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Must-Have Insights to Run an Effective Classroom

In this interview with Tom Bennett, author of Running the Room: The Teacher’s Guide to Behaviour (John Catt Educational), hear about the different sides of the behavior management conversation, along with the importance of being realistic about what teachers are facing each day. 

According to Bennett, the subject of behavior management has the misleading stigma of discipline through punishment, a reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. He sees good behavior as a habit that enables one to flourish in any circumstance. Like so many other subjects, behavior benefits from treating it as an integral part of the curriculum. As Bennett explains, there needs to be a great deal more “teaching behavior, not telling behavior,” a concept that is a central theme of his book.

As you listen to the interview, think through the following questions, and consider your views on behavior management and the importance of setting up an environment of learning that allows students to access curriculum while developing habits and skills for success:

Bennett says that “behavior is a curriculum.” How do you respond to this idea? Have you ever thought of it this way?

For some students, the make-up of the traditional classroom is unnatural. The idea of sitting still, being patient, sharing, waiting for your turn, etc. can feel strange and foreign. What are you doing as an educator to better understand and integrate students from different backgrounds and circumstances?

What is your opinion of the concept of “teaching behavior, not telling behavior,” and do you embrace the idea of establishing a proactive method by getting in front of poor behavior before it occurs?

As a teacher, is it important to establish an understanding between you and your students of what you represent, stand for, and what matters to you? Do you feel this approach could be beneficial to the creation of a cohesive and productive classroom environment?

Learn more about Tom Bennett’s book, Running the Room: The Teacher’s Guide to Behaviour, and more great John Catt Educational publications, by visiting us.johncattbookshop.com

About Tom Bennett

Tom Bennett is the founder of researchED, a grass-roots organisation that raises research literacy in education and campaigns for better evidence awareness worldwide.

In 2015 he became the UK government’s school ‘Behaviour Czar,’ advising on behavior policy, as well as chairing the Mental Health in Schools panel. He has written four books about teacher training, and in 2015 he was long-listed as one of the world’s top teachers in the GEMS Global Teacher Prize.

In the same year, he made The Huffington Post’s ‘Top Ten Global Bloggers’ list. He is also the Director of Tom Bennett Training, which works exclusively with the most disadvantaged students and schools in England, helping them to turn around.

His online resources have been viewed over 1,200,000 times.

Running the Room book by Tom Bennett


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