As a follow-up to our weekly CPD sessions, last week we revisited our CPD behaviour vision with all our staff. To put this all into context, last year, the school reworked our Behaviour for Learning policy with a buy-in from all staff, students and parents and relaunched our school consistencies. These will be shared throughout this blog, as well as the resource – which you can download in full – that I shared with staff.
This blog is all about behaviour (and my first on the very topic).
Over the past few weeks, you can preview the other CPD sessions and their associated resources:
High-quality behaviour for learning is underpinned by relationships, lesson planning and positive reinforcement and rewards. In 2013/14 we developed our school consistencies for every teacher and every student within the school. These are:
- Be ready, respectful, safe.
- Model positive behaviour and build relationships
- Plan lessons which engage, challenge and meet the needs of all students
- Ensure praise outweighs anything negative by at least 5:1 ratio
- Meet and greet at the door
- Be calm and give ‘take-up-time’ before going through the steps. Prevent before sanctions.
- Follow up every time, retain ownership and engaging in reflective dialogue with students
- Never ignore or walk past students who are behaving badly.
This blog is very school-specific, so our approach may not be applicable to you and your students in your school, but at least this will serve as a useful overview of revisiting your own Behaviour Policy and one to consider when re-visiting your own school CPD (behaviour) programme.
As staff arrived to the session, this pep-talk by Kid President was playing. It was purely for motivational and settling purposes.
We then gave every member of staff a stress ball as part of our drive to equip staff with teaching and learning resources for their classroom. We suggested that this piece of equipment may be used as a questioning tool e.g. throwing the ball across the room to question and answer; or to use a facilitator tool e.g. you can only talk when you are holding the ball; and finally as a stress reliever for teacher and student when times are testing and time-out is required.
4 or 5 weeks ago, I introduced staff to one of my favourite literacy techniques in the classroom. Snowball! This technique, coupled with an IPEVO visualiser, is a simple strategy which is perfect for re-visiting prior knowledge and subliminal introduction of keywords in every lesson. Each of the 9 keywords I introduced during this session was taken from our behaviour policy; all but one, self-regulation which I will revisit shortly. You can see the order of the slideshow below in order to curate this for yourself in your own classroom. Students love it!
I promise to record the Snowball activity the next time I showcase this technique in class or in CPD. The concept is simple, yet incredible powerful to engage learners (staff and students) and would be better explained in video.
It was at this point we introduced the idea that our vision was to ensure all our students could begin to learn to self-regulate.
Self-regulation is a critical competency that underlies the mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviours of learners. The term self-regulation refers to the capacity to control one’s impulses, both to stop doing something, if needed (even if one wants to continue doing it) and to start doing something, if needed (even if one doesn’t want to do it). Self-regulation is not to be confused with obedience or compliance; when learners are truly self-regulated they behave the same way whether or not an adult is watching.
It was at this point, I introduced the excellent blog by @ChrisHildrew – whose idea I have modified for our own context – called, Limits Assembly introduced the idea that the physical ability of a flea can be limited by one really simple intervention; that if you put fleas into a jar with a lid on for three days, they will only jump half the height they are capable of. In that time, they will learn that this is how high they can jump and then – even if you take the lid off – they will only every jump the height of the jar until the day they die, even though they are physically capable of jumping at least twice as high.
Click the slide below to watch the video.
Now, we do not wish to limit our students full potential, but for our students to self-regulate, we want to modify certain aspects of behaviour in order for students to adjust their boundaries. The feedback was palpable and allowed teachers to share what can be achieved by sharing ideas and collegiality.
Following this, we then used ClassTools to spin the wheel and asked staff ‘how do you self-regulate student behaviour?’ Following this, I introduced the Pygmalion Effect which I have blogged about before, which is based on a play by George Bernard Shaw, and named after a Greek mythological character. My Fair Lady was a play, first presented on stage to the public in 1912, in which Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility…”
Following the context, I then introduce the Pygmalion Effect study by Dr. Robert Rosenthal, which explains how student are transformed (or limited) by teacher expectations. You can read more about this in detail here in an earlier blog, #Pygmalion teacher, expectancy-effect. It simple says, students are limited by our expectations of them and is backed by academic research, conducted by Harvard professor Rosenthal et al in the 1990s.
Following this, we shared how we can ‘change a behaviour‘ with a multitude of factors; one of the most fundamental being the relationship between teacher and student. This video by Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” I would advise you to disregard the rest of this blog and make this video your one takeaway moment. It’s inspiring!
Every day, every lesson:
How can we individually, get students to be self regulators at all times? After posing this question, we sent staff off into mixed departmental groups for 30 minutes to brainstorm and feedback in any style they felt comfortable. In many ways, and almost accidentally, we have made this CPD session a in-house TeachMeet show-and-tell. The feedback was vast, powerful and fulfilling. It proved to me (The Pygmalion Effect) that our staff are definitely ready for a @TeacherToolkit internal and public TeachMeet!
Our staff then provided feedback in groups. Some ideas were theoretical, practical and others that re-enacted scenes which had us all laughing out loud with laughter. Personally, it was the most fulfilling CPD session I’ve led.
So, how can we individually, get students to be self regulators at all times? Well, here are some of our key proposals:
- Make your expectations known
- Give honest feedback
- Make sure you offer a choice
- Don’t tell them what to do, they decide
- Be patient
- Help them understand their cues
- Allow for small mistakes – that’s how we all learn.
The 5-Minute Behaviour Fix:
Print and scribble your way to an improved, student behaviour strategy!
One year ago, I introduced The #5MinBehaviourPlan with @LeadingLearner and have since modified this resource to suit our own school consistencies and behaviour policy. You can preview this resource below and download The 5-Minute Behaviour Fix template here.
Remember, this has been designed to suit our school context.
In summary, to encourage our own students to become self-regulatory of their own behaviours, we believe the key to student success is with the following 8 suggestions. The power of teamwork and consistency can really move a school community toward mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviours. I will keep you posted as we move into our new building next term.
You can download my full CPD resource by clicking the image below. The Powerpoint file is 50Mb in size, so it may take a moment to download.
For The 5 Minute Behaviour Fix:
A huge thank you to Paul Dix (@PivotalPaul) for his strategy, training and resources to support staff, students and parents moving forward with our new behaviour for learning policy. Highly recommended from me!