Behaviour management is something that is very different from Scotland. I have noticed during my time in France that teachers are very strict and do not stand for any kind of misbehaviour. In Scotland, teachers are very much in support of positive reinforcement and having a very child cantered approach. I was very surprised about how teachers approach behaviour management and the strategies they use when a child misbehaves.
The thing that surprised me the most was the physical approach that teachers take when disciplining a child. Teachers in France push, shove and grab the children as they please. This is something that would never be allowed in Scotland. I was shocked when I first seen a teacher grab and child and drag them across the classroom. This approach is like the way in which teacher used to behave in the olden days when the belt and cane were still in use. Physical punishment has not been around for years in Scotland. It has been said that this kind of punishment should be kept to a minimum as teachers are advised to us other methods of disciplining (GIECPOC, 2018).
Children are punished for the slightest instance of misbehaviour. I discussed with my teacher how well behaved the children were in the various classes and she was very surprised to hear that this was my view. Compared to Scotland, the children are work nearly in silence without being told to, accept punishment when the step out of line and have the utmost respect for their teachers. A child could be made to stand outside the classroom or stand facing the corner of the classroom for as little as talking in class or fidgeting. Teachers do not give warnings before implementing a disciplinary action. This may be a reason as to why children are so well behaved.
There are definitely teachers in the school that are stricter than others. I have never seen my teacher physically interact with a child, however, most of the other teachers in the school do. I thought that when this happened the children would react. However, this is obviously the norm and therefore when a child is pushed or grabbed they accept the punishment and do not argue with the teacher (Hyslop, 2010). If a teacher in Scotland was to put their hands on a child, there would be an outcry. Parents would be involved, and the teacher would probably face losing their job. This is why this was such a big change for me going into the French system.
I have built great relationships with the children in the various CP classes over the past six weeks. As they are the youngest children in the school they have become very attached and like to run up to me in the playground and hug me. This is something I am not used to having never taught in the early years before. One of the teacher told me that if they were annoying me I was to push them away. I was very shocked that a teacher would suggest doing something like that for such an innocent action. I would never have dreamed about using physical discipline on a child no matter where I was.
There is no rewards system in the classroom which is something I find very strange. The children have nothing to strive for. During my professional practice in Scotland one behaviour management strategy used was dojo points, children would earn points for good behaviour and lose them for bad behaviour. Other methods of behaviour management used in Scotland include golden time and traffic lights. These are all things we are taught to encourage within the classroom. However, in France nothing like this is used. If the children misbehave, they are punished it is as simple as that. Having had the chance to get to know the children in my classes I believe that some people would benefit from a rewards system as they would have a goal to achieve. This is an aspect of the Scottish curriculum that I believe works very well and should be implemented in France.
Overall, behaviour management isn’t a great focus in French schools. There is no whole school approach to behaviour, it just depends on the individual teacher. If children misbehave they are punished, there is usually no warning or second chance. Sometimes teachers can become physical with the children when they misbehave, this is something that I do not agree with. This shows how different Scotland and France are in relation to this particular area of education.