Coat of Many Pockets

:
Managing Classroom Interactions

Presented by: Nicolene Oberholzer,
Sinéad Jason, Kiya Norris and
Laura Harlow

Description:
The book aims to:
• develop practical techniques involved in managing individuals and
groups in the classroom.
The book enables teachers to:
• replace their customary reactions to difficult behaviour with the use
of skilled responses
It provides teacher with:
• practical social, emotional and cognitive responses to any
challenging behaviour.

Description cont:
The beginning of the book:
• encourages teachers to identify contributing factors of misbehaviour.
• outlines the hidden curriculum.
• using engagement, containment and consequences replace
„discipline‟.
A quote from a teacher:
• “Invisible coat is available for each of us to use and when faced with
misbehaviours we can consider what an appropriate response for
the given situation, turn to our pocket and slip out a familiar skill”

Stage 1: Planning behaviour and taking
control
• looks at the interactive management process
• teacher-student interactions as they occur in the classroom.
1. Prevention
2. Correction
3. Support
4. Follow through

5. Affirmation

Stage 1: Planning behaviour and taking
control cont
Programme Outcomes:
• Interactive Management Process teachers use the skills in their everyday activities.
• Continuously manage and plan for behaviour.
• Improves wellbeing and student- teacher relationships.
• Teachers become more aware

The teacher support team:
• Created to sustain, reinforce and perpetuate
• Provides a safe environment
• Professional practice

Stage 2: Skills of engagement: wearing
the coat and using its pockets
• Looks at the different aspects of student behaviour.
• Discusses how teachers should handle these situations using the different pockets in their
coat.
When they won’t behave - assertive pockets
• Teacher adopting an assertive role which focuses on students taking responsibility for
their actions and changing their behaviour.

When they can't behave - supportive pockets
• Teachers adopting a supportive role and managing student behaviour by using empathic
skills focusing on enabling students to manage their own behaviour.

Stage 2: Skills of engagement: wearing
the coat and using its pockets cont
When they don't behave - consequence pockets
• When all other skilful interventions have been applied failed
teachers need to follow through with consequences to ensure
students change their behaviour and learn to behave differently.

When they want to behave - affirming pockets

• Teacher acknowledging students’ abilities and strengths,
understanding that students ability to learn impacts on their
behaviour. Creating a safe and friendly learning environment.

Underlying Assumptions:
• Some professionals considering a behavioural
management strategy, might assume that this
„coat of many pockets‟ book may not be effective
as it is a book and not a program like many
others that are paid for and implemented in
other ways. We as a group disagree with this
assumption, as from researching and exploring
the book; we strongly believe that this will prove
to be very effective in any R-7 classroom and a
lot of money can be saved in return with the
same if not better results.

Target group:
• Category 1 school
• Northern suburbs of Adelaide

• R-7 school
• Disadvantaged school
• Year 2 class
• Range of abilities
• Suitable for any R-7 class

Role Play:
As a young teacher, not many years out of college, Haim Ginott (1972) made the
following observation:
• I am the decisive element in the classroom.
• It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
• It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
• As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or
joyous.
• I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.

• I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal.
• In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated
or de-escalated, and a child humanised or de-humanised. (p. 15)

Effectiveness:
• No scholarly evidence found
• Only reviews from readers of the book
• “It has made me a much calmer person in the classroom, and I feel like I have
gained some control over myself and the students. ...Gives you specific
strategies for specific areas of need... hope to attend more of your workshops in

the future". Irit Rozenfeld, Classroom Music Teacher.
• Behaviour Management in Education: Victoria, Australia
http://www.behaviour.com.au/coat.htm
• Jenny Mackay is a long time teacher who has taught all over the world, this
could be considered evidence of effectiveness.

Limitations:
• Dense book, not able to read in one sitting.
• More of a survival guide to be referred to, would
have to have it handy when required.
• No evidence of success to be found.

• While it does contain lots of tips and tricks, not all of
them could be modified to suit different year levels.
• Aimed at primary school years.

Strengths:
• Teachers being proactive.
• Effectively manage behaviours.

• Positive mind-set.
• Students take responsibility.
“strategies that may work with one group of
students may not work as effectively with
another group” (Rafferty, 2007, p.102).

References:
• Behaviour Management in Education.
(2014).http://www.behaviour.com.au/coat.htm,
accessed on 20 October 2014.
• Haynes, L, A. & Avery, A, W. (1979). „Training
adolescents in self-disclosure and empathy skills‟,
Journal of Community Psychology, 26(6).
• Mackay, J. (2006) Coat of Many Pockets: Managing
classroom interactions, Victoria, Australia: ACER
Press.
• Rafferty, L, A. (2007). “They just won‟t listen to me”:
A Teacher‟s Guide to Positive Behaviour
Interventions, Childhood Education, 84(2), p.102.