Start with your Your Behaviour Management Beliefs

Behaviour Management BeliefsBehaviour Management Beliefs are critical. Often when teachers look at their classroom behaviour management plan they start by examining all the behaviour management strategies that they could use.

That in itself is quite okay but it is not the starting point to your behaviour management plan.

Behaviour Management Beliefs


You need to start at YOUR beliefs about behaviour management.

As a young teacher I remember asking a senior colleague how to manage poor behaviour. The kids in my kids were difficult to settle and his classroom was always quiet, organised and not a things was out of place.

"Easy," he said and proceeded to inform me of the strategy he used. The strategies he employed involved a lot of growling, some huffing and puffing and finally threatening dismemberment.

Surprisingly (or not surprisingly) it didn't work for me.

I didn't believe in punitive measures for failures of classroom procedure. His believe system was punishment, punishment and more punishment. It worked for him and his classroom ran like clockwork.

For me... well my heart wasn't in it.

There is much more to behaviour management than just punishment.

The strategy that worked so well for my senior colleague in his classroom didn't work in mine.

The reason was the behaviour management beliefs I held to be true. They were different.

Whenever I held workshops about classroom behaviour management strategies, teachers invariably find it easy to come up with the most comprehensive array of punishments and punitive measures. But behaviour management must be more than just that.

Make no mistake here - I believe punishment has a place in the grand scheme of things.

Don’t Make Misbehaviour a Badge of Honour. Behaviour management strategies are the means to an end. Somewhere in your behaviour management beliefs, there must be learning.

So it is worthwhile just sitting quietly in a corner of the staff room and consider where you sit along the behaviour management beliefs continuum.

Behaviour Management Beliefs - The Continuum

Consider your beliefs about these elements which may guide your behaviour management strategies

  • punitive measures or guidance;
  • controlling or guiding;
  • control or influence;
  • a battle or a negotiation;
  • extrinsic or intrinsic values;
  • rewarding or supporting behaviours;
  • led by the teacher or student;
  • relationships based on trust or fear;
  • democratic or autocratic structures.

As you can see the list is never-ending. Examining your own behaviour management beliefs is not an easy task by any means.

The task is essential as your beliefs drive how your classroom will operate.

Ultimately your personal behaviour management beliefs will drive the success of your classroom learning.

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