In a remote community context, local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators know the students, their families, and the community. They can help non-local teachers understand changes to a particular child’s behaviour, attention, or motivation. Students, families, and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators are used to non-local teachers coming to and leaving the community, so often it is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators who are the long-term employees and provide continuity of presence and routine for the students.
It is important to approach classroom management in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way. Work in partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators to build trust and rapport with students and develop culturally appropriate understandings around classroom management practices and strategies. Be flexible to adapt these as your relationships and understandings develop. Consider that local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators are more than likely related to many students in the educational setting.
As with any cohort, it is important to work with students and agree to a series of behaviours, and consequences to both positive and negative behaviours that is expected of everyone in the classroom.
“It is best practice to involve families in any proactive and reactive behaviour management strategies that impact on their children.” (Aboriginal teacher, NT).
“Having a combined approach to classroom management is essential in creating engaging learning spaces. It is not solely the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educator’s responsibility to manage student behaviours. Using the language of the school’s values to create positive behaviours and expectations is much more powerful than creating class rules in the negative.” (Teaching Principal, NT).
Teacher Professional standards (Graduate)
• 4.2 Manage classroom activities
• 4.3 Manage challenging behaviour