If you're working with pupils who engage in classroom behaviour that's difficult to manage, it's key to address the underlying need that's driving their behaviour. That's easy to say, but harder to do.
In this special School Behaviour Secrets episode, I share one simple approach anyone can use to uncover that root cause - meaning you can use the right strategy, at the right time, to help your students overcome their social and emotional obstacles.
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Show notes / transcription
Simon Currigan 0:00
I want to start thinking about the word why. Because why is a really powerful word. And if you've got young kids, you'll appreciate the they know the word why is really powerful as well because it's one of their favourite question words.
Welcome to the school behaviour secrets podcast. I'm your host, Simon Currigan. My co host is Emma Shackleton. And we're obsessed with helping teachers, school leaders and parents and of course, students. When classroom behaviour gets in the way of success, we're going to share the tried and tested secrets to classroom management behaviour or special needs homeschool strategy and more all with the aim of helping your students reach their true potential. Plus, we'll be letting you eavesdrop on an app conversations with thought leaders from around the world. So you'll get to hear the latest evidence based strategies before anyone else. This is the school behaviour secrets podcast.
Hi there. My name is Simon Currigan. And welcome to school behaviour secrets. It's the Easter break where we work in England right now. So if you're off right now, I hope you're having a well deserved break, enjoying lots of chocolaty treats. This week, I'm releasing a quick fire episode, where my aim is to give you one idea or strategy to think about and use with your class all condensed into an easy to listen to a 10 minute episode. This week, I'm going to focus on the power of why why why why why that was five why's in total, in case you weren't counting. And I want to share with you a really simple approach for understanding what's driving the behaviour of kids in your classroom, who might present behaviour that's difficult to manage, who have difficulty in certain situations or lessons, who might have underlying needs, and so on how to get to the bottom of what's causing those behaviours. So we can put in place strategies that address the root cause, rather than the symptom. And this approach is open to anyone you don't need any specialist support. And you can start using to make sense of the behaviour seeing in your classroom immediately. So if you're working with kids who engage in low level disruption, have difficulty managing their emotions or whatever. And you've asked yourself, why do they do that? This quick fire episode is for you. I want to start thinking about the word why because why is a really powerful word. And if you've got young kids, you will appreciate that they know the word why is really powerful as well, because it's one of their favourite question words, when you go anywhere new. That's the question they're most likely to ask relentlessly. Dad, why are their cows in that field? Because the farmer keeps them to make milk? Why does the farm I want to make milk because that's how he makes his money. Why does he make his money that way? Because he enjoys farming and learn those skills when he was young. Where did he learn those skills when he was young? I guess his mom or dad were farmers? Why were the farmers and you reach a point where you're like, like I just don't know, right? I just don't know. Please stop asking me why this is exhausting. But there is surprising power in asking the word why repeatedly and asking why five times specifically, quick story. When Toyota was looking to improve the efficiency of its factories back in the 30s, Sakichi, Toyoda, its founder wanted to know where there were problems on the shop floor so we could address them and make the manufacturing run more smoothly and cheaply. He wanted to deal with the actual root issues, rather than what his managers in the boardroom thought were problems with production, which wasn't always a true reflection of what was going on. So he developed an incredibly simple method. To get to the truth. He would keep asking the question, Why, five times? Here's a quick example. In the factory, the whole production line kept having to stop particularly on a Thursday. Why? Well, the exhaust pipes that the fitters needed were late, so they couldn't be put onto the cars and then every process after fitting the exhaust pipes couldn't take place. So the whole production line had to stop. Why are the exhaust pipes late? Because making exhaust pipes takes longer than the managers plan for Okay, so now we're getting somewhere. This is our third why. Why does it take longer to make exhausts than we planned for? Because we keep running out of nickel alloy? Why do we keep running out of nickel? Because nickel is used in the production of engine valves as well, and we're already using all the nickel on order from our supplier. Why can't they supply any more nickel? They can, but they need to know six weeks in advance how much we'll need. So we need to plan on ahead and get better at predicting how many vowels and exhausts will need based on historical data. And now we've arrived at a solution. See how simple that was? By simply asking why five times in a row, you move from the symptom to the underlying issue really quickly. This process actually became known as the Toyota five why's, and has been used in many different industries and sectors around the world. And we can apply it to education and our own classrooms too, if we're willing to think a little deeply about our kids, and what's happening in our lessons. So here's an example. We've got Caden who engaged in lots of task avoidance doesn't want to do the work that he's given out. So why does Kaden keep walking around the classroom instead of doing his work? Because he doesn't want to do the work? Right? Well, so far, so surface level. So now let's ask why, again, why doesn't he want to do the work? Because he doesn't want to get it wrong. Okay. Why doesn't he want to get it wrong? Because getting things wrong makes him feel anxious, and he doesn't want to show that to the other children? Why does getting things wrong? Make him feel anxious? Because he believes getting the word wrong, is evidence that he is a bad person? Why does he feel like he's a bad person, because there was trauma in his early life, which led him to developing this unhelpful belief. So now we've done that exercise, we can either focus on the work avoidance by telling him off doling out detentions, or we can engage in the five why's exercise and really dig down into what's causing that behaviour. And you know, what, if we as a school, maybe got Caden some emotional input, some mentoring or therapeutic work, we might be able to help him move away from that unhelpful belief. And then as a result of doing that, the task avoidance disappears, because that was a surface level problem. And the deeper underlying cause has been dealt with. And when we deal with the underlying cause, using the five why's will also probably eliminate 345. Other behaviours as well to boot. So the next time you're working with a child in class, and they're engaged in task avoidance, or walking out, or they become dysregulated, or they refuse, don't ask yourself why they're doing that. Ask yourself, why, why, why, why, why are they doing that? And that's the strategy I have to share with you today. If you found this episode useful, please remember to rate and review us on your podcast app because it signals to the algorithm that we're worth showing to other people who are browsing podcasts. And if you haven't already, hit the subscribe button so you never miss another episode. I'll be back next week with another quick fire episode. Until then, have a great week whether you're in work or not, and I look forward to seeing you next time. School behaviour secrets
(This automated transcript may not be 100% accurate.)