Thursday, 18 June 2015

Using observation to sharpen your behaviour management!

It's too easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your behaviour management techniques - but observing other teachers can help shake it up
It's easy to get stuck in a groove with behaviour management: we become accustomed to our routines, which is why we call them routines after all.
This is how we often work as teachers; we scamper into a place that offers us the illusion of security and, unless we are vigilant, we become residents there, rather than tourists. Here are some simple ideas for shaking up your assumptions, and actually getting better at behaviour management rather than simply treading water.

1. Observe another teacher

This is one of the best things you can do with your training time. We don’t learn from books half as well as we do from watching teaching in action, and then doing it ourselves. Watch a teacher you admire, or one who is renowned for good control. Watch what they do. Take notes on nothing but this feature of the lesson; what do the kids do; how does the teacher react/ pro-act? What happens next? Watch as though you were a scientist, looking for evidence, but don't go in with any assumptions. What works? That's all that matters.

2. Have a conversation with the teacher

Talk to them about what happened, and ask for their perspective on what happened. As an adult, your education should be a partnership with the coach/observed teacher. Your opinion has validity, and should be measured against the person you observed. Marry their insights to your own. If they're good, they'll realise that their way may not work for you, so be sensitive to that possibility. What is it about them that makes their way work for them? What would work for you?

3. Do it

Take away perhaps two, three central resolutions or techniques from the lesson, not any more - no one can implement too many novelties into their routine simultaneously. Have the same teacher observe you, and have a conversation about it later.
If you want to take it up a level, why not have yourself filmed and then see how you actually teach, as opposed to how you think you do. You will be, I guarantee, amazed, horrified and possibly intrigued. It's one of the best and bravest things you can do.

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