All members of the teaching staff manage pastoral situations daily. It may be that a child lacks the confidence to begin a particular task on their own, or that another child thinks and works very quickly and therefore needs constantly to be stretched and provided with extension material in order to stay in his/her seat. It may be that two children have fallen out over break and are too distracted by this to concentrate on their work, or that things have become difficult within their family and this is preoccupying them. As teachers, it is our job to manage these situations effectively so that learning can take place for everyone. This will often involve acknowledging that there is something troubling a child and agreeing a time to meet to discuss it properly with someone.
Clear classroom expectations with firm, fair and consistent boundaries allow for a sense of positive discipline where children can discover how to improve their behaviour, without feeling bad about themselves. Positive behaviour is consistently rewarded. This approach allows for the fact that children will make mistakes and that most take time to learn; it focuses on what the children are doing well rather than on their mistakes or inadequacies. It allows adults to remain in charge, while respecting children's rights as individuals and helping them to think and act for themselves. This in time enables children to become self-disciplined people who take responsibility for their own actions and treat others, and themselves, with care, kindness and respect.