Relationships by @ganz776

Name: mn
Twitter name: @ganz776
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): D&T
Position: Deputy Head
What is your advice about? Relationships

1: Relationships are key to engaging students in positive behaviour. If you do not know the students they are not as likely to respond positively.

2: If you have a positive relationship with students,  they are more likely to be ‘on-side’ when you want to talk to them about their behaviour.

3: If you show interest in students and who they are. They are more likely to be interested in what you have to say.

4: Never lose your temper, keep calm, addressing the behaviour not the child. Keep a positive (but firm) tone when required.

5: Being assertive and positive is possible, you can confront without being confrontational. This will be most successful when students know and trust you.

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4 thoughts on “Relationships by @ganz776

  1. Nobody advocates having bad relationships with kids, but surely the good relationships develop where the behaviour is good, not the other way around? If the school does not require good behaviour from all students with all teachers, regardless of the relationship, then there are going to be problems. Not every teacher will have had time to build the relationships (supply, cover, new teachers). More importantly, not every child will want the relationship built. If a child decides that they don’t want a positive relationship with a teacher because they are black, or gay, or Muslim or from some other group they are prejudiced against, would we no longer expect them to “respond positively” to their teacher? Isn’t “responding positively” something they should do for *all* staff not just the ones they favour?

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  2. Indeed it seems that this advice is based on the already broken idea that teachers should be all things to all pupils. The use of the phrase ‘on-side’ as far as I am concerned is game over here. Ultimately, if you have to plead with a poorly behaved pupil to get them to behave better ‘for you’, it does nothing to sort the behaviour out but just gives them more power. Ultimately it is the pupil who suffers from this kind of power exchange. Teachers in the end are graduates who can do something else, the pupils on the other hand, end up with a distorted view of the world, which they then have to somehow navigate. We don’t have to prepare them for a specific job but we do have to prepare them for reality.

    Also how does this pandering to those who treat one badly, model healthy relationships to the class?

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  3. I know that we are always meant to distance the behaviour from the child, but I think that can be counter productive.
    If a child is led to believe that the poor behaviour exists as an entity in its own right, how can they be expected to assume responsibility for it?
    Sometimes we really need to be clear to children that their behaviour is entirely their own choice, and remind them that they are the only ones who can decide to change. They need to be aware that there are consequences for poor choices.

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  4. This starter for five seems pretty reasonable to me. Not suggesting we are ‘friends’, but simply building a positive relationship with them. I didn’t read the ‘on side’ comment in the way others have perhaps. Ultimately if your read back those five points and consider them in terms of working with adults in an organisation it’s pretty similar. Clear expectations and boundaries set with a polite smile on your face rather than a scowl is usually a better option!

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