We’ve been collecting your stories about the inspiring and encouraging experiences you’ve had at work during 2008. Here is a collection of the behaviour management themed responses you sent to the question, What has been your most positive experience at work this year?

“At our school I have many positive experiences every day, every week so it was hard to pick one. I am in charge of Behaviour and Attendance so lots of pupils come to me when in trouble of some sort and if I ask to see a pupil for any reason they always assume they are in trouble!!! Sometimes I just want their help! I was asked to go on a Year 6 residential trip in June for 5 days to keep an eye on one of our special needs pupils. I am their Year Leader too. I am 63 (do not feel it!) and was pleased to get the chance to go on this trip with the younger staff members and Year 6 pupils. We all had such a laugh!!! The staff wore army combat gear for comfort and I got to abseil (to cheers!), squirt my blind-folded group with a huge water gun on a trust exercise in the muddy wood and dance the night away at the Disco. I had a group I was responsible for too and it was GREAT! The children saw me in a completely different light – and said so! It was a positive and rewarding experience and we all have such warm memories to share about it all. Not work -a pleasure -even when they would not settle to sleep!”
– Assistant Head

“When I heard a child tell another child who was complaining about getting hurt when he was blocking the climbing frame that he was “choosing to get hurt by sitting there”. This was both rewarding and amusing because it was a word-for-word repetition of my earlier successful strategy to persuade a child to move from the same position. It made me realise that the children listen to what the grown-ups say, even if it isn’t obvious at the time.”
– Student Volunteer

“When speaking to my students (age 5-8) I refer to them as ladies and gentlemen: they love being called this as it gives them a sense of maturity. If, however, they are badly behaved, I revert back to calling them boys and girls – they immediately change their attitude and we are back to a respectful and good-mannered classroom. I found it very successful.”
– English Teacher and Co-ordinator

“I have mentored and given classroom support to a student who had serious behaviour problems whilst he was at our School. We got on well together in my capacity as his male role model and support teacher. I recognised he had flair and a great interest in cooking. For the final year of his GCSE Hospitality & Catering course I worked alongside his Teacher giving him encouragement and guidance. He was projected to fail but in the end obtained a level B pass! I was thrilled at his achievement and together with the Lady Teacher using our contacts arranged for an interview for him at the only 4 Star Hotel in Doncaster. He passed and is now an apprentice Chef at the Hotel and feedback so far, as he has been there since July, is wonderful. The staff really think he is wonderful young man. I am as delighted for him as I would have been if it had been my own son. Job satisfaction at its highest.”
– Faculty Learning Manager

“Anna (name changed) was a troubled child from a difficult background in year 6. She hated maths. For weeks she refused to do maths with me. She scribbled in her book and shouted. I usually called the head teacher. One day, my objective being to keep her in my classroom no matter what, I let her sit where she wanted, say what she wanted, stand where she wanted, gave her a hug, told her she looked pretty. And then, without a mutter, she sat down and did her maths, courageously and correctly. I called the head teacher so that she could show off her work. I won’t forget that day.”
– Supply teacher

“Changing the behaviour policy from one of reaction to one of pro-action. Restorative Justice is used widely around the academy and behaviour situations have dropped a lot. New uniforms and a house system have been introduced and this has given the students more pride in their appearance and surroundings.”
– Relationship and Inclusion Co-ordinator

“With 2 colleagues attending the Learning on Location residential week for year 8 at Butlins Holiday Camp. This was the third year we had taken pupils to this event and we had a great time. We took a number of difficult pupils who at times in school exhibit challenging behaviour but their conduct was a credit to the school. The learning modules were taken part in with enthusiasm and interest and much was learned about how to resolve differences and work as a team. A lovely family atmosphere was engendered amongst the whole party and at the end of the week everyone felt sorry to be leaving. I’ve had many fantastic experiences working with pupils in my 25 years but this was another highlight.”
– English teacher/EVC/G&T coordinator

“Having a notoriously difficult class start in September with one particular child who rarely stayed in class for a whole day due to violence and aggression. We did a PSHCE course on anger management in our circle times and although there are still serious incidents, so far this year they have rarely occurred more than once a week. Reports from behaviour management consultants and Ed. Psych have been positive. Although it is very hard work for us all, the senior management have been extremely supportive and I feel that the child is beginning to have access to more of the curriculum and to begin to make friends. The rest of the class are beginning to settle down and progress is good.”
– Year one teacher/R.E. co-ordinator

“After counselling a couple of students about a behavioural issue in class with another member of staff present, after the students had left he commented ‘How do you do that? I heard you were good but that was great!!’ It boosted my morale no end as so much of the job deals with others’ problems. Being away with the Year group in Swanage (186 of them!) in the summer and having the positive feedback from parents and staff about how much they had enjoyed the week. The staff were fabulous and so supportive of the children and me! It’s such a huge responsibility with the amount of work involved. It made it all worthwhile when I received the comments.”
– Head of Year 8