7 tips to better manage behaviour in your classroom

by Melloo Admin

Bad behaviour in the classroom is something that can be difficult to manage effectively. Good behaviour on the other hand, not so much. It’s still important however to reinforce that managing both good and bad behaviour well is the key.

If you’re at your wits’ end of trying to control one or a few of your students in the class, then you may benefit from our support and tips. You’re a teacher, it’s ok to be fed up with trying to deal with that one pupil who consistently rebels in your class.

These are our tips to better manage good and bad behaviour. Our aim is to get you back to doing your job - teaching!

Set your classroom rules.

Yes, rules are a big part of the classroom, but they’re also part of everyday life. We all have to abide by laws, whether we’re six, thirty or seventy. And behaviour in the classroom shouldn’t be off limits for regulation.

Rules in the classroom set the expectations for your pupils. You need rules to conduct a class, whether you’re teaching a class of five, six, seven, or eleven-year-olds. Avoid becoming a dictator though, create the rules with the assistance of your class. By all means, guide them to the rules you want, but let them have an input and inform them of why each rule is important.

A good number of rules to set is five. Once the rules are set, ensure you buy some resources to display in the classroom, so they’re always reminded of the rules.

Understand any bad behaviour.

As a teacher, you can’t be afraid of doing some detective work. If a pupil is behaving badly, there is always a reason behind it. The behaviour of a child is their way of communicating with us. So what could cause bad behaviour?

If a pupil is struggling with the work set, they may play up because they’re frustrated at the fact they don’t understand or can’t do the work.

Maybe they’re having issues with their friends - kids often fall out. When they do have a disagreement, it can have a negative effect on their manners.

Another common one is that they’re having some issues at home. Maybe they’re moving house or their parents are going through a rough patch in their relationship.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to ensure that you find out the problem and see if you can help. If it’s something that you can’t necessarily aid, then be proactive in the way you deal with their disruption. Pull them aside or out of the class and speak with them privately.

Build a good relationship.

The relationship between you can your class is significant. A positive relationship with your class means you can encourage the children to behave appropriately. It also makes your classroom rules more enforceable.

How can you build a good connection with students? Talk to them like normal people. Greet them when they enter, head out and talk to them at break and lunch, show an interest in their lives.

Praise & Reward.

When your class does something well, praise them. Every child in school wants to impress, and more importantly, be rewarded. We’re not saying to reward them with sweets every time they do something right, but praise and recognition are very effective.

Whether a pupil as tidied up after class, remained quiet before a lesson, answered a question correctly or behaved extremely well in any other way, acknowledge it.

For any pupil who gets embarrassed easily by praise, then do it subtly - whisper well done, give them a thumbs up, or even give them a wink. Let them know you’re happy with them.


Bad behaviour has consequences, and your children need to understand this. Bad behaviour can often result in anger on your part as the teacher. But do try to remain calm.

If there was a big book of ‘Teacher Bad Behaviour Responses’, then the tactic of ‘choices’ would certainly be in there.

No need to raise your voice with this one. If little Timmy is playing with his Match Attax during class, then give him his choices. “Timmy, you can either put your Match Attax away, or you can come and put them on my desk.” Timmy then has a decision to make, and he knows that if they go on your desk he might not get them back for a day or two.

Tactical silence.

Another common approach to stopping class disruption on a larger scale is a tactical silence. If your class is not paying attention, then sit down on your chair and wait. It works. The anticipation of your next instruction or the repercussions will the kids’ attention. They will slowly but surely give you their attention once again.

A case study for this one in action is from a blog post on Edutopia, written by previous teacher, Rebecca Alber. A piece of advice she received of ‘speak only when students are quiet and ready’ worked a treat.

She wrote, ‘“I fought the temptation to talk. Sometimes I'd wait much longer than I thought I could hold out for. Slowly but surely, the students would cue each other: "sshh, she's trying to tell us something," "come on, stop talking," and "hey guys, be quiet.”

Shake up your lessons.

A child’s mind can easily be lead astray, so it’s important that you do your best to change the format of your lessons.

Working from books is not the solution, and following the same formula to teaching is never going to succeed. Try to use different resources and approaches to teach.

If you’re using the interactive whiteboard, why not use it to play games, watch videos or even get the class to work together on a class assignment through the whiteboard? Your classroom may look lovely, but why not complete the lesson elsewhere on the school’s premises? Maybe head outside of the classroom - if the weather permits, of course!

Pupils will embrace lessons that are unalike. They’ll be excited and intrigued, making their behaviour much better. Just remember to calm them down if they get a little too excited.

Need more inspiration?

Take a look at our range of Classroom Management Resources and create your rules in the classroom!

Feel free to share your classroom management processes, tips and tactics with us. Do you have a list of good or bad, and tried & tested strategies?

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