Sick of feeling overwhelmed, overworked and stressed about behaviour management? Want to feel confident, successful and stress-free walking into your remote classroom?
There are so many complex dynamics in any classroom- whether mainstream or not. In remote classrooms you have additional layers of ESLD, different cultures, a history of intergenerational trauma and perhaps different expectations and relationships with the school and teachers than other schools you may have worked. Not to mention the fact that you are away from your comfort zone, away from you supports and mentors, unable to easily access professional development that you may have in the city. This can sometimes mean challenging behaviours that might feel a little tricker to deal with than usual.
When considering how to manage behaviour it is always important to think about what you can do to pre-empt and divert misbehaviour opportunities.
- This might be things like having clear classroom expectations (rules), class routines and planned transitions. Have I explicitly taught these to students and am I being understood (ESLD students may have different understandings of what your expectations are).
- You could also consider the layout of your classroom and how students will move around and interact with the environment and others in your space you have designed- what areas are dangerous or prone to behaviours? What areas would be good for alone time or calm down?
- You might consider how you support students with their basic needs- such as food, rest, sense of belonging, shelter. Do you have a space in your classroom/school to support students who arrive ‘not school way’?
- Are there students who can be managed on an Individual Behaviour Plan to have steps in place to reduce incidents?
- Have you considered the times of the day where students are likely to be elevated and need calming before expecting deep learning?
Another consideration is how you deal with low level behaviours to reduce the chance of them escalating.
- Do you know about the low key behaviour management skills such as proximity, eye contact, minimal verbal and more?
- Have you built relationships through getting to know you, team building and class building? Do students trust you?
- Have you worked with your regularly attending students to discuss how they should behave when someone is having an issue in your class- minimising the impact on other students and the likelihood that they will become involved and further escalate.
So what do you do when things do become escalated?
- Are you brain science and trauma aware? Do you know how the brain works and how to calm someone who has ‘flipped their lid’?
- Do you have a clear behaviour management plan in your class and school?
- Have you consider who are your supports to call in as needed?
- Are you aware of your school policy for dealing with fights, bullying and other complex behaviours?
Have you upskilled yourself to understand some of the complex needs of students?
- Consider taking the Crash Course: Behaviour Management in Remote Classrooms to learn about these concepts in more detail.
- Have you done orientation or cultural awareness in your current school? If not you might discuss the need for a training session for new staff with your administration team.
Have you been looking out for your own mental health and wellbeing?
- If you have an ’empty cup’ you can then ‘fill others’- if you are worn down and exhausted it is harder to manage behaviours in your classroom.
- How are you looking after yourself?
These are just some of the considerations when working out strategies to support behaviour in your remote classroom. Once you are aware of some of the things you should be considering it is easier to reflect, plan and implement effective behaviour management.
Have some other considerations? Feel free to share in the comments below!