I posted a thread on leading teacher development that seems to have landed well. Thanks for the lovely feedback. Below is a similar attempt to distil approaches I've seen work well with behaviour and culture. More likely to be divisive, but offered with humility and no tribalism.
1. If children don’t feel safe, they are not safe. Poor behaviour is frightening and traumatic to victims, stressful to participants. Leaders must learn when and where children feel unsafe. Systems, sanctuary and supervision must be tight. It is a leader’s duty to be on duty.
2. Children are fundamentally kind and empathic. Far more so than adults. But they are also impulsive and forming. The structures of schooling should be certain and dependable but not carceral or cruel: where to sit, not how to sit; what to look at, not how to direct gaze.
3. Common signals a culture is not where it should be: the storm surge thrill of children moving through a school without collegiate care or in the pursuit of a fight; the proliferation of pigeons (litter), scattered furniture and tears at the end of a break. Febrile and hostile.
4. We need to talk with boys, not about boys. Sexual violence and grooming is a toxic reality we need to understand and teach. Be explicit and fearless in framing the words and acts that cause harm. Seek it out, spell it out, stamp it out. We should be knowledge rich about abuse.
5. Coherent, centralised consequences. Detentions are a waste of time but so are parking fines. Casual disruption is not (usually) communication of unmet need, but an act of low self-control. Equip teachers and students with the confidence of simple consequences for tawdry acts.
6. Mind your language and frame the imperative. Directives utilise imperative verbs, but influence relies upon modal verbs. ‘I need you to’ is more powerful than ‘Go to’, just as ‘together we will’ is more inclusive than ‘now you will’. Small stuff worth sweating. Relationships.
7. Uniform is branding. Done well, a refreshingly non-commercial (make it affordable) one that has substance (pride). Engage everyone in the design and avoid the tipping point where it just becomes about control. Identity is a lifelong brand – we should keep it simple at school.
8. Community is everything. The strongest schools reflect a climate of collective efficacy. Morally strong, kind contexts. Adults must be visible, children must be welcome. Plan for bespoke provision rather than alternative provision: safe spaces, counselling, catch-up, pick-up.
9. Find the child who can’t name a caring adult. Seek them out and you’ll find the gaps in your provision and the root of failure. Survey attitudes and intervene as strongly as with academics. Evaluate the impact of your values-structures.
10. Central systems are an easy win, exclusion is a complex failure. Both are required to keep a community orderly and safe. But we exclude before a child sets foot by creating a hostile environment for the divergent. Establish a child’s needs, not their capacity for compliance.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @richspencer1979

5 Apr
I've led teaching and learning (in various roles) for a decade now. Below is a thread outlining 10 things I think can work best. I've implemented some more than others, succeeded more with some than others, but seen all of them work. I have changed my mind; I will change my mind.
1. Prioritise expertise. Reassure teachers that the development of their subject-expertise is your priority. Calendar time with their teams to work on this and improve their curriculum. Build networks with other schools to support this. Limit lonely actors.
2. Establish focus. Whole school teaching and learning priorities remain an important collective driver. Review the evidence and form a working party to establish four/five key whole-school focus areas. Then promote strongly the implementation and evaluation of those strategies.
Read 11 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!