A teacher is never just a teacher. A teacher is a counsellor, a social worker, a coach and an advocate all at the same time.
Consequently, your role is not simply to help your students to learn, but to use the tools you have to grow students into happy, healthy adults.
Understandably, this goal of creating happy, healthy adults is not always easy.
Every child that enters the classroom has their own unique challenges they need help to overcome.
This means every class requires more than just a lesson plan.
It involves behaviour management, time to form strong, positive relationships with the students and to work seamlessly with your colleagues while simultaneously meeting the school’s KPIs and keeping your sanity intact too!
Teaching to The Best of Your Ability
As you know, it is impossible to teach to the best of your ability when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or out of your depth.
Likewise, your students will find it impossible to learn when they feel this way, if they are hurt, upset or nervous.
When children feel this way, they can become disruptive.
This can distract you from your lesson and drain the energy of the whole class and negatively impact the lesson, goals and the student’s performance.
What’s more, the cycle of behaviour disruption may feel like your classroom has a revolving door.
With children being sent to behaviour teams and back to class again, it can seem like there’s nothing you can do to help. Add this factor into all the others that you have to consider, and it is mentally exhausting for you and your students.
Bad Behaviour Is A Form Of Communication
While it can be soul-destroying to lose your lesson plan and positivity to a disruptive student, it is essential to remember that their bad behaviour is a form of communication.
How they are behaving is a student’s way of telling you how they’re feeling.
This behavioural communication may be that they’re struggling with the concepts you are teaching.
However, their behaviour may not be directed at your specifically. Instead, it could be the child displaying their low self-esteem, boredom, anger or frustration.
Again, these negative emotions may not link to your lesson specifically, but to their time at school or their home-life.
Remember, no child comes into school to have a bad day.
A child doesn’t wish to make their school day unpleasant. For the most part, children want to learn and feel a sense of achievement or accomplishment.
Bad behaviour is usually the reaction to fear, anxiety or the obstacle that’s getting in the way of their progress.
Solving Bad Behaviour
When this bad behaviour demonstrates that the student is having a wider problem, there is little you can do to solve all of these concerns.
You can not improve their home life, and there’s only so far many issues in school that you can improve.
Instead, it’s about focusing on how best you can manage the situation and what you can do to get the best out of every student, whether they are disruptive or not.
Here are just five of the easiest strategies to deploy to make sure that you get the best out of every student, for every lesson.
Five Easy Ways To Get The Best From Every Student
1. Clear Your Headspace
Getting the most out of your students starts with you. If you’re not feeling your best self, you can’t help others to perform at their best either.
So, try to have a minute or two before class to get into the right headspace. Find a place of quiet and take some deep breaths.
Then, remember that whatever behaviours come into your classroom today are not a personal attack on you.
Remind yourself that this is simply an unhappy child that is struggling with their emotions and is experiencing something that they cannot control.
At the end of each class, jot a few notes down about the experience of the class. What went well? Where could you have acted differently? How did you feel?
The idea behind this is that you take on every class with a clear headspace. You start with a clear mind and positive intentions.
You can then finish the lesson and close off that chapter by writing down your summary.
Then, when you have more time, you can reflect on your notes, and this is when your best ideas and creative solutions will emerge.
2. Lead With Kindness
By practising kindness to yourself and students is a fantastic way to set the tone for each lesson and create a calm, compassionate environment. It can become too easy to judge a child based on the behaviour demonstrated in a previous lesson.
However, this can create tension for both you and the child.
The best way to demonstrate that you want the best for every student is to be kind to them.
This shows that you’re not judging or criticising them and that you start each day as a brand new day, where yesterday’s actions are not brought up.
It can help to use a mantra to start you on the path of kindness. For example, ‘today is a new day, and I will not judge (student’s name) by yesterday’s actions.’
Remember, being kind isn’t the same as being weak. By adopting this strategy, you’re actually being kind to yourself as well as the student.
3. Focus On Your Tone
This can often be the hardest thing to master, but maintaining a calm and level tone at all times can set your students up for success.
By staying in control of your emotions, you’re managing the atmosphere and emotional state of the class and keeping control of the situation.
As soon as you raise your voice or lose your temper, children will see that you are no longer in control of the situation, and this can impact the progress of the class.
Children can feed off your emotions, and if the feelings are negative, then this will prevent students from being their best selves.
4. Think About Your Language
The words you say will have an impact on the reaction of your students.
For example, spot the difference between;
‘What did you do that for?!’
‘Please can you explain why you did that?’
While your tone will also play a part, the language you use will conjure a different emotional response from your students.
By choosing your language carefully and offering your students a calm question gives them a level of control and space to talk.
You provide an opportunity where the child can explain their behaviour.
This offers a chance to reflect and to restore a situation of calm.
When you can both regroup, you offer the child the best ways to help them.
The physical way you speak to the student will also play a part in how the child communicates with you.
For example, eye contact can be crucial.
It can also help to be on the same level as them, such as sitting next to them, rather than towering above them.
5. Coach And Teach
By deploying coaching tactics during your teaching, you can not only help to manage your own wellbeing but also help to gauge and regulate a child’s behaviour too.
There are several coaching strategies that you can deploy in class.
So, when combined with the other four points listed above, you can see a noticeable difference in a student’s behaviour, engagement, attainment and happiness levels.
At Flourished Minds, we can help you to coach your students, so they can achieve their best while managing their behaviour and relationships too.
- Individual coaching to students
- Group workshops
- Training for teachers/pastoral staff
- Individual coaching sessions for staff
Contact us to discuss how we can help you.
During a free consultation, we can devise a plan that we can deliver in your school to help you get the best out of your students.