Improving the behaviour of pupils to maximise learning is one of the most difficult challenges facing student teachers. It is the topic they most frequently request yet at times little time is allocated for it in most ITT programmes. In order to help students to develop the skills required, 26 scenarios have been created for subject tutors to use with groups of trainee teachers as a part of their training programme. The materials are equally suitable for use as the basis for short courses on behaviour improvement and for use by mentors in schools.
Whilst tutors and mentors may already be familiar with much of the content of the scenarios, the resource draws together information for those who wish to:
- be reminded about the key concepts in behaviour for learning
- see further explanation of the learning methodology
- receive assistance with planning a session
- be provided with links to resources and further information.
The scenarios are designed to slot into an existing ITT programme and to be flexible and adaptable. Although they present one or more answers in each case, they do not cover every aspect of each problem; moreover, the scenarios represent a selection from some of those which might be encountered by trainees and early-career teachers. There will obviously be different solutions to different situations and tutors and mentors will be able to elaborate on these and discuss them as appropriate. The suggested approaches do follow current good practice guidelines about improving behaviour for learning but are not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive.
The opportunity for reflection, trying out different approaches, discussion, further reflection and the development of good practice are important features of these resources.
Distracting behaviour by one pupil can disrupt the work of the whole class if the teacher does not deal with it quickly and effectively.
Even some experienced teachers sometimes feel that, in order to set high standards and make expectations plain at the outset, it is necessary to deal with all distractions very publicly, firmly and fully. They can be so distracted by doing this that the lesson grinds to a halt after a relatively minor incident and the purpose and focus on learning is lost in a lengthy confrontation.
It is obviously important for trainees to uphold the school's standards, swearing should not be ignored, but to do so in ways that are likely to prevent a recurrence and that do not allow the behaviour of one person to adversely affect the learning of the whole class.
The Improving Behaviour for Learning video resource (available on the Behaviour4Learning website) has scenes on ‘Ending the lesson', it provides useful commentaries on an incident handled in three different ways and can be used to model the competencies highlighted by this Scenario
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)