Behaviour Management & Inclusion

Challenging behaviour in the classroom is arguably the most stressful issue for teachers, all that hard planning and preparation for the lesson to be ruined by bad behaviour.

“If only I could get rid, life would be so much easier!”

Angry childA phrase often heard in staffrooms right across the globe.

Some children are described as ‘unteachable’

However, there are periods of time when a child is engaged with their work. The skill is to extend those ‘islands of calm’.

With the pressures of examination targets, value added and appraisals, can teachers afford the luxury of spending an in-ordinate amount of time and effort on the few when their needs are outweighed by the needs of the many? The argument is a persuasive one and one which most schools decide against the needs of the few, often for reasons of pragmatism.

  • 75% of pupils excluded have Special Educational Needs (DfE 2010)

The tools at the disposal of teachers today are few when faced with challenge in the classroom, gone are the days when sanctions that ‘bite’ could be applied. Permanent exclusion would seem to be the only option, but is it?

It is my assertion that no child is ‘unteachable’. It is a case of finding the most appropriate approach, one that meets the child’s needs at that time.

“The best behaviour management strategy is effective teaching and learning”

For many, behaviour management is largely reactive in nature but much can be done that is pro-active to prevent any escalation of disruptive behaviour. Children in need often express that need in a manner that is anti-social. If you can learn to recognise and understand the ‘language of need’ then you are on your way to becoming more inclusive.

“I don’t why they become teachers they don’t even ******* like kids!” (13 year old girl)

Teachers can facilitate inclusion if they;

  • Enable
  • Engage
  • Expect
  • Empathy
  • De-Escalation
  • Exit