Anticipate Compliance When Managing Behaviour

Anticipate Compliance

Anticipate Compliance is a handy little behaviour management strategy.

We all know managing student behaviour is critical to your classroom success.

Generally most students want to behave and very few really want the tension of getting into trouble. Surprisingly, even the little trouble makers don't really enjoy the drama that getting into trouble bring.

Wouldn't it be great if students just did what you ask.

I may be a lot easier than you think.

When you anticipate compliance in your relief teaching classroom, you are taking a proactive stance in managing student behaviour.

Sometimes it comes down to how you give instructions.

If you anticipate that the student will comply and act as if this is the case, it generally happens.

anticipate compliance


When you are dealing with behaviour you really only want the kids to comply with your requests.

You can call them requests, but they could be instructions, directions or demands. Whatever, you just want the kids to comply. You really aren't asking much. Are you?

What about if you anticipate compliance when you are dealing with behaviour?

Using Closed Requests to Anticipate Compliance

anticipate compliance

For example, in your travels around the room you notice Gina is reading a book and not doing her math.

You take the least intrusive path, “Thanks for putting that book away, Gina.”

(NB – Closed request - a closed request doesn't give the student a chance of reply)

Close your request. You can close off a request by prefacing your statement with an expectation of compliance. Such statements like “Thank you for closing the windows for me, Paul”. Few students are likely to refuse a request phrased in such a way.

Never use "please" because it is a passive request. Furthermore, it contains no anticipation of compliance. "Thank you" is a assertive statement of perceived activity. "Please" is a request whereas "thank you" is a statement of gratitude for complaince.

It might sound subtle, but language can be more powerful than we think.

However, the key to implementing the Anticipate Compliance strategy is that you continue to move around the room dealing with whatever you need to deal with and act as if Gina will comply and follow your instructions.

Gina feels your expectation and 99.9% of the time she will comply. She is not going to get any mileage if she doesn't because you have already moved on!

Consider the alternative action when dealing with behaviour scenario that may develop when you DON'T anticipate compliance.

Let's assume you say the same thing, but instead of anticipating compliance, you stand at Gina’s desk with arms on your hips and a snarl ready on your lips. You are ready for a fight and Gina is likely to accommodate you.

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"What Are You Doing?"

You could even ask the dreaded question. "What Are You Doing?"

This creates another scenario completely.

Gina is likely to challenge your authority and create a scene. You are standing right there and posturing for a battle. In all probability, Gina is likely to accommodate your aggressive position with an equally aggressive position.

Anticipate Compliance and Move On.


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