Running a Classroom and Building Relationships

Overview and Reading List

At FHES, we were in a privileged position in June 2018, as Tom Bennett led a two-day training programme on ‘running a classroom’, through Tom Bennett Training via the Department for Education.

The key messages that kept coming through were:

  • Set your routines and stick to them 
  • Have the highest of expectations and don’t let them drop, ever.

When reflecting upon a lesson taught, one of the key points made, was to look at what was wanted to be taught, and whether the routines in place allow that to happen? There will be a gap in most cases, and normally the gap is driven by a lack of routines or expectations that are not high enough.

Routines can be really simple, however, they take time to embed and need to be stuck to. 

  • Students line up outside the classroom in silence (ask students to have a specific shoulder touching the wall – this automatically generates single file)
  • Students always sit in a seating plan that is set by the teacher
  • As students enter the classroom you greet them positively and with a smile, checking uniform on entry if applicable.
  • When students enter the classroom there is a learning task ready for students to access (with chunked written instructions) straight away
  • At the end of a lesson, students stand behind their chairs in silence, having cleared their tables. They are then released row by row.
  • When the teacher or peer is talking, all students make eye contact, and no-one talks over them.
  • Have a routine for gaining whole-class attention. Stick to it. Wait until you have the attention of all students prior to moving on. ‘Pens down, eyes up and listening in 3, 2, 1’ is a really simple method, and hugely effective, if done well. At FHES, we use the Teach Like A Champion technique – STAR.

One of the most striking statements, that is wholeheartedly true, that was ingrained through the content was ‘you promote what you permit’ – one to think about when you are thinking of letting something ‘go’ or ‘slide’, whether it be a one-off, or a routine. 

Managing the behaviour in the classroom is hugely important, without it, learning will not be happening in the way that is desired. The following links are useful to read, along with watching the videos below, to gain useful tips and strategies. 

The following video clips provide short supportive strategies and tips to ensure you are running your classroom. 

The following literature is highly recommended:

  • Running the Room – Tom Bennett
  • When the adult changes, everything changes – Paul Dix
  • Boys Don’t Try – Rethinking Masculinity in Schools – Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts
  • Classroom Behaviour 4th edition – Bill Rogers
  • Slow teaching – Jamie Thom – chapters on ‘Refining relationships’ and ‘Serene and stoical behaviour management’
  • The Confident Teacher – Alex Quigley – chapter 9 – ‘Managing student behaviour’
  • The Behaviour Guru: Behaviour Management Solutions – Tom Bennett

Latest FHES Teacher Blogs on Classroom Relationships

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