What to do with behaviour that challenges you in the classroom

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Behaviour, Classroom Practice, SEMH, Teenagers | 0 comments

You might be taking a look at this because things are not *quite* Mary Poppins in the classroom. Maybe you’re tired, frustrated and are starting to dread certain lessons.

It is hard when they’re swearing at you, destroying things, harming themselves, others, or you and intentionally picking at the scab of your own weak spot – your newly sprouting grey hairs, for example.

It’s OK.

You’re not on your own.

It’s not a lost cause.

There are simple steps you can do to start shifting the behaviour issues in your classroom, and get students learning!

In Video 1 of my free video series for teachers and teaching assistants we introduce three simple top tips that you can start implementing next lesson.

They all begin with, and are intertwined with Building Relationships – which gets banded around a lot – but what does it actually mean?


  • Listen, look and learn about your pupils:
    • No matter what type of shiny lesson you’ve planned – if you don’t know who you’re teaching you can’t differentiate for them, it will be harder to engage them, and that behaviour is likely to wander…
      …what’s going on for them at the moment? Are they hungry? Do they know where they’re sleeping this evening? Have they just had a fight? Are they feeling the pressure of exams?  – The answers, and many others, to these will affect the learning, and once you know that, it’s soooo much easier to get them onside to learn!
  • Be positive
    • You didn’t get lunch, you just split up a fight, you have an extra form meeting after school and you’ve got two sets of year 8 homework to mark – for yesterday.
    • It can seem difficult sometimes to not take *some* of our own stress out on the pupils – but it just doesn’t help.
    • How do you feel on those mornings that you argue with your partner/housemate/family/rubbish collection van and you don’t hear anything positive? How does it make you act?
    • What positivity can you find for your pupils?
  • Be consistent
    • For pupils with behaviour needs there’s a reason behind the behaviour (which we discuss in further videos). Routines and consistency make them (and us) feel safe. What are the two-three small points of consistency you can easily sustain with a pupil who is challenging you with their behaviour?

Sign up to the Free Video Series for more ideas, scenarios and tips:

How to manage challenging behaviour in the classroom.

I’d love to hear how you get on – get me over on Twitter @adelebatesZ

Or contact me here to book in behaviour training with me.


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