Join the TES Behaviour Group and get advice on how to deal with your behaviour and classroom management problems. We’ve got the TES Behaviour adviser Tom Bennett on hand to answer your questions.
I am experienced teacher who, when first qualified, had to work hard at developing a behaviour strategy that, a) I was happy with, b) managable and c) encourages the children to adopt behavours that will stand them in good stead wherever they go , e.g sitting boy/girl with children of different abilities so they learn to mix with all, not just the people they like. Each child holds the door open for the one coming in behind them, perparing them for manners outside of the classroom. I have carpet places and lining up places.
I also encourage children to look after their pens etc, having table inspections (which only need to happen for the first couple of weeks then they just do it automatically). I reward good behaviour with stickers that they collect to gain a prize.
This system has worked well, I never have any serious behaviour problems, however at my new school I have been told that I need to change.
I suppose my question is, Am I being too prescriptive on them?
It was actually the other teacher in the year group, no real reason given although she is more relaxed than me. Don't think I'm particularly regimented, thought an orderly way of moving around and looking after the things that are given to you was just good practice.
It made me really doubt myself again for a few days (as I mentioned this was one area thatI had struggled with as an NQT and for a while I actually thought I'd made the wrong decision to go into teaching). However, having discused it with my friends, I realise it's just the way the year group is so I will grit my teeth and bear it.
Are they doing well? Are they mannered? Do they have a safe, comfortable, learning environment (formerly known as a classroom)? Can you deliver lessons efficiently? Do the kids know that they can rely on you to be an adult? Do you help them to learn the habits of self-restraint and socialisation?
If you can answer 'yes' to most of these- and it sounds like you can- then to Hell with changing. Every teacher has a different style, and some teachers prefer to let their classes a little more wriggle room than others. Some of them like a lot more.But that's for every teacher to find for themselves, not to impose upon others. The only person that sounds like they're being overly prescriptive is your colleague, who imagines that their way is the righteous path. I wish I could drop kick this inane idea that we must all be the same; countless horrors are committed in its name.
Often, the people who advise this have been at the school a lot longer and know all the kids, or have some kind of seniority which protects them from the worst excesses of misbehaviour. It's a different ball-game when you're new, and need to build up relationships with the kids.
Stand tall and carry on as you are.If it works, it's working.
Read more from Tom here on his blog, or follow him.
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