Calm books for the classroom

August 20th, 2018

A few years ago, I worked with Toby*, a Year 2 boy with dyslexia who was having trouble controlling his anger in the classroom. When he perceived tasks as too hard he would scrunch up work, throw pens, workbooks and other materials, sometimes yell, swear, and on rare occasions hit and push other students. Over […]

Supporting students who are bullied

March 14th, 2018

The National Day Against Bullying and Violence is Friday,16 March. Around Australia, teachers will talk to students about the need to tell a teacher if they or another student is being bullied. This message is clearly captured in most if not all school policies and discussed regularly in classroom bullying prevention programs. Despite this, few […]

Children ‘on the run’

March 5th, 2018

Children who are constantly moving, are typically not observing, listening, hearing or fully understanding the world around them. Their learning and social emotional development is ‘at risk’ of not developing in the same way or at the same expected rate as their peers. They often demonstrate a number of the following behaviours: reduced imaginary play […]

Distracted, disengaged students? Possible reasons why.

August 16th, 2017

There are many possible reasons for a lack of engagement in the classroom. Often these are non-school related. For example, not getting enough sleep, spending too much time with peers or screens, having too many extra-curricula activities, ‘issues’ at home, or simply being ‘lazy’. However, school-related factors are among the more common issues reported by […]

Who is telling the truth?

May 14th, 2017

It is not unusual for children to sometimes tell lies or embellish the truth, particularly in the preschool and early primary years. One of the most vexatious behaviour management situations for teachers relates to getting to the bottom of a conflict between children, where none of the protagonists will admit to being at fault, there […]

Q&A Young student who bites and hits

May 27th, 2016

Q: ‘I have been referred a child who bites and hits others when she cannot have her own way. The child is in Prep (Foundation year), and did the same at preschool and at home. This year’s classroom teacher has had some success, however the behaviour has returned. From my reading, this behaviour may relate […]

How to talk to a student you suspect of alcohol/drug use

September 3rd, 2015

Around 74% of Australian secondary school students have tried alcohol at least once before they turn 17.[1] 2011 Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) Survey  Illicit drug use is less common with 2-3% reporting using drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines or heroin.[2] White, V & Bariola, E (December 2012). Australian secondary school students’ use […]

Challenging homophobia in the classroom

April 9th, 2015

You may have read recent news reports describing alarmingly high levels of homophobia in Australian teenage males. A study conducted by Beyond Blue revealed that the 14 to 17 year old boys surveyed were more homophobic than the general population. Approximately 40% revealed they did not feel comfortable around same sex attracted people, and 38% […]

Greeting your students as they enter the classroom

February 9th, 2015

Late last year a colleague of mine told me he had begun greeting each of his students as they entered the classroom before a lesson, after it was suggested at a PD he had attended. Almost immediately he noticed a shift in the behaviour of his students.  Students who were regularly disruptive were less so, […]

The most effective way to discourage bullying

January 14th, 2015

By Dr Ash Nayate, Clinical Neuropsychologist   Psych4Schools Guest Blogger Bullying is a widespread concern for kids and teens, and despite our best efforts, as educators we can often feel like we’re one step behind. Most schools do an outstanding job of establishing anti-bullying policies, investing in student wellbeing, and teaching kids the strategies to […]

Angry or agitated student?

February 19th, 2012

Teachers often ask me what to do when a student becomes agitated or angry. The question is usually asked about a student who is repeatedly angry, causing disruption in the classroom, and a lot of stress for the teacher.  There are many issues and conditions that can lead to agitated or angry behaviour, from challenging […]

Writing a behaviour management plan

July 24th, 2011

The most effective whole school behaviour management plans are carefully thought out, based on all of the information available about the student and communicated well to other staff. Understandably schools need behaviour management plans to be written quickly. However, an afternoon spent gathering information about the child before writing the plan will help to build […]