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?  There is a range of specific purpose areas where particular behaviour supports safety or orderly processes.  These include the canteen, the till or payment counter, student reception, break play zones, and high traffic  corridors.

Clear, specific expectations, linked to the whole school expectations, support staff supervising or working in those areas and deepen understanding of ways of fulfilling the broad school expectations.

For illustration, let's imagine Goodplace School has as its broad statement of expectations:

Goodplace School

expects everyone here to

Respect Others     Be Safe     Do Our Best

The Canteen might have a poster with a statement "Respecting others at the Canteen includes Waiting your Turn,  Recognising Personal Space in the Queue and Speaking Courteously" with some illustrated cues.  Corridors might have notices like "Be Safe - Walk on the Left"  and "Respect Others - Stand Aside".  Staff can then use more low-key reminders like naming a student and nodding at the poster as a first intervention.

Situations can be in time not just place.  Staff can use this model to remind students in a particular incident:  "food scraps in the bin - it's harder ot be safe if we encourage pests"; or "it's easier to do your best if you bring the gear you need".  This reminds students that the teacher's authority is that of the school, not just the individual, and brings the broad vision alive in the everyday activities of school life.

from the News & Views of

Anne Williams, Consulting Educator

If you would like to comment, or see comments and ideas from others, go to my facebook page.