and eye contact can be quite enough to bring a student back on task (Rogers, 2002)4.2 give ownership of the behaviour to a student by asking them what the rule is and why it is a rule, then move on without further comment (Rogers, 2002).
4.2 Discuss the rules with students so they understand and agree the rationale behind the rule. Make sure the students are aware that there are rules for Teachers and Tutors too, and that we all are under these rules in the framework. 4.2/2.0Be clear on the procedures involved in the policy framework and how that policy is engaged with and what it seeks to achieve.
1.0Be aware that the students will be carrying past experience and that this may not always be positive. 3.1/3.2Be prepared to build bridges and not barriers. 4.2 Recognise achievement and try to divorce the student from the behaviour so that they are free to move their position in approach to learning. 4.2/3.1/3.2Build on good experience so that is supplants any negative experience. 4.2Always let a student move on from a confrontation with a clean sheet, avoid grudges on both sides.
4.2/3.2 Focus on managing behaviour and not waste energy trying to solve behaviour that some students will be unable to comply with. Always return to the objective of completing the task, the curriculum and how that can be achieved with the best management that can be achieved.
There will always be times when we misjudge, or engage the wrong strategy. We must not make ourselves a victim, but accept any responsibility that is ours. We must be able to objectively review behaviour and strategy and be open to trying a new approach. We must be open to talking with colleagues and developing our own skills. We must be equally prepared to be wrong and be proven so. The only fault in this would be not being prepared to change or develop a new strategy, or listen to colleagues.
Learning Skills Development Agency, 2007. What's your Problem. London: Learning skills Network.
Miller, A. /. R. B., 2002. Teacher leadership and behaviour management. s.l.:SAGE.
O'Brien, T., 2002. Teacher leadership and behavioural management. s.l.:Sage.
Parsons, L., 2002. Teacher leadership and behaviour management. s.l.:Sage.
Robertson, J., 2002. Teacher leadership and behavioural management. London: sage.
Rogers, B. /. R. C., August 2002. Teacher leadership and behaviour management. s.l.:Sage.
Rogers, B., 2000. Classroom Behaviour: A Practical Guide to Effective Teaching, Behaviour Management and Colleage Support. London: s.n.
Rogers, B., 2002. Teacher leadership and behaviour management. s.l.:sage.
Potential factors that lead to behaviour that can disrupt a learning environment
P1p 1-2 P2p 2-3 P3p 1 P5p 3-4-5 P6p 1-2-3
P7p 1 P8p 2
P1p 3 P2p 1-2 P5p 4 P6p 1 P8p 1
Understand organisational policies relating to managing behaviours in the learning environment.
Promote behaviours that contribute to a purposeful learning environment.
Review ways of encouraging behaviours that contribute to an effective learning environment.
Use strategies for encouraging behaviours that contribute to a purposeful learning environment
P1p 2-3 P2p 1-2 & ref P3p 2-3-4-5
P4p 1 & ref
Be able to manage behaviours that disrupt a purposeful learning environment.
4.1 review ways of managing behaviours that disrupt a purposeful learning environment.
Use strategies for managing behaviours that disrupt a purposeful learning environment