Small things can make a big difference.
Tweaks here and there. Changes in perspective, in temperament. Fine-tuning the dial to a clearer, cleaner signal. Improved classroom management doesn’t have to be hard.
If it feels hard, if you’re straining and striving but reaping little more than stress, then you’re doing it wrong.
Everything we recommend here at SCM must be doable, effective, and best for students and their social, emotional, and academic well-being.
But it also must be best for you. It must make your job easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable. If this criteria isn’t met, then you won’t see it on our website.
With this in mind, I compiled a list of seven small, simple resolutions anyone can employ and see real, sustainable results.
They take zero extra work or planning. They need only your commitment.
Stop all friction with students. Resolve to never lecture, scold, or show an ounce of displeasure. Even while enforcing consequences, be only pleasant—and nothing more. This alone can be career-changing.
Let your classroom management plan do all the work for you. Relieve yourself of the profound distress of having to rely on the perfect, unattainable alchemy of words and expressions to curb misbehavior, and instead do the most effective thing you can: Lean on your plan.
Shift all responsibility for listening, learning, and behaving over to your students. Allow none of it to cling to you. Instead, double down on your job, which is to provide great instruction and protect every student’s right to learn and enjoy being in your classroom.
Become as calm as a mountain lake. Believe it or not, keeping your cool both inside and out is a decision you make every day, nothing more. In the few minutes before school begins, decide that no matter what happens that day you’ll float above it.
Hold no grudge. The secret to influential rapport isn’t to try to get to know your students better. It isn’t to ask about their hobbies or show how cool you are. It’s to be consistently pleasant to all students. Do this and rapport comes naturally, organically.
Focus on setting your students up for success from one moment to the next and from opening bell to dismissal. This is done through detailed instruction of every transition, movement, heartbeat, and object of concentration so that there is no question what is expected.
Accept only excellence. This is a mindset, not a task. If your attitude is one of expecting the best, finest, and highest quality, then that’s what you’ll get it. It’s a law of nature. Every student will know it and adjust to it by your attitude alone.
Notice that each resolution requires commitment. Full-on determined resoluteness. This is a good thing because it’s easy to know what you must do and whether, when, and if you’ve gotten off track.
If you decide on just these few things, you’ll find unusual success.
You’ll find transformation and rejuvenation. You’ll discover that your students aren’t who you thought they were and that you have far more power and control than you ever thought possible.
It’s in your hands. Truly. The naysayers who caw and caw that you’re at the mercy of your students are heralding a message from the pit of Hades.
So right now. This moment. Review the list once again. Print it out if need be. Read it every day. Focus and commit.
If you stumble, if you fall and scrape your knee or bloody your nose, get right back up on that Paso Fino. Dust off your chaps, right your Stetson, click your tongue and never look back.
Those days are gone forever.
PS – To learn more, please spend time in the archive or check out our books (at right).
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