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The Russian Front

Behaviour Management

The Russian Front

a guide for classroom teachers and teacher aides

Students and a teacher assistant working on an electronics project.

During World War II, German soldiers would do anything to avoid being sent to the Russian Front. When given the choice between the Russian Front and the Western Front, German soldiers eagerly chose the Western Front – the weather for starters was much more hospitable than the deadly Russian winters. The soldiers seem to be more positive about going to war because they had avoided a potentially worse outcome. This is how the story goes anyway, and where this strategy originated.

Here is how this strategy applies in a typical high school scenario. The teacher offers students a choice between 2 activities. They can either read silently for half an hour, or they can practise writing an essay for the same period of time. Even the most conscientious student would never choose to write an essay voluntarily, so obviously the class opts to read silently – exactly what the teacher expected and intended. Having the upper hand, the teacher now has bargaining power and can demand something in return, ‘if we read instead of the essay, which we are supposed to do today, then we must read in absolute silence or we have to go back to the essay – deal?’

About the author

Image of the managing director of FTTA.

ADAM GREEN

Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and a #1 best selling author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of FTTA, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.

Source: Behaviour Management Skills and Strategies for the Modern Classroom: 100+ research-based strategies for both novice and experienced practitioners.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to check his article for accuracy, information may be outdated, inaccurate or not relevant to you and your location/employer/contract. It is not intended as legal or professional advice. Users should seek expert advice such as by contacting the relevant education department, should make their own enquiries, and should not rely on any of the information provided.

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