Pivotal provide cutting edge Classroom Management training that is transformative. Our trainers come to you. Sample Classroom Management agendas are available on request. We don't 'train and run', we build sustainable Classroom Management practice that works for the long term. All our Classroom Management training can be booked with coaching & mentoring.
Pivotal Classroom Management training creates positive, sustainable change promoting a compelling vision of improved relationships between all adults and young people. Our approach is highly innovative, utterly consistent and proven, even with the most challenging situations.
Classroom Management INSET:
- Pivotal's Complete Classroom Management Course
- Classroom management in active lessons
- ADHD and classroom management
- Classroom management for Teaching Assistants
- Classroom management with Adults
- New Education Bill and its impact on classroom management
- Managing your own behaviour, expectations, perceptions and responses
- Behaviour, safeguarding and classroom management
- Classroom management and behaviour plans
- Classroom management for Nursery Classrooms
- Classroom management in HE
Pivotal understand how to manage behaviour as age and environment change: how language and approach is different when working with younger children, how 14 year olds are changing behavioural norms in FE colleges, how 5 year olds can be as disruptive as 14 year olds, how different approaches work in Special Education, how teams of adults can improve behaviour beyond recognition, how adults can behave as badly as young people and yes, how to stop Trevor chewing the curtains.
Pivotal are now working with over 150 FE Colleges all over the UK on top of our existing work in mainstream, special schools and the under 18 secure estate. We won a National Training Award in 2009 for our work on Classroom Management with an SEBD school in Special Measures. Our trainers are recognised experts in Classroom Management writing for the TES, educational magazines and presenting at major conferences in the UK and abroad.
Zen and the Art of Hooking the Hard to Reach (first published 2009)
Good classroom management with children who will happily step over each and every boundary with abandon takes time, dedication and a degree of stubbornness on your part. Alongside the daily firefight you need the drip feed of a more strategic classroom management plan to address the heart of the problem. Hooking the hard to reach requires the patience and guile of a master fisherman and the heart of a lion tamer.
There is a moment in all of our lives when we realise that the adult world is not as dependable, safe and secure as we once believed. For the majority of young people this realisation comes in the teenage years, for a lucky few their awakening is delayed further for many, many others it came during the primary school years. When a parent who promises that they will be there for you suddenly isn't it can be the catylyst for even young children to distrust the adult world. Trust issues at home can be compounded by high staff turn over at school or through too many well meaning people trying to give short term help. Put simply children who are 'hard to reach' may have decided that adults should be given a wide berth. The barriers come up. Some try to disengage with learning, some stop communicating, most demonstrate their anger, confusion and lack of trust with behaviour that says 'leave me alone, I am not worth bothering with'.
Just under 50% of children in care had reached the national curriculum test level expected for their age compared to 82% of all children
Department for Children, Schools and Families April 2008
We recognise in children who have low self esteem and a limiting self belief a 'negative internal monologue'. The root cause(s) may be different each child but it usually includes negative assumptions about their own ability, the commitment of adults around them and a collection of labels that they have be given along the way. We recognise this monologue in the classroom. As you present the piece of paper to Darren he rejects it before it lands on the table. 'I can't do it' is the first thought followed very quickly with a raft of avoidance tactics designed to protect himself from further failure and embarrassment. We also recognise it when trying to give Darren praise and positive reinforcement as he immediately rejects the idea that he could have done something right.
We spend our days firefighting with every classroom management strategy that we know yet a few children reject carrots and dodge every stick. Crashing through every boundary they seem to be headed for the cliff. Because the immediate behaviours are so disruptive and urgent we can find ourselves with little time for dealing with what is truly important. Repairing self esteem, spearing the negative internal monologue and replacing it with positive self image
If principle sounds attractive be advised, the practice is difficult and stressful. It is because it is so hard and so time consuming that we continue to search for quick fixes. The bad news is there aren't any. You can't hook the hard to reach by throwing classroom management techniques at them or by condemning them with years of punishment and exclusion. You can't change their behaviour, attitude, anger with magic behaviour dust. Neither can you address what motivates them to disengage or interrupt years of learned behaviour, overnight. Change with the most challenging pupils does not run in straight lines. There are many cul de sacs in classroom management on the way to the straight and narrow.
The drip feed of your relentlessly positive and nurturing dialogue is the foundation of this long term strategy. Directly challenging their negative assumptions about their own ability, 'You are not stupid because you are still learning to spell', 'You are not an idiot because you have the wrong answer', persistently suggest alternative thoughts 'Spelling aside this is a beautiful sentence', 'You have a real talent for choosing the right combination of words'. Over time the waves of positive thought begin to erode the barriers to their potential. Continually attack their assumption that you are going to be like the other adults that have let them down in the past, 'I care about you, I am here to help you and I am not going away'. Use examples of their previous appropriate behaviour to hook your judgements about their character, 'Do you remember, yesterday, when you helped me clear up the room? That is kind of behaviour I want to see today, that is the person I know and love.' Refuse to allow them to connect their behaviour with their identity. Now make your interventions to challenging behaviour emotionless, robotic, dull, repetitive, predictable and safe. Save your emotion for when it is most needed and break the connection between their inappropriate behaviour and your negative emotion.
Now the hard work begins and you may need to go an extra few miles, at times it might be uncomfortable. Start sending positive messages home. Sandwich bad news about the day in between positive observations, phone up, send positive notes, hang it, ask the parents if you can come for a cup of tea. Proactively build a relationship with the home and with the child. Refuse to give up refuse to give in.. Expect colleagues to shake their heads and tell you that you are not a social worker. Ask for support from others but never delegate your responsibility. On a daily basis go out of your way to build positive relationships with the children many adults would give a wide berth. It is important that they grow to trust you, to like you, to lean on you.
With those foundations in place you can start fishing. Find what talent or ability has been smuggled in with the obvious emotional baggage and build on it. If it is too well hidden consider putting the hook in yourself. There are times when many of us need to be led rather than constantly be given choices. For children who are floating around aimlessly you may need to convince them that you have found a bait they like rather than wait for them to choose one they like. Once you have them interested in the bait make sure that you have other members of staff/parents/significant adults to act as 'convincers', reinforcing this new aptitude. Plan for all of your hard work to be thrown back in your face, more than once. Plan to invest your time for no immediate reward.
In amongst the chaos of the day to day be mindful of the present moment. You are doing something remarkable, something altruistic, something life changing. Trevor may not thank you immediately for having a profoundly positive impact on his life but then teaching was never about what I can get for myself but about what I can do for others.