The recent interest in teacher and pupil classroom strategies is derived from increasing awareness of the ‘survival’ problem which structural and material factors pose for participants in school life. In the work of Woods (1977) and A. Hargreaves (1978), this argument proceeds directly from analysing structural pressures and constraints, to pointing out the contradictions which teachers have to resolve and thus to classifying the strategies which may be used in attempted solutions. This chain of reasoning may be satisfactory for illustrating why coping strategies are necessary, but it is the basic point of the present paper that such arguments leave out important aspects of social structuring deriving from teacher-child interactive adaptions and that they gloss over many factors and processes in detailing how strategies are developed and used. To attempt this a more specific analysis of the immediate social context of school and classroom life is necessary. This chapter represents one approach to that need.