After distanced learning, returning to the classroom will be a daunting process for everyone involved - from new Year 7 students to the most experienced teacher. The best way to create a smooth transition back to the classroom is to set clear boundaries for managing behaviour.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you manage behaviour during the return to mainstream classroom learning. If you can't wait to get back in the classroom, Protocol Education have hundreds of jobs for teachers in mainstream schools across the country.
1 - Re-familiarise Children with the Behaviour Policy
It's important to remember that remote learning will have looked different for every student. Some would have been at the kitchen table with other siblings as they worked during the day, while others would have been up in their bedrooms with one eye on the online lesson and the other on their favourite video game. Due to this, it's essential to take the time to remind students of the school's behaviour policy and to lay out your expectations of them. Lean hard into positive reinforcement, and highlight students behaving well in your class, rather than only pinpointing those that are not.
2 - Get to Know your Students Again
A lot has happened over the course of the last year, so you can't expect to pick up exactly where you left off with every student. Take the time to build rapport back up with the children in your classroom. Ask questions about the return to school and lockdown, and pay special attention to any vulnerable students. You may gain some insights into why certain students struggle with poor behaviour and how you can manage this in the classroom.
3 - Reach Out to the Support Team
Key workers, 1:1 tutors, TA's, the Pastoral Team and the SENCO, are all people you can reach out to if you're struggling with a students behaviour. More often than not, they will be able to shed new light on any negative behaviours and provide you with some helpful strategies for the classroom. You could also meet with the student and a particular staff member that they trust to show you are there to help and support them.
4 - Remember the Basics
Just as your students have had a very different experience learning from home, you have had a very different time teaching from home. As you prepare for your return to the classroom, don't forget to remind yourself of the behaviour management basics. The main technique to keep in mind for all interaction is calm, consistent, and compassionate. Remain calm when the going gets tough, so you don't antagonise a situation further. Be consistent in your expectations and sanctions so students know where they stand. And always focus on compassion when talking to a student.
5 - Continue to Teach Brilliant Lessons
You may have heard the saying 'the better the lesson, the better the behaviour', and for the most part, it's true. The more engaged your students are with the work, the less likely they are to disrupt the lesson. Stick to what you know, planning and delivering outstanding lessons, and you'll soon feel like you were never away from the classroom.