All 2 entries tagged Behaviour

View all 10 entries tagged Behaviour on Warwick Blogs | View entries tagged Behaviour at Technorati | There are no images tagged Behaviour on this blog

May 28, 2019

Being a Trainee at Myton – Meg

I joined Myton this year with the same trepidation that I imagine many Year 7s did – an anxiety about what was to come, but with a great deal of excitement about it too. I joined the drama department at Myton for the first placement of my PGCE and, as with all new endeavours, there was a lot to learn, and a lot to learn quickly.

Myton was an easy school to settle in to – the staff are friendly and welcoming, and the students, for the most part, are well-behaved and engaged, and the drama department especially has wonderfully kind teachers and interested, curious children. Having settled in comfortably (and having only gotten lost twice), I found myself teaching full lessons within a few weeks, and this represented an issue that faces all new teachers: how do I make my lessons exciting, interesting, and engaging, while still teaching my students everything they need to learn?

Perhaps this is easier with drama than it is with other subjects (Bowell and Heap, 2013) – it is active by nature, and practical assessments often inspire less fear than written. The challenge with drama is in how to ensure that learning does take place, and that lessons have purpose, and are not just ‘fun’. I have been teaching for over a month now, and this is still something I am struggling with. Teachers go into teaching to try and make a difference to students’ lives (Schoenfeld, 2009), and I am no different. Because of this, we don’t just want our students to respect us – we want them to like us. As a teacher who is new to the school, who cannot name each pupil on sight, I feel this very keenly – I feel like, to prove myself, to become a part of the community, I must be liked.

It is easy to do this by playing games every lesson, but does that earn respect, and does that ensure teaching? I have seen many teachers at Myton tread this line with such precision; they are both liked and respected, and their lessons are both fun and educational, and to eventually reach this equilibrium is something that I look forward to greatly.

Embedded in all this is behaviour management, and while this is necessary for any and all teachers, it is very daunting for trainees. In discussions with PGCE students based at other schools, it seems that students at Myton, on the whole, are comparatively very well behaved, which I suspect is due in no small part to Myton’s clear and regularly implemented behavioural policies. There’s a lot of positive to take from Myton’s approach to misbehaviour – UPR, ‘Reprimand in Private, Praise in Public’, the subtle taking of a pocket diary as a warning that doesn’t generate a lot of attention – from an outside perspective, these seem to create a school that is respectful and considerate, and it credits a school when poor behaviour is seen as the anomaly. That said, seeing these practices take place in someone else’s classroom, and using them yourself, are two very different things, and while I am grateful not to have had to implement any of the more extreme sanctions so far, I am nervous that my inexperience with them will show, or that, in the moment, I will choose the wrong path. No one goes through life without making mistakes, of course, and if there is an opportunity to try things out, and to make mistakes, it is surely now, when there is considerable support there to help in these situations.

Our university has provided for us a ‘behaviour toolkit’, but without opportunity to put these tools into practice, how these will work with different situations, different students, and different schools, is something that can only be discovered through experience – the innate ability for the teachers that I have observed, to know which course of action is the most appropriate in any one situation, is enviable, and something I aspire to. It seems that this feeling of inability to know what to do when confronted with a situation that requires behaviour management is not uncommon, and is not new.

In 1993, Merrett and Wheldall suggested that behaviour management was not a priority for establishments that train teachers, and while much has changed in the last 25 years, it certainly feels like there’s an element of ‘behaviour management being the school’s domain’ currently. Learning techniques that are so specific to one school, however, makes it tricky to jump right into another school, running the risk of implementing the wrong technique at the wrong time in a new setting; if I have learnt anything so far at Myton, it is that consistency through BfL is key (Rowe, 2006).

I am grateful that I was placed at Myton, not only for the relatively short commute, but for the sense of community here, the constant support, and the feeling that my contributions to both teaching and the school as a whole have been valued and appreciated. I have already overcome many hurdles, lost some battles, and am ready and eager to face more.


Pamela Bowell & Simon Heap (2013) Planning Process Drama (Oxon: Routledge)

Frank Merrett & Kevin Wheldall (1993) ‘How Do Teachers Learn to Manage Classroom Behaviour? A study of teachers’ opinions about their initial training with special reference to classroom behaviour management’, Educational Studies, 19:1, 91-106

Don Rowe (2006) ‘Taking responsibility: school behaviour policies in England, moral development and implications for citizenship education’, Journal of Moral Education, 35:4, 519-531

Alan H. Schoenfeld (2009) ‘Why Do We Teach?’, Kappa Delta Pi Record, 46:1, 26-29

February 14, 2018

An example of how research can benefit your practice – Vicki

As a newly qualified teacher, research has been key in helping me to develop my practice. I have found that research can be particularly useful when trying to resolve issues that arise in the classroom.

For example, as we progressed towards October half-term, I found that behaviour in my classes started to slip. Students would enter the classroom in drips and drabs and were slow to settle. Often, a quarter of the lesson would go by and only the register had been completed. I was giving out over 10 warnings every lesson, and adding time to each lesson for all students. It was clear that my students were not motivated and I was concerned that the students were not progressing as they should.

Although I had asked for advice from members of staff at the school, the various strategies that I had tried were not effective in the long-term. At this point, I decided to turn to research to help me. As teachers, we often focus on the behavioural problems in front of us, not the cause. I needed to find a way to improve behaviour, by tackling the motivational issues that were causing them in the first place.

Research showed me that too often, there is a focus on what not to do in class, as opposed to what to do (Becker, Madsen, Arnold and Thomas, 1967). This is reinforced by more recent evidence, showing that when we punish a person for behaving badly, we leave it up to them to discover how to behave well (Maag, 2001). According to Kaplan, Gheen and Midgley (2002), emphasising mastery goals in class reduces the likelihood of students disrupting lessons. Positive reinforcement can be used to manage classes and enhance skill performance (McLeod, 2015). Students take rules and responsibilities more seriously when there is a common approach, from which they benefit.

I introduced a reward based system called Class Dojo with my groups. Students can be awarded for positive actions, but points can also be deducted for negative behaviour. I believed that this system would have three main outcomes. Firstly, I hoped it would motivate students. The incentive of parental contact for students with the most points led to healthy competition within my classes. As well as this, my expectations would be reinforced every lesson, as Kaplan et al. (2002) had suggested. Each time a point was given out, students would know what it had been given for and why. Finally, I wanted there to be an attention on positive behaviours, as opposed to negative.

Very quickly I found that this system was having a positive impact on my lessons. The number of warnings that I gave out each lesson was reduced, as was the number of detentions. I rarely added minutes to the end of the lesson. Students were more enthusiastic and willing to contribute their ideas. In terms of data, most students reached or exceeded their end of year targets. This demonstrates that the use of a rewards based system can be a success. I ran a survey to see what impact using Class Dojo had on my students. It was clear that they valued receiving positive points, and felt more motivated in class based on its use.

To conclude, this is an example of how research can be used effectively in the classroom to resolve a problem. By researching an issue and trialling different strategies, teachers can become reflective practitioners that use evidence-informed ideas to develop their classroom practice. Teachers need to constantly evolve to meet their pupils needs, and research is fundamental in achieving this.


Becker, W.C., Madsen, C.H., Arnold, C.R. and Thomas, D.R. (1967) The Contingent Use of Teacher Attention and Praise in Reducing Classroom Behaviour Problems. The Journal of Special Education 1(3): pp 287-307.

Kaplan, A., Gheen, M. and Midgley, C. (2002) Classroom goals structure and student disruptive behaviour. British Journal of Educational Psychology 72(2): pp 191-211.

Maag, J.W. (2001) Rewarded by Punishment: Reflections on the Disuse of Positive Reinforcement in Schools. Exceptional Children 67(2): pp 173-186.

McLeod, S. (2015) Skinner – Operant Conditioning [online]. Available at:

April 2024

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Mar |  Today  |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30               

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • Very interesting, thank you for sharing. Great CPD reflection. by Joel Milburn on this entry
  • Hi Lucy, Thank you for sharing the highs and lows of diverse assessments. I hope you have inspired o… by Anna Tranter on this entry
  • Hello Lucy, I totally agree with everything you have said here. And well done for having the energy … by Natalie Sharpling on this entry
  • Thank you for setting up this Learning Circle. Clearly, this is an area where we can make real progr… by Gwen Van der Velden on this entry
  • It's wonderful to read of your success Alex and the fact that you've been able to eradicate some pre… by Catherine Glavina on this entry

Blog archive

RSS2.0 Atom
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder