Teachwire Logo
News

8 Ways to Diffuse a Difficult Classroom Behaviour Situation

When you're facing really difficult behaviour in the classroom, these 8 techniques from behaviour expert Sue Cowley are things you can use to restore calm and order...

  • 8 Ways to Diffuse a Difficult Classroom Behaviour Situation

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 | Ignore the secondary behavours

Stay focused on the issue at hand. If you ask a child to do some work and they’re out of their seat, repeat the instruction that they need to do the work, rather than focusing on what it is they’re doing away from their desk.


2 | Use the power of names

Our name means a lot to us (even if you don’t like it). So when it comes to behaviour, you cannot overuse a child’s name. It maintains their attention and it reiterates the connection and relationship you have with them, and shows you care.” Broken. Video inside video


3 | Blame the policy

With behaviour, you don’t want to make it you versus the child, so reinforce the idea that it is the child defying the school behaviour policy, and that it’s not a personal attack against them.


4 | Distract, Defer, Defuse

Don’t let negative behaviour disrupt your class. Just use Sue’s three Ds to distract, defer and defuse the situation.


5 | Keep it private

By shouting out about someone’s behaviour, you make them the star of the show. Keep the class busy and deal with the behaviour quietly and they’re much less likely to kick off.


6 | Lessen the sense of threat

Remember that with small children you may come across as very threatening if you’re towering over them to tell them off. So make sure to come down to their level to help them feel safe and calm.


7 | Send a trusted child to get help

If you’re on your own and a child kicks off, obviously they require your attention. But that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly not responsible for the rest of the class. So send a trusted child to the school office to get help.


8 | Remove the class from the situation

So you’ve asked a child to leave the classroom, but they’re being completely defiant and won’t move an inch. What do you do? Here’s a tip: you calmly ask everyone else to come and line up outside, giving that child no one else to be defiant to.


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.

Sign up here for your free Brilliant Teacher Box Set

Looking for smarter ways to assess primary English?

Find out more here >