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Managing Behaviour in Secondary Classrooms: Part Six

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Jon is a Secondary Teacher from Ontario who is currently working in London schools through Protocol Education. Read his Behaviour Management Blog.

Prologue to Part VI

Since this is the last Crux blog I had a particularly clever prologue lined-up but I scrapped it because it felt too pretentious – like a swine turning up its moist snout at a trough of slop. It involved a talking skull in Hamlet’s hands and some sort of message about pessimistic people being just so 1984.

I decided to travel the high road – instead explaining what I was ‘going’ to talk about in condescending, shaking-of-the-head terms, especially relating that I was even intent on (in the earlier drafts, mind you) dropping an f-bomb aimed squarely at the reader. Yes, because I wanted to rankle the ranks, tickle the tiger, steal a tuppence from the audience, enrage the engaged, provoke the ol’ bloke’s goat on a boat, make mad one who was glad, spoil the foil and soil the gold coil, ignite a fight, disturb the herd, be an ass to the mass and Jeffrey’s sea bass, and bring much anger to the stranger – just as students will. Have I succeeded?

Man, I hope so! Whew.

Behaviour Saga Part VI

I managed to secure the 4th Behaviour Management Crux but it came at a terrible cost: the dodgy dealer demanded the aforementioned Game of Donkey (I’m sorry!) from me, and I gave it. I cannot relate how this happened just yet, because it gets much worse.

To secure the 5th and Final Crux, I was off to see the wizard at 10 Upping Street and confident I would find sympathy – false has this confidence proven. Sympathy cannot be ‘giving up’ one of my pet rabbit’s hind feet (doesn’t seem so lucky to me now!) nor the quarter of an inch that was shorn off the luscious golden hair that spills from my very rare and to be honest, rather freakish pet hamster from the Seven Isles of Osiris – her name is Isis and now she can’t sleep at night. 

Sigh, the lengths I go to for educational excellence. Yet, be stalwart me hearty maties! If all goes as planned, we shall depart this dung-worthy port by dawn’s early light!

The Fifth and Final Crux Explained!

The 5th crux is: Consequences for Poor Behaviour must be Clear & Consistent. Imagine another student now, Lil’ Johnny for tradition’s sweet sake, and he despises English lessons and every lesson, especially when his crush Annette is watching. Imagine the teacher only really ‘moans’ at Lil’ Johnny when he really kicks it up a notch. I’m talking throwing pencils, audibly and obviously dropping f-bombs, lounging ridiculously low, getting up and walking around, being double-cheeky with you, etc. What is he to think when suddenly the teacher disciplines him harshly for low-level misbehaviour such as chatting during individual work, dropping his pencil often, or making strange noises now and then?

He will be very confused and this will not help your cause. You must imagine Lil’ Johnny is a new student who has never been read the riot act – and I mean every day. Be clear and consistent with your students, day to day, or your authority, to them, will mean nothing at all.

Epilogue – Back to the Beginning

You are now an honorary First Mate(ss) of Behaviour Management, but now you must remember to differentiate your behaviour management just as you differentiate your lessons – I’m talking about lingua franca again. Recall that the Cruxes are generic, a basic foundation upon which you must construct an environment that is conducive to safe, happy, and constructive learning for your young people. Yippledee (see Behaviour Saga Part I) may not be a real language, but you can make it as real as possible by getting to know every student’s personal lingua franca and in the process, I am sure you will learn something extra about yourself, too.

Too cheesy? Well, too bad. HMS Quaff the Pierian Spring has cargo loaded in her deep hull, main sails are raised, nearly all hands are on deck, the destination has been commissioned and all the mooring lines are being flung into the salty waters by the dockhands on land. Where are we going?

Why, to the Isles of Protocol, of course.

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Tags: Jon, Teacher, Canadian Teacher, OTT, Overseas Trained Teacher, Behaviour Management, Secondary, Students, Pupils

Category: Australian Teachers


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