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Behaviour Management

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Introduction

FOUNDATION DEGREE FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS 2004/2005 PED02037976 Module 4 Behaviour Management "Effective behaviour management is essential to the smooth running of a school and in the creation of an environment where everyone's rights and responsibilities are addressed. A balance between fundamental rights and responsibilities is at the heart of behaviour management" (Rogers, 2000 p.12). The school system and the community of people that constitute the school need to be the focus for intervention and change. As Rutter (1979) argued, positive and measurable outcomes in behaviour and learning can occur apart from the socioeconomic conditions of the children in school. Progress will be limited if the schools attitude and stance is "How can we be expected to develop good learning and behaviour when we have got kids like these in this environment." A recent survey reports that the majority of teachers consider 'home background' to be the most significant factor in 'problem behaviour' (Croll and Moses, 1985). The classroom climate has a huge impact on pupils motivation and attitudes to learning. A study by Wragg and Wood (1989) emphasises the importance of the first few lessons with a new class in establishing positive behaviour and fostering pupils intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards learning. Jones and Jones (1998) formula - Motivation = expectation of success x expected benefits of success x work climate. Kyriacou (2001) claims that the classroom itself should be purposeful, task-orientated, relaxed warm and supportive with emphasis on the pupils and their learning. The appearance and layout of the class is equally conducive to positive attitudes and should facilitate the activities taking place. Glasser (1986) Johnson and Johnson (1991) Johnson et al (1993) observed the positive influences that peers have on each others learning. Gooderow, (1993) and Kohn (1996) claimed if children felt supported at school and trusted their peers, they would enjoy it more, value their l PED02037976 learning and put in more effort. ...read more.

Middle

comments. "It is a difficult task to maintain the balance between giving support and promoting independence. This involves being clear about your expectations and firm in your directions without pressurising the child. However, sensitivity should tell you if and when to intervene." (Lorenz 1999, p19) Child A does not enjoy school and seems to regard it as an alien, hostile place. His fears and insecurities seem to create his defensive and aggressive responses. He refuses to accept the authority of adults and sets out to show his rejection by refusing to cooperate. Therefore, in my opinion, the class teacher finds it hard to like Child A and most of the attention she gives him is negative and critical. He senses the unfavourable perception and acts accordingly knowing that the most effective way of getting attention is to misbehave. Unless Child A has got one to one support within the classroom, the content of the lesson doers not always allow him to contribute ideas from his own knowledge and experience. This makes him feel disaffected and alienated and he refuses to work due to boredom, resentment and frustration. He is often completely bewildered by instructions and does not have the literacy skills to understand the printed material. I feel he disguises this lack of understanding by work avoidance tactics i.e. disruptive behaviour. PED02037976 He is acutely aware of looking stupid or getting into trouble for not completing his work. The classroom is quite light and airy but tends to be overcrowded which makes it easy for Child A to distract others or to be easily distracted himself. He often chooses to sit on his own because he expects to fail and does not want his peers to be aware. He does not work independently and prefers to just 'give up'. In our classroom the school rules are displayed prominently and all resources are easily accessible and clearly labelled. Although there is not a lot of space, there is room to move around the classroom easily. ...read more.

Conclusion

The day before the first day of term in September this year, we had an INSET day on Behaviour Management. It was lead by Dot Hully and was highly informative. She emphasised the importance of setting classroom rules in the first few weeks of term (Rogers 2000). As a result we spent nearly all of the first week going over class rules with the children and reiterating the school policy. We undertook the decision as a whole school in order to achieve consistency (Emmer et al 1997, Evertson et al 1997). Unfortunately, as with a lot of things in life, everyone starts off with good intentions but consistency proves difficult, especially if support is not always evident and children are quick to learn that a final warning doesn't always mean a visit to the Head teacher. PED02037976 On a more positive note, we have numerous reward incentives in school to promote positive behaviour. i.e. house points, merit stickers, excellent stickers, Head teachers awards, and Prize Giving at the end of the year. Teachers are always careful to choose children that have made the most progress, not just the academic ones. As I mentioned earlier, Child A receiving a level 4 in science, was a huge progression for him and really boosted his self esteem. As a Classroom Assistant, I try to remain positive at all times and be a good role model both in the classroom and for my own children at home. This is not always easy and I sometimes find it difficult to remain calm and unruffled when children are shouting and swearing at me. However, I realise the importance of establishing a positive ethos in the classroom. I am in the process of achieving HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) which involves whole class teaching, initially for one afternoon a week. My studies during the course of this module have enabled me to be more confident when assessing behaviour management strategies and fostering self esteem. I reflect on recent studies, in order to create a climate conducive to learning. 23rd October 2004 ...read more.

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