Don't Just Stand There, Yell Something!


"If You Cant' Beat Them, Teach Them" - Extracts

Cultural Considerations in Behaviour Management

"The Behaviour Manager needs to be aware that their behavioural expectations and their identification of a problem to begin with bring with them a cultural perspective that impacts directly on the relationship with the student."
D.W. Sue

In order for a behaviour problem to exist, someone has to make a judgement call that a particular behaviour is inappropriate. In making such a judgement call, they are applying an internal set of standards to the situation - the behaviour being exhibited is compared with the standards, and if found to be deficient of that standard, is labelled as a problem. In schools, the judge is inevitably the teacher, and the standards they apply to student behaviour generally relate somehow to the school's behaviour code. Their standards are in fact their perception of the behaviour code, filtered through their own cultural experience and the beliefs and values systems that accompany this. Therefore there is no such thing as an 'unbiased view', because every view is biased by perspective. And not only does the teacher's perspective cause bias in labelling the student behaviour. The very school behaviour code on which the teacher's perceptions are based brings with it a certain cultural bias, depending on the community in which it was generated. The student whose cultural background is significantly different from either the school or the teacher may therefore find their behaviour labelled as 'inappropriate', deviating from the norm without any conscious effort on the part of the student.
As I continue to assert, behaviour management is managing oneself in order to influence the behaviour of others. Culturally sensitive behaviour management involves the teacher managing themselves through self-awareness, awareness and sensitivity; self-awareness of their own values, pre-conceptions, biases and limitations of skill and knowledge (U.T. Nwachuku et al); self-awareness of their own usage of language and physical presence in communicating with others; awareness of the cultural background of the student, and the implications this has on communication, relationships, beliefs, and learning in general; sensitivity in relation to the feelings and rights of others. The general practical skills of culturally sensitive behaviour management and counselling, no matter what the culture is, include: ......


The Least Intrusive Pathway to Behaviour Management

Mr Simpson, standing at the blackboard, turned around at the sound of Danny's raised voice. Casually he strolled over to Danny and taking his head in a skilful headlock, wrapped the insulation tape several times around Danny's head, completely covering his mouth and lips, thereby ending the disruptive chat. As he strolled back to the board in satisfaction, he noticed Sandra swinging on her chair, so he quickly pulled the chair out from under her and tossed it out of the window, once again bringing an end to the inappropriate and unsafe behaviour. It was just a shame the window hadn't been open as the chair went through it, but he'd report the breakage to the janitor in the next break. At this point Mr Simpson noticed that Carl had left his desk without permission, so he moved quickly behind Carl and, taking him by his collar and the seat of his pants, threw him across the room and back to his desk in a very creditable impersonation of Superman. At that moment, the bell rang for the end of the lesson. Mr Simpson asked all those who had failed to complete the set task to remain seated, and dismissed the remainder of the class. Then, taking out his flame thrower, he dealt swiftly and effectively with the lazy students…

Behaviour management is not intended to be the core business of mainstream teachers - if it were, then behaviour management courses would occupy a significantly larger section of teacher training courses. The intended core business of teaching is the transference of the relevant academic and social curriculum to the students, equipping them to proceed somewhat successfully through the twelve or so years of the formal education production line and onto the bigger and hopefully better things in adult life.
For this reason, the amount of time and effort devoted to daily behaviour management should be as little as possible. The flow of the lesson, the passage of the school day, should be minimally disrupted to maximise teaching and learning. The first step in promoting this minimisation of behaviour management interruption is to .........


© 2007 Don't Just Stand There, Yell Something!