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The Unteachables Podcast

Claire English

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#18: Miss Honey: beloved teacher role model or a misleading representation of the job of teaching?

Let’s talk about the fiction vs reality of Matilda’s MISS HONEY!  She has inspired a generation of teachers. For so many she was actually the reason, the catalyst, the inspiration to get into the job of teaching.  She was the saving grace to the kids she taught. She was generous, she was compassionate, she protected her students and their wellbeing from the incredibly punitive and nasty principal Ms Trunchbull, who used behaviour management strategies that were physically and psychologically abusive to the students at Crunchem Hall Primary School.  However, her pedagogy wasn’t on point, because it takes a hell of a lot more than just a smile and taking interest to have a class that is engaged, happy and ‘well-behaved’.  Challenging classroom behaviour is complex and nuanced, and dealing with it, addressing it, resolving it, reducing it, mitigating it, is also complex and nuanced.  In this episode, I discuss the ‘Miss Honey Trap’ that leads teachers to believe that relationships are the only classroom management strategy needed, and go over my non-exhaustive list of things that actually go into classroom management on top of the relationships and your values around caring for each child: Classroom environment Culture settingPlanning and preparationExpectationsNon verbalsRoutinesStrategies to de-escalate behaviour - low and high levelCoregulation / self regulationRelationships with parentsFollowing up on behaviourUnderstanding behaviour itself For more information on Approachable vs Credible - Michael Grindrs ENVoY non-verbal language listen to episode 8 - Low Level Behaviours, Big Level Frustrations! Pre-order a copy of my book ‘It’s Never Just About the Behaviour: A holistic approach to classroom behaviour management Other ways I can support you in your teaching practice: Download my free guide: 9 Tiny (But Mighty) Tips to Transform Your Teaching Follow me on Instagram for daily micro-professional learning and support Connect with me on LinkedIn

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