Creating positive learning environments “Ready…Steady…Go!” University of Bristol PGCE 2006-07 Presented by Chris Griffiths
Outline of the Session: Positive Behaviour – Set in context Starting Points – Why be a teacher? Why do you want to teach? The School set-up Creating a positive learning environment Group Task Key Pointers Positive Behaviour Toolkit
Behaviour is mostly learned: Most behaviour is learned in accordance with the following principles: • If something that the pupil regards as positive and pleasurable immediately follows his/her actions, then there is a high chance that s/he will repeat the action again in the future. • If something a pupil regards as negative and disagreeable immediately follows his/her actions, then there is less likelihood that s/he will repeat the same action • A pupil will identify with an adult s/he respects and feels secure with. S/he will imitate some of the behaviours s/he observes.
In short, your behaviour and attitude as a teacher will have a direct impact on the pupils and the classroom environment.
What is meant by creating a positive learning environment?The Teacher’s role is one that – • Finds ways to build and maintain adult and pupil self esteem. • Develops a consistency of approach. • Understands the rewards/sanctions relationship. • Develops classroom skills in managing behaviour over a period of time. The Teacher establishes an environment in which children can have a positive learning experience in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Remember that the classroom needs to be a safe environment – a place where pupils want to try and are not scared of failure a place that guarantees the physical safety and well being of the child a place where the teacher sets boundaries and pupils make choices
Common Anxieties I’ve never had to get up in front of a group of hormone – challenged teenagers in my life, let alone have to control and teach them. What if they are not quiet? What if they laugh at me? What if they are rude to me/about me in my hearing? What if I just cannot “do” it?
Why do you want to teach? • What has influenced you in your choice to become a teacher? • What do you need to be an effective teacher?
Developing your Behaviour Management Strategies “ I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanised or dehumanised.” (Haim Ginott)
What do children want in a good teacher? A good teacher should: • keep order and be firm without being severe, overwhelming or frightening; • explain clearly, and help pupils to learn; • be fair, not pick on pupils, have favourites, or punish unjustly; • be friendly, good – humoured and approachable; • be interesting, provide a variety of stimulating work and use pupils’ ideas.
The school set-up What do you inherit? You will take on classes with expectations/behaviour management already in place. What expectations have already been set? What rewards are in use? What sanctions are in use? What are the school’s expectations?
Taking the school set-up into account, remember you are the teacher. Set yourexpectations. It’s your classroom. They are yourclass for the duration of your time at the school. Be assertive… think in your own mind – “This is my class and I am not a student teacher.”
A shared responsibility Pupils expect their teachers to be able to lead, manage and direct the day-to-day complexities of 25-30 students in a small room, engaged in teaching, learning and socialisation. We need to lead the students beyond mere simplistic, external control, to appropriate ‘self’ and ‘shared’ control.
Managing a positive learning environment Good behaviour management is better than punitive management. Be Proactive and identify problems. Plan and prepare. When in class, be Reactive. Plan for behaviour as well as the lesson content and topics.
Planning for Good Behaviour Classroom Routines Lesson content Activities The Composition of the Class
Routines Start and end of lessons Materials ready Getting pupils’ attention Changing activities Time Limits Appropriate voice levels
Activities Have a starter to get the lesson going Plan a number of different activities, bearing in mind the concentration span of your pupils Each activity should be – Accessible Supported by relevant resources Interactive Kinaesthetic Fun
Start of lesson routine Pupils go to their places straight away Pupils take out books, pens etc. They place bags on the floor They listen to what the teacher wants them to do They focus immediately on the starter activity
End of the lesson routine Pupils continue working until they are told to stop When instructed, they pack away, ready to be dismissed They leave the room when the teacher is satisfied that all is in order
Classroom AtmosphereWhat attitudes do you need to encourage a more positive self-image in children? • Be calm, accepting and supportive, rather than threatening, grim and sarcastic • Show an interest in each child and value each one • Show confidence in the ability of a child to do the task set • Have clear values and a well-structured environment • Be genuine rather than putting on a ‘front’ • Talk to the children about non subject based matter. Be positive and realistic about yourself • Learn to recognise what to like, respect and accept about yourself
Key Pointers Model standard of courtesy you expect from your pupils Make sparing and consistent use of punishments If encountering a difficulty, seek advice sooner rather than later. Requesting support is not a sign of failure Separate the behaviour from the person
The ABC way to think about behaviour: • Antecedents – the important things that happen BEFORE the behaviour occurs. • Behaviour – what happens – the ACTUAL OBSERVABLE BEHAVIOUR that the child produces. • Consequences – the important things that happen to the child (and others) AFTER the behaviour.
Survival Tool Kit • Find out and be clear about the school’s routines. • Familiarise yourself with the school’s Behaviour Policy. • Be clear about what it is you expect from the pupils. • Tell the pupils what the consequences will be if they do not comply. • Be consistent – never give in. • Say what it is you like about the behaviour, praise and reward as appropriate. • Guide and show what you want by demonstrating and helping the pupils. • Break down difficult tasks into small achievable steps. Praise effort. • Listen to and respect pupils • Expect good behaviour
Survival Tool Kit (Continued) Remember the six R’s – Rules Routines Rewards Relationships Respect Responsibility
REMEMBER: YOUR BEHAVIOUR AS A TEACHER WILL AFFECT THE WAY THE PUPILS BEHAVE. STAY CALM, BREATHE DEEPLY AND BE IN CONTROL.