How to Successfully Manage Children\\\'s Behaviour in School - Not Lik
May 13, 2010 Classroom Management 2737 Views
Multitudes of so called experts sit around tables at endless meetings, pontificating about children's appalling behaviour in schools. Pearls of wisdom abound, they write a report or two and then disappear to the next meeting... Frequently they produce identical reports for different children and sometimes the reports are so identical that the previous child's name remains on the report! Believe me, it happens...
A couple of days ago a very reliable source mentioned that one of the 'sitting around the table in meetings people' actually had the courage to (or was it foolishness?) put their 'expertise' into action and they volunteered to support a very young, troublesome child in a school...
So, what happened? Sorry to disappoint you but it wasn't exactly successful -- far from it... It was disastrous... Stop laughing - poor 'Mr Manager' was traumatised!
A growing problem is the increasingly young age of children presenting major behaviour problems in schools. My classes can't take children under the age of 7. It used to happen and was very successful. But, it was stopped as it was considered inappropriate for that age group to share an environment with youngsters up to the age of 16. The reason was valid but the facility was successful and is increasingly requested by schools... We just can't give them what they want.
So, there are a number of very young children whose behaviour is causing great concern and school can't get the support they need.
Another problem is the lack of adults with the expertise to address children's extreme behaviour. A great number of people think they know how to manage children's behaviour effectively, but when faced with the reality, they can't do it. Why not? It's because they really don't know what to do or what action to take -- they haven't been taught so it's not surprising really, is it?
Before entering the world of managing children's challenging behaviour I thought I could do it, but quickly realised I was totally clueless! I had a lot to learn, but found to my horror that there was nobody to teach me. People faced with children's behaviour problems need to be taught effective strategies, skills and confidence. Unfortunately for children and adults in schools, there aren't many people around with the necessary skills to share with others.
There are many teachers and support workers like our Mr Manager who think they can manage behaviour but they can't! It's not clear why he volunteered -- probably it was the lack of someone else to put in the firing line - but off he went to support this 5 year old kid for the day...
The child ran rings around him. He refused to comply with instructions... He was aggressive, confrontational and abusive... At play time he started a fight in the playground with other children... He ran away, grabbed another child's glasses and broke them... And all this was under the watchful eye of an adult! At best this was an adult's lack of behaviour management skill. But, worse than this was that it reinforced in the child's mind that he could behave badly with no resulting consequences. He'd met yet another ineffective adult who couldn't stop his mayhem and destruction. It was a disaster...
This tale was told with a smile but I hope it made this manager realise the importance of skill and expertise when dealing with children's behaviour problems and the serious need for effective behaviour management training for all adults in schools.
The chances are that the official version of this day's incidents will be that the adult was effectively managing the child's behaviour but failed because there's something wrong with the child -- that's what usually happens.
So many adults in these situations find children's behaviour difficult to manage. Those who are brave enough admit to having difficulties and get help. There's no need to struggle with children's behaviour. The strategies you need to use to be successful aren't difficult to learn. Some basics, used consistently give you immediate results. Keep using the strategies and they soon become second nature with you becoming increasingly confident and effective.