As a trainee teacher on placement and often for most NQT’s the number of behaviour strategies you have in your toolkit is crucial. To have a variety of techniques to use depending on the student or students you are dealing with, the situation and environment is key to the amount of teaching and learning that takes place in your environment. 

I remember in my NQT year my Head of Department told me that I would use “this much!” [imagine hands as wide as you can emphasizing “LOADS”] time in my first term or two reinforcing behaviour and expectations, and “this much!” [now imagine hands close together as if cupping a ball just larger than a tennis ball kind of size] of “actual teaching”. What was I letting myself in for? It certainly was a ‘challenging’ school in terms of behaviour that I was now part of as an NQT. I had to learn fast.

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With the support of an experienced and fantastic department I made it through my NQT year [without too many tears!] and gathered a big bag of behaviour for learning strategies. There were still the lessons I was apprehensive about but as we know teenagers can be a funny bunch at times, they would always love to test your patience! I’m certainly not saying I had cracked it by the end of this year but the arm gestures of how much teaching and learning that had taken place was getting closer to the size of a beach ball!

This week in our #15MinForum, Head of Secondary, Iain Sallis went through strategies and techniques, and suggested subtle changes for colleagues to embed in their classroom to create a sense of calmness, whilst increasing the learning opportunities and reducing levels of frustration for colleagues.

As an experienced practitioner you often use behaviour for learning strategies without even realizing what you are doing but the forum refreshed the language and acknowledgement of what we can do in situations that do arise. Bringing this to the forum has given less experienced colleagues information about the importance of routine, rules, relationships and rewards together with strategies to take away and trial in their own environments.

Behaviour for learning takes time to crack, even the most experienced of us are challenged at times. Habits, students and situations are ever-changing, so the best advice is to keep adding to your toolkit so there is something in there to grab hold of when you next need something to keep the teaching and learning “this much!” [gesture shows hands as wide as possible emphasizing “LOADS”!]

See Iain’s 15 min Forum BfL for further details. Credit to Bill Rogers.


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