Behaviour: Tips for Controlling your emotions.

Behaviour: Tips for Managing your emotions.

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Part of my current role involves training the new PBS instructors for the county special schools. This is a great opportunity to ensure a consistent approach between schools but also to learn from and share experiences with a range of really positive and passionate educators from across Kent. One of the benefits of conducting training is once you acknowledge you are not an expert lecturing, but a guide you get to really engage in the issues we need to tackle in our schools.

One of the areas we discussed was the importance of being aware of our emotional state. This becomes critical when faced with challenging situations as our reactions will in the majority of cases determine the outcome of the situation. It is also essential that as role models working with young people and vulnerable children we can control these emotions.


contol-your-emotions-card.jpgNow despite leading the training, and you will know this if you have ever been on a course with me I will never claim to have all the answers. When you sit in a room with a group of professionals there is a huge potential for sharing of practical ideas. So I wrote our ideas down on a card and will summarise our top tips for maintaining control of your emotions below.


The key aspect that joins all of these strategies is the need for staff to feel supported within the school especially by SLT. I have broken them down into three sections:

  1. Baseline (Proactive)
  2. During (Active/Reactive)
  3. After (Reflect/Relax)

I hope you find some of these helpful and I would love it if you could add your thoughts and tips in the comments section.


  • Surround yourself with a supportive team/colleagues.
  • Access to good training.
  • Teacher 5 a day (If you haven’t heard of this see Martyn’s Blog)
  • Thank you cards from leadership


  • Readdress priorities – Is the worksheet really that important?
  • Be confident in your approach.
  • Move away – give the child (and yourself) some breathing/thinking space.
  • Assess your feelings and acknowledge when you need to swap.
  • Give yourself time out before responding – 3 deep breaths.
  • Humour – allow yourself to laugh can deescalate situation.
  • Remember it’s not the end of the world.


  • Opportunity to vent feelings
  • Non-judgemental debrief
  • Rebuild relationship with positive activity.
  • Recognise when you or colleagues need support (Yes you as well SLT!)
  • The Chocolate drawer – (this is genius).
  • Go for a walk.
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Wordcloud Positive Behaviour












  1. Please check out my books on behaviour – published by both Sage and Routledge and based in both research and experience. They are full of things teachers might do to change pupil behaviour, not just manage it. And teacher wellbeing does not lie in control or compliance.


    1. Thanks for your comment Sue.
      This is not a post about managing student’s behaviour. These ideas are for those who support students who display behaviours – in the context of our schools these are often extremely challenging both for the staff and students themselves.

      The training we do is about supporting the students to find strategies to meet the needs they are trying to communicate. The vast majority of the students in alternative provisions have some kind of communication difficulty which leads to frustration when attempting to communicate their needs to us. We don’t always want to change the behaviour we want to find a replacement behaviour that meets the needs effectively.

      As teachers we need to reflect that our Wellbeing is essential for us to work effectively in one of the most stressful occupations. As professionals we need to maintain control of those emotions – or recognise when we are not – when at work.


  2. Here’s my tuppence worth 🙂

    Get enough sleep
    Eat regularly
    Make regular time for yourself

    What is the feeling behind the behaviour? What is the unmet need behind the feeling? Are you going to prioritise containing the behaviour or meeting the need? Actually this is something that it’s probably worth thinking about as a before, as it may shape your whole approach.

    Talk, eat chocolate, let yourself feel whatever you need to feel.

    Great post, you have inspired me to blog about it from an adopter’s point of view 🙂


  3. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website
    with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and great design.


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