Skip to main content


Teacher Burn Out: Should I stay or should I go?

Whether you've been at a school a year or a decade, moving onto new pastures can be a tough decision to make. There is often guilt attached to leaving students and fellow teaching staff- but there shouldn't be! More than ever, teachers are leaving the profession they once loved. Before making the leap to a new life outside of teaching, you might want to think about moving on to another year group or even another school. It could reignite that passion and energy for this most rewarding of all vocations.  Just like clouds, every school is different! From one-form entry schools , to inner-city schools to mixed-group village schools, there are so many variables - not be mention different ethos' and leadership styles. Maybe you're ready for a change?  Should I Stay or Should I Go? When answering the below questions, consider what is most important to you and your well-being. Think about how sustainable your current work routine is long-term - you don't want to be burned

Keeping focus: Effective classroom behaviour strategies for key stage 1

This time last year, I was an NQT standing in front of a chatty class and wondering how to keep them focused and on task. I had yet to experience a chatty class. It wasn't intentional most of the time. They were excited, enthusiastic 6-year-olds wanting to talk about their ideas more and always had something to say. However, this low-level disruption wasn't helping the amount of work or quality of work I knew they were capable of. Over the first few weeks of the year and even into the summer term, I tried and tested a variety of techniques, some of which I adapted as the year went on to keep them on their toes and interested. For low-level disruption and faffing around, here are some behaviour strategies that are worth a try:

teacher advice for behaviour management in primary school

Give Instructions 

One of the most effective techniques for my chatty class was giving instructions. Sometimes verbally and other times through actions. I'd also give DoJos to those following those instructions straight away. Stand up, sit down, clap once, clap twice, pat your back  - Sometimes I'd give one instruction, other times I'd keep going just to make sure they are entirely focused and awake!


My class loved this instant reward website, similar to house points but visual on the interactive whiteboard. I ended each week with looking at who had the most DoJos and they were rewarded with more than just the house points everyone else got for DoJos. You could use either a prize box or class treat child with most dojos that week chooses which song we have on to dance to before star assembly. There are plenty of ways to reward them without needing to buy presents. The DoJo master could choose a special activity for the following Friday afternoon or they could be given a special job.

Gold, Silver, Bronze

At the end of every school day, I'd get a child or five come up to me and say 'are we doing gold, silver, and bronze today?' We did it every day so I'm sure they only asked with the hope they would get a sticker! I had gold, silver, and bronze star stickers and each day I'd have a gold, silver and bronze child for whatever reason I had. eg. My gold star today has been very helpful and tidied their table before break time without being asked. So it is... John! The sticker goes into their home/school diaries and the next day they get to be at the front of lines and get to be first for different activities etc. I loved this reward system because of how proud they are to get gold, silver, or bronze and they know exactly why they are getting rewarded.

advice for teachers behaviour management in primary school class

Traffic Lights

As with all behaviour strategies, this needs to be used consistently. This also requires some wall space for your traffic lights and children's names to be moved between lights. This works well as a reward system as any children on green at the end of the day could get house points. However it can also have consequences, if they are in the red, they may need to miss a few minutes of their break time or parents will be spoken to at the end of the day if they are still there (depending on your school policy). It's another visual strategy in which just having it on the wall and walking towards it should discourage any disruptive behaviours.

Sticker Charts

Some classes need physical rewards and personal or table sticker charts can be very effective. If you're walking around the classroom holding some stickers whilst they are working, they will be quietly working and hoping you notice how hard they are working. Similarly, you could go around with a pen and paper writing down children who will get stickers at the end of the lesson. If you have a TA, get them involved in noting down which children were working hard or had great ideas, etc.

What strategies have you used with your classes? Please comment below!

Check out my TES Shop for free and cheap lesson plans, resources and ActivInspire flipcharts.


Popular posts