Responding to inappropriate behaviour

It is important think about how you respond to inappropriate pupil behaviour. The choices teachers make in responding to pupils behaviour are crucial in influencing the choices pupil make about how they will behave. It’s not just about responding to inappropriate behaviour: it’s also about creating conditions that will encourage positive behaviour.

Appropriate reactions?

Look at the list below of teacher reactions to inappropriate classroom behaviour. Make a note of which ones apply to you.

When a pupil or student behaves inappropriately, I...

  • ...display anger, shout or scream, cry
  • ...fail to react or pretend I haven't seen or heard anything
  • ...remain passive
  • ...act inconsistently, I can be unfair
  • ...threaten actions, but do not usually follow through
  • ...make hurtful comments or I am sarcastic
  • ...argue or am hostile
  • ...apply sanctions
  • ...leave the classroom
  • ...send for another member of staff
  • ...send the pupil or student out of the classroom
  • ...tend to react rather than be proactive
  • ...use a discipline plan
  • ...follow the school's behaviour policy and guidelines
  • ...manage the situation calmly
  • ...respond according to the level of inappropriate behaviour (low ,medium, high)
  • ...overreact according the level of behaviour
  • ...use a planned, proactive professional approach

You should now have a clearer idea of how you respond to poor behaviour. Find out about reflecting on your relationships with your students and managing pupil behaviour.