Behaviour Management Shaming

It has often surprised me that, in education, colleagues who make use of behaviour management systems are sniffed at. We constantly tell our students that they shouldn’t suffer in silence, yet there seem to be some in our profession who think this a shameful thing to ask for help with behaviour management.

This attitude is hardly surprising – it is drilled into us during teacher training that behaviour management is the key to being a good teacher; the natural correlation is anyone who is perceived as not being good at behaviour management should be a bad teacher.

All of this is particularly in reference to the idea of calling out senior members of staff to remove students. In all my jobs, the school behaviour system has had a step which has included a “callout” – senior staff will come to remove the offending student. I’ve seen hundreds of these callouts over my years of teaching and have students removed from my class.

I have encountered a number of situations, however, where other teachers have suggested that using the callout system is a sign of bad behaviour management – it is shameful to ask someone for help with behaviour. I believe that this is a dangerous idea which undermines a great deal of the behaviour policies that schools have. Tolerating bad behaviour for the sake of not calling on a senior member of staff undermines other colleagues and detracts from the learning of other students.

I am not ashamed on calling for senior staff for help when a student has reached that level on the behaviour scale. Yes, I could deal with the student myself, but this would undermine the policy that my school has come up with and, in turn, would undermine other colleagues who are using the system correctly.