Searching Dr Google for physical ailments is something we all do even though we know it will likely present us with all kinds of worst-case scenarios.
Searching for “behaviour management strategies” carries a similar experience and rarely presents the educator with sufficient information.
That’s not to say that it’s all bad advice, it’s just rarely easy to filter the recommendations to get to the golden remedies that have lasting impact on improving the culture of a classroom.
Consider the possibility that simply learning new strategies that you can try out a few times isn’t enough for lasting impact.
We all talk about the value of consistency and what the benefits of working in a consistent way have on the culture in an organisation, and yet so regularly, individuals continue to look for ways to develop and improve their own working skillset that may not always be aligned with the overall focus or strategy.
Could it be that the most inconsistent practices are caused, not by bad professionals but by outstanding professionals having to operate solo?
Conversations about how to foster a positive culture within the whole school are often misplaced due to individual classrooms operating under different values.
Sharing or searching for behaviour strategies may for some be a good starting point and yet for most I would suggest that a mindset shift is required as a foundation for change.
You will have heard the phrase “behaviour management is a team sport” however, this isn’t exclusive to behaviour strategies. There is a need to take people with you, build a sense of collaboration, buy in, solidarity.
Share the journey with colleagues, agree on a set of principles that will form the basis for the culture in your classroom, department and whole school.
Winning over colleagues
Winning over the hearts and minds of colleagues will make the implementation of a new strategies, policy or procedure so much more efficient and effective.
We talk and understand about young peoples' need to feel a sense of belonging, a connectedness where pride becomes a powerful driver to fuel better decision making. Adults are no different, we just find it even harder to embrace change and stray from the safety net of what we know and have always done.
Change is inevitable and yet the adults who are responsible for the successful delivery and facilitation of knowledge and skills often find the notion that they could also change, the trickiest to grasp.
A Hearts & Minds Philosophy
Whole staff behaviour INSET that positively influences the hearts and minds of all stakeholders should be part of a culture change strategy.
You can’t build consistent practices unless you have established the sense of unity and togetherness that allows those connected to feel empowered to make change happen.
Trust exists, creativity, enthusiasm, passion, innovation occurs when people feel they can contribute to making the culture a better one.
Create the opportunity for staff to reflect on their individual practices; identify a clear understanding around what makes change difficult to embrace and offer a clear, identifiable catalyst for a transformation in culture.
Tips for how to embed a Hearts & Minds strategy:
- Use an event to launch a new behaviour project targeting mindset shift over strategy
- Consider some essential principles of behaviour management and agree upon how they will be implemented for improved behaviour and relationships
- Make provision for an expectation of professional accountability throughout the whole structure of the organisation
- Setting the tone for buy in form all staff to feel part of the journey - The 'this is how we do it here' mantra serves to support the culture improvement
- Empower staff to confidently share reflections and to become comfortable with looking in the mirror in order to develop actionable change.
CPI's Hearts & Minds INSET complements the Classroom Culture
programme and presents the opportunity to reflect on individual practices. It identifies a clear understanding of what makes change difficult to embrace and offers a clear catalyst for a transformation in culture. For more information on Hearts & Minds INSET, the Classroom Culture train the trainer programme or how your school can get a Behaviour Health Check, go to our Classroom Culture programme page
and fill in the consultation form.
Experienced staff will get new insights and some useful reminders, while newer staff will gain direction and essential skills. All staff will see the path to consistent, calm behaviour.