How to Manage Student behaviour in Primary schools.
Stop Using the Cane 6
Someone once asked the question, ‘How do we manage the primary school child in our classroom?’ Well the answer is simple, treat them fair and right and they will give you little or no problems….
Is that really true?
I have found that when you are proactive, children behave better than when we react to situations around them. Plan ahead of time and you will find that if you are in a Primary school classroom you experience a better time with them.
You see, your six to twelve year old still loves to learn, they are not disenchanted yet with teachers and the school setting. It is what you do with them in the classroom that will decide what kind of students they will grow up to be in Secondary school and beyond, unless intervention happens.
Using the cane on children of this age group is probably common practice. It is not an effective way of helping children develop healthy behaviour patterns. If you want your students to acquire good behaviour practices, it is best to try and do the following:
- Make sure your lessons are engaging: Please do not plan a lesson where you are going to be talking for 40 mins non stop and then you spend 20 mins dictating notes. If this is what you are doing then expect lots of trouble, because these children are not ready for this lecture style teaching. They will get bored, idle and you will be cultivating the wrong atmosphere for good behaviour. Fast forward to the teacher who has taken time to prepare an engaging hands on lesson, and then you give them a mini project and get them to write their notes using suggested keywords! These children will be concentrating, engaged and totally loving it. There would be no time for misbehaving.
- How you correct wrong behaviour will impact greatly on classroom discipline, don’t shout at the children. We must as the adults model good behaviour if we want the children to do the right thing. They will do what we do not what we say. Count to 10 do not react to their rudeness or misbehaviour with annoyance, wait to deal with the problem if necessary pull them aside just outside the door to deal with issues. But my advice is to tell the student who erred to see you later.
- Start your classes with stating your expectations for the year. You will get better results and behaviour if the children know what to expect and what you expect. Do not have low expectations. Come up with your classroom rules together. Let them know the consequences of wrong behaviour and make sure you keep to it.
- Give the children responsibilities, ensure that you are promoting independence rather than dependence. This helps to build their self worth, value and confidence. A confident child is happy and at peace with the world, such a child usually will not misbehave, well within reason, we all misbehave sometimes, don’t we?
- Build up a great rapport with the children in your class. They are open at this age to engage with their tutor at this time in their life. Make good use of this and be a great example for them.
- Enable the children to work together and build great team rapport among themselves. This is exactly what they need to grow at this point. Team work is a skill that is needed in the workplace. Teamwork is the best learning strategy and psychological base for the primary school child.
- When they have misbehaved either among themselves or with you, your adult approach to the misbehaviour will help a lot. So do not give in to your annoyance or anger, instead stay calm. Countdown from 10. Instead of getting angry and shouting, you may want to ask you student how you can help them! This would be the last thing they would be expecting. That one question may just stop all the misbehaviour midstream!
- Notice when your students are having a bad day and help them out by giving them a break, rather than expecting them to deal with it and move on, just like that. Empathy helps. Something may be going on at home. Your care at this point may help to save the day and bring your child back to the job at hand, learning.
- Ensure that your children are quiet and ready to listen, do this by giving them enough time to settle down. Good classroom behaviour starts with you the teacher, just being patient can help you in numerous ways. Instead of shouting over the din of students voices to start a new lesson, why don’t you just tell them to be quiet, wait until they take the cue from you and keep quiet? They may not keep quiet immediately but they will do so eventually, especially when their classmates start telling them to keep quiet for you!
- Spend time with the child in informal ways, do not be the teacher they have in the classroom but whom they do not see taking turns during break, circle time, assembly and break time. One of the most crucial times you should try and build a presence with your students is during Lunch break. Don’t miss it. You get to know them better and they engage with you more if you are out there with them. If they know you care about them playing and not just reading and writing, children tend to pay better attention to what you are saying.
I am sure we can add more to this list. Please add your own nuggets and tips in the comment box below.