I was asked recently what I believe on the subject of behaviour management. I use a combination of the humanist and behaviourist approaches. In teacher training school we were encouraged to use the humanist approach but I do not see how it is possible not to use the behaviourist approach at times.
The humanist approach emphasizes relationships with students and their families. I build this by having a parent teacher night every term. I also organize a fun day at the start of the year for students and their families so we can get to know each other. Also because I had been at mt previous school for nine years I knew some parents already and taught older siblings so this makes it easier building relationships. Learning the local language is also extremely important from a cultural intelligence perspective as being able to communicate with families is one of the keys to behaviour management.
The behaviourist approach originates from the Pavlov’s dog experiment. If the student does something good we give them a certificate at assembly. If they misbehave we scold them or punish them, detention etc.
In my class I have identified the students who are poorly behaved. I always have these in positions that are directly facing the board. I try to have them in close proximity to where I teach but of course have to separate them too. When a boy who is far from me is misbehaving during a lesson I will just walk close to him. This enables me to keep teaching without having to stop teaching to address the problem.
I constantly praise my class by telling them how good they are. Things like, “You are the best class!” “How do you know so much?” Your writing has improved so much, the test will be easy for you.” Lots of positive reinforcement.
Regular communication with parents of troubled students is also key. I like to send out a group email each week with my lesson timetable. If a student excels in and area or misbehaves an email to parents to let them know can be very effective.
I hope it will be of some help!