Similar to downtime, but curiously missing from practically every textbook and course on behaviour management, teachers send students to sit outside for a variety of reasons. It is a common, accepted and simple practice used by teachers the world over. Best practice is to keep students outside for a limited period of time (such as 3 minutes) or long enough for the student to calm down if they are becoming angry or upset. The teacher then retrieves the student and asks them if they are ready to return. Some students say ‘no’, particularly if they are upset. The teacher can reply, ‘no problems back in 10’.
Teachers can also allow students to sit outside as a reward or as a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. It might sound like this: ‘do you and Ethan want to sit outside for this lesson as a reward for your good work last week – and provided you are working I will let you have a little chat at the same time, but I need to see you working the whole time’. The teacher strategically chooses who is allowed to work outside. Removing 2-3 students who like to talk makes managing the rest of the class slightly easier due to a reduction in the ripple effect and the increase in the teacher-to-student ratio. The students chosen are usually not the main culprits of noise or other issues but are those who are prone to idle chit-chat now and then – the ones who easily become the centre of attention or who are naturally louder than the average. This special deal keeps them on-task while giving them a social outlet that is acceptable – a win-win.
Best practice is to keep students outside for a limited period of time (such as 3 minutes) or long enough for the student to calm down if they are becoming angry or upset.
Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and a #1 best selling author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of ITAC, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.
Source: Behaviour Management Skills and Strategies for the Modern Classroom: 100+ research-based strategies for both novice and experienced practitioners.
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