Here's a transcript of the video (if you aren't able to watch/listen)
Some things are really troubling me, because of a couple of articles I’ve read recently. It started with some data regarding the number of teachers leaving the profession, and recently an article in TES which said that a teacher had written in to say that as she “slumped on her computer she realised she couldn’t go on any more”.
That strikes a chord with me. I’m a teacher and I know how difficult it is, the way I developed my teaching career was a long slow burn but I loved every minute of it. The last several years were very full on.
What I know is that when I decided to leave and follow my path, I didn’t leave the education sector, I stayed with what I knew, the system that I love so much, and found a way to...
Luke was feeling fidgety. He knew there were 2 more hours to get through, and it was hot in class and because of his ADHD he was already wriggling and squirming. His leg had started jiggling and the rhythm was pleasing to his active brain, calming it a little bit.
He tried to retain some control, but he just couldn’t stop himself from twiddling with his lanyard. Flip, flip, twizzle it went. Over and over again. “Ahh, that’s better” he thought.
But his teacher saw this and told him to stop, which he did.
15 long minutes later the lanyard was out again. This time, it was snatched out of his hand and he was left wondering what his Plan B would be.
At this moment, Luke started to slip away mentally from this class.
Research has shown that people who display signs of ADHD can concentrate better when they’re allowed to fidget.
Teach and juggle behaviour?
Sometimes I ponder on certain circumstances which occur in class, and many times my thoughts wander off “what would I have done?”
It’s hard to think on your feet, to teach AND juggle behaviour – but it’s what we have to do, right? After all, if you get the behaviour in check the teaching becomes easier.
So why is it that for some people it is pretty obvious how to manage low level disruption, yet for others it’s just impossible?
In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I regularly observe some adult responses that send a student onto the trajectory to orbit in nano-seconds. Nobody wants, needs or likes this.
I call this ‘parental mode’. I believe it stems from a fixed mindset about how we expect our students to behave, and then take the view that the student has directly attacked us when things don’t go well.
25% of teachers are leaving!
Last year, whilst speaking at several conferences, I met a large number of teachers who were just beginning their careers. I loved their passion, ambition and positivity.
Those I met who have been working in the education system for a while were not quite so enamoured, and that includes Further Education.
In fact headline figures from the 2016 workforce census highlights a worrying trend that a quarter of teachers are leaving the profession within 3 years of joining it. These statistics do not include FE lecturers, but I know it would show a similar story.
This means that there is a constant demand for new staff, trained teams, specialisms and an understanding of SEN in the mainstream classroom.
But worse than that, there are many highly trained educators looking for a new career!
A number of articles written in 2016 outlined teacher despair:
“I just want to do what I love without all the...
Behaviour in class
Skinner’s operant conditioning – positive and negative reinforcement – comes into play in many areas of our lives. Often without us even realising it!
Negative reinforcement is behaviour which is strengthened by stopping, removing or avoiding an undesirable or unfavourable outcome.
But to make this work in your classroom, consistency is the key. Recognise your own behaviour, do you sometimes negatively reinforce?
What’s the difference between punishment and negative reinforcement?
One mistake is when you confuse negative reinforcement with punishment. I’ve had many conversations with teachers who say they are ‘powerless’ because detentions and sanctions don’t always work. But this is punishment, NOT negative reinforcement.
Negative reinforcement has several strands. It can involve a negative situation which strengthens a behaviour, or it might be that you pre-empt a negative by putting a plan in place to reduce the impact of...