If you are heading out to a new school, the school behaviour policy should be your first port of call. Understanding how to appropriately discipline your class is the key to effective damage control when an unexpected issue occurs during your lesson.

Read the school’s behaviour policy before you step in to the classroom, to minimise any cause for hesitation should an incident occur. You’ll need to have every confidence in managing the situation so your class understands exactly what the consequences are for bad behaviour. Understanding the behaviour policy will also help you to steer your decisions.

What you should know

According to Sue Cowley, author of “How to Survive your First Year in Teaching”, after reading the behaviour policy, you should clearly have the answers to the below questions to help you in your new teaching role:

– What sanctions are available for me to use?
– In what circumstances can I send a student out of the room?
– What steps should I take before I give a sanction?
– How do I pass on information about student behaviour to senior staff?
– What sanctions does each type of misbehaviour ‘earn’?
– What do I do if a student fails to serve a sanction?
– Where can I find the procedure for contacting parents regarding behaviour?
– What paperwork do I need to fill out after an incident?
– What should I do in a crisis?

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