By Sarah Hosegood
The Hosegood family are not very interesting people. We are all Geographers and we are either teachers or town planners (my sister was the rebel!), so dinner table conversations are a little bit dull for outsiders. However these dinner table conversations have given me one of the best pieces of behaviour management advice.
My mum always said the most valuable thing a teacher has at their disposal is their voice. As a trainee teacher I don’t think my voice was always under control but as I have gained more experience my voice has become more powerful.
My (and my mum’s!) top tips:
- When using your voice, always give yourself somewhere to go. This means that you can’t shout all the time. Shouting should be an extreme of your voice and should happen very rarely. This means that when you do shout you have the desired effect.
- Once you have the attention of the students keep your voice low so you keep their attention and they have to listen carefully.
- Even if you are tired and having a bad day your voice can disguise this so go up tempo and bright in your voice and ‘trick’ the students into enthusiasm.
- Always welcome your students into the classroom with a bright, enthusiastic, cheery voice and it will start the lesson in a positive mood.
- When you want to get your point across, repeat the point slowly in a deeper tone to your normal voice.
Lucy Sidney; “If a class are too chatty (during a discussion or at beginning of the lesson) I ask them all to stand up. They are not allowed to sit down until they are all silent. If they start talking whilst descending they must stand up again! They soon learn that being quiet is better than standing up.”
Zoe Shepherd; “Only ever pretend to lose your temper. Don’t actually lose it. Know your kids and remember they have stuff going on in their lives that may affect their behaviour. Own your space/ classroom you are inviting students into your class to share and learn with you – be confident.”
Helen Wilson; “Wait for pupils to be displaying the behaviour you want and then praise it with thanks. Develop a “waiting stare” which says, “we are not moving on until I’ve got the behaviour I expect”.”
Hanh Doan; “Have a seating plan. Organise/plan pairs and group work. Give clear instructions and clear warnings of sanctions for misdemeanours”
Beth Ashton; “With a difficult group, have a clear, visual way to keep track of where students are in terms of the behaviour diamond. I usually write “warning, move, detention, on call” so they can see what the next consequence will be.”
Michael Tatham; “Praise all those who are doing what you do want (the others will eventually get the hint that they need to do or change something!).For example, ‘Well done Tom’s table, you’re books are out and you’re all ready to start’. Or, ‘Thanks Bethany, you’re looking this way and listening.’”
Jo Cavanagh; “Establish routines early on in terms of your expectations e.g. stand behind their chair in silence when they first come in.”
Nat Moody; “If you are taking a new group learn names as soon as possible. Set routines as early as you can. Do not allow them to speak when you are.”
Jane Pearson; “Keep the pace by using music as a timer when you want minor things done quickly and efficiently eg packing away, handing in textbooks, writing down the date and title.”
Sue Lutz; “Timing activities using a stopwatch keeps them on task.”
Susan Kent; “If an individual child is off task just approach their desk quietly kneel down so you are at their eye level and explain that they have a choice – they can get back on task in the next 30 seconds and show you how awesome they can be or they will be moved to the back of the classroom to work alone/sent outside. Their choice. Give them 30 seconds and go back and ask them.”
What would your top tip be to ensure good behaviour management?