back to blogs

4 Behaviour Management Strategies Every Teacher Should Know

About 10 months ago By Eloise Gladwyn

I Stock 1007214476 Min

​Remember your first day as a teacher. Was it the curriculum material itself that seemed most daunting? Or was it looking out over your desk to see 30 eyes peering back at you and realising ‘this is real’, and that, from that moment on, you would be in charge of those children? Even if you are a genius at what you teach, without good behaviour management skills and strategies for controlling the class, effective learning will be almost out of the question.

Whether you’re an experienced teacher with an already-bursting box of behaviour management tools, or an early career teacher looking for ways to stamp your authority on an unfamiliar classroom, there is always something new to learn. Let’s look through the most effective behaviour management strategies that every teacher ought to know.

1.    Building meaningful relationships

A meaningful relationship between pupil and teacher goes beyond the teacher simply standing at the front and explaining how photosynthesis works. Successful relationships will make pupils feel seen and listened to by an authority figure. This is particularly salient in larger schools, where the potential for the quieter pupils to get ‘lost’ in the class increases (Barker and Gump, 1964).

Forming strong relationships will help a class respect you as more than just someone being paid to stand at the front and teach. The beauty of this technique is how easy it is to implement. It can be as simple as greeting each child individually as they come into your classroom, or linking back to something they told you a few days prior. When you make children feel noticed, they will want to impress you through their learning in return. Aside from its power as a behaviour management tool, a relationship-focused approach to teaching will make your work feel incredibly rewarding.

2.    Praise is your friend

While it is important to recognise and deal with challenging behaviour when it arises, praise can be your best friend in the classroom. But this all starts with a beady eye.

Keep a watch for who isn’t focusing as well as you’d like, or whose presentation is slipping from some pupils while walking round. Rather than pointing out these negatives to the class, look for someone who is doing it right and point this out: “I love how ___ is really focusing on his work”. By directing your positive attention to those doing the right thing, the rest of the class will soon follow. If you teach in Primary, you could go even further with something like: “I love how ___ is really focusing on his work, his eyes are on his page and he is concentrating on making his writing the best it can be”. Don’t be afraid to really spell out what you want, make it as specific and descriptive as you can so other children are able to follow.

3.    Establish routine

No matter our age, human beings like routine. Set schedules help children know what they should be doing at what time, which leaves less room for confusion and accidentally doing the wrong thing.

Children also love routines because they are predictable. Setting a routine could be as simple as the children coming in the morning and getting their pencils and books straight out to start an activity you have put up on the board. This reduces the need to continuously tell students what they need to be doing. With a predefined structure to their day, they will begin to do things independently without your prompts.

4.    Consistency

This isn’t so much a strategy in itself, as a prerequisite for any strategy’s success. You could come armed with a miracle behaviour management tool, but if you don’t apply it consistently, it will fail.

Consistency in the classroom isn’t necessarily about how regularly you implement something. It’s about making sure it’s applied to all pupils. Let’s take the use of praise we spoke of earlier. If you applied this to a quarter, or even half the class, but never praised the remaining students, those left unpraised will sense an inherent unfairness, and the tool will lose its effectiveness.

For those struggling students, make sure you are keeping a close eye out for opportunities to praise them. The same goes for the misbehaviours in your class, if you are consistently only pointing out bad behaviour from a select few, and not addressing low level disruption from the rest of the class, you will open yourself to accusations of favouritism and lose pupils’ respect

So, we’ve unpicked some tried and tested behaviour management strategies you can implement in any class you walk in to. Behaviour management is a very personal thing and every teacher will prefer different strategies, it is important to find what works for you, in line with your school’s behaviour policy. With any behaviour management tool you decide to use, it is also good practice to reflect afterwards on the effectiveness of it, did it reduce the unwanted behaviour? Were children more engaged? Calmer?

For a more in-depth look at the ins and outs of behaviour management, try one of our CPD-accredited career development courses, available exclusively for educators who have registered with Protocol Education.

Image for blog post The benefits of pre-planning for your supply cover in 2023
26 Jan 23, by Scott Owen

The benefits of pre-planning for your supply cover in 2023

​The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought some new challenges to schools, especially around the managing of supply cover....

Read More
Image for blog post Five great reasons to work in SEND in 2023
12 Jan 23, by Michelle Tilley

Five great reasons to work in SEND in 2023

​The number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) has increased over the last five years. In 2022, there were...

Read More
Image for blog post Maths until 18 and the future of jobs
05 Jan 23,by

Maths until 18 and the future of jobs

​Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a plan to require pupils in England to keep learning maths up to the...

Read More
Image for blog post The Educator Series 2023!
21 Dec 22, by Kierah Hamilton

The Educator Series 2023!

Continuing on from our hugely successful Autumn Term Educator Series, we have some more exciting training events lined up for...

Read More
Image for blog post The impact of the pandemic on pupil reading, wellbeing and inequality
08 Dec 22, by Scott Owen

The impact of the pandemic on pupil reading, wellbeing and inequality

Schools that already face huge challenges are now faced with a large number of very low-attaining pupils. A report by...

Read More
Image for blog post Your Christmas Payroll 2023
08 Dec 22, by Scott Owen

Your Christmas Payroll 2023

​Christmas and the end of term are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you...

Read More
Image for blog post Our Recruiters’ 3 Top Tips for Acing Every Question in Your Teaching Job Interview
07 Dec 22, by Scott

Our Recruiters’ 3 Top Tips for Acing Every Question in Your Teaching Job Interview

​So you’ve landed yourself an interview for a teacher – congratulations! You’re no doubt trying to anticipate what interview questions...

Read More
Image for blog post Trauma Informed Practice - An Insider's Guide
24 Nov 22, by Lucy Turner

Trauma Informed Practice - An Insider's Guide

​Before joining Protocol Education as a consultant, Lucy Foster worked for nine years in mainstream and Special Needs schools in...

Read More
Image for blog post Supporting Anti-Bullying Week
11 Nov 22, by Kierah Hamilton

Supporting Anti-Bullying Week

​Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated in England and Wales by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. This year it will take place from 14th...

Read More
Image for blog post World Teacher's Day: Why Teaching is Still a Great Career!
04 Oct 22, by Scott Owen

World Teacher's Day: Why Teaching is Still a Great Career!

​October 5th 2022, is World Teacher's Day, an opportunity to celebrate the work of over 85 million teachers worldwide. Eighty-five...

Read More
Image for blog post Understanding a Shared Experience this ADHD Awareness Month
01 Oct 22,by

Understanding a Shared Experience this ADHD Awareness Month

Protocol Education is pleased to join in solidarity with other organisations across the world to celebrate ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity...

Read More
Image for blog post The NTP in year three: A guide to making the most of your school's funding
22 Sep 22, by Scott Owen

The NTP in year three: A guide to making the most of your school's funding

The changes to how the DfE is allocating tuition funding to schools are now in effect. The expectation from the...

Read More
Image for blog post Everything You Need to Know About Catch-Up Funding for This Academic Year
14 Sep 22, by Alex Schulte

Everything You Need to Know About Catch-Up Funding for This Academic Year

​The National Tutoring Programme has returned for a third year, this time with a new funding model.Schools now receive their...

Read More
Image for blog post How To Make Yourself More Employable as a Daily Supply Teacher
30 Aug 22, by Sam Layng

How To Make Yourself More Employable as a Daily Supply Teacher

​Being a supply teacher is extremely rewarding. It can also be challenging to establish yourself in the profession. As someone...

Read More
Image for blog post How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow In Their Careers
23 Aug 22, by Alex Schulte

How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow In Their Careers

​Supply teachers are vital for preventing disruption to pupils’ education. From an educator's perspective, supply work offers an appealing degree...

Read More