Praise & Preparation
Behaviour management expert John Bayley interviews a teacher who has independently developed her own style of behaviour management. In cases such as these, he feels as if he has as much to learn from them as they have from him.
Bayley visits the classroom of Amy Alexander, a science teacher at Pimlico School in central London. Originally from Australia, Amy has adapted her own experiences of teaching in a small town to an inner-city classroom with remarkable effect. "These kids respond so well to praise," says Amy. "At home some of them are being told how terrible they are and just switch off immediately. If you can calm that down and tell them how wonderful they are, that's all any kid needs."
Some of Amy's techniques include:
- Her system of praise: every ten stars a pupil wins they get a postcard sent to their home and those with fifty get invited on a school trip
- Constant praise: "I'm using less energy by focusing on the positive"
- Colour coded lesson plans: mark key words in green, sentences that must be written down in black, instructions and things to do in blue, other information in red (homework, for example)