2. Responding to inappropriate behaviour

Before looking at some strategies it is important to first think about your own behaviour and how you respond to inappropriate pupil behaviour. This is often the key to deciding which changes you may have to make and the types of strategies to use. The choices teachers make in responding to pupils behaviour are crucial in influencing the choices pupil make about how they will behave. It’s not just about responding to inappropriate behaviour: it’s also about creating conditions that will encourage positive behaviour.

Table of Contents

Appropriate reactions?

Look at the list below of teacher reactions to inappropriate classroom behaviour. Make a note of which ones apply to you.

When a pupil or student behaves inappropriately, I...

  • ...display anger, shout or scream, cry
  • ...fail to react or pretend I haven't seen or heard anything
  • ...remain passive
  • ...act inconsistently, I can be unfair
  • ...threaten actions, but do not usually follow through
  • ...make hurtful comments or I am sarcastic
  • ...argue or am hostile
  • ...apply sanctions
  • ...leave the classroom
  • ...send for another member of staff
  • ...send the pupil o rstudent out of the classroom
  • ...tend to react rather than be proactive
  • ...use a discipline plan
  • ...follow the school's behaviour policy and guidelines
  • ...manage the situation calmly
  • ...respond according to the level of inappropriate behaviour (low ,medium, high)
  • ...overreact according the level of behaviour
  • ...use a planned, proactive professional approach

You should now have a clearer idea of how you respond to poor behaviour. We will come back to these results later when we look at what types of strategies to use.

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