John Bayley

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“I shan’t say this again...”

John Bayley

Training teachers in behaviour management
John Bayley, Lynda Haddock and Nick Peacey

June 30th is the launch date for a book on training teachers in behaviour management written by John Bayley with Lynda Haddock and Nick Peacey. Lynda Haddock is a senior inclusion manager in Newham with years of experience managing school and pupil support in London local authorities. Nick Peacey is Director of the Special Education Needs Joint Initiative for Training (SENJIT) based at London’s Institute for Education. In the book John and his colleagues draw heavily on their experience of working in schools, as you can see from the following extract:

“We recently had the opportunity to watch a training day as part of which a secondary teacher, a Head of Year, was giving a demonstration to the rest of the staff of the school on how he used the sanctions hierarchy in his room. He told his audience:

“I might have to ask a student to be quiet because she is talking to the other kids around her and causing a disturbance. So I say to her, ‘Amelia, I need you to be quiet and listening actively, otherwise I am not able to introduce the lesson properly’. She might quieten down a bit and then start chatting again. So I say to her calmly, ‘Amelia, I am giving you a warning, I need you to be quiet so I can introduce the lesson’. She then says, ‘Well I don’t care about your warning, you’re picking on me.’ Colleagues, what should I do next?”

Several members of the audience shout out, ‘Give her another warning of course’.

The Head of Year then says. “No. I don’t give her another warning. I do not want her to shift her attention to having a fight with me. I want to keep her focussed on what the expected behaviour is. So I say to her, ‘Amelia, everyone in the class has a right to learn, and that includes you. Right now, you need to quieten down’. She stops talking but ostentatiously kisses her teeth at me. What should I do then?”

Member of audience. “That’s insolence, give her another warning”.

The Head of Year then says, “No, I won’t give her another warning yet. She has complied with my original request. I don’t want to get hung up with her secondary behaviour. Anyway, I think she is just trying to save face after climbing down. I will shift my attention now to another student who is doing the right thing. I will get an opportunity to talk with her about her secondary behaviour later in the day when she does not have an audience. Of course, if she talks out again I will have to move to a second warning. However, I am also going to be alert to see when she starts doing some work because I will want to acknowledge and reinforce that right away.”

The Head of Year is working slowly through the hierarchy of sanctions because he wants to avoid escalating too quickly. Why? Because if the situation escalates too quickly it simply turns into a trial of strength between him and the student. The student’s learning then becomes fixed on how to win the engagement rather than on choosing the outcome with the least cost attached to it. In this situation the teacher needs to keep his or her personality out of it and be a vehicle for the behaviour plan.”

I Shan't Say This Again available from SENJIT (click to visit) at £15 + 1.50 p& p

Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom