As a teaching assistant, it can be hard to ensure that all the students in your classroom remain on task and motivated throughout their lessons. With the added pressure of time constraints, you must have behavioural management strategies to help keep things running smoothly.
From setting clear expectations to finding innovative ways to incentivize good behaviour, many approaches are available for teaching assistants looking to maximize student engagement while minimizing disruption.
In this blog post, we will explore some of these effective behaviour management strategies so that you can feel ready and confident in creating an atmosphere conducive to learning!
Related: For more, check out our article on How To Support Challenging Behaviour here.
Use Your Eyes
Teaching assistants must remain observant of their classrooms and alert the teacher to any issues they notice. To adequately manage classroom behaviour, it is essential to conduct observations that hone in on individual students’ behaviours.
This will give you and the teacher a better comprehension of which students need more attention or assistance.
Recording student behaviour data is essential for measuring learning progress and development.
This can include: tracking how often certain behaviours such as speaking out, wandering around the classroom, disregarding instructions or interrupting other students take place; observing a pattern of reactions to various activities, instructors and settings; noting completed work amounts when compared with other learners; and establishing what activates misbehaviour in different peer groups.
Utilizing the data acquired, you will gain a profound comprehension of the source and forms of annoying behaviour. Furthermore, any activities that proved successful in stopping such unbecoming actions can also be recognized.
Set Clear Expectations and Consequences
Before beginning any lesson, all students must be aware of the expectations regarding behaviour. Communicate these clearly to each student and make sure they understand what behaviours are expected from them.
Additionally, ensure that each student knows the consequences should they fail to follow the rules. This will help ensure that the students understand what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t, giving them a structure to learn.
Incentivize Good Behaviour
One of the best ways to ensure that your students stay on task and motivated throughout their lessons is to provide incentives for positive behaviours. These could include rewards such as stickers, extra credit points or even a treat if the student has performed exceptionally well.
You could also offer incentives for students who remain quiet during lessons or finish their assignments on time. This will help ensure your students are encouraged and motivated to stay on task throughout their studies.
Be a Positive Role Model
As a teaching assistant, it is essential to lead by example. Demonstrate appropriate classroom behaviour and always communicate positive messages to your students. This will help create an atmosphere conducive to learning and make it easier to manage classroom behaviour effectively.
Praise Praise Praise
Teaching Assistants can be tempted to view discipline solely as punishing students for their negative behaviour. However, effective discipline involves highlighting a child’s successes and praising desirable traits, reinforcing positive conduct.
If you spot a typically unruly student exhibiting good actions in class, commend them for it! That kind of validation could motivate other kids to act similarly – especially if everyone knows they will receive recognition when they do so!
Be Calming and Be Clear
As a teaching assistant, communication is an essential skill that you must have. Use your voice and words wisely to manage student behaviour effectively; it’s better to talk in a composed tone rather than shouting, as this conveys authority over the situation.
Furthermore, always address any issues with individuals privately, away from their peers, so they feel respected instead of put on display or embarrassed. Doing this will ensure positive behavioural outcomes in the classroom.
To ensure the success of your lesson and to get the most out of your students, you must be explicit about what is expected from the class. Collaborate with their teacher so that everyone efficiently understands these rules.
Remember to explain tasks clearly and simply if any tasks are assigned during the course. One way to confirm if everybody comprehends the instructions would be by asking individual pupils directly.
Establishing positive relationships with your students is essential for any teaching assistant. Taking a few moments to get to know each of your pupils can hugely benefit discipline management.
Forming an atmosphere based on trust and respect will create the ideal learning experience, encouraging students towards a motivated work ethic.
By getting acquainted with your students and demonstrating a genuine interest in their lives, you can foster an environment ripe for success.
Make sure to greet them as they arrive each day; find out what they did over the weekend or ask them how they are doing academically in other classes.
With these small steps of connection and personalization, students will be more likely to trust and feel valued by you -all leading up to a well-managed classroom full of motivated learners!
By keeping records of your student’s behaviour, praising the good and addressing issues promptly, clearly and calmly, as well as building connections between you and them – you’ll be able to create a classroom environment that encourages positive learning.
This will, in turn, allow for better comprehension of which students need more attention or assistance. With these tips in mind, your lessons become more successful, and you’ll be able to help students learn much more effectively.
What makes a great Teaching Assistant?
A great Teaching Assistant is someone patient, organised and has a passion for helping students learn. Good teaching assistants possess the necessary skills to provide support in the classroom while also being able to form strong relationships with their students.
How can I effectively manage student behaviour?
Effective discipline involves highlighting a child’s successes and praising desirable traits, reinforcing positive conduct. Communicating with your students in a composed manner rather than shouting is also essential.
Additionally, explain tasks clearly and take the time to get acquainted with your students by forming an atmosphere of trust and respect. These three steps are all necessary for successful discipline management.
What should I do if a student is being disruptive?
If a student is disruptive, addressing the issue promptly and privately is essential. Speak to the student calmly and explain why their behaviour was inappropriate and what they can do next time.
Please allow them to discuss their point of view so that you can gain a better understanding of the situation.
Additionally, consider if any underlying issues may be causing the disruptive behaviour and try to devise solutions for them. Finally, remember to praise students for good behaviour whenever possible.
How easy is it to resign as a TA?
In the UK, you must give 30 days’ notice to resign.