Weekly Reflection: Why do we treat behaviour differently from learning?

This week a bit of my time and concentration has been focused on unwise decisions made by my students. I’ve run the full gamut of emotions; shock, anger, denial and sadness all the time trying to keep my cool.

It’s funny the way we view behaviour.

If a kid makes a mistake when they are reading, we don’t immediately stop them from coming to reading group. We model, guide and support the child until they can get over the hurdle by themselves.

A mistake is a learning opportunity.

Yet when it comes to behaviour, we are still very much in a fixed mindset. That child is no good, comes from a poor family.  Sometimes children’s behaviour is seen as being a reflection on their teacher. We go into damage control mode, not wanting to be judged.

We just want to get on with our lessons rather spend time sorting out yet another bad decision.  Behaviour is something we solve on our own and hope it isn’t one of our kids who flooded the toilets, left their instrument on a bus or was misbehaving at the shops down the hills.

But surely mistakes and muck ups in behaviour are just as an important learning opportunity that all teachers in a school should take ownership over?

Developing all those attitudes we stick up on the wall in PYP schools don’t just happen because we’ve decided to look at empathy during our ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit. Often it is those day to day interactions that present a time to go back to those attitudes and the learner profile.

How did you feel when Sarah took your pencil?

What effect did missing practice have on the rest of the team?

Could you have communicated you forgot your swimming gear earlier?

These lessons aren’t the ones you plan, but is where the learning is needed right then and there.

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