Supporting Positive Behaviour in Children and Young People

Published: Thursday September 14 2023 by Melanie Crewe

Supporting Positive Behaviour in Children and Young People

A Practical Guide for Teaching and Support Staff in the Classroom

Teacher reinforcing positive behaviour

Children and young people are like sponges, soaking up experiences, learning, and growing every day. As teaching and support staff, it’s your
responsibility in the classroom to guide them towards positive behaviour and help them develop into responsible, respectful, and well-rounded individuals. Supporting positive behaviour in children and young people is not just about discipline; it’s about fostering a foundation for their future success and happiness. In this blog, we’ll explore some effective strategies for nurturing positivity in the classroom.

1. Build Strong Relationships

One of the most fundamental aspects of guiding children and young people toward positive behaviour is building strong and trusting relationships with them. When children feel valued, loved, and understood, they are more likely to cooperate and exhibit positive behaviour. Take the time to listen to their thoughts and feelings, show empathy, and be present and engaging.

2. Set Clear Expectations

Clear expectations and boundaries are essential for children and young people. Clearly communicate rules and expectations in age-appropriate language. Let them know what behaviours are acceptable and what the consequences of their actions may be. Consistency across different settings and caregivers is crucial to avoid confusion.

3. Reinforce Positive Behaviour

Positively reinforcing good behaviour is a powerful tool for shaping a child’s actions. Praise and encouragement can go a long way. When a child exhibits positive behaviour, acknowledge it immediately with specific praise. For example, say, “I appreciate how you shared your ideas with your friend. That was very kind!”

teacher demonstrating group work and conflict resolution

4. Be a Role Model

Children often mimic the behaviour of adults and older peers. Demonstrate the behaviours and values you want them to adopt in the classroom. Model patience, empathy, and effective problem-solving skills in your interactions with them. Your actions speak louder than words.

teacher helping a pupil with a problem

5. Teach Conflict Resolution Skills

Teach children and young people how to handle conflicts and disagreements constructively. Encourage them to use their words to express their feelings and needs. Show them how to listen actively and find solutions that work for all parties involved.

6. Time-Out and Calm-Down Strategies

When a child is overwhelmed or displaying challenging behaviour, provide them with a designated space for a time-out or calm-down. This is not a punishment but an opportunity for them to self-regulate and reflect on their actions.

Time out calm down spaces for children

7. Open and Honest Communication

Foster open and honest communication in the classroom with children and young people. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. Use active listening techniques to ensure they feel heard and validated.

8. Collaborate with Caregivers

Collaborate with parents or other caregivers to ensure consistency in rules and expectations. Share insights and strategies that work well to support positive behaviour.

teacher and parent interacting

9. Celebrate Progress

Every small step toward positive behaviour is worth celebrating. Celebrate their achievements and improvements, no matter how minor they may seem. Positive reinforcement can boost their self-esteem and motivation.

In conclusion, supporting positive behaviour in children and young people is a continuous process that requires patience, empathy, and dedication. By building strong relationships, setting clear expectations, modelling positive behaviour, and teaching essential life skills, you can nurture a positive environment that promotes growth and well-being in the young minds entrusted to your care. Remember, the investment you make in their positive behaviour today will shape their future as responsible, respectful, and compassionate individuals.

justteachers has also produced a complementary series of podcasts exclusively for our registered candidates-‘Supporting Positive Behaviour’ is the first subject matter we cover in episode 1 of our free CPD. Within this, we have called upon the expertise of an Executive Headteacher, SEMH Specialist and justteachers client, to guide us through best practice in the aforementioned principles.

If you wish to have access to our CPD suite, simply start the registration process with us, if you are interested in hearing about supply opportunities with justteachers. The CPD is available to all support staff, ECTs or seasoned qualified teachers.

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