Thursday, 9 June 2011

Behaviour for Learning

Am I missing something here…?
I logged on to my computer this morning before school to check my e mails as I normally do. The one from TES connect said ‘Advice and resources to help you deal with low-level disruption in the classroom’. I had 5 minutes before assembly so clicked to take a look.
There was a list of classroom rules
Point number 1
‘The teacher is in charge of the room and the class. Any reasonable instruction must be followed’
Err what? I did read the whole list as to be honest I began to think it was a spoof list. I cannot believe that in our enlightened and creative age anyone would see a classroom as the teacher’s domain and territory – all who enter are under my rule. What happened to dialogue? Teamwork isn’t just between pupils surely it’s our classroom and we work together?
Point number 6
‘At the beginning of the lesson, students should take their assigned seats, and quickly begin the work given to them’
This is wrong on so many counts! The work given to them? I thought we had agreed that education wasn’t something that is ‘done to you’ you are a participant in it? What happened to the ‘lure’ getting children hooked into their learning, engaging them, making them intrigued and wanting to learn?
Point 9
‘…no one is allowed to walk around the room without permission’
Well I hope you never visit my classroom! I encourage pupils to ask one another before me, I’m not the fount of all knowledge! They will happily go and work with other pupils, help out, sit on the floor in groups – whatever makes them comfortable, I know which I would prefer.

The whole list just made me depressed and do you know what…if I was told to do all of these things I think I would misbehave myself!


  1. Yes...the mindset traditional classroom learning and rules are tough to fight against at a school. My administration does not want loud classes, but collaboration is loud. There is a risk involved with allowing students to learn together, but the reward far outweighs the risk. We receive articles in our boxes and emails that are like this one...How do we change? Gentle pushes I guess.

  2. Bloody too right Jane. I'm totally with you. Who are the people that write such garbage? I reckon they are the ones that set up totalitarian dictatorships in their classrooms and wonder why kids kick off. Screw that!

  3. It's good to know I'm not the only one! Thanks for the comments Jane

  4. I sometimes find the posters on the TES Forums unbelievably anti-child, and often remarkably thin on teacher knowledge.

    The government and most newspapers try and perpetuate the myth that teaching is all about controlling people - and it really isn't at all.

    I've spent my career in special schools, and have just gone back in the classrooms after 10 years senior leadership. I have to say I love it, but am exhausted. You can't make people learn - you have to set up all the right mechanisms so that the children find themselves in a situation where the obvious, best and most enjoyable option is to learn.

  5. I see nothing wrong with points 1 and 9. Is it acceptable for a child not to carry out a reasonable instruction? No, no it's not. Children wandering round the classroom? Don't stand for it myself but we all have different styles and that's what works in my classroom.

  6. Wouldn't do for us all to be the same I suppose but I do still disagree! :)


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