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B is for Behaviour

Behaviour for SuccessIf you ask pupils in school, the word ‘behaviour’ is usually associated with detentions, names on the board, being sent to the Head of Year, meetings with parents, being on report, sending to the inclusion ‘unit’ and possibly permanent exclusion.  I’m not criticising the process, I’m just giving a simple example of one way of interpreting the noun.

Moving along to a college environment, if you ask the older students, they would (probably) wish for something different.  So the behaviour' word should change its perception and ought to be encountered in conversations about positive steps and expectations of conduct.  That’s not to say that meetings with parents and/or reports don’t happen, but the focus should be entirely different.

Most young people already know the classroom rules, and join college with the mistaken belief that the charters and routines are Actions Which You Must...

Functional Skills, Mid Teens and Self Esteem

Are Mid Teens an unhappy phase of life?

You are no doubt chasing students to finish off their coursework and preparing yourself for the new influx of students this coming September.  That probably includes juggling your timetables of Functional Skills classes.

Does under-achievement in Maths and English reduce confidence and self esteem?  I think so.  This, in turn, can lead to students being ever more disengaged in these subjects.  Last year, in September, a student of mine said (between her teeth) "I hate you".  I knew this couldn't be true because a) I'd never met her before, and b) I'm lovely!  So I had to conclude that it was Maths that she hated and, by definition, the Maths teacher.  But it goes deeper than that.

According to research undertaken by The Children's Society, (42,000 eight to 17-year-olds were surveyed), those aged 14 and 15 were found to have the lowest sense of wellbeing.   The study also mentions the...

The Late – Absent – Withdrawn cycle

Case study 1 – A day in the life YS, a “late” student

The learner who is late will be acutely aware that he is late.  He knows he will be asked to explain.  This may have happened once this week already because he woke late one morning, struggled to get out of bed and then his bus was a bit late.  He feels uncomfortable about the situation and wonders how he will be able to get away with it today.  He’s not sure whether the teacher will be on time, sometimes she isn’t.

If the teacher is on time, he knows he won’t know what’s happening in class because he’s missed the introduction.  He hopes the teacher is late.  He’s already a bit behind with his work because he didn’t know what he was doing from the last lesson.  His teacher didn’t have time to explain everything to him when...

Whispering and Texting in class

(And that's just the teachers......)

We can learn a lot from 5 year-olds. Due to being in an environment of predominantly 14 - 19 year olds (and adult learners) it’s easy to forget the easy, no-nonsense honesty that comes from these younger students. So when I observed a child asking a teacher why they were using their phone when in class, it struck a chord with me.

And I'll tell you why.

I am regularly in 'class' with a room full of teachers. You'd be surprised how many of them talk over me, use their phones arbitrarily, whisper to each other, and are generally off-task at times.

Why do you think this happens? Well I'm aware that sometimes it's a test; "What will she do" or "How will she deal with it".... but it's genuinely an interesting scenario, given that this low-level disruption is the one topic that I am asked about the...

Whispering and Texting

(And that’s just the teachers……)

We can learn a lot from 5 year-olds. Due to being in an environment of predominantly 14 – 19 year olds (and adult learners) it’s easy to forget the easy, no-nonsense honesty that comes from these younger students. So when I observed a child asking a teacher why they were using their phone when in class, it struck a chord with me.

And I’ll tell you why.

I am regularly in ‘class’ with a room full of teachers. You’d be surprised how many of them talk over me, use their phones arbitrarily, whisper to each other, and are generally off-task at times.

Why do you think this happens? Well I’m aware that sometimes it’s a test; “What will she do” or “How will she deal with it”…. but it’s genuinely an interesting scenario, given that this low-level disruption is the one topic that I am asked...

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