Effective Classroom Management

Helen McMahon, Michelle Gleeson, Andrea Gavrielatos & Trystan Loades consider one of the most important topics for all teachers … classroom management. Helen, in the introduction, returns to a topic that she wrote about in the 2015 edition of the JPL. Michelle and Andrea then give us the primary school perspective and Trystan discusses the high school context . . . 


Teaching is complex, no more so than when it comes to the management of student behaviour. Effective teaching can only occur when the behaviour of students is successfully dealt with at a whole school and individual class level. High standards of behaviour are essential in creating a productive and positive learning environment, as well as a safe and respectful school. 

A high standard of behaviour should be expected of all students and applied throughout the school each day by everyone. From the outset it is important to understand a fundamental principle: while the public education system accepts all students, we do not accept all behaviours.  

The student profile of many of our schools is becoming ever more complex and, therefore, teachers require increasingly sophisticated sets of skills to deal with behaviour in their own classes. However, it is important to understand that the management of student behaviour is also a collective responsibility, across the whole school by all staff, and in serious cases with systemic Department of Education support. 

As all schools are required to develop a behaviour management plan, it is essential that this is developed collaboratively, and closely adhered to by all staff, in order to develop consistent approaches to unacceptable conduct. 

Individual teachers, particularly for those who are beginning their teaching career, will usually need additional advice, support, and professional learning opportunities to acquire the range of skills that allow them to gain confidence and become professionally autonomous. Any professional learning should cover areas such as: 

  • why engaging teaching strategies can be the basis for minimising unacceptable behaviour  
  • how to manage persistent disruptive and challenging behaviours 
  • strategies that could be used to de-escalate conflict situations 
  • the need to engage parents and caregivers early and in a positive manner 
  • the support that will be available from colleagues and executive teachers. 

The NSW Department of Education’s Student Behaviour Policy (2022) states, “All students and staff have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity in an environment free from intimidation, harassment, victimisation, discrimination and continued disruption.” To ensure that schools are safe, productive, and stable learning environments it is essential that this fundamental policy position is embedded in the school culture and reinforced daily.  

Classroom management – school contexts

During the liveliness and excitement of a bustling school day, there are many things out of our control. One of the things that we, as teachers, can control is how we set up our day and our classroom to ensure that we set our students (and ourselves) up for success.  

The way classroom management looks in each classroom is ultimately up to the teacher. And whether or not you are working in a school which sets clear systems, expectations and routines, there are practices for your classroom that can make the day flow in a more positive direction. 

Before we launch into the what and the how, let’s start with the why. On top of knowing our content and how to structure a lesson, classroom management directly affects the conditions for student learning and effective teaching. When the learning space is organised … students’ academic skills and competencies, as well as their social and emotional development are supported and enhanced (Kratochwill, DeRoos, Blair, 2009). This aligns with the Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice domains of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (NESA 2018), specifically that teachers ‘Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments’ and ‘Know students and how they learn’. The intersection of these two standards with regards to classroom management highlights that not only do our considerations about how we arrange the learning space matter, but this, combined with a deep understanding about our students’ individual characteristics and needs, can be affected and supported by that very learning environment. What are the things we need to factor in for our students before they’ve set foot through the door for our lesson or for the day? How can we suitably reflect on our lesson plan to anticipate how we might deal with behaviours that become too excitable? How can a teacher pre-empt and identify strategies to ensure all students are engaged safely and successfully in classroom activities? 

Across both primary and secondary settings, there are universal elements to classroom management. that link back to the Standards. that can help us reflect on how we best set our students up for success in their learning. Let’s take a look at a day in the life of a primary school teacher and a learning period for a high school teacher, and, in doing so, share some strategies which you can add to your toolbox to support you… 

A Day in the Life of Primary School – through the lens of classroom management

Starting the day

Classroom management begins well before the front gates open for students and families. This time is quite possibly the most important part of the day with regards to effective classroom management.  

A good habit to develop each day when you arrive at your classroom is to map out the day plan in a visual timetable, either written or with visual aids, displayed at the front of the room. This practice is an example of how to utilise Universal Design for Learning as seen in the Universal Design for Learning planning tool (2021). This framework is most beneficial for students with additional needs, however it reduces the fear of the unknown and can be beneficial for all students. Taking a moment to walk through what’s happening, on any given day, can also help you to anticipate the flow of what’s planned and review what you’ll need for the lessons for the day. Using the morning routine to locate and organise resources needed for your lessons will assist in those teaching moments to maintain your students’ focus and minimise opportunities for behaviours to unravel. Being proactive in having what you will need at the ready, or mentally noting what you need to prepare during the session break and considering how and where resources are accessed during the learning is an important aspect of classroom management related to the routines you establish and maintain in your classroom.  

Setting the tone of your learning environment

How you then organise your classroom with resources and routines inherently sets the tone of the learning environment. Giving attention and consideration to how the classroom helps to develop a culture of learning and structure is something which can often be forgotten. Setting up the learning space in a way which is conducive to teaching and learning is paramount. 

 It is helpful to ask questions such as ‘can students and teachers move around the room with ease?, ‘is there enough room to walk?’, ‘is the floor clear of resources?’, ‘are resources clearly labelled and packed in the appropriate place?’, ‘where will students sit for group discussions or brainstorming or modelled lessons?’, ‘what kind of noise levels are acceptable and at what times?’.  

Ideas as simple as group structures and seating arrangements can promote positive behaviours and academic outcomes (Wannarka & Ruhl, 2008). There is evidence to support the idea that ‘if students are working on individual assignments, they should be seated in an arrangement that makes interacting with peers inconvenient…for example, in rows students are not directly facing each other’. Conversely, ‘when the desired behaviour is interactive… seating arrangements that facilitate interactions by proximity and position, such as clustered desks or semi-circles, should be utilised’ (Wannarka & Ruhl, 2008). Strategically planning these structures prior to the day beginning can have a positive influence on student engagement and behaviour. 

Involving your students to establish a set of expectations supports a shared understanding of what is valued in the learning environment for everyone to be able to engage in learning. It can also assist students to regulate collaboratively the classroom behaviour. What is important to one group can be vastly different to another, so this process is a crucial component to classroom management and is most successful when students have agency in determining the conditions for learning as well as the positive rewards and negative consequences that go along with these. Along with collaboratively setting up, and explicit teaching of, class expectations, each teacher will have a different system of organisation with regards to student jobs, and overall set up. It is important to be strategic in deciding which student will be responsible for each job depending on their social, emotional and academic needs. Guiding questions such as the following are helpful to ask yourself when selecting students for each job: Do any students require regular breaks? Does a particular student require a peer to assist them in executing the job? Will the students be able to refocus upon completion of the job?  

As with any element of classroom management, it is crucial to model and guide students in how to successfully perform each task before expecting them to complete it independently. 

Relationships sit at the heart of effective classroom management and a simple yet effective way to connect with your students, and to set the tone of the day of learning, is to greet students personally as they enter the classroom. Positioning yourself at your door, monitoring both students as they unpack and those that are settling into the room allows you to: 

  • start the day with a positive connection with your students,  
  • remind students of classroom expectations through specific praise of preferred behaviours, in turn supporting the transition into the formal learning space, and  
  • gauge the moods and mindsets your students have before the learning begins. 

This, in turn, offers a “low-cost, high-yield” proactive strategy that complements the organisational elements to setting up the learning environment (Cook, et. al 2018). Coupled with your proactive measures of setting up your resources, being proactive with your students’ behaviour, and starting every day with a positive and personal acknowledgement of each student in your class, has been shown to promote higher levels of academic engagement. It also minimises, even prevents, the occurrence of problem behaviours that disrupt learning. Additionally, being perceptive to the emotional wellbeing of your students, not only as they start the day but throughout the day, and particularly following transitions, can assist you in managing behaviours through pre-corrections, further modelling or revision, or tuning in to students’ needs to support them to re-engage or regulate their behaviour. 

Positive reinforcement extends the tone of the learning environment and can take varied forms without always being a tangible reward although, at times, the extrinsic motivator can help. Acknowledging and reinforcing the behaviours you expect supports students with direct feedback on what is valued, but is only effective when the reinforcement is genuine, clear, and explicit about the behaviour and given in a timely manner (i.e., straight after the target behaviour). If there are established positive reinforcement procedures in your school, it is critical that these are integrated into your own systems. Such integration, however, does not preclude the use of your own additional strategies, if required, which can be as simple as non-verbal cues and verbal praise, a positive phone call to parents, to tangible reward tokens or activity rewards. Knowing the individual preferences of your students will also inform the approach that you take for encouraging positive behaviour in your classroom. Most students will respond to the universal support and expectations for behaviours (be they the whole school or your class systems) but some students may require an individualised approach with targeted and specific behaviour goals that have positive consequences negotiated with the student and their parents or carers. 

“Be the calmest person in the room”

And while giving attention to the routines and structures of our classroom allows us to exert some control in pre-empting behaviours, the only thing we can control is ourselves and to be the calmest person in the room. The key to effective routines and structures lies in modelling and explicit teaching but this begins with our own behaviours. Students are more likely to replicate calm energy if they have been shown this. The importance of being responsive over reactive, having and modelling empathy, and above all else being consistent, sits hand in hand with the positive, safe and supported learning environment that is conducive to the success of our students. 

Transitions and breaks

When it comes to managing your expectations around behaviours at any point in the school day, it’s often safer to never assume your students will know how to behave. Establishing expectations not only with regards to the use of resources and interactions for group or independent work, but also around transitions requires explicit teaching through modelling. For example, if your students are expected to enter and exit the classroom quietly and in two straight lines or move from sitting on the floor to their desks, then preparing them from the outset with clear expectations and demonstrations is required, even for simple tasks such as these. Show your students what the transition looks like, sounds like and feels like so that they can experience that through practise, revising as often as needed. 

While classroom management is often viewed as enacted within the four walls of the classroom, practices such as active supervision apply in the playground and have similar effect and impact in managing behaviour. The proverbial ‘eyes in the back of your head’ comes to mind. The effects of scanning, movement and proximity on supporting positive behaviour in any school setting will influence behaviour. It is important to remember that our job is to teach and that every moment is a teaching moment, whether we are in the classroom or elsewhere. Teach and praise what you want to see more of and celebrate the steps along the journey. 

Managing the end of the day

The bookends of the day largely dictate the overall organisation of your classroom, and where much attention is given to setting up the day, the end of the day is equally important. Similar to the setup, pre-empting issues and being proactive is key at the end of the day – knowing that your students are going to start feeling tired and fatigued, consider what could go wrong with the planned group activity, or art lesson, and make adjustments to your plan where necessary. If you think they require some time to regulate, complete a calming ‘brain break’. If it seems as though they are lacking energy, complete an energising activity. (Although ‘brain breaks’ can be done at any time throughout the day, the end of the day is often when they are utilised most regularly).  

Allow yourself plenty of time for packing up, giving yourself at least 10 minutes at the end of the day to finish calmly and smoothly with an activity before students are dismissed such as read a story/poem, play a game, silent reading or journaling, guided drawing, practise gratitude, dance or sing. The activity could be a routine one or be different every day, this is up to you and your class. Just as the expectation stands for entering the classroom, be consistent with clear expectations for how students leave the classroom when the bell rings. Think about how many students will you dismiss at once- will they be the same students at tables/desks or the students who are packed up and quiet? Supporting a positive and calm end to the day will not only support your students in finishing the day on a good note but is also good for our own wellbeing to avoid ending the day in frantic chaos. 

When you need support…

With the increase of students with additional needs enrolled in public schools, over the course of a career, teachers will likely be met with students who challenge and provoke our thinking. Sometimes, when redirection and all proactive, positive systems have been exhausted or when the safety of a child, a class, or staff members is at risk, different strategies are required. 

 Whether or not an individual behaviour plan is required, at times, it is critical to utilise expert and experienced staff, including senior executives, for support. 

Some things to remember, if and when faced with more complex, challenging and escalating behaviours, are: 

  • remain calm – think about your tone of voice, body language, what you are saying, how you are moving, where you are positioned,  
  • explain why the specific behaviour is unacceptable – Is it unsafe? Is it disturbing the learning of others? Is it respectful?  
  • don’t buy into any secondary behaviours which may arise,  
  • give short and direct instructions – it is helpful to use the student’s name first and then the clear, explicit direction, 
  • follow through, 
  • call for assistance.  

Remember, once any incident is dealt with, it is important to move on and start fresh. 

Students come to school to learn and they all have a right to do so in our vibrant and diverse public education system. With clear and visible expectations and routines which are reiterated and retaught consistently through a calm and predictable teacher, you set yourself and your class up for success (Dix, 2017). 


For many students, their school, and in particular their classroom, is the place where they feel most at ease, at baseline and where they can truly be themselves. Their teacher is a constant and when we act and react predictably to all situations, it makes our students feel safe. Safety allows students to remain calm, display positive behaviours and in turn, engage in learning. ‘Visible consistency with visible kindness allows exceptional behaviour to flourish’ (Dix, 2017). 

A High School Context

Teaching is a highly complex activity, which, depending on which research you read, requires a teacher to make as many as 1500 decisions a day.  

As stated earlier, teachers have a core responsibility to ‘Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments’ Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (2018). Our students also have a core responsibility to ensure that they are contributing to a positive learning environment. As Helen McMahon stated in our introduction: while public education accepts all students, we do not accept all behaviours. 

High schools are busy places, in which movement and transitions are an integral part of every school day. The effective management of student behaviour is critical to ensuring that our practice and pedagogy impacts positively on the learning of our students. Without it, learning cannot take place. 

Three ways in which teachers can impact on student behaviour are through: routines and structures, controlling the learning environment and engagement.   

Routines and Structure

As high school teachers, we are always receiving students who are arriving from another context, be it roll call, recess, lunch or the previous lesson. Our class may be arriving as a group who were together in the previous lesson or be a group coming together for the first time that day. This poses significant challenges for a teacher who needs to ensure that the start to their lesson is both orderly and purposeful. 

Paul Dix, author of When the adults change, everything changes (2017) states, “Your students might claim that they prefer to lead lives of wild and crazy chaos. In reality, it is your routines, and your relentless repetition of them, that makes the students feel safe enough to learn.”. 

Managing the Start of Lessons – Explicitly teaching clear and consistent routines throughout the structure of your lesson has many benefits for you and your students. Meet students in the same way every lesson, if they line up, do it the same way every time. Greet every student, building a connection before entering the classroom. Ensure that the first contact is proactive, positive and within your control. If you search YouTube, you will find videos of teachers sharing elaborate handshake routines which are individual to each student. This would not be something we could all do, but a personal verbal greeting to all students is something we can all achieve, it could be asking about the lesson they have just left or simply a personalised greeting. These interactions also help teachers, before entry to the classroom, to pick up on issues students are arriving with. 

Feeling Safe – Consistent routines and structures provide students a connection to, and a feeling of safety in, our classrooms. For students, the idea that ‘I know what to expect’ allows space for engagement in initial instructions and explicit teaching. For students who have experienced trauma and those who have additional learning needs this is critical to building a sense of trust and safety as a learner.  

Managing the End of Lessons – Our role in supporting smooth transitions is particularly important at the end of lessons. It allows for reflection on the learning which has taken place and provides support to our colleagues who will be receiving our students during the next teaching period. It also directly impacts on the safety of students and staff as they move to the next location of their day. Having a consistent routine at the end of lessons is as important as at the start of each lesson. Developing a suite of strategies such as exit tickets, routines around packing up and preparing to leave the room are vital and the important thing is to, as Paul Dix said, be relentless in your repetition of them. 

Controlling the Learning Environment

Taking control of your classroom is a vital component of being a successful teacher. There is no one way to do this, and every teacher is different, however, being passive is not an option. 

The NSW Department of Education’s Classroom management: Creating and maintaining positive learning environments (CESE 2020) cites research which says: 

Put simply, classroom management and student learning are inextricably linked; students cannot learn or reach their potential in environments which have negative and chaotic classroom climates, lack structure and support, or offer few opportunities for active participation (Hepburn & Beamish 2019, p. 82), and students report wanting teachers who can effectively manage the classroom learning environment (see Woolfolk Hoy & Weinstein 2006, p.183; Egeberg & McConney 2018) 

Layout – Assert your control of the classroom environment through the arrangement of furniture. Set up the space before students arrive whenever you can. If there are materials to distribute to allow learning activities to begin, have them on desks before students arrive. This saves time and removes opportunities for disruption. 

Managing Behaviour -Exercise power to gain power and, therefore, control of the environment. Gain compliance through small instructions which are easy to follow, such as completing a simple task of collecting or getting out equipment or setting up a page in a workbook can settle a class and establish your authority in the classroom. Taking ownership of behaviour management is critical in establishing your authority. You should always know how to get support from colleagues and your Head Teacher but resolving issues yourself will always pay off in the long run. It is important to note that knowing when an issue needs to be escalated is also critical. 

Seating Plans – A well-considered seating plan allows students to know where to be and for you to control where individuals are in your learning space. Some students may have specific positions described in their Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). A seating plan can allow you to establish effective group work as a supportive structure in your classroom. 

Non-Verbal Communication – The use of non-verbal communication is a core skill we all need to develop; it can allow us to intervene early and get behaviour back on track without drawing attention to a student or their behaviour. This can be as subtle as eye contact at the right moment, a hand movement to suggest calming or even a smile and a nod. 

Positioning – Where you place yourself at key times such as student arrival, roll marking, giving instructions, asking questions will impact on each activity’s effectiveness. Your ability to move around the room while maintaining a scanning view allows you to keep on top behaviour and levels of student engagement. Some teachers use a specific position in the classroom to manage student behaviour which is separate to positions they use for explicit teaching. Used consistently, this can even become an example of non-verbal communication as students learn to associate it with an intervention by the teacher.  

Pace – Your control of the pace of your teaching and the learning in your classroom is also a key strategy in developing an orderly and effective classroom. Research has shown that a slow pace of instruction can cause significant behaviour problems. The right pace in a lesson will positively impact on student engagement and progress in learning. 


Any teacher, who has become involved in a struggle of attrition with an individual or a class around behaviour, knows that it is a negative cycle, which needs to be broken. The way to break it is always through positive engagement in learning. 

Explicit Teaching – Students’ knowledge of what they are learning, and why they are learning it, impacts on their engagement. Building their ‘field’ of knowledge around a topic or specific activity adds richness and promotes genuine understanding and interest. 

Modelling – Modelling an activity for a class, or group within a class, draws students into a task and provides the opportunity for a teacher to build credibility with students. A teacher sharing skills is a way for students to see that their teacher is an expert from whom they can learn. 

Questioning – A skilled teacher will use a wide range of questioning techniques to develop students’ ideas, to check on understanding, to draw individuals into the learning process and to inform their own decision making on where to take the lesson next. Questions allow a teacher to take a class deeper into a topic and promote students’ skills of justifying and explaining their reasoning. Simple techniques like ‘no hands up’ or ‘think, pair and share’ place structure and enhance the teachers control of order in a classroom. The use of closed questions to check recall and open questions to promote deeper thinking and analysis will be appropriate at various times within a class’s learning. Click here for the link to the Department of Education’s section on Questioning 

Participation – Designing learning activities or tasks which require active participation is fundamental to building student engagement.  

When teachers require that students participate in lessons, rather than sit as passive listeners, they increase the odds that these students will become caught up in the flow of the activity and not drift off into misbehaviour (Heward, 2003).  

This idea is explored in detail by Geoff Munns’ JPL article from 2021. He said, 

“We talked about students being ‘in-task’ (positively involved in their learning) as opposed to being ‘on-task’ (just complying with teacher instructions).” 

No matter which stage you are teaching, being prepared, and having as much organisation in place as possible will enable any teacher to deal with the unexpected. As stated earlier a teacher will make as many as 1500 decisions in any normal school day, each one may be critical to a student’s learning or the management of their behaviour. Teaching really is rocket science. 

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE 2020), Classroom management: Creating and maintaining positive learning environments LITERATURE REVIEW DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 2. (n.d.). https://education.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/main-education/about-us/educational-data/cese/2020-classroom-management-literature-review.pdf 

Cook, C, Fiat, A, Larson, M, Daikos, C, Slemrod, T, Holland, E, Thayer, A & Renshaw, T (2018). ‘Positive greetings at the door: Evaluation of a low-cost, high-yield proactive classroom management strategy’, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, vol. 20, no. 3.  

Dix, P. (2017). When the adults change, everything changes: seismic shifts in school behaviour. (1st ed.). Independent Thinking Press. 

Egeberg, H & McConney, A (2018) What do students believe about effective classroom management? A mixed – methods investigation in Western Australian high schools. Springer International Publishing 


Hepburn, L & Beamish, W (2019) Towards Implementation of Evidence Based Practices for Classroom Management in Australia: A review of research Australian Journal of Teacher Education 


Heward, W.L. (2003) Ten Faulty Notions about Teaching and Learning That Hinder the Effectiveness of Special Education. The Journal of Special Education 

Improvement, L. (2021, April 29). Universal Design for Learning planning tool. Education.nsw.gov.au. https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/learning-from-home/teaching-at-home/teaching-and-learning-resources/universal-design-for-learning 

Kratochwill, T., DeRoos, R., & Blair, S. (2009). Classroom Management: Teachers Modules. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/education/k12/classroom-mgmt.aspx 

McMahon, H. (2015). Managing Student Behaviour [Review of Managing Student Behaviour]. Journal of Professional Learning, Semester 1, 2015. https://cpl.asn.au/journal/semester-1-2015/managing-student-behaviour 

Munns, G., (2021) All About MeE: The Fair Go Program’s Student Engagement Framework The Journal of Professional Learning (JPL) 


NSW Department Of Education (2022) Student Behaviour Policy https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/pd-2006-0316 

NSW Department of Education – Questioning https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/teacher-quality-and-accreditation/strong-start-great-teachers/refining-practice/teacher-questioning/key-questioning-strategies#1.0 

NSW Education Standards Authority (2018). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – Teacher Accreditation. (rev. ed.)  Retrieved from https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/9ba4a706-221f-413c-843b-d5f390c2109f/australian-professional-standards-teachers.pdf?MOD=AJPERES 

Wannarka, R., & Ruhl, K. (2008). Seating arrangements that promote positive academic and behavioural outcomes: a review of empirical research. Support for Learning, 23(2), 89–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2008.00375.x 

Woolfolk Hoy, A., & Weinstein, C. S. (2006). Student and Teacher Perspectives on Classroom Management. 

 In C. M. Evertson, & C. S. Weinstein (Eds.), Handbook of Classroom Management. Research, Practice, and Contemporary Issues (pp. 181-219). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 


Helen McMahon is an experienced secondary History and English teacher. For much of her career she taught in the south-west region of Sydney. Helen held the position of Deputy Principal at Bankstown Girls High School before being appointed as Principal to Leumeah High School. Following her retirement as principal she returned to the classroom, teaching English at Keira High School. 

Helen is the author of a popular article on behaviour management published in the very first edition of the JPL which is still available. The article was based on beginning teacher professional development courses she delivered on behalf of the Federation. 

Click here to access this article. 

Andrea Gavrielatos began teaching in 2015 at Bardia Public School in Sydney’s South West.   

She has worked in mainstream and special education settings. Prior to her current role she worked as a relieving Assistant Principal in an SSP which caters for students with Emotional Disturbances, Behaviour Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities.  

Andrea is currently an Assistant Principal at a large Primary School in the Canterbury-Bankstown area. She has worked in infants and primary. 

Throughout her career, Andrea has supported early career teachers to establish planning/programming routines and classroom management strategies as presenter at various conferences and courses.​ 

Michelle Gleeson began teaching in 2005 as a primary teacher and is currently acting Deputy Principal at a large primary school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. 

Throughout her career, Michelle has been involved in advising early career teachers on accreditation processes and supporting beginning teachers to establish planning/programming routines and classroom management strategies as presenter at various conferences and workshops for the CPL and NSWTF. 

She worked as a Professional Learning Officer at the NSW Institute of Teachers (now known as NESA) and advised teachers and school executive on designing and implementing effective processes to support the learning and development of all staff, using the framework of the Teaching Standards.

Trystan Loades has been a high school teacher for 26 years. He has held classroom teacher and executive roles in both NSW schools and schools in the UK, where he was a Faculty Head Teacher for 6 years. He is currently a Deputy Principal at Keira High School in Wollongong. 

In recent years Trystan has worked closely with the University of Wollongong Master of Teaching program. He collaborated in the writing and delivery of professional learning for teachers supervising Professional Experience. 

He currently leads new staff induction and support for beginning teachers at his school.