Twenty ways to pre-empt disruption in the classroom

Horatio Speaks

“Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument, but greatly to quarrel at a straw when honour’s at the stake.” – Hamlet

If you are an expert on behaviour management, you may feel a lot of this is egg-sucking. Otherwise, I hope it might be useful. The rule of thumb is, use the most low-key intervention necessary to get the result you want. The list becomes more intensive as you go – roughly – but the main point is that all of these strategies can be integrated into the flow of regular classroom teaching – and in doing so, minimise interruptions to learning.


Anticipation means planning to solve problems. Revise your seating plan, obviously. Reflect intentionally: for example, journalling is a helpful way to slow down your thinking; or talk to a colleague whom you trust. Analyse what happened last time in order to solve specific…

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