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  1. Volume 2 Month 7 Day 8 – Quick Strategies in classroom management

    by

    1. Attention Seeking Behaviour

     

    • Tactical ignoring (balanced out with lots of proximity praise)
    • Get up close – move into their space and run the lesson from this position for a while
    • Remain very calm and avoid getting wound up and rewarding the behaviour with negative attention
    • Agree non-verbal cues in advance with known trouble-makers

    2. Swearing/verbal abuse

     

    • Have rules and routines in place and remind them of the consequences for bad language
    • Consistent approach – ALL incidents of bad language need to be followed up so as not to allow excuses for ‘accidental’ swearing.
    • Tape record outbursts of foul language and explain that it can be played back to parents
    • Take out a note pad and say “I’m now recording what you’re saying
    • Have a meeting with the pupil/s involved and ask them to suggest alternative ways of expressing/dealing with anger or alternative words to use when they are angry. 

    3. Noisy class (start of lessons)

     

    • Allow some cooling off time of a few minutes after transitions and breaks to allow them to settle.
    • Use the countdown technique with lots of proximity praise… “5; OK it’s time to stop and look this way. Excellent, very quick on that table. 4; pens should be down, books and mouths should be closed, very good you two, you’re listening to me. 3; still too much noise over here, that side of the room are perfect. 2; Just waiting for the last few people now, all conversations should be stopped, hands on the desk in front of you. Well done, you’ve got it. 1; thank you.
    • Have a visual reminder of noise levels such as coloured cards/traffic lights. When green is up the noise level in the room is fine. Orange – warning, level is too high and needs to drop immediately. If it doesn’t drop after an agreed time, red card goes up. Red. Stop the activity, take a minute off break and insist on silent working for 5 minutes.
    • Take control at the door – don’t let them in the room until they’re quiet

     4. Confrontation

     

    • Adopt non-threatening body language (body to side, open arms).
    • Avoid threatening hand gestures (pointing), facial expressions and verbal language (shouting, accusing).
    • Diffuse and de-escalate – use humour, change subject.
    • Calmly offer support… (“How can I help?” “I’m listening.”)

     5. Disruption

     

    • Remove the audience factor, try and talk to them quietly on a 1:1 basis where possible and remind them of past successes and capabilities – try to find something positive to say first.
    • Give them a responsibility
    • Language of Choice
      •  
        • “Do you want to move closer to the board or remain where you are?”
        • “Do you need me to help you or can you get on with things on your own?”
        • “What are you supposed to be doing? What happens if you don’t do it? Is that what you want? What are you going to choose?”
    • Calmly warn them of consequences and follow up using the ‘3 requests’…
      •  
        • “Jordan sit back down on your chair and finish the work please”
        • “Jordan, I’m asking you for the second time to sit down and get on with your work.”
        • “Jordan this is the third and final time I’m going to ask you.”
        • “Jordan you’ve chosen to ignore me. Go to Time Out.”

     

    6. Ignoring you

     

    • Give very clear instructions so there is no room for confusion or argument.
    • Try using humor to change their state from being angry or sullen
    • Refuse to get drawn into confrontation – “I’ve told you what you need to do and you know what happens if you don’t. It’s your choice, I’ll be available after school if you want to discuss it then.”
    • On a 1:1 basis with a pupil you normally get on well with try to find what is bothering them by calmly repeating statements such as “Tell me what’s wrong so I can help you.” “You talk, I’ll listen.” “tell me what’s bothering you, I’ll listen.”

     

    7. Lack of Equipment

     

    • Offer to loan them some of your equipment in return for ‘collateral’ such as a shoe.
    • Give a brief period of time at the start of the lesson for pupils to borrow items from other members of the class
    • Reward those who bring required equipment
    • Focus on teaching right action and correcting behaviour of persistent offenders: Offer them support in the way of special reminders and inform parents that this key issue is causing concern; get them to follow up at home and issue reminders at home.

     

    8. Lack of motivation

     

    • Set short term mini-targets. “By the end of the lesson you need to get down to here in your text book.” “In the next ten minutes you need to complete numbers 1-4. I’ll be back to check in ten minutes.”
    • Make lesson activities more active
    • Include fun starters, video clips, educational games, energizers, magic tricks and brain teasers in your lessons from time to time to break up monotony.
    • Use loads and loads of effective praise and encouragement.

     

    9. Late

     

    • Have clear rules on punctuality and consistently apply them
    • Always follow up lateness and ensure pupil makes up missed work
    • Have a reward system which acknowledges those who come on time
    • Keep records. Get pupil to fill in a form giving reason for late arrival and the time they arrived. Send copies home with notification of consequences if it continues.

     

    10. Off-Task (low level disruption)

     

    • Use pre-agreed non-verbal signals
    • Get close up – sit or stand close to them and say nothing, carry on with the lesson
    • Use proximity and personal praise – Look for opportunities to catch them being good.
    • Look for opportunities to offer help… Offer choices, adjust the work, adjust seating

     11. Defiance

     

    • Offer support – often pupils are defiant because they are afraid of failure – adjust the work, offer help, ask them what’s bothering them.
    • Remind them of past successes and capabilities
    • Remind them that you are there to help them and ask them for help in how to bring that about. “I need your advice. I want to help you – what is going to make this easier for you?”
    • Go through stepped sanctions as per school behaviour policy e.g.
      •  
        • Give them a warning (verbal/name on board etc.) and remind them of consequences
        • Move them to an isolated seat
        • Take time off them at break/after school
        • Notify them of a letter/phone call home
        • “park’ them in another class
        • Send them to senior staff

     

    12. Shouting out

     

    • Ignore those who shout out and reward/praise those that don’t
    • Play class team games/quizzes where answers will only be accepted by those who put their hands up. Penalize team-members who shout out by taking a point off the team.
    • Have a clear policy on how questions are to be answered in class
    • Keep those who shout in at break and explain that shouting won’t be tolerated

     13. Flatulence

     

    • Ignore it. By reacting you give them exactly what they were trying to elicit.
    • Explain that if they do it again they will have to stay in at break for a lesson on healthy diet and the effect certain foods have on digestion.
    • Show great concern for their health and tell them it might be a good idea if you were to talk to their parents about it immediately by telephone if they are having trouble controlling it.
    • Follow normal procedure for disruptive behaviour but be careful not to appear confrontational or you will get the classic response “That’s not fair, I can’t help it.”

     14. Failing to follow instructions

     

    • Explain very clearly the consequence of not following instructions. Tell them you expect immediate compliance and then give them a few moments to save face by walking away.
    • Record the details of the incident and follow up with senior staff.
    • Warn them that you will be contacting parents. (Make sure you do so if the defiance continues).
    • Have the pupil removed from the classroom

    Vishal Jain

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