Seeking to perfect our children and pupils’ manners is one of the most noble responsibilities of Madrassahs. We are told by our dearest Prophet peace be upon him that he was sent to perfect noble manners’ [13380 – مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد]. Hence, as teachers of Islam, Adab and conduct are areas on which we should place great importance and set high standards.
One of the main reasons for the importance of Adab is that it is a preparation for receiving and carrying knowledge. Poor behaviour in class can be an obstacle to this, not only for the offending student but also for their peers, hence the importance of tackling this problem at an early stage as possible and reflecting on solutions for various forms of misbehaviour and their effectiveness on different individual pupils.
In addition to being role models of excellent Adab ourselves, the article below contains some guidance on where and how to seek improvement of behaviour in your pupils, without needing to spend money.
Behaviour is complex. Often, the strategies that work for one child are completely ineffective for another, and they have different time periods for which they remain effective.
Budget restraints have always made learning new strategies difficult, but at the moment it seems harder than ever. As teachers, we are adept at finding alternative ways of sourcing things with minimum cost. CPD needs to be no different. Here are my tips for learning about behaviour management without a budget:
1. Talk with colleagues
Organise a get-together with staff from other schools and use this as an opportunity for support. With my group, these gatherings
involve cake (an added incentive). People may have experienced similar situations to you and could have strategies or suggestions for wider reading. When you have these relationships, you can just pick up the phone for advice.
2. Seek support online
This is a great option for those who are pushed for time. Twitter is an excellent platform for CPD. Our weekly #behaviourchat is a free tool you can use to discuss particular issues with many individuals worldwide. Starting at 8pm every Monday, this is a 30-minute window in which to exchange ideas and experiences.
3. Observe each other
Go and work with colleagues: observe them in different settings and note down strategies and ideas. You may need to cover yourself, but if you are observing within your own school, you may be able to use in-school cover for free. And to make the exercise really useful, it needs to be a two-way process.
Further guidance that is supported by latest research in education can be found on this £125m charity website Education Endowment Foundation, which aims to present latest research into bitesize material for easy use and application by teachers. The website lists toolkits that have been studied and clearly states their reliability and the budget -or none- required to implement them.