This much I know about…a fundamental basic of behaviour management

I have been a teacher for 30 years and a head teacher for 15 years, and this much I know about a fundamental basic of behaviour management.

We have banned headphones and earphones. We twigged, way after we should have done, that at the end of a student’s innocent looking head/ear phones wire is a mobile ‘phone, which are banned at Huntington.

So, what do you do when you see one of your most law-abiding, compliant students with his or her earphones just visible, that sneaky white earbud obvious to the naked eye and incontrovertibly seen by you. And the student knows you have seen it, and you know the student knows you have seen it.

Well, as Tom Bennett points out to any audience he talks to, you have to confiscate the earphones. Turning a blind eye is not on, no matter how easy it would be for you and the student to tacitly agree that you haven’t noticed the transgression.

The key reason for absolutely having to pursue a confiscation is that when your colleagues challenge your most difficult students about the same rule-break, it is ten times easier for them to do so if everyone does. And, ten times harder if just one member of staff doesn’t make that challenge.

Behaviour management is a collective effort. Every time you impose the rules, you are supporting your colleagues and securing the culture of the school. There can be no exceptions.

About johntomsett

Headteacher in York. All views are my own.
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