If your classroom behaviour management isn’t working, and the behaviour in class is stopping learning, don’t give up.  Too often I hear people say “I tried that, it didn’t work” or “I’m never doing that again”.

But let’s face it, not every single one of your techniques will work for each of your students.  There are various tactics to be played out for different scenarios.  If you really are of the belief that there’s nothing else you can do with THAT class, you should get your coat and go.

Assuming that you’re willing to start each new class as a clean slate, forgetting previous misdemeanours, I recommend digging deep into your behaviour toolkit and looking for a separate approach.

It might be a strategy that you’ve used many years ago but now have put to one side.  Or it could be that you’ve had a recommendation but haven’t yet engaged with the idea, or shelved it and forgotten.

Often, the thing that drives us almost to the point of despair are the low level behaviours which will be your cue that learning is not taking place.  To gain back confidence and control, this is where you should start.

In his book “Hitting the Hard Class”, Bill Rogers uses tactical pausing to manage students who are talking over the teacher.  Here’s an extract from that part of the book:

Two students are chatting while the teacher is teaching up-front.  She looks at them and says,

“Sarjam [pause], Sarjam [pause]” – she has to repeat because he is not attending – “and Milan [pause], I can’t teach while you’re talking.” This describes what she sees as well as her need.  That is sometimes enough. 

She may add a behavioural direction.  “I need you to face this way and listen [pause]. Thanks.”

Delivered with calm, and with an expectation that your request is followed through, this approach will bring greater gains than you might imagine.

For other ideas, click through to other sections of my blog:

Managing work avoidance techniques https://can-do-courses.co.uk/work-avoidance-techniques/

My Students Talk Over me (and other scenarios) https://can-do-courses.co.uk/my-students-talk-over-me-and-other-scenarios/

What Do I Do When My Students….  https://can-do-courses.co.uk/what-do-i-do-when-my-students/

Please do share some of your strategies in the comments box below.


Behaviour in class