About this blog and Dan Whittaker

About Dan Whittaker:

  • Over 10 years experience working in inner-city schools in Birmingham, England with pupils from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Expert in ADHD in schools.
  • Delivers CPD and lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate trainee teachers on relationships, behaviour, ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome.
  • Mentored teachers and families across various school networks to support pupils with ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome.
  • Won the HSBC Link2Learn International School of the Year Award 2012/13 while international leader at Jervoise School.
  • Delivered CPD to international audiences in schools across Europe.

Why this blog?

You can’t teach anything if you haven’t nailed good behaviour. You can’t have good behaviour without good relationships. And ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ isn’t good for anyone’s mental health.

British education today is focused so much on statistical outcomes that concentrating on the relationships isn’t a sustainable option for most time-pressed teachers.

Teachers only really get piecemeal support in developing classroom relationships. It’s often either ad hoc, mantra-ridden advice such as ‘zero tolerance approach’, ‘model expected behaviour’, and the aforementioned ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ or a full on ‘we’ve got a growth mindset / SEAL / character education scheme of work’ that is offered. While the former is too vague to be useful, the latter is too overpowering and time-consuming to be sustainable.

That’s where this blog hopes to help. Building good pupil relationships and behaviour doesn’t take huge amounts of time and planning and it can be developed one layer at a time, as bricks would be laid when building a house. Relationships can be constructed with layers of techniques, scripted responses and snippets of communication so they’re tall and stable. This blog will seek to give practical ideas (backed up by science and evidence where possible) that can be drip fed into your practice without any pain.

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