Cages have two key components – bars and the gaps between the bars.
And when we try to improve student behaviour in schools with systems of control – such as programs, rules, matrices and policies – we build an impressive cage of sturdy bars.
The problem we have is that student behaviour cares not for our bars. It’s actually more interested in the gaps. Behaviours are attracted to these gaps, gently probing and exploring them for areas of weakness, inconsistency and just enough room to squeeze between.
For this reason, I contend that trying to contain behaviour in schools with systems of control in schools is akin to trying to cage a fart.
For just a little while, it seems to have worked too. But before long, the undeniably stinky stuff has dodged the bars and it’s on the loose. And your stakeholders are enduring a School Culture that’s once again on the nose, despite all that cage building labour.
What I find equally curious and bewildering is that many schools, once they realise the cage has failed, tend to go shopping for a new cage.
You don’t need a cage. It isn’t fit for purpose.
It’s better to focus on raising young people who aren’t stinking up your classrooms in the first place.
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. What a challenging Semester 1 it’s been for so many of you. Congratulations on getting through it. If you’d like some ugg boot PL to enjoy in the break, we’re running some warm, toasty and super-affordable virtual workshops that will do the trick nicely. All the deets are at this link.
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