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12th February 2019

Behaviour management strategies: the most effective techniques

As all teachers know, planning and delivering inspiring and educational lessons is only half of their role. In order to be a truly effective teacher you will need to understand and employ successful behaviour management strategies for your pupils.

Behaviour management strategies: teacher-student relationships

Strong relationships with your students is perhaps the factor that has the most important impact on classroom management. It is well known that Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching revolves around understanding and managing different special educational needs, but the same is equally true of conventional teaching.

Your pupils will have a diverse range of personalities, abilities and learning styles which you must take into account in order to be a successful teacher.

Good behaviour management relies on your efforts to build relationships characterised by mutual respect in order to contribute to a positive classroom environment with minimal disruption or misbehaviour.

Be empathetic and kind to your pupils. This does not mean you should be permissive – you can be firm while still making sure that your students know that you have their interests at heart.

Ensure that you are an inspirational influence to your pupils, rather than letting them view you as someone forcing them to learn a subject that they may not enjoy. Speak engagingly and convey your enthusiasm for the topic to students with expressive body language and facial expressions.

Behaviour management strategies: classroom layout

You can use the layout of your classroom to help you manage the behaviour of your pupils. This is a really useful tool that also gives the atmosphere within the classroom a more dynamic and interesting feel.

If you have divided your students into small groups, they will find it much easier to communicate productively if they are gathered around small tables. Arranging desks and chairs in a circle or half-circle facilitates whole class debates while diminishing the lecture-like feeling generated by rows of forward facing desks.

If the style of work necessitates a classroom layout where some students have their backs to the front, such as individual tables for group projects, do all you can to minimise the amount of time you have your back to the class.

You can achieve this by keeping yourself active within the classroom. Circulate and ask questions, and address your pupils from a variety of places within the room rather than remaining stationary at your desk.

Behaviour management strategies: self-development

Although this is a less obvious strategy, working on your own behaviour in the classroom is every bit as important as improving your pupils’.

Boosting your CPD (continuous professional development) in order to grow and develop as a teacher is vital because it will give you the skills to handle anything your pupils can throw at you.

It isn’t always easy being a teacher and successfully managing your pupils can sometimes seem like a real challenge. It is hard to implement successful behaviour management strategies if you’re not feeling your best.

Schedule in some self-care and take care to maintain a good work-life balance in order to make sure that you’re well-rested, well-prepared and ready for any challenges the role might bring.

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