“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
I have spent a large proportion of September training staff at our school. We have had quite a lot of new staff start and many of the current staff have moved year groups. Although this has helped revitalise many of the staff, it has highlighted a wide range of issues around consistency hence, a jam packed training schedule. I delivered my first actual INSET yesterday based around the key changes to our behaviour policy. It was an odd situation. There were lots of periods of silence part from opportunities that I gave for them to speak. The training based around reminding staff about the conflict spiral and scripted language (both two things that I have blogged about), our 3 new school rules and then sanctions and praise. Although my training style was slightly informal due to a didactic style not being appropriate, I felt that maybe the staff had not bought into it. As I got in today though, I was pleasantly surprised as I was given good feedback from staff from all levels of hierarchy in the school. I think this is a good sign…
The majority of the other training has been spent training staff on longer sessions for scripted language, the conflict spiral and most recently, spending time with the lunchtime supervisors. Working with a range of people who have different roles, experiences and beliefs has been fascinating. I love listening to peoples points of views and talking through things because I believe that it helps to develop my own practice. Kind of like blogging does I suppose.
One of the points that I have been trying to hammer home is that we, as a school, are managing the behaviour of our children through personality and not policy. There will always be teachers that sway either side of the fence of discipline. Some will land in the leniency garden while some will land in the liberal one. The thing is, as adults, we generally like to feel in control. When our constructs are challenged, it is easy to become threatened. I have had to work alongside the staff with empathy and respect while challenging their perceptions. If I can show them that they have a toolbox of options, maybe the ones who rely on a hammer will put it down once and a while…
The staff in my school are hard working and willing to give most things a try. This has made a massive difference in terms of giving me license to try and support them. Long may it continue!
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