Better Behaviour

Micro-Skills

Introduction

This practical training package addresses one significant part of behaviour management, that of language. It is designed to be used in conjunction with other materials that explore wider, complex socio-psychological issues.

The micro-skills are part of a classroom management plan, the 'doing' part. The micro-skills provide a scaffold for teachers who want to experiment with peaceful, less confrontative, even minimalist management.

The purpose of these materials is to enhance the practical expertise of teachers so that they become increasingly able to expend more energy enthusiastically engaging students with the curriculum, rather than wasting energy on the futile endeavour of trying to make students do what they don't want to do.

The micro-skills are practical, classroom tested, and have been designed to help teachers model respectful, task-oriented behaviour.

The program was designed by Christine Richmond during her work in many schools in South Coast Region as Senior Guidance Officer (Behaviour Management). The materials evolved into their current, practical shape over time, as teachers gave feedback after experimenting with particular micro-skills in their classrooms. Kerry Panitz made significant contributions to the development of the initial draft. All members of the behaviour support teams helped refine the materials through fieldwork.

Ten classic micro-skills for maintaining confidence and poise in the classroom

Skill Technical Terms Descriptive Terms
1
Establishing expectations
Making rules
2
Instruction giving
Telling what to do
3
Waiting and scanning
Stopping to look at what is happening
4
Cueing with parallel acknowledgement
Praising a particular student to make a point
5
Body language encouraging
Smiling, nodding and moving near
6
Descriptive encouraging
Using a particular type of praise
7
Selective attending
Ignoring some behaviour
8
Giving a choice
Describing the student’s options and likely consequences
9
Following through
Doing what you said you would
10
Defusing
Talking it through

 

   

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