In most schools I know of, there seems to always be a lack of organisation in the behavioural system. Bearing in mind behaviour is one of the largest factors in school success and teacher well being..
Why don’t schools nail behaviour?
I’ll explain what I mean by a behaviour system. A behaviour system is something that means that wherever certain behaviours are exhibited by a student there is a clear, published process that is somehow ‘documented’ and with a specific consequence or consequences.
The important aspects are:
- Everyone knows that if X happens, then Y happens. It’s published, visible and referred to.
- Everyone follows the system (and if not professional discussions are had). No-one has their own rules in their classroom.
- Any exceptions are made clear under the lines of fairness not equality
- The ‘paperwork’ or e-paperwork are manageable, useful, make sense and don’t seriously increase the workload to the extent that it’s easier to ignore the behaviour than deal with it.
- If paper/forms/report cards are used they are clear,minimal,published to all, link into the whole school system and most importantly there is an easily accessible supply around the school, available at all times.
- There are clear stages where a range of people may be involved (in 99% of cases) but each stage must be completed satisfactorily before the next kicks in.
- The system covers all aspects of school policy where action needs to be taken e.g if school policy is no mobile phones, the system must have a clear consequence of using a mobile phone
It seems so simple yet so many schools fail to do a number of these.
In the schools I worked with that are struggling these core systems are missing and it comes down to individual teachers to create their own system. It works for them but doesn’t contribute to whole school successful behaviour management.
In schools that don’t encounter much negative behaviour without a clear system, things fall apart when it’s needed.
So, if a simple system can seriously impact the day-to-day life of a teacher, why don’t schools do it?