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When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour

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In When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour, Paul Dix upends the debate on behaviour management in schools and offers effective tips and strategies that serve to end the search for change in children and turn the focus back on the adults. You can buy in the best behaviour tracking software, introduce 24/7 detentions or scream ‘NO EXCUS In When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour, Paul Dix upends the debate on behaviour management in schools and offers effective tips and strategies that serve to end the search for change in children and turn the focus back on the adults. You can buy in the best behaviour tracking software, introduce 24/7 detentions or scream ‘NO EXCUSES’ as often as you want – but ultimately the solution lies with the behaviour of the adults. It is the only behaviour over which we have absolute control. Drawing on anecdotal case studies, scripted interventions and approaches which have been tried and tested in a range of contexts, from the most challenging urban comprehensives to the most privileged international schools, behaviour training expert and Pivotal Education director Paul Dix advocates an inclusive approach that is practical, transformative and rippling with respect for staff and learners. An approach in which behavioural expectations and boundaries are exemplified by people, not by a thousand rules that nobody can recall. When the Adults Change, Everything Changes illustrates how, with their traditional sanction- and exclusion-led methods, the ‘punishment brigade’ are losing the argument. It outlines how each school can build authentic practice on a stable platform, resulting in shifts in daily rules and routines, in how we deal with the angriest learners, in restorative practice and in how we appreciate positive behaviour. Each chapter is themed and concludes with three helpful checklists – Testing, Watch out for and Nuggets – designed to help you form your own behaviour blueprint. Throughout the book both class teachers and school leaders will find indispensable advice about how to involve all staff in developing a whole school ethos built on kindness, empathy and understanding. Suitable for all head teachers, school leaders, teachers, NQTs and classroom assistants – in any phase or context, including SEND and alternative provision settings – who are looking to upgrade their own classroom management or school behaviour plan. Contents include: Visible Consistency, Visible Kindness; The Counter-Intuitive Classroom; Deliberate Botheredness; Certainty in Adult Behaviour; Keystone Classroom Routines; Universal Microscripts: Flipping the Script; Punishment Addiction, Humiliation Hangover; Restore, Redraw, Repair; Some Children Follow Rules, Some Follow People; Your Behaviour Policy Sucks!; and The 30 Day Magic.


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In When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour, Paul Dix upends the debate on behaviour management in schools and offers effective tips and strategies that serve to end the search for change in children and turn the focus back on the adults. You can buy in the best behaviour tracking software, introduce 24/7 detentions or scream ‘NO EXCUS In When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour, Paul Dix upends the debate on behaviour management in schools and offers effective tips and strategies that serve to end the search for change in children and turn the focus back on the adults. You can buy in the best behaviour tracking software, introduce 24/7 detentions or scream ‘NO EXCUSES’ as often as you want – but ultimately the solution lies with the behaviour of the adults. It is the only behaviour over which we have absolute control. Drawing on anecdotal case studies, scripted interventions and approaches which have been tried and tested in a range of contexts, from the most challenging urban comprehensives to the most privileged international schools, behaviour training expert and Pivotal Education director Paul Dix advocates an inclusive approach that is practical, transformative and rippling with respect for staff and learners. An approach in which behavioural expectations and boundaries are exemplified by people, not by a thousand rules that nobody can recall. When the Adults Change, Everything Changes illustrates how, with their traditional sanction- and exclusion-led methods, the ‘punishment brigade’ are losing the argument. It outlines how each school can build authentic practice on a stable platform, resulting in shifts in daily rules and routines, in how we deal with the angriest learners, in restorative practice and in how we appreciate positive behaviour. Each chapter is themed and concludes with three helpful checklists – Testing, Watch out for and Nuggets – designed to help you form your own behaviour blueprint. Throughout the book both class teachers and school leaders will find indispensable advice about how to involve all staff in developing a whole school ethos built on kindness, empathy and understanding. Suitable for all head teachers, school leaders, teachers, NQTs and classroom assistants – in any phase or context, including SEND and alternative provision settings – who are looking to upgrade their own classroom management or school behaviour plan. Contents include: Visible Consistency, Visible Kindness; The Counter-Intuitive Classroom; Deliberate Botheredness; Certainty in Adult Behaviour; Keystone Classroom Routines; Universal Microscripts: Flipping the Script; Punishment Addiction, Humiliation Hangover; Restore, Redraw, Repair; Some Children Follow Rules, Some Follow People; Your Behaviour Policy Sucks!; and The 30 Day Magic.

30 review for When the Adults Change, Everything Changes: Seismic Shifts in School Behaviour

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Rather good; good enough to put into practice. Written in a manner which makes it very easy to read and understand, with enough humour to keep a wry smile on the face. The excerpts from his own school reports are excellent. Rather like my own! Worth a read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amie Pople

    This was a very engaging and thought provoking book. On my first read, this book left me questioning and reflecting on my own (current) teacher identity and experiences with behaviour management. I found myself both nodding in agreement and wincing when topics came up that I could easily link to my own experiences. I am now reading the book again, looking closer at the authors views and how I might constructively challenge or work along side behavioural systems that may be in place within school This was a very engaging and thought provoking book. On my first read, this book left me questioning and reflecting on my own (current) teacher identity and experiences with behaviour management. I found myself both nodding in agreement and wincing when topics came up that I could easily link to my own experiences. I am now reading the book again, looking closer at the authors views and how I might constructively challenge or work along side behavioural systems that may be in place within schools, that do not align to my own views.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mollie

    4 ⭐️’s (Great).

  4. 5 out of 5

    T.O. Munro

    I'm not a great reader of work-related books these days - as I strive for that elusive work-life balance. However, Paul Dix presents a compelling and easily digested perspective on how schools can create a climate for positive behaviour. Along the way he expertly dispels the rose tinted spectacles with which many parents and teachers are accustomed to view the paradigms of the past - an era when teachers sought and were expected to control and coerce through instilling fear, or referring children I'm not a great reader of work-related books these days - as I strive for that elusive work-life balance. However, Paul Dix presents a compelling and easily digested perspective on how schools can create a climate for positive behaviour. Along the way he expertly dispels the rose tinted spectacles with which many parents and teachers are accustomed to view the paradigms of the past - an era when teachers sought and were expected to control and coerce through instilling fear, or referring children on to staff who would instil fear on their behalf. In truth that never worked and was probably used more rarely than people believe. I remember one teacher at a school telling me how he would send a child to Mr X to be given "the brown trouser treatment" but when some years later I saw Mr X's work at close hand I realised that the brown trouser treatment was never and had never been a sustainable strategy even for him. Progress came through establishing connections, through nurturing the seeds of a positive relationship. Which is not to be confused with softness or inconsistency. Dix talks of certainty, relentlessness and empathic kindness as the essential touchstones for teachers managing and controlling their won behaviour (for that is all we can ever truly hope to control). Along the way in this readable book he presents and punctures the many bubbles of inflated egotistical approaches. For example, the temptation to get distracted by students secondary behaviours - the stroppiness with which a child complies when leaving the room, sucking teh teacher into escalation and confrontation. Reading this I saw so many familiar errors and so much codified common sense. I would recommend it to anyone from school leader to class teacher who wishes to shape a school or classroom where desirable behaviours are modelled, nurtured and taught - rather than ineffectively imposed through a dizzying architecture of sanctions and "hair dryer" treatments that reinforce rather than control bad behaviour.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    There was nothing wrong with this book exactly, but it didn't help me in the way I wanted/hoped it would. I'm midway through my PGDE so was looking for hints and tips to strengthen my approach to teaching. It's not that the advice in this book isn't helpful, but the suggested changes are very top down and aimed at senior/management/governmental (? Maybe, that's the impression I got anyway) so for practical changes I could make as an NQT, it really wasn't very much use. Just a word of warning for There was nothing wrong with this book exactly, but it didn't help me in the way I wanted/hoped it would. I'm midway through my PGDE so was looking for hints and tips to strengthen my approach to teaching. It's not that the advice in this book isn't helpful, but the suggested changes are very top down and aimed at senior/management/governmental (? Maybe, that's the impression I got anyway) so for practical changes I could make as an NQT, it really wasn't very much use. Just a word of warning for anyone who's looking at this for the same reason I was.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    I had to keep stopping so I could put his ideas into practice. The ideas are simple, intuitive and been super successful. This my 27th year of teaching and still love being reminded how to keep that positive ethos alive. It's spread like wildfire through my school, there are frayed corners and folded pages amock. Read it. I had to keep stopping so I could put his ideas into practice. The ideas are simple, intuitive and been super successful. This my 27th year of teaching and still love being reminded how to keep that positive ethos alive. It's spread like wildfire through my school, there are frayed corners and folded pages amock. Read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    An easy read that encourages a reflection on practices in schools. Some great ideas and concepts for different levels of schooling. Educators will be able to pick and choose what ideas and concepts could be applied within their schools.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This is a good book with ideas that make you reflect on your own teaching. As a supply teacher some of these these methods do not apply day to day as they need patience and persistence to integrate into your routine, but for long term roles and full time teachers it is good. It concentrates on positive reinforcement, which I promote and has given me some food for thought.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Fantastic book. Easy to read but so valuable

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    inspiring! definitely will be coming back to this when i'm on placement inspiring! definitely will be coming back to this when i'm on placement

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beth Godmon

    It's not going to solve all my problems, but with my year 9 debut on Tuesday, it might just save my voice 😂 It's not going to solve all my problems, but with my year 9 debut on Tuesday, it might just save my voice 😂

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Early chapters were relevant, well written and will hopefully help me with behaviour management in the classroom. The later chapters with their emphasis on sanctions and behaviour policies would be more useful for senior managers looking to modernise the whole school ethos and I found myself scanning them for useful nuggets rather than reading them in depth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    What a revolutionary book - 5* Okay, I'm going to tell you my mindset into reading this book. I have a "hard" class on Monday. Let's just say every other "hard" class in the school has a gazillion members of staff in with them all the time but of course I'm on my own for the majority... (This was not the case when they were in the year below, of course.) They're "hard" because there is one boy with severe behavioural issues and many with SEN needs. I do feel pretty unsupported but I'm not going t What a revolutionary book - 5* Okay, I'm going to tell you my mindset into reading this book. I have a "hard" class on Monday. Let's just say every other "hard" class in the school has a gazillion members of staff in with them all the time but of course I'm on my own for the majority... (This was not the case when they were in the year below, of course.) They're "hard" because there is one boy with severe behavioural issues and many with SEN needs. I do feel pretty unsupported but I'm not going to let these children down, I am going to fight for them. So I turned to Paul Dix. Now, Paul Dix sees the whole-school as where behaviour fully changes but I can't change any of that because I'm me... But it would be useful for school leaders as this technically is a whole-school approach. I went into this book looking for strategies in the classroom environment that would work for me. I want and I need for these children to feel that I care and I'm organised enough that they're going to feel safe. I'm super stressed about it and it's going to be such a hard slog but I'm going to get there. I am. With Dix's help, I'm going to get there. (Might have to read this 10 times to get there but I will get there.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I bought this book during my Placement at my 1B school. Their behaviour policy was based on their learning from this book. Although I started this book during the placement, I have only just got round to completing it. I think that the book is idealistic and my experience in schools has left me to question whether it is very useful. I do not regret reading this book but it has reminded me that implementing something into a school culture can be very difficult.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rena Brown

    Some excellent ideas. With the right support, this could work really well in a department. If you find yourself unsupported there are still lots of ideas that will make your classroom a better place to be.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jack (That English Guy who Reads)

    I was uncertain of what I'd make of this; I'd heard Dix advocates scrapping points systems and detentions - it is hard to imagine working in education without these staple "stools". The book had also caused some ripples in a focus group I was part of at work, so I was keen yet apprehensive. I am now converted to Dix's methodology. With a range of supporting materials, from academic research, historical records and anecdotal evidence, Dix carefully explains and justifies how the best approach for m I was uncertain of what I'd make of this; I'd heard Dix advocates scrapping points systems and detentions - it is hard to imagine working in education without these staple "stools". The book had also caused some ripples in a focus group I was part of at work, so I was keen yet apprehensive. I am now converted to Dix's methodology. With a range of supporting materials, from academic research, historical records and anecdotal evidence, Dix carefully explains and justifies how the best approach for managing student behaviour needs to be deep-rooted in kindness, tolerance and respect whilst striving for whole-school consistency. Consistency, he argues, is the key and I have to agree. I actually found much of my own behaviour management style in this book, but I never imagined that the way I manage my classroom could be applied to a whole-school setting. Many books in this genre of teacher self-help or educational advice tend to be overfilled, stuffy and bogged down by pretentious language. This book was easy to read, concisely written for maximum absorption with brief & to-the-point sections and chapters that make learning highly accessible. I think this should be a staple read for all teachers and I look forward to trying it at my school in the upcoming academic year.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matt Butler

    This book was very readable and I got a lot out of it. In particular, I really liked the idea of scripting interventions. This is something I will definitely use. I also liked the underlying values of care behind this. Although being as caring as Dix suggests is ideal, I don't believe it is a good starting point for a new teacher. At least initially, I think being consistent (as Dix suggests) but also erring on the strict side is better when establishing yourself. For a skilled teacher, it may b This book was very readable and I got a lot out of it. In particular, I really liked the idea of scripting interventions. This is something I will definitely use. I also liked the underlying values of care behind this. Although being as caring as Dix suggests is ideal, I don't believe it is a good starting point for a new teacher. At least initially, I think being consistent (as Dix suggests) but also erring on the strict side is better when establishing yourself. For a skilled teacher, it may be easier to separate strictness from coming across unempathetic but this is not a risk I am willing to take, at least initially. Also, I read this on my iPad. I quite like reading books on my iPad (which surprises me). Instead of getting bogged down by writing notes as I go along, I can highlight as I go and write it all up at the end. This is better for my concentration and also means I have to recall what I have read (improving my LTM).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I hadn't read a non fiction book like this since university but I am glad I picked it up! I have worked in high schools across a few different roles but always in close contact with the pupils and this book contained so many fantastic ideas that are really easy to include in your daily interactions. Some of the suggestions are very obvious and simple but also often over-looked and forgotten about in the busy school environment. Another thing I liked when reading the book: it did not feel like th I hadn't read a non fiction book like this since university but I am glad I picked it up! I have worked in high schools across a few different roles but always in close contact with the pupils and this book contained so many fantastic ideas that are really easy to include in your daily interactions. Some of the suggestions are very obvious and simple but also often over-looked and forgotten about in the busy school environment. Another thing I liked when reading the book: it did not feel like the author was lecturing about how to be a good teacher or like you were reading a textbook, it felt like a casual conversation full of tips and real life examples and I really appreciated that more relaxed format. I would definitely recommend this book for anybody working within a physical school or home school environment and for anyone interested in childhood behaviour because it is an interesting read in general.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luke Owen

    Highly recommended Definitely recommended. As an NQT this book has been exactly what I needed. While I am in a school with mostly good behaviour (no extreme bad behaviour), I've still been struggling with some classes. I'm not a natural disciplinarian at all and trying to force myself to be that way has not felt good. This book takes the complete opposite approach to behaviour, by putting the good first, taking away the negative emotions and focusing on building relationships with students. I've Highly recommended Definitely recommended. As an NQT this book has been exactly what I needed. While I am in a school with mostly good behaviour (no extreme bad behaviour), I've still been struggling with some classes. I'm not a natural disciplinarian at all and trying to force myself to be that way has not felt good. This book takes the complete opposite approach to behaviour, by putting the good first, taking away the negative emotions and focusing on building relationships with students. I've only implemented a couple of ideas so far and not for very long, but it's already been a breakthrough in my teaching practice. This approach is effective and is much more enjoyable than 'not smiling before christmas!'

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian MacLeod-Bonnar

    Incredible tips to improve behavioural management! 1) Keep the rules simple, nothing too complicated. Make sure the rules are easy to remember 2) Praise the good behaviour. 3) A recognition board - set out the behaviour you want to see on the board and write students name on it once they have completed the behaviour correctly 4) Be emotionless - don't take it personally, respond to bad behaviour calm and collectively 5) Do not shout - practise using scripts to deal with situations (I want to see t Incredible tips to improve behavioural management! 1) Keep the rules simple, nothing too complicated. Make sure the rules are easy to remember 2) Praise the good behaviour. 3) A recognition board - set out the behaviour you want to see on the board and write students name on it once they have completed the behaviour correctly 4) Be emotionless - don't take it personally, respond to bad behaviour calm and collectively 5) Do not shout - practise using scripts to deal with situations (I want to see the Steven who I worked with yesterday 6)Reconstructive meetings - instead of detentions, have a civil, relaxed conversation with the pupil to address the bad behaviour (scripted questions)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Lowe

    A brilliant behaviour management book that has am insightful look into teaching. As a teacher I often see the examples that are mentioned in this book of poor behaviour management and it's great how easy his steps are to reflect on the adult to then see a change in schools. The ideas mainly fit a secondary school setting, however I have interpreted some of the ideologies so that they can fit a primary school. I think every teacher or person working in a school setting needs to give this a read a A brilliant behaviour management book that has am insightful look into teaching. As a teacher I often see the examples that are mentioned in this book of poor behaviour management and it's great how easy his steps are to reflect on the adult to then see a change in schools. The ideas mainly fit a secondary school setting, however I have interpreted some of the ideologies so that they can fit a primary school. I think every teacher or person working in a school setting needs to give this a read and remember the importance of not giving up on children and being that constant in their daily lives.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bethan Smith

    This book was an enjoyable read. It provided nice personal anecdotes and reminders. To be honest, it wasn’t particularly groundbreaking. As a primary school teacher, I think that the approaches suggested are already second nature within our classroom ethos and the therapeutic thinking/ restorative practice behaviour approach that we already have. I think this would have been more beneficial had I either been in a less educated team of staff or in a secondary school where the challenges are great This book was an enjoyable read. It provided nice personal anecdotes and reminders. To be honest, it wasn’t particularly groundbreaking. As a primary school teacher, I think that the approaches suggested are already second nature within our classroom ethos and the therapeutic thinking/ restorative practice behaviour approach that we already have. I think this would have been more beneficial had I either been in a less educated team of staff or in a secondary school where the challenges are greater. Either way, good book and I would recommend to a new teacher, trainee or a old-school approach school.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    A must read for anyone who works with children I’ve been following Paul’s work since I stumbled across a course of his on Future Learn. The longer I am back in education and the more I come across challenging students, the more his ideas and techniques make sense. This book is an easy read packed with sound, actionable advice. If you are only going to read one book on behaviour management then this should be it. Note. It’s mainly adult / your own behaviour you’ll be managing. 😂 Highly recommended A must read for anyone who works with children I’ve been following Paul’s work since I stumbled across a course of his on Future Learn. The longer I am back in education and the more I come across challenging students, the more his ideas and techniques make sense. This book is an easy read packed with sound, actionable advice. If you are only going to read one book on behaviour management then this should be it. Note. It’s mainly adult / your own behaviour you’ll be managing. 😂 Highly recommended read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    An excellent book that allowed me to reflect on my teaching practice and think carefully about the changes I want to make as I move into my fourth year of teaching. This book is filled with simple ideas that promote positive, thoughtful, kind behaviour management strategies. It's given me lots of ideas about how to streamline my own behaviour management and I can't wait to start making changes in September. An excellent book that allowed me to reflect on my teaching practice and think carefully about the changes I want to make as I move into my fourth year of teaching. This book is filled with simple ideas that promote positive, thoughtful, kind behaviour management strategies. It's given me lots of ideas about how to streamline my own behaviour management and I can't wait to start making changes in September.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Mckinlay

    This is a thought provoking read for anyone working with children and young people in schools. As I was reading this there was all the fuss about isolation booths on the media. Paul was intereviewed on the BBC news and a campaign appeared to start. My only concern about this is that it can be very easy to get carried along by the flow of such a campaign without really questioning the evidence behind the assertions. I would liked to have seen a little more of this evidence in the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    Missed the mark for me. Felt like the book needed to pick it's readership - is it aimed at the classroom teacher who has no choice in what system they have to operate in or is it aimed at SLT offering top down solution. Felt like I had to wait for bits that were relevant to me and my personal practice. I trained in a school that was implementing this across the whole school, so think it would have been a better read then in order to buy into their vision. Missed the mark for me. Felt like the book needed to pick it's readership - is it aimed at the classroom teacher who has no choice in what system they have to operate in or is it aimed at SLT offering top down solution. Felt like I had to wait for bits that were relevant to me and my personal practice. I trained in a school that was implementing this across the whole school, so think it would have been a better read then in order to buy into their vision.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia

    Just three great ideas I've taken from this one. Insightful and inspiring read. "I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom." "Children need to be taught and retaught expected behaviour." "What works is the immediacy of response, not the weight of the sanction." Just three great ideas I've taken from this one. Insightful and inspiring read. "I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom." "Children need to be taught and retaught expected behaviour." "What works is the immediacy of response, not the weight of the sanction."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne Burton

    Paul Dix strives for all students to have an opportunity to learn. He understands it takes a different lens to reach some students. Dix encourages adults to be consistent, offer positive feedback and create choice starting with an adult mindset change. He offers a process to include a student's voice in understanding behavior and avenues to redirect learning. Paul Dix strives for all students to have an opportunity to learn. He understands it takes a different lens to reach some students. Dix encourages adults to be consistent, offer positive feedback and create choice starting with an adult mindset change. He offers a process to include a student's voice in understanding behavior and avenues to redirect learning.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alistair Miller

    This is an extremely thought provoking book on behaviour management in schools. As someone who has at times felt traditional school behaviour policies to be restrictive, reading this book as shown me a viewpoint on behaviour management where there is a great deal more empathy. It has certainly helped me to reflect on my behaviour practice which is what any teacher should be doing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Fletcher

    I was recommended this book on my first placement as a student-teacher. I am finally getting around to reading it! I have found this an interesting and insightful read. Currently specialising in the impact of teacher-student relationships as part of my dissertation, this book has given me lots of 'food for thought'. I was recommended this book on my first placement as a student-teacher. I am finally getting around to reading it! I have found this an interesting and insightful read. Currently specialising in the impact of teacher-student relationships as part of my dissertation, this book has given me lots of 'food for thought'.

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