The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE AND GRADUATE TEACHERS

AITSL STANDARD: 4.3 – Manage challenging behaviour

Manage challenging behaviour by establishing and negotiating clear expectations with students and address discipline issues promptly, fairly and respectfully.

AITSL STANDARD: 4.4 – Maintain student safety

Ensure students’ wellbeing and safety within school by implementing school and/ or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.


When you establish your own classroom, it is important that you establish how your classroom will look. Will students work in silence, or will there be a enthusiastic . In doing so, ask yourself the following: what are you prepared to tolerate?

You will see that students will behaviour in a variety of different ways. You, alone, will need to decide whether this behaviour is acceptable or unacceptable. Here is a method for establishing

  1. Start by listing a variety of negative choices that students might make.
  2. From here, categorise that information. For example, is it regarding learning or safety?
  3. From here you can establish the pillars of your classroom. For example: consider the following list:
    1. Disrupting the learning of others (Respect).
    2. Throwing paper around the room (Safety).
    3. Not completing work (Learning)
    4. Repeatedly calling out (Respect).
    5. Arguing (Respect).
  4. When can categorise this information into Safety, Respect and Learning.
  5. Now we have three pillars to communicate and reinforce to students each day. When their behaviour falls outside of these pillars, students can be reminded (You have not respect my expectations towards safety in the classroom).

Now that you understand the pillars of the classroom, you can establish the protocols. For example, what is a fair and even consequence for calling out? Is this more or less severe than arguing with the teacher?

For each of the undesired behaviours, record what you will do in response to this behaviour (Calling home, detention, talk after class). Perhaps, the behaviour is not severe enough for any consequence and a simple reminder is enough. Plan these response out.

Below I have outlined how you might present this information. In Figure 1, I have outlined what negative choices might look like in the classroom. In Figure 2, I have outlined the steps for negative behaviour, which you can use in the classroom. Flow charts are a helpful tool for managing behaviour and organising your own mindset. In the moment, it can be difficult to know the appropriate response.

Figure 1
Figure 2

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