‘Walking and Talking’ Behaviour Management

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School Leadership


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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How can teachers support whole-school improvement on the move?

I’m a huge believer in non-verbal behaviour management. This can be something as simple as ‘being seen’ in the right place at the right time, or standing back and offering a visual presence.

One of my favourite things to do in all aspects of school life, working as a middle and senior school leader, was walking around the school. Specifically, on duty to deal with incidents, resolve problems, find the bright spots and share some of the good, and not so good practice happening across the school.

At least once or twice a week, one or two duty periods were incredibly stressful, dealing with emergencies behind-the-scenes, violent incidents or general and serious staffing issues. When I took on responsibility for managing cover for ~200+ staff for my deputy headship role, even with an admin assistant to help resolve any cover issues, I must have walked 5-10 miles every day around the school building!

At times it was a privilege. Sometimes, incredibly stressful.

Finding pupils on duty around a large school building isn’t easy. When there were emergencies, sometimes you literally had to sprint down the school corridors (especially if time is precious and there are hundreds of rooms) to reach different classroom locations on time or the far permiteres of the school boundaries.

Dropping pupils off, picking them up and delivering messages. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

This will be a familiar scenario for most school leaders working on a large site and especially for those working in a disadvantaged context. During COVID, for all school leaders, this has been more challenging.

Walking around school buildings with or without a radio or CCTV; there are thousands of unseen or unheard pep-talk taking place with pupils, every single day.

In a high-pressured environment and to help school leaders work as smoothly as possible, one of my go-to ‘behaviour management scripts’ can be mastered by you to support those ‘high and low’ corridor moments.

Why not take a look at this 3-minute methodology and master it on your next corridor walkabout?…

The things our school leaders do is nothing short of phenomenal.


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