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.
Dealing with one pupil who is late or breaking a rule is one thing, but if a number of pupils in the class is involved, then the situation is potentially a lot more difficult. The Scenario described is one which trainees frequently acknowledge as being a major concern to them. Trying to deal with this quickly, without conflict and in a positive way, is the key.
A calm, assertive, low-intervention approach is needed so that the lesson can continue as quickly as possible.
The reality in schools is that pupils receive inconsistent messages about behaviour and staff are not always consistent in the implementation of codes of conduct.
Pupils notice these differences and are quick to make judgements on this basis, so one of the key tasks for a new teacher is to establish routines in line with school policy (even if all their colleagues do not do the same!)
The Improving Behaviour for Learning video resource is particularly useful in modelling this situation as the three teachers apply the same rules in three very different ways with very different consequences. This is available on the Behaviour4Learning website
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)