Author Archives: Sarah Vaughan

Positive steps in behaviour? I hope so

Well to begin with I’d like to make it clear that i know this is not rocket science, but I have been encouraged at how this has worked with a set of pupils and thought I would share.

To set the scene: I am a CDT teacher and sometimes our department can attract the most…challenging of individuals! This year this is very much the case as I have a S4 class of ¬†boys who are challenging me more than I could have imagined. Many different needs are presented in the class which makes every day different! I would definitely say we have been on a roller coaster so far this year and last week was one of the worst downs we had had in a long time!! Infact I would say we were off the rails completely.

What caused me to act?: Last week the behaviour in the class reached an all time low and I felt that it was getting close to not being a safe working environment for anyone in the workshop. I have these boys three times a week and knew that something needed to change.

Plan of attack: After discussing the situation with other members of my department I decided to remove the class from the workshop and attempt to address why they thought the behaviour was as it was. I talked to them honestly about how I felt and why I felt let down. I then got each pupil to carry out the following exercise.

Each pupil had to consider the steps they took individually to help/sabotage the situation. All of the pupils completed it in silence (eventually) and to my surprise they took part very honestly.

Some outcomes:

I’ve never thought about my behaviour like this.”

“I guess I didn’t do anything that helped the situation.”

“My attitude in general sabotaged the situation.”

“I guess my behaviour made it difficult for others to act responsibly too”

These are just a few of the quotes I have selected from their very honest answers. The boys were forced to think about how they had taken steps for the better or for the worse in the class. This made them consider in the long run how small decisions in the classroom make big impacts.

I have had the boys three times since this and so far (fingers crossed) they are acting more responsibly. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t fixed the situation but I can see them thinking about their actions before or as they carry them out.

I guess I am just encouraged that my steps to show the boys respect and talk to them as adults about what the problems are have paid off. The class took part in what was a different behaviour exercise than they have been part of before and seemed to relate to it.

I’m sure this is pretty elementary stuff to most of you out there but I was encouraged so thought I would share (after been encouraged to blog!!) This is my first post so please excuse me!!