Behaviour Management

Miss T talks about how behaviour management is essential in a classroom.

Primary teacher, East Dunbartonshire

Speaking amongst my teacher friends before we started I think the biggest fear was having an unruly class and not knowing what to do. Behaviour management is essential in a classroom and without it, children just won’t learn.

My mentor advised me not to worry too much about going straight into maths, reading etc. in the first week but to establish the rules and routine that we would be working from for the rest of the year. I was told by so many teachers ‘not to smile until October’ and there is an element of truth to it. I’ve learnt that setting boundaries early is so important, and following through with rewards and sanctions helps the children know what you will stand for. This is all easier said than done though. The children are so eager to share their summer stories and chat with their friends, so I did feel like a bit of a grump trying to curb that. But trust me when I say that already it has made my life in the classroom much easier!

Behaviour was identified as one of my strong points during placements.  After observing great practice during my course I picked up so many tips and tricks that I would like to share. Catch the children being good and praise them often. In the first few weeks dish out points and stickers like they are going out of fashion to show the children the kind of behaviour you like. Model the kind of behaviour you want. For example, don’t want the children to shout? Don’t shout. Don’t want the children to interrupt others? Don’t interrupt others. It might seem obvious but I honestly believe these tips work.

I have introduced DOJO points, an online behaviour management system, that is completely free. The kids love having their own monster avatars and now all I have to do is hover around the computer for the children to buck up their ideas. It’s incredible!

I’ve found that now the children and I have settled into the way of the things that I am enjoying my job so much more.