Behaviour Challenge 2017

This is an awesome challenge to help teachers focus on classroom behaviour 

The Challenge

In September 2017, I am committing to talking to my students about behaviour at the beginning of every lesson for every day of the first half term.

I am going to be very specific about what I mean by this, and I want others to join me in this endeavour.

Why do this?

I think getting behaviour right is a crucial first step in teaching. I know many will disagree with me, and that’s fine, this challenge won’t be for you.

Wanting to get behaviour right precedes getting behaviour right. This challenge is about the practicalities of getting behaviour right: committing to putting in place rules for behaviour and then front-loading the message about these rules every single lesson until they become habitual for the students.

What is the message about behaviour?

My message to my students is that I have sky-high expectations of them. I want them to do their absolute best, to get in great habits and to put themselves in position to have a wonderful career. To do their very best, I want to maximise learning time in lesson and to eliminate disruption.

I think it’s worth spending a long time talking about this message on the first day. This challenge will then reinforce this message every day. I have a poster summarising the message:

You want the best

Poster available here: You want the best

What are the rules for behaviour?

I have written a very succinct post about nailing behaviour management. I am picking just 2 routines from that for this challenge:

  • Silence

Silence: when I want the students to be silent, I expect complete silence

Silence means

SLANT is a useful acronym for excellent behaviour by students in the lesson


Posters available here:

Silence Means

Slant poster

The beginning of every lesson

I have written about a good way of getting the students into my lesson and sitting down. For the purposes of this challenge, I am going to focus on what happens subsequent to this point:

  1. Have a recap quiz on the board for students to do
  2. Students do the quiz and then you call out the answers so that students can self-mark the quiz quickly
  3. Talk to students for one of two minutes about the importance of excellent behaviour. Remind them about your sky-high expectations for them and how this behaviour is going to allow them to do their absolute best.


Clearly, by having very high expectations of students’ behaviour, there will be times at the beginning when students don’t meet these expectations. This challenge is not about how you sanction those students, but sanctions must be given if there is to be a culture where only excellent behaviour is acceptable.

Tracking Progress

A very simple method: mark a big red cross on every day that you do the challenge. Stick the page next to your desk and track your progress. Please find attached a one page document for the whole first half-term which you can use:

Behaviour Challenge Progress Tracker