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Behaviour For Learning

Section A- Reflecting on my behaviour as a teacher



What actions demonstrate that you are an authoritative teacher?


An authoritative teacher is one who has high expectations of students but are also
sensitive to classroom dynamics and to individual needs (Roffey, 2011, p. 54). They
set boundaries but also encourage self-control, and they show fairness and
consistency (Roffey, 2011). I do have high expectations of everyone, where if
someone does not do their best work then I will make them try again but I also take
into consideration their age and ability. For example in writing I know that some can
not write as much as others and also if they have just started school then their letter
formation might not be great so I would not make them do it again if I know they
have done their best. When children are working on an independent task then it is
important that the class know the boundaries that they can work in, which is why
when they get too noisy I stop them and remind them that they have gone over the
noise limit and also give them a reason why I expect them to work at that level so
that they can learn what is appropriate at what times. I like to think that I am fair
and consistent in the class but I have noticed that sometimes I am not very
consistent with punishing inappropriate behaviour. I have noticed that it can
depend on my mood what degree of discipline I give out to children misbehaving.
Sometimes if it is a child whom I often have to talk to then I tend to act quicker and
am more likely to give them a consequence such as name on the board or moving
them. Where as if it someone is normally good I tend to just remind them to act
appropriately. If I was fair and consistent then as soon as an inappropriate behaviour
emerged then it would be delt with according to the set out process that is the same
for everyone.

How does your classroom reflect a democracy in action?

Students value fairness and having a say in what happens (Roffey, 2011, p. 59).
Being in a junior classroom there is not a lot of choice as most of it is routine but I try
to include choice where possible, such when we got out for fitness I will ask them
what game they would like to play and then we have a vote and the most popular is
what we do. They also get a say in what their class reward is when they work well
which is also selected through a vote. Invite and encourage everyone to participate
but do not demand that they do by putting individuals on the spot (Roffey, 2011, p.
59). When questioning students I try and ask a variety of students and sometimes if
it is always the same children then I will ask someone who perhaps hasnt put their
hand up but I wont choose someone who I know is shy or might not know, and if
they cant give me an answer I dont pressure them. Allowing children to make
choices (Roffey, 2011) is a part of a democratic classroom. In reading and math time
I explain all the activities that they can do but then they are allowed to choose the
order they do them in except if it is an activity their group is required to do after
working with the teacher. I think that I could work on making the classroom more
democratic, through mixing up students when working in pairs and asking for joint
responses to encourage those who might not normally share. This way everyone is
given more opportunity to participate.

How do children know that you care about them?

Every morning I take the time to have conversations with the children as they arrive
or at the very least say good morning to them as they enter the class, making sure
that I give them my full attention instead of only half listening while setting up other
things. I also make note of when a child has succeeded in something, for example
one boy was having difficulty writing on the lines and when he eventually did I made
the point of saying how proud I was and that I knew he could do it. It is also
important that to care for their learning you do have to respect them as people,
and respect their capacity to learn (Absolum, 2006, p. 33). I always acknowledge
what a student has to say even if it is not relevant or answering a question. This way
I am showing them that I listen to what they have say and that their voice is
important in the classroom. Also I am always encouraging children to do their best
and when they dont I remind that I know they can do better, so I am showing them
that I pay attention to them and believe that they are great learners.

What actions show children that you are trying to be inclusive?

Caring also means helping. Students who are unclear what to do, need too know
how to access guidance (Roffey, 2011, p. 60). I am always open to helping students
and if I am too busy at the exact moment I will ask them to try or ask someone else
until I can get there so that they are not sitting around waiting but I always go and
see them eventually. I usually try and help them by questioning them some more or
offering suggestions for them to choose from, but of course I dont want to do it for
them. I also try and give as many examples and ideas before sending them away to
do independent work so that they are supported. I know that not everyone learns in
the same way or at the same pace so I am open to giving extra guidance to those
that need it. One example of being inclusive is where not everyone is at the same
level in math so I went over the numbers before and after with all of the students so
that even though I was focusing on a few students who I knew would need it I was
doing it in a way as not to draw attention to them but also enabling them to join in
successfully.

Section B- Promoting behaviour for learning

Learning-focused relationships are about using the considerable potential in the
relationship between teacher and student to maximize the students engagement
with learning; about enabling the student to play a meaningful role in deciding what
to learn and how to learn it; and about enabling the student to become a confident,
resilient, active, and self-regulating learner (Absolum, 2006, p.43). I believe that to
some extent I have developed learning-focused relationships with my class as I
encourage them to do their best work, ask for their input in decisions in the class
and allow them to make decisions about certain activities they do. However I can still
see areas that I need to work on such as including the class more in their own
learning perhaps more peer or self assessment on how well they went or how they
felt the lesson went so that I can get feed back on my teaching from them rather
than making assumptions.

A teacher who believes that students need to be controlled limits the extent to
which a deep and rich learning relationship can be developed with students
(Absolum, 2006, p. 31) At the beginning the year I was worried about controlling the
class, so I thought about that aspect of teaching rather than the learning outcomes
of the children in the class. I noticed it mainly when I was working with a group of
children on the mat, I would often be scanning and thinking about if the rest of the
class was at an appropriate noise level or if they were on task which meant that I
was not paying attention to the group I was with and if they were meeting the
learning goals. Also at the young age that I am teaching, new entrant and year one, it
is important for them to be able to make noise and work with others in order for
them to learn. It took me while to adjust my expectations to suit this but now as long
as they are on task and at a reasonable noise level I dont get too worried about
controlling the behaviour. This also relates to writing where I have noticed that it is
actually important for children to be able to talk to each other so that they can share
ideas, so instead of expecting quiet work I allow the class to talk and share ideas. By
not worrying about the noise children are working at as long as they are on task
means that they are able to be active learners and learn how they know they learn
best.

Teachers who want a learning focused relationship works with the students to build
the motivation of the student to learn; checks with the student that they are
experiencing success, helps them overcome difficult bits, boots motivation by
rewarding success, by introducing a range of motivational devices (Absolum, 2006,
p. 44). When planning my lessons I always try to think about how to make them
engaging so the children will be motivated to participate, however in the future I
could ask the class for more of their input into how they want to learn and what
topic they want to do instead of just making assumptions about what they would
like. This way they would have a more meaningful involvement in their learning so
that is it important and relevant to them. I also praise children when they have done
something really well, making sure to be specific in my feedback so that they know
how they have succeeded. This helps students become confident in their learning
and also give them the devices so they can evaluate their own learning.

Absolum says that teachers that are focused on building learning-focused
relationships let children know what is to be learnt and how they will know when
they have learnt it (Ablsoum, 2006, p. 29). One of my goals during practicum was to
inform the children of the success criteria so that they would know what I was
looking for in their work. I managed to do this for most areas and if I didnt then I at
least told them WALT so they knew what we were focusing on. I do believe that it is
important for children to know what they are learning so that they can self monitor
their progress so this is definitely something I am working on.

Classrooms are places where children can take risks (Carpenter et al., 2002). Some of
the children in my class find it hard to take risks, most often when writing a word
they dont know. I do by best to encourage them, telling them that it doesnt matter
if they make a mistake, that I want to see what they can do, and I always praise them
once they have given it a go. Also when children are suggesting answers for a
question I dont tell them that they are wrong instead I will tell them if they are close
or good try or thanks for sharing your idea. This way they wont feel like their
contribution isnt good enough or like they shouldnt try if they arent sure. I
sometimes make mistakes when talking or writing on the board and try and make a
point of showing them that it is ok to make mistakes. However I do think that I could
model making mistakes more often and showing them that it is the process of
learning. Carpenter also believes in encouraging children to take responsibility of
their own actions and work for inner reasons (Carpenter et al., 2002). This is a point
that I probably need to work on as I focused a lot of giving positive praise, which
encouraged children to work mainly for the rewards. Most of the time the rewards
or praise I gave was to show the children what sort of work environment I expected
so hopefully over time they will become self regulating once they realise that they
will not get rewards all the time and see the importance to their learning. Allowing
children to take risks and encouraging them to work for inner reasons are important
when developing learning-focused relationships as they both relate to being an
active and self-regulating learner.


Section C- Implementing restorative practice

Incident one

A boy in the class was continually talking to others around him on the mat. I gave
him a warning that if he kept talking that his name would go on the board and he
would have to stay in at morning tea. He continued to talk and therefore I told him
he had to come see me at later. When it was morning tea I saw him about to leave
and reminded him that he needed to come and see me. I was helping another
student tie their shoelaces and when I finally went to see the boy he had started
crying. I asked him if he knew why I had asked him to come and see me, and he
replied with the fact that he was talking. I told him how it was disrespectful for him
to do this when I am teaching and that I was very disappointed. I asked him to them
go and sit at his desk and think about what he had done and what would do in the
future. My response to his behavior was to ask the of- fending student a few
questions to foster awareness of how others have been affected by the wrongdoing.
Or we may express our own feelings to the student (Wachtel, p. 3). I did not just
want to tell him off as I knew that he was a sensitive child and that this would
probably have a negative effect on his confidence. So my using knowledge of the
restorative approach I got him to think about his actions as well as sharing how it
affected me. When he came back to me all he has to say was sorry and that he
wouldnt do it again. I think that in order for it to be more restorative I should have
asked expect him to actively repair the damage to genuinely show me he was sorry
and understood what he did was unacceptable. After we had talked I left it at that
and let him leave and we moved on. Starting each day with a clean slate
(carpenter, p. 5) I believe that this is an important aspect for developing good
relationships with the children in the class as it gives children a chance to surprise
you rather than just expecting the worse. Through making sure that I dont hold past
actions against them or make judgments about a child I am showing that child that I
have high expectations of them, which will encourage them to take responsibility for
their behaviour.
Incident Two

During guided reading one of the boys was being very silly and also encouraging
another student to be silly too. I asked him to be sensible and when he still didnt
stop I just sat quietly giving him a displeased look. When he calmed down a bit I
begun the lesson, however shortly after he acted up again so I sent him to sit at his
table. I read one page with the other student and then asked the boy if he was ready
to be sensible now and he nodded and came back. I explained to him that it was
disrespectful to me and also disrupting the other students learning and we
continued the lesson. The process for restorative practice is to tell the story;
explore the harm; repair the harm; and move forward (Jansen & Matla, 2011, p.
93). In this incident I gave my side of the story but I did not think to ask the boy why
he was acting that way. Perhaps if I had done this initially then I could have solved
the problem without excluding him from the group and damaging our relationship
by unnecessarily punishing him. It also would have been good for him to be able to
share his feelings afterwards so that he was more actively involved in telling his story
and how the harm affected him. In this incident we did not really repair the harm
instead we just moved on from it. In order to repair the harm we should have had a
conversation about what happened and how it effect both us and what we both
could do differently in the future to ensure it doesnt happen again.
































References
Absolum, M. (2006). Learningfocused relationships. In Clarity in the classroom: using
formative assessmentbuilding learning focused relationships (pp. 2746).
Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Education.
Carpenter, V. M., McMurchyPilkington, C., & Sutherland, S. (2002). Kaiako Toa:
Highly successful teachers in low decile schools. Set: Research information for
teachers, (1), 48.

Jansen, G., & Matla, R. (2011). Restorative practice in action. In V. Margrain, & A. H.
Macfarlane (Eds.), Responsive pedagogy: Engaging restoratively with
challenging behaviour (pp. 85109). Wellington, N.Z.: NZCER Press.

Roffey, S. (2011). You and your class. In S. Roffey, The teachers survival guide to
behaviour, 2
nd
ed. (pp. 40-65). London: Sage.

Wachtel, T. (1999). Restoring community in a disconnected world. In Reshaping
Australian Institutions Conference: Restorative justice and civil society (pp. 1-
4). Camberra, Australia: The Australian National University. Available from
http://wwwiirp.edu/pdf.SSSRestoringCommunity.pdf