Factors That Impact on Behaviour

Behaviour is as big an issue as teaching and learning in schools today, and there are many factors that can impact on this.

A Teaching Assistant working with children in key stage 2 should be aware of the stages of their social, emotional and physical development, and how this will impact on their behaviour.
Socially, children in this age group become more independent thinkers, they learn to make their own decisions and this leads to them wanting to try new things. They usually choose friends of the same sex when they work on projects or play games, and they like to join after-school clubs. They start being responsible for their own actions, and discover the benefits of pleasing others.
Emotionally they have a strong need to feel accepted and worthwhile, and sometimes lack self–confidence. They may have difficulty dealing with peers or feel threatened when they compete with peers. They may find school is becoming more difficult and demanding and they tend to compare themselves with their peers, so their successes need to be emphasised and any failures need to be minimised.
Physically, the children like hands-on work. They want to make and do things, and like to be physically active (e.g. ball games, swimming). They don’t like physical confinement, such as being involved on doing something for long periods of time or playing in just one area.

A Teaching Assistant needs to be aware that there are a number of other factors that can have an effect on pupil behaviour. These can be:
Age - Just because a child is 8 years old doesn’t mean they know the x3 table or that they are at least 1.3 metres tall. Children’s developmental rates are all different.
Gender – If a child’s family has very strong gender beliefs, such as females do the cooking and cleaning and males fix the car, that child may find it difficult to behave in the same way as it’s peers, as they will tend to reflect the gender belief of their background.
Culture – If a child has a different...