Tag Archives: Behaviour Management

A Positive Classroom

Teachers have a very long list of responsibilities, including helping their students to feel positive about themselves. There are simple things a teacher can do to affirm the students in their class which can make a huge impact on each student.

  • When speaking to your students, use their name.
  • Always greet your students and show that you are happy to see them.
  • Make your students feel important.
  • Admit that you make mistakes, accept their mistakes and allow for an unlimited amount of fresh starts.
  • Avoid labelling your students.
  • Praise, praise praise! Both verbal and written, students love praise and it encourages them to complete work to the best of their ability. From K to year 6, praise makes a world of difference. Focus your praise particiularly when students have had a go and when they have produced their best work.
    • Brilliant work!
    • Excellent work!
    • Clever answer!
    • You should be proud of yourself!
    • I enjoyed reading that!
    • Your work is always a pleasure to read.
    • Fantastic improvement!
    • I can see the effort you put into this!
    • That’s a great effort!
  • Praise equally – try not to leave any student out. Find something each student does well and let them know!
  • At the end of each day, praise the class as a whole.
  • Always speak optimistically to the students.
    • ‘Don’t use such long sentences’ vs. ‘Good try. Try to add more full stops and new sentences next time’.
    • ‘No’ vs. ‘try again’/’good try’.
  • Always speak politely.
  • Avoid favouritism and avoid discrimination.
    • This may be unintentional and overlooked.
    • Give students a small piece of paper each and ask them to write their name on it and tally each time you ask them for an answer to a question and/or compliment them. At the end of the week you can see if your attention was divided equally among the class and if any students were left out. This allows you to self-reflect.
  • Never give up on a student.
  • Smile at the students.
  • Accept every contribution and answer.
    • Acknowledge that the student had a go by saying ‘good try’, ‘try again’ or ‘close”. After all, it’s tough putting yourself out there and sharing an answer!

How do you keep your classroom positive?

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Filed under Teaching Strategies

Happiness in the Classroom

Happiness should be promoted in every classroom. It is contagious and your students should feel happy to come to class every single day. You can teach your students to think optimistically in many ways.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Try having a compliment box in your class. Encourage the students to write something nice about someone on a piece of paper and put it in the box. The teacher can then read some out at the end of each day or the week. 

It may be useful to survey the students at the beginning of the year or term to find out what makes them happy and what motivates them. Ask them what activities they would like to do and provide them with options, for example; computer time, class quiz at the end of the day and so on. 

Encourage an ‘I Can’ attitude. Students often say things such as “I can’t do that”; when you hear an ‘I can’t’ attitude, turn it around. For example, “I don’t know fractions” can be changed into “I am learning about fractions.” This change of mindset transforms the impossible to possible and worth attempting which builds students’ confidence and self esteem. 

Encourage gratitude by asking the students to write down three things they are grateful for at the end of the day. The students are then given a chance to reflect and be thankful to those that have brought something good to their lives or have acted kindly towards them. Students may write down family members, friends, teachers or a pet. They may also be thankful for their home, freedom, food, shelter and games.

Encouraging the students to be grateful, promotes the relieving of stress, fear and frustration. It is also a highly regarded quality that can be beneficial to any individuals’ life. 

Put down behaviour needs to be eliminated from the classroom. Teachers need to ensure students are not putting down other students and that the teacher, intentionally or unintentionally, is also not putting down students. Put downs negatively affect self esteem and have no place in the classroom. 

Relaxation techniques may help students who are feeling anxious, frustrated, angry or simply need time to settle. Asking students to close their eyes and slowly breathe in and out through their nose while listening to meditation music creates a sense of stillness and inner calm which can then lead to a positive environment, happiness and a great learning environment and mind set. Relaxation techniques should be incorporated into the daily routine in order to encourage motivation and positive attitudes

A positive attitude is highly beneficial to students and adults alike. Negative thoughts affect students and may lead to low self esteem or even depression. Positive thinking has been linked to success in students and encourages them to perform to the best of their ability.

Students should always be encouraged to try their best and to have a go. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard teachers talk about a lesson or a test and (unintentionally) terrify the students. I believe that before giving students a test, teachers need to remind students about all the work they have completed and remind them that it is okay if they don’t know an answer, as long as they try their best.

Teachers also need to remember their attitude has an enormous impact on the atmosphere of a classroom. While everyone has their bad days, it is important that the teacher brings a positive attitude into the classroom all day, every day in order to get the best out of their students.

These simple techniques not only foster a positive learning environment, happy students and teacher, but help the students in becoming successful and happy adults.

How do you promote happiness in your classroom?



Long, J. (2000). Lecture 9: Preventing Misbehaviour [PowerPoint]. Retrieved from http://blackboard.acu.edu.au/webct/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

Thobhani, S. (2011). Boosting Emotional Intelligence in your Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/05/boosting-emotional-intelligence-in-your-classroom/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=Jobs


Filed under Behaviour Management, Teaching Strategies

Classroom Rules

Classroom rules are essential to any great classroom. Rules clearly state the expectations for behaviour in the classroom and help to develop respect. They are more meaningful if students take part in their formation, with teacher guidance, and it is important to clarify the need for rules with the students.

While many teachers develop rules at the beginning of the school year, they are often displayed at the back of the classroom, hidden and forgotten. Classroom rules can be a great classroom management tool and a teacher’s best friend when used effectively.

Here are some tips for creating your classroom rules and how to use them.

Classroom rules need to be;

–          collectively arrived at

–          few in number

–          positively stated

–          clearly displayed

–          taught

–          referred to when redirecting

–          used and reinforced

–          harmonious with school rules

Classroom rules need to address;

–          movement in the room

–          care of the equipment

–          how to speak to and treat others

–          listening

–          how to work

Once the rules are created, it is important to;

–          role play and demonstrate what the rules are and discuss using examples

–          display them in a prominent part of the classroom

–          discuss logical consequences of breaking the rules

–          refer to to the rules when necessary

–          praise those who follow the rules in order to reinforce them

–          reteach them at the beginning of each term

When role playing and demonstrating the rules, teachers can take photos of the students and use them to make posters of the rules like the one below.

What are your classroom rules?


Long, J. (2000). Lecture 9: Preventing Misbehaviour[PowerPoint]. Retrieved from http://blackboard.acu.edu.au/webct/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct


Filed under Behaviour Management, Teaching Strategies