Be Quick, Be Quiet, Be Gone

How can manage behaviour without a fuss?

The ‘Three Bs’ strategy is one of those simple techniques that can be used for general classroom behaviour management and it doesn’t make a drama out of a crisis.

Sometimes when a child is causing disruption you can end up making a scene into a bigger scene especially if you tower over them and start raising your voice.

No need:

Be quick, be quiet and be gone.

It sort of takes its inspiration from Clarence “Kelly” Johnson’s motto: “Be quick, be quiet, be on time.”

This is a stealth strategy that saves a lot of face and a lot of hassle.

To make it work, approach a child quietly, whisper so no one else can hear, say what you need to say with confidence and then move away. This allows the child to self-correct without being the centre of attention.

The ‘Three Bs’ is soft and supportive guidance that doesn’t interrupt the flow of a lesson and avoids a power struggle. Yell and this will lead to hell!

The Be Quick, Be Quiet and Be Gone strategy uses less words and certainly less emotion.

This is a fuss-free way to keep things calm and pacifies rather then escalates a situation into something worse.

The power of a whisper can work wonders. To address the whole class when the noise level gets too much then whisper to them “If you can hear my voice, raise your hand, because you will be getting 5 minutes of free time at the end of the day”. Unsurprisingly, this really works!

But the ‘Three Bs’ isn’t just for teachers.

There is another Three Bs strategy and this one is for pupils who may be struggling to maintain control in times of stress.

When students are finding a situation hard to deal with then teach them the Three Bs of

  1. Be Quiet – to calm down, stop talking
  2. Back Away – to keep from getting more upset, back away
  3. Breathe Deeply – take some deep breaths to release stress

These steps are calculated to support children to re-gain control.

Give both strategies a try and see if they work for you and your pupils.


Daunic, A.P., Smith, S.W., Brank, E.M., & Penfield, R.D. (2006). Classroom-based cognitive behavioral intervention to prevent aggression: Efficacy and social validity. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 123-139.

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