Well of course schools expect good behaviour — who in their right mind wouldn’t? So why aren’t they getting good behaviour then?
Well, when faced with solving kids’ behaviour problems in schools and homes a bit of investigation as to why the problems have arisen has to be done…
Actually, there’s not much to investigate because it’s pretty clear why kids’ behave badly – the adults just aren’t managing behaviour in a way that enables them to get the results they want and expect…
In truth, you can expect whatever you want but if you don’t do things the right way then the results are bound to be disappointing. When talking about kids’ behaviour, it’s too convenient for the adults who aren’t doing things correctly to blame their lack of results on other factors, namely the kids…
Ok, let’s be fair here — the adults really believe they’re managing the behaviour in the right way… They would, wouldn’t they? Why? Because they haven’t had behaviour management training or advice that tells them they should be doing things differently.
Teachers and head teachers frequently say, ‘We have the highest expectations of children’s behaviour but they are still behaving badly.’
I’m sure they do have high expectations, but unfortunately it’s all in their heads — it’s all thoughts. Unfortunately, the expectations just being in their heads isn’t enough. They think they’re on the right tracks but they’re not… It’s all thoughts and no action…
So, what’s the evidence for this?
It’s really simple… If behaviour management is done correctly then the kids’ behaviour is as the adults expect the majority of the time. The bottom line is this — if kids aren’t behaving the way you want then you’re not doing it right… Poor behaviour means you’ve not acted in the right way. You’ve not acted at the right time and haven’t been sufficiently consistent either in your actions or your expectations.
Ok, it’s a good start to have what you expect in your head — that’s where plans formulate, but that’s no good unless you back it all up with some action. Making sure it’s the right action is pretty important too! This principle is as relevant whether you’re talking about an individual child (problem child or not), a class or a whole school.
However good intentioned, all the thoughts in the world won’t replace some pretty decisive and effective action when managing kids’ behaviour!
It’s pretty much the same as wanting to be confident and competent in any skill area. You have to know where you want to be –in this case you want kids behaving better. You have to know what action to take — have knowledge of effective behaviour management strategies. Then you need to practise — keep doing it consistently. You do this until you can do it properly — then you’re less stressed! You can then get the results you want — the kids behaving well. It’s not difficult to imagine an event happening in the way you want but you’ve achieved nothing until you’ve put actions in place of thoughts.
Imagine you are fronting a rock band or playing football like Beckham! Just shut your eyes and it can happen — purely in an imaginary existence though! Fortunately, successfully managing kids’ behaviour is a great deal easier than those largely impossible dreams! But have no doubts you have to take action and not just imagine the outcomes!
Successfully managing kids’ behaviour is the same as any other skill. You need to know what to do and practise and, if you’re not seeing good results then you’re not doing it very well. That may sound harsh, but it’s true!
Behaviour management strategies that work effectively have to be practised. You’ll know when you’re doing it well because it looks and feels to be far less effort than previously when things weren’t going as well. There was effort going on before, of course — but now it will be the right sort of effort. Effort that is well placed and effective.
Once you’ve got your class behaving well then you revert to a maintenance phase of behaviour management so that you keep up the standards you’ve established. Adults never stop managing kids’ behaviour — they constantly need guidance and adult support. That’s an adult’s role in life and their duty to any kids in their care.
It’s not difficult to do. Effective behaviour management strategies are simple and easy to implement. Anyone can learn to manage children’s behaviour effectively and confidently. You owe it to yourself and the children you deal with, whether you’re a teacher or a parent.