Every fortnight, one of our NQTs will write a reflective blog post focusing on issues raised in our professional development sessions. This is the fourth in the series, by one of our Science NQTs, and follows a session on managing challenging behaviour.
One of the main obstacles I have faced since becoming an NQT is how to manage low-level disruptive behaviour. I’m sure many NQTs can relate to this.
A strategy I have been adopting in lessons was suggested to me by another member of staff. The ‘lightbulb moment’ came by thinking of my pupils in terms of the following groups:
- The ‘highly engaged’
- The ‘influencers’
- The ‘malleable’ and
- The ‘disengaged’
With behaviour management on a whole class basis being one of my concerns, the focus group was ‘the influencers’. The behaviour and attitudes of these key students have a large negative impact on the class, either on other influencers and especially on the malleable – pupils who either get on with their work or don’t, depending on the influencers.
In some of my classes I have begun to mentally sort the students accordingly. Influencers have been identified and I have started working on these students. I pay particular attention to their work and progress in lessons, pick out things to praise and sit next to some of these target students to go through work on a one-one basis after starting the class off on a task. In one of my year 9 classes, I’d say this (up to now!) has already worked wonders with one influencer and the same with a main influencer in one of my most difficult year 10 classes.
With other classes – to remain positive – it’s still early days. I am going to continue with the strategies of targeting these pupils and hopefully adopting more ways to get these influencers on board if necessary. I then can focus more attention on the ones that don’t necessarily misbehave and influence others but are just disengaged.
Please add your thoughts or further ideas in the comments below, and I’ll let you know how it’s going!