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How to manage sanctions (Part 2) – PP17

The topic of the week is Sanctions. This is part two  of an exclusive audio seminar from Paul. Paul and Kevin will be back with the usual pattern and style of show in the New Year 2014.


Eye contact, eye level – position yourself at or lower than eye level

‘Punishment hardens and numbs, it produces obstinacy, it sharpens the sense of alienation and strengthens the power of resistance’

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

– A growing culture of punitive and corrosive punishment/retribution reinforces the ‘them’ and ‘us’ culture in many schools

– It should not be a surprise that we should need to apply sanctions

– Applying sanctions is an opportunity: to teach a child the lines of appropriate behaviour, to model appropriate behaviour, to demonstrate your consistency, to highlight the boundaries both in terms of expected behaviour and in the teacher/pupil relationship, to reinforce the rules and routine

– Redirecting and preventing inappropriate behaviour is the step before the application of sanctions

– Structure for applying sanctions: same routine, appropriate language, procedure not anger

– Applying sanctions publicly across a sea of children or by putting names on the board can compound problems, making one child’s behaviour everyone’s business

– Eye contact, eye level – position yourself at or lower than eye level

– Marking the moment with the child

– Softening bad news by using the best model for appropriate behaviour – the child’s previous good behaviour

– When children answer back what are your options: ‘I hear what you are saying’, ‘I understand you think that…’, gentle repetition, not being drawn away from the conversation that you want to have, withdrawing and returning

– When children tell you that they don’t care about the sanctions you know that you are having an impact

– Don’t ‘hover’ after you have applied a sanction. Allow children to make their own choices about behaviour.

– Removing/negotiating a sanction can work against your consistent approach

– Clean sheet for a new lesson

– Apply a couple of early sanctions matched with early rewards to settle the class

– What to do about secondary behaviours – don’t chase them, record them and address them when the child has calmed down.

– Serious incidents and appropriate sanctions – setting up and using a ‘red card’ or ‘on call’ system.

What would you like to hear covered in forthcoming episodes? Let us know by emailing or by leaving a comment below this post.

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1 thought on “How to manage sanctions (Part 2) – PP17

  1. every one likes a little praise a carrot rather than a stick

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