Cycles of Negative Behaviour

Behaviour management strategies that allow you to win the fire fight of day to day teaching are essential for survival. However order to thrive in challenging classroom a more strategic approach is also needed.

Make a point of observing one your student whose behaviour causes you concern in sharp focus. Can you identify and map his negative behaviour patterns. How do they begin? Lateness, frustration with the work, lack of equipment, tiredness, wanting to move around etc. Can you identify how the cycle progresses and how it repeats or ebbs or crescendos? With your map think strategically about how and when you are going to intervene during the cycle. Consider the following example:

Student does not listen to the instructions – does not understand the work – looks for a distraction – fumbles in bag – finds mobile phone – send covert text messages – puts coat on – stands up – asks to leave the room.

When we examine the behaviours in a pattern the interventions become obvious; when we are in the middle of a busy lesson it is all too easy to be distracted by the immediate behaviours. Having a plan to divert or halt the cycle before walking in gives you more chance of achieving real changes over time.

© Paul Dix 2007

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