Welcome to today’s session. Today I’m going to share a little bit with you on some classroom management techniques, a little bit of research around that, and give you some opportunities to brainstorm and think about how you can add some things to your toolbox. I’m Simon Herd from St Philip’s Christian College, Port Stephens, and I’m the assistant principal and look after our middle school here. One of the things we’re really going to focus in on is the way that we can approach issues in the classroom from a whole person, rather than coming to a problem-solving or a problem-based focus, because often in a classroom those behaviours are things that pop up and we just focus on those problems and we try and put bandaid patches over them and those things keep coming. Today I’m really hoping that we can upskill the teachers that are new to our team so that they can have more efficient classroom practices, less disruptions with the students, and trying to be innovative and look at research practices to bring out the best classroom environment. Now, there’s great research that’s just started coming through into the education world from medicine, where, for boys in particular, there’s releases of testosterone into their body throughout the day. And the impact of that is boys are fidgety and less attentive at those times. Now, as a classroom practitioner, we can structure movement into our classes to alleviate some of those things for our boys – a great tool to make a difference in the way we engage our young people. So what I want you to do right now is stand up with somebody near you, and we’re going to do this little activity, ‘Hey, Good-looking’. You’ve got to look at each other for 30 seconds. (CLASSROOM PRACTITIONERS LAUGH AND CHAT) Alright, now turn back to back for me. Alright, now you’ve got to change three things. -WOMAN: Three things?
-SIMON: Three things. It might be that you change your hair and earring, whatever. So I’m going to get you to turn back around and identify those three things with your partner that they’ve changed. (ALL CHATTER) Alright, guys, in five, four, three, two, one. Thank you. If you grab your seat again. Activities like this can be fun, can break up a lesson. Movement is stimulating the brain, so, in the middle of an hour-long lesson, some of these little activities are great ways to maintain classroom management. We need to change the way we deliver our lessons and be creative in how we engage our young people. Right, now I want you to stand up again. You can choose, when you toss two coins up, two heads, two tails, or one of each. I want my team to be engaged in an environment where movement is planned for, and the outcome of that would be that they are doing that in their classroom. If you’ve got two hands on your tail, you’re going to have a seat. -(WOMAN LAUGHS) Oh, yes!
-SIMON: Alright. Some of these little activities are great ways to maintain classroom management. Have a think by yourself for a minute of what things you could change in your toolbox to make a difference for the young people. What you modelled but didn’t explain to us was the counting backwards, and I find that that works really effectively in my room, that the students know exactly where you’re going to end up, rather than, “Is she going to count to 10, “or can I muck about until she gets to 20?” And I find that that works really effectively. That’s a really good point, because we’ve also got lots of students on the autistic spectrum, and they need to know where we’re going next. And it’s a great way for them to start preparing and start settling down, ready for what they need. Other ideas? Like, call it ‘5-Minute Gems’ or something like that and make the students aware of it so they know when you’re doing a 5-minute gem or whatever you may call it that they know that it’s time to have that bit of movement, reinvigorate themselves and then be able to know when it’s time to come back, it’s time to refocus. Yeah, no, fantastic. Overall, I think that the team will have gone away with their eyes opened and challenged to think a little bit differently and with a few skills into their toolbox that they didn’t have at the start of that session. But don’t stop here today sharing those ideas. Continue those conversations on with your teams. So take a minute, quiet time, just to think yourself about what things you could do differently come Monday to make a difference for those kids in your classroom and for yourself in managing your class differently.