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Topic Eleven Reflection Task

Situation

I was in a Year 1 class; the students were kind, well behaved and willing to learn. The teacher had a very
strict rule of when she is giving instructions all students must stop, look and listen. Every student was equal
to this rule so even if she knew a student was withdrawing from medication, there were no acceptations.
Stop, look and listen. A slight fidget, a turn of the head was not acceptable all eyes must be on her, and no
one is to speak or put their hand up until after the instructions were given, then questions may be asked.

One student, a boy, was disengaged from a maths lesson. The student was fidgeting with his shoelace as he
was sitting on the mat with the rest of the class.

Action

The teacher notices the behaviour and puts him on notice; the first warning was issued. Leave your shoe lace
alone. The student stops fidgeting with his shoelace for a short period then continues the same behaviour.
The lesson is again stopped. The teacher glares at him; he then stops the unwanted behaviour. The teacher
declares that look was warning number two and he is to sit next to the teacher. The student then moves
toward her and sits down on the mat at her feet. The student does not fiddle with his shoelace but begins to
look around the room. Again, the teacher stops the lesson and with a very stern voice and angry look
declares this is warning number three, and not acceptable. The student is to move his peg on the board, and
sit in the time out area. The student gets up moves his peg and sits in time out. The teacher returns to
instructing her lesson and returns the rest of the class to their respective desks. The student in time out asks
if he could go back to his desk but the teacher says no, and if he calls out again he will go to the office or lose
his recess. It is his choice of what is to happen next. The student is quiet.

Outcome

The student sat in time out for another 10 minutes then returned to his desk. However, before returning to
his desk the student had to apologise for his behaviour. He did not have a lot of working time because of his
inactiveness at the time out area. He did feel remorse when in time out because he indicated he wanted to
come back into the learning environment sooner than later.

Reflection

The continual stoppage of a lesson because of a student’s misdemeanour can be a cause for students to
become disengaged with the lesson and more focused on themselves demonstrating the correct behaviour
because of the fear of getting in trouble. Understandably there needs to be a balance of both positive
reinforcement and low-level intervention such as The Bumping Model by Barrie Bennett & Peter Smilanich
(EDN358 lecture 8).

Continued positive behaviour reinforcement could alleviate some of the interruptions to the lesson because
the positive comments could be seamlessly interwoven into the lesson being taught. It can also support the
low ability students’ self-esteem when delivering lessons by allowing them to demonstrate what great
listening skills look like and sound like.

Effective teaching occurs when students are engaged and keeping students on task is the most important yet
challenging situations to overcome. Applying B.F Skinner’s approach to behaviour management may seem in
contrast with my humanist philosophy, but I realise Skinner’s theory sets the ground rules and is an effective
and efficient method of demonstrating to the students that misbehaviour will not be tolerated. However, a
combination of both authoritative and humanist theories could deliver a productive approach to classroom
management and student engagement. Whatever the situation, professionalism and high standards must be
adhered to because we are demonstrating and modelling what and how good citizens look like, sound like
and act like.

Linking the Critical Learning Incident to the Australian Professional Standard for Teachers (APST)

4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

4.1 Support student participation - Strategies that promote inclusive student participation and engagement
in classroom activities are continual positive reinforcement such as acknowledgement for participating,
acknowledgement for sitting up straight and listening, acknowledgement for showing interest in a topic and
so forth. Consistently praising the students could dispel any negative thoughts harboured by the student.
Holding students accountable for their learning is a significant step toward supporting student participation,
that is, in the class discussion every student must answer at least one question per day. Use group and
paired activities before any individual activity; this promotes collaboration.

4.2 Manage classroom activities – Preparing and organising lessons in advance provide scope to concentrate
on managing the classroom for the teaching. Knowing what you are going to teach means explicit
instructions can be given to the students to keep them on task with their learning. Being prepared maximises
learning time. The teacher was well prepared for the lesson and therefore could concentrate on managing
the behaviour to maximise the learning for the students.

4.3 Manage challenging behaviour - Practical approaches to managing challenging behaviour are levelled
warnings, using the Bump Model, or using “I” statements such as “I feel disappointed when I hear students
call out because it makes me feel like no one is learning”. Evidence of the bump model such as proximity and
glaring at the student was used in the SAO for the critical learning incident.
4.4 Maintain student safety - Strategies that support students’ well-being is getting to know the student
such as their cultural background or identify any possible issues that may affect a student in class such as
medications, home life and so forth. Read school policies and procedures, understand legislative
requirements, deliver the curriculum content and consistently assess the student's progression and revise
lessons to scaffold the learning accordingly, report and document incidents that seem minor but are out of
character for the student. Keeping accurate records means if any escalation is required there is evidence to
support the case. Riverside primary had a code of conduct for students and teachers to adhere too.

4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically – always view film clips before featuring it to the students, use
reliable, and relevant ICT resources from reputable websites that have been government or educative
approved to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching. Also, it is advisable
to be aware of any cultural issues surrounding the showing of particular content because it may be
offensive. The teacher-vetted all ICT material before showing the students.

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