Thursday 22 December 2011

Daily Behaviour Contracts

Have you ever tackled a pupils poor behaviour by instigating a daily behaviour contract?

In my past experience they have always been incredibly effective, especially when devised between teachers, child and parents. In a situation where a child struggles to effectively manage their own behaviour yet thrives off of the praise and reward received by parents when they do, they can be a powerful tool. A behaviour contract provides an actual link between home and school, parents, teacher and teaching assistant.

I have found that sometimes a home/school diary is not enough to combat the poor behaviour. I would guess that the lines are just too blurred with such a document, there are no strong visual boundaries. The behaviour contract tackles this by clearly outlining the expected behaviour, do not reel off a list of requirements, instead stick to four or five compulsory points and word them using positive language.

Some behaviour contract points I have used in the past are:
  • I have sat on my chair properly.
  • I have walked sensibly around the school.
  • I have had a good lunch/break time.
  • I have been polite to adults.
  • I have not fiddled with the contents of my tray.
  • I have raised my hand to ask a question or offer my point of view. 
By writing the points as something which has already been achieved the contract does not appear as such a challenge. For example, "I have sat on my chair properly" rather then, "I will sit on my chair properly."

I like to glue the daily behaviour contract into the home/school diary, this way any points that need further explanation can be provided along with the contract. The pupil should be encourage to apply stickers or ticks to the contract at the end of the day, in order to self-monitor their behaviour. They should also be encouraged to talk to their parents/carers about points which they may have missed on that day, and discuss possible ways in which to achieve them the next day. 

By outlining the first five goals in a daily behaviour contract, the pupil will know exactly what behaviour is expected of them. The points on the contract should be revised termly, and updated once a constant rate of success has been achieved. Discuss with the pupil possible rewards to receive in return for achieving the contract, remember what you see as a reward may not be so for the pupil. The reward will need to be relevant and age appropriate. 

Blank behaviour contracts for boys and girls can be found in the printable resource section. 

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