Managing Behaviour Strategies Reviews.

Many of the behavioural managing strategies and techniques will be more effective if they become part of your automatic or reflex response. Techniques such as self-calming and non-verbal communication awareness should all be embedded into your own behaviour if you are to be successful in managing challenging behaviour.

Unfortunately, many of us become used to the familiar and well-established models of our behviour,and often find it quite threatening to critically analyze our own strategies. We find it far more comfortable to stick with the longstanding techniques that we have developed over the time, without realising that even small modifications can affect big, positive changes in student behaviour.

Dave Stott in his Behaviour Matters articles offers the following which is intended to be a comprehensive reminder of those tips which you put into your own practice.

Teaching and Learning Environment:

Spend some time looking critically at your teaching area. Consider issues such as appropriate space, ease of movement, heating, lighting and storage (both resources and pupil belongings).

Meet and Greet:

Consider how can proactively help your students, both emotionally and physically to be ready for the demands of the school day and your lesson. Do they have the right equipment? How calm are they? Your responses and mood will set the scene for the students.


The first person who needs to calm down in a challenging situation is you. It is important that you calm yourself down both internally and your outward appearance. Avoid any verbal or non-verbal behaviour that conveys passive or hostile behaviour. You should be focusing on appearing calm and confident.


Avoid “you” messages, such as “Why can’t you get on?” or “It’s always you isn’t it?”. Such messages convey blame. Changing the format of your language can produce dramatic changes in behaviour. Use the word “thanks” when giving a direction, rather than “please”. “Thanks” indicates that you expect compliance, rather than “please” which can be interpreted as pleading.

Also avoid asking questions such as “How many time do I have to…?” This simply invites a reply from the student and you will enter into a dialogue that you really don’t want to!

Personal Space:

Be aware of not just your own personal space – the area all around you; but also that of the student. Standing too far away makes it all too easy for the student to ignore you, while coming too close can be interpreted as intimidating and threatening.

Behaviour Plan / Policy:

Be aware of and constantly make reference to the expectations of your own and the school’s policy. Your planned approach should include clear rules and guidance , together with positive responses and consequences. As a guide to rewards and sanctions, they should be effective and in accordance with the overall school guidance, and they should be something you are comfortable with. Sanctions that are never fully used will be seen as threats by the students.

Be prepared to regularly review, change or modify your existing techniques.

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