Showing posts from May, 2017

Behaviour Management

I have spent a number of years running workshops for & mentoring PRTs now PCTs.
Behaviour Management was always the thing that they struggled with in their first year.
The answer is always in developing learning-focused relationships.

The PCTs have been attending PLD on Positive Behaviour for Learning run by the local RTLB Service. Following are some great diagrams on de-escalating behaviour in the classroom. The big question - how do your actions escalate or de-escalate the situation. Generally, if the teacher remains calm, the class will remain calm & vice versa.

Appraisal vs Certification

At a recent meeting with PCTs there seemed to be some confusion around evidence for appraisal and evidence for certification.

Appraisals are about  "improving teacher capability and student outcomes" (ERO). That is why the teacher's goals are linked to the vision and goals of the strategic plan of the school. Often there will be a school goal, a department goal and a personal goal.

The appraisal process is  focused on valued outcomes for students, from goal-setting, evidence gathering and analysis, observations and professional discussions to the annual report (ERO). Attention can de directed to priority students and evidence from teachers' inquiries can form the basis of an appraisal discussion.
So teachers choose their own goals within the guidelines & parameters set by the school.

Originally this process did not include the Registered Teacher Criteria but the Practising Teacher Criteria are now being used in appraisal. There has been confusion between th…

Requirements for Certification

As we are approaching mid-year and some of the PRTs are wanting to apply for full certification at the end of the year it seems timely to look at the Education Council Requirements and ensure that everybody is up to speed.
I have also included a note around pay increments as people are mixing this up with registration which is quite separate and linked to appraisal and Professional Standards. (We are paid by the Ministry of Education).
INDUCTION AND MENTORING As a provisionally certificated teacher you will have the guidance of a mentor teacher who is an experienced fully certificated colleague, trained to guide and support you and give constructive feedback. The most important features of induction and mentoring include: ·an emphasis on practice-focused professional learning for the provisionally certificated teachers (PCT) ·a range of professional development opportunities ·evaluations of professional practice based on the Practising Teacher Criteria ·active support and commitment from pro…

Motivating Pasifika Learners

At our PCT meeting yesterday the PCTs shared which students they were focussing on for their inquiry into lifting individual student achievement - a focus for the Professional Learning groups (PLuGS) and what they thought needed to be addressed for these students. The needs discussed were motivation x 3, non completion, disengaged, easily distracted.

I decided to do some reading around motivation with Pasifika Learners.
ERO in its 2012 report "Improving Education Outcomes for Pasifika Learners" saw the key elements as:

Identity, Language & Culture - different needs for different learnersAssessment information - understanding and using data to make a differenceAn effective connection between home and schoolA curriculum that has meaning for students and connects with their wider lives The last bullet point refers to using a culturally responsive pedagogy. (see video) What is a culturally responsive pedagogy? It is about knowing your Pasifika students and their contexts
What …


At the beginning of a new term, it is always good to revisit the expectations you made the term before. Some may have become routine, some may have to be lifted as the previous ones have been achieved and new behaviours may have emerged with expectations to go with these.

These expectations come from Chapter 4 of  Positive Behaviour for Learning(PB4L)
Every school needs a consistent, positive approach to addressing behaviour. The PB4L approach is based on the results of research (Alberto & Troutman 2012) This research tells us that:

all social behaviour both appropriate & inappropriate is learnedstudents do not learn better ways of behaving through punitive learn better ways of behaving, students must be taught replacement retain new behaviours, students must be given specific, positive feedback & opportunities to practise in a variety of school settings. Checklist for promoting positive behaviours:

Playground duty

Our PB4L session yesterday with the RTLBs focussed on how we do Playground duty. Are new teachers trained in any way on what to do when on duty?

What makes good active supervision?
• Move around – avoid standing in one place. Don't use the same routine.
• Look around by scanning all areas, near and distant.
• Interact with students effectively and efficiently:  greet students be brief and positively reinforce students who are following expectations (be explicit)

 positively correct students who are breaking expectations (state the expectation, give choices, then put it back on the student). Look the part. Be highly visible and easily identifiable with a bright vest, hat or folder. The key to student interactionHigh rates of positive contact with individuals or groups of students can be expected to significantly reduce student problem behaviour for up to 90% of students. Positive contacts should be: • friendly, helpful and open • proactive and not contingent on a behaviour • short (5…

Teaching Tongan Students

Mele Suipi Latu, a teacher on the staff at Tamaki College, ran a session for us on Tongan values, ways of being and how these are sometimes in conflict with what we expect of them in school.
She reminded us that students come to school already shaped with a whole world view consisting of beliefs, customs, practices, and expectations.

The 4 Tongan values:
Relationships - family, church, country, villages
Humility - Lototo - drop what you want and go with expectations. Everyone knows their place.
Commitment - you do it until it hurts. Commit to whatever course you are doing.

Students develop a subculture when they leave home - a second culture. There can be a clash between the subculture of school & home. At home they learn to do what they are told and to respect their elders; at school they are taught to question. Mele suggests that the teacher puts up their expectations from the first lesson but should never disown the students from their culture.

There can be a big differ…