Does good behaviour management = a good teacher?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Paul Huebl Paul Huebl 2 years ago.

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  • #942
    Profile photo of Kyla Casey Kyla Casey 
    Participant
    Points: 495

    I know that there are so many aspects to being a good teacher and driving home from a TRT gig at a cat 2 school I was just getting my head around what I did well and what I need to do differently and had a moment of saying to myself, arrrg, I want to be better at behaviour management, I’m not good at it “yet”. But then I reflected that as early career teacher, I still feel like I am in essence a good teacher which then lead me to wonder…does good behaviour management and being a good teacher go hand in hand? Can you be a good teacher with out being good at behaviour management, can you be good at behaviour management but not be a good teacher?

    I mean, I know the obvious, that if you don’t have good behaviour management skills than you can’t manage your class and therefore you can’t really teach to any great depth and due to that your students can’t learn in any great depth, but beyond the obvious…what are your thoughts?

  • #944
    Profile photo of Selena Woodward Selena Woodward 
    Keymaster

    That’s a fab question. I think you have to be good at relationships with kids. One of the things I noticed when I was building the behaviour management part of reflect growth was how much the examples I had researched focused on the negative behaviours. in my experiences Behaviour management is about so much more than that!! It’s is about relationships not just about controlling kids.

    I have worked in some really challenging schools. In fact that, to be honest, is where i thrive. I love working with ‘challenging kids’. What I came to realise is that those kids needed to build a relationship with me, to trust me and then they could understand and trust me enough to listen to me. One of the best pieces of PD I ever did on behaviour management was with a guy called Peter Hook. He has this awesome book: It’s well worth a read. I’ll bring it on the 20th for you to have a look at.

    Did you have a look at the behaviour management quiz? Did it help you at all with your thinking?

    In answer to your question – I’ve gone off topic a bit – I think it depends on what you think “behaviour management” means. If you think it means keeping kids quiet and ‘on task’ then you could be excellent at that and they wouldn’t learn a thing – except perhaps how to be compliant and possibly scared and oppressed. If you know how to build relationships with kids quickly (and that can be a real challenge on TRT) then you’ll find it’s a bit different.

    I think yes… Good behaviour management and being a good teacher do go hand in hand because relationships with learners are so important. If they trust you they’ll take risks, they’ll make mistakes and they’ll be happy about it because they’re safe enough to learn 🙂

  • #958
    Profile photo of Tammie Meehan Tammie Meehan 
    Participant
    Points: 1089

    I still find it interesting that some teachers and Principals seem to think that if a classroom is silent, then the teacher is obviously doing a great job. They can control the children and therefore, they must be a good teacher. Personally, if anyone came into my classroom, they’d probably think that it was chaos, but I know that the students are collaborating, learning from each other and sharing ideas. I get very worried when I step inside a classroom that is the opposite. What does everyone else think?

    • #962
      Profile photo of Selena Woodward Selena Woodward 
      Keymaster

      Before I move out to Aus I gave up my usual classroom to my replacement and was temporally working from a classroom in the Humanities faculty. They weren’t quite used to my style… lol
      I clearly remember during one lesson, the head of faculty running in to my room because he thought there was a fight happening. What was actually happening was a ‘timed gather’ activity on literacy devices. As he got closer he could hear kids shouting “No! Metaphor!” “Don’t forget Iambic pentameter!” It wasn’t chaos it was beautiful, active, vibrant, passionate learning! 🙂 And yes, it was safe and controlled and collaborative. Silence definitely does not = Learning. Not in my world anyway!! He just stood in the doorway smiling at what he was witnessing.

    • #966
      Profile photo of Markeeta Roe-Phillips Markeeta Roe-Phillips 
      Participant
      Points: 2140

      Oh my goodness yes! I had some visitors in my classroom on Wednesday and was very aware of this very thing. I had arranged for these visitors to come into my room and be the ‘Town Hall Panel’ to whom my students were giving persuasive presentations about energy sources for a new power station. (I had a representative from the community, private and government sectors.) I brought the visitors to my building straight after recess. The students came in rather excited about the presentations and the visitors, but proceeded to set up the room (and themselves) appropriately. To an outsider it looked like chaos I’m sure but it all happened quite smoothly without any input from me. Sure there was laughter and chatting, but within 5 minutes we were sitting down ready to get started. The whole Town Hall process took nearly 2 hours and not once during that time were there any behavioural issues. There was lots of laughter and discussion at various points – all managed by the students – and I’m sure that at least one of my visitors thought that I had no control over the students. That’s my little secret though: I don’t want to control them. I want them to be self-regulating and so to the best of ALL of our abilities I allow them to control themselves. Our learning programme is so varied, and so social, that I simply can’t control every moment of every child’s behaviour. Even if I could, how does that help them in the long run? My class is loud and messy but my students value their learning and enjoy school. I think that’s better than a quiet class of kids who are counting the minutes until the bell rings.

    • #1004
      Profile photo of SWilliams SWilliams 
      Participant
      Points: 212

      Why yes markeeta! I am trying this in my current school. I have many visitors like sso’s etc and I hear them make comments ..but I don’t want to control them, the students. I want them the students to control themselves! Yes we have bad days, but on the whole they are experiencing their learning in a more relevant and engaging way. I hope!!

    • #1005
      Profile photo of SWilliams SWilliams 
      Participant
      Points: 212

      Chaos is good! I was reading on twitter about this… will post it later when I find it. A class doing lots of things is sooo much better than hush and colour quiet class!

  • #970
    Profile photo of Kyla Casey Kyla Casey 
    Participant
    Points: 495

    Thanks for the detailed responses to my question and yes I agree, I do not want a quiet (inactive and compliant class) I want interaction, critical thinking, high productivity and self regulation and I know it is the scaffolding, role modelling and practise (by all) that will get me there. Meanwhile, I agree with Selena it is really hard to do this while TRTing, to get the the time, consistency and continuity to build this with students.

    • #974
      Profile photo of Markeeta Roe-Phillips Markeeta Roe-Phillips 
      Participant
      Points: 2140

      TRTing is a HARD task with very little meaningful thanks but lots of judgement. In so very many ways it’s the hardest teaching I’ve ever done. Unless you are in the same class regularly and have the opportunity to spend time in the room observing how the group operates with their usual teacher it’s almost impossible to run smoothly with the kids being in control.
      Also… Don’t forget that the way we (early career teachers) have been trained is quite different to many more experienced teachers: our behaviour management looks very different and that’s OK. Be prepared to back yourself; you are probably your own toughest critic!

    • #975
      Profile photo of Selena Woodward Selena Woodward 
      Keymaster

      I wish we had a like button. Loved what you just said! 🙂

    • #1006
      Profile photo of SWilliams SWilliams 
      Participant
      Points: 212

      The key to any class is trust! As a TRT it would be hard to gain the bank account to develop the trust! I’m not sure how you can do this over and over. I take my hat of to those who can. I think you have to give a part of you to the students and show you care but mean business. You are there to help their learning for the day. The best trts go with their passion! Show what they like to learn about and the students appreciate this! The good behaviour comes when they are engaged! Use the golden rule — treat others as you would like to be treated. AND always follow through and leave messages for the teacher so they know it was real!

  • #1018
    Profile photo of Paul Clapton-Caputo @sa.gov.au Paul Clapton-Caputo @sa.gov.au 
    Participant
    Points: 304

    I know behaviour management and the ability to fulfill the role of a teacher is a dynamic capability, however there are some things that remain consistent truths. Some of them you have already had shared with you. Rather than a good teacher, we could consider the notion of a connected, lead-learning teacher. The lead learner will align their decisions to their core values and consider them from many views through their digital relationships and conversations, as well as those that are temporal. They are a pedagogue who is disciplined in learning from each experience. They meta-reflect and they consider the long term capability that they are attempting to influence. These are two things that I wish I had know were critical keys to success in this area, many years ago. They understand that a narrative that allows the individual, community and organisation to see themselves in the alternative choice (preferred reality), behaviour, attitude and also to want to realise it. In doing this there is no right or wrong, there is only a considered response. I have made use of the motivational interview technique. A useful model for progressing the ability to assist others to come to their own consolidated understandings. Find it here: http://www.nova.edu/gsc/forms/mi_rationale_techniques.pdf I think a lead learning teacher is able to carefully consider the importance of wellbeing on intrinsic motivation for behavioural change. They work on the notions of generosity, interdependence & independence, agency and mastery. Each of these builds the capacity of the individual to be self-sustaining.

    • #1031
      Profile photo of Selena Woodward Selena Woodward 
      Keymaster

      In this context, I agree with the idea of the children / students seeing the teacher as a leader of and in learning. I also agree that, as a teacher (or lead learner) you will have your own set of values and core-ideals that you will use to create your expectations, boundary points, mannerisms etc. In this case, I think @kyla is dealing with the added difficulty of working with students for a very short period of time. As a TRT it can be hard to quickly demonstrate those values and bring the other learners (the students) on board.

      As i’ve been researching the idea of “behaviour management” I’ve noticed a theme amongst many teachers to link that to the idea of “good behaviour” What you’re saying here is spot on in the sense that Behaviour management is not synonymous with pupils sitting quietly and ‘behaving’ – victorian style! As a TRT I guess there’s a strange expectation that you will be judged on how quiet and controlled the class is rather than on the quality of the learning that is occurring. At least that has been my experience both as a teacher setting the work and as a TRT. Often we don’t set the class the same level of work or have the same expectations for learning when we have a TRT on our plan. I wonder if that is part of the problem?

  • #1032
    Profile photo of Markeeta Roe-Phillips Markeeta Roe-Phillips 
    Participant
    Points: 2140

    The whole way we think about and work with TRTs needs to be re-considered. I agree with Selena that we often don’t have the same expectations of learning when there’s a TRT in the room which is a HUGE problem. (And I’m as guilty as the next person here.) Why? If I as the nominal ‘teacher’ in the room, genuinely view myself as a learner, then exchanging me for another teacher/learner actually provides the students with an opportunity. So why do I lower my expectations with I’m not in the room? Hmmmm… There’s an uncomfortable thought to wrap my head around on this wintery afternoon. Am I presupposing that the lack of relationship to lead to lower level learning? Does this become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do I leave plans that don’t allow the TRT to learn alongside the students, thus doing all of us a disservice? Hmmm… I don’t know.

  • #1058
    Profile photo of Kyla Casey Kyla Casey 
    Participant
    Points: 495

    Selena and Markeeta your points are spot on.

    I am a big supporter of the Stronger Smarter Institute and recently followed a discussion about high expectation schools which suggested that high expectations is not just about having high expectations for our students but high expectations by all for all. As a keen new graduate who sees my role as a TRT as “their teacher for the day” I am not there to baby sit, pass the time or anything less than teach and teach with the high expectations I bring of myself and of my students.

  • #1269
    Profile photo of Paul Huebl Paul Huebl 
    Participant
    Points: 326

    Great comments, all. My thoughts are that students need to be situationally aware. I respect them enough to let them regulate their ‘behaviour’ to match the type of work they are doing. As long as they are getting done what they need to do, movement around the room, talking etc is reasonable. That being said, a classroom is an environment that needs to be regulated and thats where teachers need to ensure they are respecting everyone’s right to learn how they want to, and sometimes this means interfering with the natural flow of the space and setting things in place to help the students.

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