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Teaching resource receives positive reviews

Issue: Volume 97, Number 12

Posted: 11:24am, 12 Jul 2018
Reference #: 1H9jbP

Two principals discuss the difference a behavioural teaching resource has made in their schools.

Lyndall Prendergast (back), Stephen Wood, Natasha Power and Bronte Norton

Lyndall Prendergast (back), Stephen Wood, Natasha Power and Bronte Norton work in groups to explore how teachers create a supportive learning environment.

 

 

The Teaching for Positive Behaviour resource was released at the end of last year to help teachers support the engagement and learning of children and young people. The resource reinforces best practice and has been benefitting many schools around New Zealand. Two of these schools are Greymouth’s Grey Main School and Karoro School.

Grey Main School

Grey Main School Principal Mandy O’Sullivan says her school began looking at the resource on a teacher-only day and then worked through the rest of the book during their weekly professional learning and development sessions.

“Working through the coaching model in the last section, we reflected on our own practice. From there the senior leadership team used this book as a resource when we went and observed in classrooms last term.”

Collaborative exercises and discussing examples of what teachers were already doing in the classroom helped teachers at Grey Main School to unpack what best practice looked like.

“I believe it’s made a huge shift in our young PRTs [provisionally registered teachers] and some teachers who have been around a while and needed to reflect on what they were doing in the classroom and how their actions were reflecting on the students.”

This term, as a result of these discussions, Grey Main teachers are exploring what they are doing to promote and respond to student wellbeing, and whether there is room for improvement in their current pastoral care practice.

Although many teachers already model positive behaviours, the resource is a useful aid for teachers to reflect on their practice and ensure they are exhibiting these behaviours consistently.

“Teacher learning is as important as student learning and teachers can dramatically influence what is happening in the classroom by their actions, so I believe they need to be reflective practitioners to be able to do that.”

Karoro School

Karoro School Principal Maureen Truman has found the resource to have had an equally positive influence in her school. Her team also holds weekly professional learning sessions where ideas from the book are discussed.

Following these sessions, Maureen based her appraisal observations on some of the supportive learning environment indicators discussed in the resource.

“It was clear that teachers were using these strategies in classrooms,” she says.

“I could see classroom expectations being made explicit and routines being explicitly taught. Teachers were using preventative strategies and offering positive feedback and encouragement.”

The school also found the resource useful in identifying how to respond to the results of their wellbeing@school survey.

Maureen says although Karoro School has always worked towards restorative practices, the resource helps to reinforce and emphasise these practices.

“That’s been the biggest thing for us, just to keep the focus on teaching and learning as opposed to a focus on behaviour,” she says.

“The great thing about this is it’s all things that teachers know and do, but it’s all here, it’s concise, it’s easy to read, it makes sure we’re all on the same page and teachers can refer back to it.”

Copies of Teaching for Positive Behaviour can be ordered from www.thechair.minedu.govt.nz  or can be downloaded online via pb4l.tki.org.nz.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

The Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero is produced by NZME for the Ministry of Education for teachers, leaders, and other education professionals working in New Zealand.

Posted: 11:07am, 12 July 2018

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