Deliberately pausing is a skill that supports and maintains positive student behaviour.

About this skill

A deliberate pause breaks the flow of verbal communication to gain students’ attention, emphasise a point, or give students’ time to process information, follow a direction or correct disengaged or disruptive behaviours.

It’s often used in conjunction with other practices – for example, deliberately pausing after gaining all students’ attention, deliberately pausing after clearly communicating expectations, or deliberately pausing when responding to disengaged or disruptive behaviour.

Effective classroom management creates safe and supportive learning environments for all students. This practice resource is part of a suite of foundational resources for beginning teachers, teachers working in new environments, or experienced teachers who want to refine or refresh specific elements of their classroom management practice. They can be used to individually reflect on and refine one’s own practice, or as shared resources to support mentoring and other collaborative and whole-school approaches to improving classroom management.

Related practice resources to refine other skills focus on acknowledgement and praise, clear communication, non-verbal correction, scanning and voice control.

See Classroom management resources: User guide for more information.

Keywords: student engagement, disruption, disruptive behaviour