Ask any aspiring teacher what their greatest concern is about entering the classroom and you’ll end up with a variety of responses. Many may say that there is so much to read up on, in terms of the subjects that they may be required to teach, some of which may be outside of their preferred course of study. Many, however, will state that managing the behaviour of the children is their greatest concern. This can become an overriding priority if you do not enter the classroom with a solid behaviour management plan.

Yes, it is true: over time, children’s behaviour has generally been going down a slippery path, to the extent where it has impacted very negatively on the learning process. This may be very demoralising for many a novice, who may have entered the profession with some of the highest of ideals: some want to uplift and empower communities through education and others just want to spread their joy of learning.

There is no doubt, however, that for many a new teacher, the reality of the classroom where misbehaviour is commonplace, can be quite a shock to the system. Now before you go packing you bags and heading out of the school gates, let’s pause and take a look at some ways to manage the behaviour of the learners in your classroom, before misbehaviour even gets the opportunity to raise its disruptive head.

In the UK, it has been found that up to 40 schooldays are lost due to behaviour management issues. So, before, you succumb to the same type of statistic, let’s consider some behaviour management strategies in the classroom. They will help you get through your work, have your learners learning optimally, keep you cool and, importantly, sane!

Yes, trainee teachers will find that they have an extremely helpful tool if they start their year off with a firm behaviour management policy in place, right from day one. It will help them set the tone for each and every day of the ensuing year!

If you want the learning, in your classroom, to be impactful, successful, you must have put in place a solid behaviour management plan. All else is secondary!

In this article, we are going to spell out for you, why this is so. The implications or consequences are really mind-blowing. Classroom management has massive importance: from taking loads of stress off you to helping to maintain classroom procedures and efficiencies!

This applies to all teachers – those in the public and private school sectors, as well as the private tutor. Even if you’re working with a single student, you need to be on top of your game, if you wish to win and also create a positive learning environment for your learner.

See ways to become a master at behaviour management on Superprof

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What is good behaviour?
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Behaviour Management is Important. Here’s Why

By now, we’ve realised that successful behaviour management constitutes far more than your being able to discipline learners, punish or shout at them. These are not helpful behaviour management strategies. They have never been and learners know that. They know that an effective teacher is not simply one who can keep the class quiet.

Far more than this, a good behaviour management policy has as an end result an inspiring and healthy classroom which promotes co-operative learning and learner engagement. It also nurtures learning’s social-emotional aspects that are so important in the classroom.

Children know with which teacher they can chance their arm and cause disruptions. They also know which teacher expects their best behaviour at all times. It is the latter teacher whom they will respect and that is an absolutely necessary element for effective group learning.

They say that kids are the best psychologists: if they sense that you’re not coping or appear not to be on top of the situation, they’ll run amok or, at least, be disruptive on an ongoing basis. So, it’s important for you to have a plan and stick to the plan!

Below we have set out why having a good behaviour management policy is essential for your teaching success. Of course, it is possible to attain the necessary skills to help you create a harmonious learning environment.

The Foundation for an Effective Learning Environment: Good classroom Management

A well-managed classroom environment – one which follows its own rules procedures – is a pre-condition for operative teaching and learning. Learning takes place when everyone is interested, focussed and engaged. Generally, disruptions will occur when the learners are confused, bored or battling to keep up.

When the children don’t know what is expected of them, in terms of behaviour, it may become difficult for them to focus, they may even wonder if it’s worth focussing at all.

If you can create an environment that supports optimal teaching and learning,  through a set of firm behaviour techniques in the classroom, where they respect one another and you, you will be well on your way to fulfilling what you’re supposed to do: teach! In such an environment, you will not only have their full attention, but also their respect. Also, this is where the great motivators for learning will thrive, i.e. curiosity, engagement and interest.

See some behaviour management classroom techniques on Superprof

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How do you do good behaviour management?

Save Time Through Good Behaviour Management

As stated earlier, up to forty schooldays can go lost due to disruptive behaviour. Taking this into account, would it not be better to simply extend the school holidays? That would really not be good to  encouraging good behaviour and making teaching time optimal and, some say, sacred.

It is, however, a very important point! Sound behaviour techniques in the classroom can mitigate the effects of time lost due to disruptive behaviour. You don’t want to reach the end of a lesson having covered less than half of what you had planned to. If that is part of your daily grind, and if it is a grind, then it’s definitely time to jack up your behaviour management strategies in the classroom.

To create that desired harmony in your classroom, so that you can satisfy the demands of the curriculum, it is of paramount importance that you put in place a very sound behaviour management policy.

A Good Behaviour Management Plan Will Foster Routine, Consistency and Habit

Learners, most of them attend, school every day. So, it’s important of them to know what to expect every day, from you as well as of your colleagues. It is important that they see that their teachers are ‘in-sync’ as pertains to matters of behaviour,

Predictability, routine and consistency are vital elements of daily life which allow for effective learning. If conditions, in the classroom, are changed regularly, they may become unsettled and battle to focus all their attention on the task of learning.

It is, thus, vitally important that you have teaching strategies and classroom procedures in place which your learners have become acquainted with. These will make life easier for you – and for your learners too!

A Sound Behaviour Management Policy Will Limit Disruptive Behaviour in the Long Run

The different elements of a good behaviour management plan ‘snowball’ and have a cumulative impact later on. If you start the year with a very good classroom management plan and apply it consistently, you can rest assured that your learners’ behaviour and work habits will be the object of admiration of your colleagues, for the rest of the school year.

If you start the year off on the right note, your learners will be less likely to step out of line. They will enter the classroom already knowing what the boundaries are and what the consequences for misbehaviour will be: they will know the rules of the game from the ‘get-go’!

The sooner you can get your learners to step in line, the easier it will be to keep them in line. Get them there from day one!

A Healthy Learning Environment and Improved Learner Achievement: The Benefits of Effective Behaviour Management

As we’ve stated earlier, learning occurs when conditions in the classroom are recognisable and predictable which are stimulated by mutual respect and curiosity. The same applies if have set a goal of improving learner achievement.

When your learners enter your classroom ready and eager to learn, you know you’ve won the behaviour management battle. You would have achieved the ideal classroom situation!

To keep their interest piqued, you could drop interesting hints about what is to follow the next day or lesson. Point out how important the new learnings are or how they are linked to their current topics – don’t be too precise and factual.

Build Teacher-Learner Relationships and Make your Life Easier

In the final analysis, good classroom management has to bring about a positive change to your classroom’s dynamics – changing it from one where there is a simple exchange of information to one which is far more trusting, interactive and relaxed.

Check out the Impact of behaviour management theories in the classroom on Superprof

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Classes need to be well-behaved to learn

Realise that they are people filling your classroom. As such, because you are responsible for creating opportunities for them to learn, shouldn’t mean that you can’t get along with them. Respect them and they will respect you: that leaves sufficient room for enjoyable and productive relationships.

The chances that your learners are motivated and will achieve well are great and, to top it all, your life in the classroom will be a breeze. There should be no reason to be fighting with your learners. If this is still happening, contact a Superprof professional to guide you through some helpful behaviour management techniques in the classroom,.

A Private Tutor Needs Behaviour Management Skills too

Yes, you may be faced with behaviour management challenges too. And you will require a set of tools or skills to deal with a learner who does not complete tasks which have been set. For such instances, there have to be consequences, because the next lesson may be dependent on the learnings gained from the previous lessons and exercises or tasks. Also, since the relationship is one-on-one, it is crucial that there is mutual understanding and respect.

So, to protect your reputation and the parents’ investment, ensure that the learner is getting the greatest benefit from his or her lessons with you, by having in place a well-designed plan for behaviour management!

Need help? Contact Superprof.co.za today!

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Trevor

Career teacher turned writer. Passionate about family, running, and the great outdoors.