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Praise & Preparation



Behaviour expert John Bayley interviews a teacher who has independently developed her own style of behaviour management. John believes he can learn from their approach, and vice versa.

John visits the classroom of a science teacher who with remarkable effect has adapted her own experiences of teaching in a small Australian town to an inner-city classroom. Amy Alexander now teaches at Pimlico School in central London.

She says, 'These kids respond so well to praise. At home, some of them are being told how terrible they are and they just switch off immediately. If you can calm that down and tell them how wonderful they are, that's all any kid needs.'

Amy's pedagogical techniques include a system of praise, which means that for every 10 stars a pupil wins they get a postcard sent to their home, while those with 50 stars get invited on a school trip. She also advocates constant praise, saying, 'I'm using less energy by focusing on the positive'. Thirdly, she uses colour-coded lesson plans: key words are marked in green; sentences that pupils must write down are in black; instructions and things to do are in blue; and other information is in red (homework, for example).

Published : Mar 2005

15 mins


Teaching with Bayley


Secondary Teacher


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