How To Be A Classroom Management Superhero

Classroom Management SuperheroIf you’re a regular reader of this website, then you know creating leverage is critical to classroom management success.

One of the most powerful ways of creating leverage is to become admired—a hero to your students.

I know. It’s not your job to be admired, or even liked.

But the fact remains: the more students admire you, the easier classroom management will be.

How To Be A Superhero

Have you ever had a hero, someone you looked up to?

Think of how much you wanted to please her, how badly you would have felt disappointing her. Now what if your most difficult students felt that way about you?

Think of the leverage you would have.

For if you can become a hero in your students’ eyes, then you’ll have the kind of personal, magnetic influence that changes behavior.

Here’s how:

Cause No Friction

Demanding, lecturing, arguing, scolding, sarcasm, raising your voice. Even in small doses, these methods will cause students to resent you, dislike you, and exact revenge upon you.

Keeping your cool and letting your classroom management plan do its job, however, will put you in stark contrast with most of your colleagues, and your students will love and respect you because of it.

Listen

Few students feel like they’re really listened to. And yet it means so much to them to have a voice. So when a student comes to you with a problem, don’t write him off as a tattletale.

Look him in the eye, nod your head as you consider the problem, and then take care of it. Solving problems and addressing areas of concern shows students, perhaps more than anything else, that you really care. And in return, when you need them (to influence other students), they’ll be there for you.

Protect

Have you ever felt bad for your class because they had to endure the behavior of certain difficult students and then sit through your… ahem… reactions to them? That’s tragic! Do something about it.

Decide that you will protect your students from interruptions, distractions, and the selfish actions of a few. If you can manage your classroom in such a way that insulates students from such nonsense—see Dream Class and keep reading this site—then you’ll be one of the Fantastic Four to your students.

Praise

Master the art of meaningful praise. Small, personal, sincere acts of praise can have a profound impact on students and is especially effective in endearing them to you.

But praise must be worthy. False praise, especially in the form of loud, public displays, has a fleeting and often negative effect on students. Done correctly, praise can send students running in the direction of what is good, what is right, and of what pleases you.

Laugh

Lighten up and have some fun. Enjoy your time with your students. Kids are funny, and they all love a teacher with a sense of humor. So tell jokes, laugh, and be silly once in a while.

There may not be an easier way to create leverage. If you can make them laugh, they’ll think you’re the greatest teacher in the world.

Be A Leader

If you’re quick to complain and moan about this and that, if you’re wishy-washy, flustered, forgetful, and disorganized, then you’ll be as inspiring as a desk chair to your students.

Be worthy of a hero’s status by carrying yourself with calm confidence. Be decisive, prepared, and behave in manner you expect from them. They’ll clue into the way you handle yourself, with how you respond to adversity, and with the gentle way you interact with them.

And they’ll do the same.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

These six superhero traits will elicit strong reactions from students. And because they’re so different from what students are used to, you’ll be a breath of fresh air, a welcome shock to the system.

But here’s the thing, the bonus:

You’ll feel great about what you’re doing. You’ll love your job. Classroom management won’t be such a challenge. And you’ll be confident in knowing you’re affecting students for the better, that you’re making an indelible mark on the story of their lives.

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8 Responses to How To Be A Classroom Management Superhero

  1. Cara July 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Your plan is just the kind of plan I was looking for to use in my 4th grade classroom. I have taught 13 years and find the simplicity of your plan to be effective. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Marcia Marques July 22, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    Reading your advice gives me great hope for the year ahead. I will keep on reading all of it so that it becomes second nature. Thank you very much!

    • Michael Linsin July 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      Your welcome, Marcia! I’m glad you like the site.

      Michael

  3. jane March 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    omg! Thank you for your wisdom. All my classroom management skills/knowledge DO NOT WORK with this year’s class. I needed to refresh and update my skills and knowledge regarding classroom mngmt. I’m sure your techniques will help me. Thanks!!

  4. Fred July 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    ‘Have you ever had a hero, someone you looked up to?
    Think of how much you wanted to please her …’
    Her? Unbelievable!
    Virtually every ‘hero’ i can think of, virtually every hero my friends/students have ever had is a male, particularly boys … & you too are a male, coz there is a depth of thought in your articles that most women couldn’t even dream of reaching.
    Bright & talented as you are, the above line has caused me to lose half the admiration i had for you, for selling your soul to the demon of political correctness & hypocrisy.
    Utterly disappointing, really!

  5. Jessica February 6, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Wow, the individual above exhibits none of the characteristics in this article, sadly. People who become this upset over one word in an article must become infintely more upset with a child’s slip in words. Michael, I admire you and your constant encouraging words (regardles of the sex of the individuals that you refer to in your articles). Never become discouraged by men and women who continue to exercise sexism in our present day. Thank you for all that you do.

    • Michael Linsin February 6, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Thanks Jessica! I appreciate your comments.

      Michael

  6. Jessica February 6, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    …and…80% of my heroes are women..and I am pretty sure at least 70% of those in the field of education are women, who have women heroes. 🙂