- I think it is good for trainees to learn about classroom routines at uni as well as at school (I can’t think of many providers who won’t cover this, although SD/SCITT courses may use their own particular school approaches which might be accused of lacking breadth).
- I think it is a great idea for trainees to have considered how they might respond effectively to common misbehaviour or issues in the classroom (again this is covered through observations of experienced teachers, discussions of approaches to behaviour management, use of videos etc.)
- I think it is good for trainees to be aware of the importance of relationships with students (again this is covered and dealt with in our course and certainly by the schools we partner with. Of course things break down more when schools have their own ideas about those relationships which jar with university input eg. When schools allow children to take a time-out by their own choice, or when pupils can ‘appeal’ a teacher’s sanction.
- I think it is very important for trainees to get support with behaviour management. This does however need to come from the most credible sources – often this means in schools.
- I love the idea that trainees should have to observe people with excellent behaviour management – behaviour experts. However I also feel that schools tend to define these as the people who don’t have behaviour problems. Far more useful might be to observe a teacher for whom behaviour is an effort, but who does not let their standards slip and deals with issues. The risk with the “behaviour expert” approach is that it becomes all about personalities and those behaviour demagogues which all schools have.
- I think it can be a powerful tool when trainees video and watch their lessons critically.
So far, so vanilla. Yet I also feel there are a number of fundamental issues with the approaches suggested by Bennett and his team. The following points are very much a response to the report and to Tom's blog "Let's fix this together" published today.