News &Views

about positive practices from

Anne Williams, Consulting Educator

From time to time I post a piece expressing ideas or observations - bits and pieces I  come up in response to conversations with practitioners - that might be interesting or useful to you.

I post a link to these on my facebook page where you can add comments or ideas and see what others have added.

Calling on students - Classroom Management

It is very easy for a teacher to fall into calling on only some of the class to answer questions or undertake a classroom task.  Some students are very good at lying low and avoiding this kind of involvement.  The called-on group may not learn to listen to or wait on others; others may perceive them as your favourites.  If you are not sure how much you do this, have someone observe your class and tick off on a class list those you call on (remembering that your consciousness of being observed may improve your more habitual behaviour).  

Here are a few strategies to address this:  Read more

Situational Expectations - Whole School

A key part of most school's behaviour development policy is a statement of some broad behaviour expectations.  Each classroom teacher will have specific expectations for that learning space, building on or reflecting those whole school expectations.  But what about the other places and spaces around the school where particular ways of acting might be needed?  Read more

Strengths-based Support - Individual Student

The term “strengths-based” is used across education and social services but often understanding of what this means is assumed.  For me these are the practice principles:    Read more

S/he fidgets all the time - Individual Student

Knowing our students is a key professional responsibility – as well as the source of much of the pleasure of teaching.  

Initially we get to know students in the same way as any other acquaintance – recognising them by sight, calling them by name, gaining a few facts to support conversation - but we need both social and professional information.  A way forward I explore further in some of my workshops is C.O.A.C.H. -     Read more

Getting to know your students - Individual Student

A student that won't sit still or taps the pen on the desk or jiggles their leg can be distracting and irritating.  Often it appears that they are not concentrating on the task or listening.  The natural impulse is to tell them to sit still.  However, such behaviour is not necessarily a sign of inattention.  Indeed for some people it aids concentration – even if it distracts others!  Fiddling or fidgeting can be the way an individual manages the sensory input they experience.  To understand more about this behaviour - Read More

Asking questions of the class  - Classroom Management

This is often the comment about intrusive or disruptive student behaviour.  However, it raises more questions than it answers.   To think about how to effectively manage behaviour driven by a need for attention - Read More

"Ignore it! It's only attention-seeking.”  - Individual Student

A useful way of clarifying and reviewing learning and monitoring and creating engagement with the class is directing questions to the class.  Developing routines in this area can make this a more effective learning activity for everyone - Read More

Austism and Happiness - Individual Student

Thoughts in response to Dr Peter Vermeulen's address, Autism SA Conference February 2018

Some key take-away messages from Vermeulen:

- Working for “feeling good” not just “calm”.

- Balancing challenge and protection – “high expectations and high levels of support”.

- Developing “autistic-friendly” situations by asking (1) how can the community bring pleasure into the lives of

  those with autism and (2) how can they contribute to the community?             Read more