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6 Ways you can Improve Classroom Behaviour by Getting to Know your Students

Should teachers try to get their students to like them? How can you get to know the children in your classroom better? Behaviour expert and teacher Sue Cowley answers these questions and more...

  • 6 Ways you can Improve Classroom Behaviour by Getting to Know your Students

If you want to watch the full video with all of these segments in one go, you can find it here. And there are loads more of Sue Cowley’s behaviour management videos to be found on our YouTube Channel Tips for Teachers.


1 | Do your pupils need to like you?

Is it important to be liked by your students? Well, think of it this way: would it be a good thing if they hated you? Probably not. This isn’t to say you can’t tell them off, or that you have to let them get away with anything, just that having a relationship is important.


2 | You don’t have to make friends with students

Should you try to get your students to like you? Many new teachers will make the mistake of trying to force this by being ‘down with the kids’. Just remember, they don’t want to be your best friend, and you don’t have to be their best friend for them to like you.


3 | The benefits of better understanding your pupils

How can you find out more about your students at the start of the year? What questions can you ask? What activities can you try? Try getting them to list their favourite things from books to places they’ve visited and animals, or if you want to really get to know them, try asking their parents to write all the things they would want you to know about their child.


4 | Use what you know about pupils to get better behaviour

How can you use what you know about students to help turn their behaviour around? Well, the more you get to know them, the more you can et them engaged in the curriculum, and keep their attention. This doesn’t mean only doing things that are “fun” or tying every lesson in to Harry Potter or superheroes, but it means that you show the children you care about what their interests are.


5 | When is it best to talk to pupils?

What are the best moments in the day to try to get to know students? Try chatting with children and parents at the start and end of day, but maybe avoid the end of break time when they’re only interested in moaning about something that happened on the playground when you want to be starting the lesson.


6 | Get better behaviour by following children’s interests

Every teacher knows what it’s like to have the children’s outside-school interests infringe on their lessons. Whether they’re secretly swapping football stickers, looking after a Tamagotchi or now, playing on their phones. So rather than fight an uphill battle with an outright ban, use these popular passions as an incentive to learn by offering a short break to indulge if their work is completed to a good standard.


If you want to watch the full video with all of these segments in one go, you can find it here. And there are loads more of Sue Cowley’s behaviour management videos to be found on our YouTube Channel Tips for Teachers.

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