top of page

Mantra 2: 3 strikes and you're out.

Out of my 3 mantras this may be the most controversial but it honestly has kept me sane all my years of teaching with children and teachers (family and friends too)!


Here goes.


When I studied to be a teacher, I learnt about behaviour management and since then it has changed its name many times to positive guidance and now social competence. At the heart is understanding how one’s behaviour impacts on others and or themselves. As a teacher, I believe that consistency is the key and that is where this mantra came from. If I knew in my head that after 3 times of either me saying something, doing something or changing something (not 3 of each just 3 of any combination in total) and nothing changed then you’re out.



But who was out?!


More often than not it was me. I would call for another teacher to support or try their magic with the child. It wasn’t ‘time out’ or any of its guises for the child it was time out for me. Now the 3 strikes and you’re out does not apply to actions where fists or hammers are used this requires swift, calm action and safety for those involved.


The interesting phenomena that happened is that children soon learnt that 3 times was my line in the sand or limit and tested it. For other children I often did not go beyond 1 or 2 saying, doing or changing. It was clear to me and them and I was consistent. This was helpf