To reflect on the quality and consequences of relationships between teacher and children

Aim

To reflect on the quality and consequences of relationships between teacher and children, over several weeks.

Evidence and reflection

A diary should be kept, and the contents reviewed later. In this diary classroom events, observations and personal feelings can be recorded, particularly regarding the behaviour of a range of children with different attitudes to school. Perhaps ‘goodies', ‘jokers' or ‘gang' children might be tentatively identified.

Some weeks later, the diary should be reviewed. This will trigger personal recall of events and feelings, and enable you to construct a meaningful (and evidence‑informed) story of how classroom relationships developed. Did the children's behaviour remain within the bounds of the working consensus that you had previously established with them – just a little mischief and other forms of routine deviance? Or were some pupils acting beyond these limits so that they actually challenged your authority – if so, which children and with whom? Could you feel the engagement of the class ebb and flow over the period? What helped them to become more settled? What disturbed them? Can you relate these patterns to the things that you did, or felt? How did these changes affect particular groups of children?

Extension

Perhaps an important influence on children's behaviour and application to work is the quality of our own energy, commitment and educational provision? If this seems to be true, then a reflective teacher may want to consider how the development of good relationships and a stimulating curriculum can pre‑empt challenging behaviour and produce an inclusive, fulfilling classroom.