Classroom Management Is Easy

woman boulderingClassroom management is easy.

Let me rephrase that.

Classroom management should feel easy.

If it feels difficult to you, if it feels like you’re straining and working to get students to behave and pay attention, then you’re doing something wrong.

Effective classroom management is knowledge based. Unlike most successes in life, it doesn’t reward those who work the hardest. It rewards those who work the smartest.

It takes poise, self-discipline, and mindfulness—to be sure. But it doesn’t take being exhausted at the end of the day.

Today’s article is the 80th written for this website. If you look through the articles, you’ll find strategies that anyone can do, that are simple to implement, and that take minimal planning.

Students react predictably—both good and bad—to certain teacher behaviors, techniques, and strategies. Knowing which is which is like having a key that unlocks the secrets to happy teaching.

And that’s what this site is about. Being happy in your job, fulfilled, and blessed with the freedom to inspire students—without interruption, disruption, and disrespect.

A Lot To Learn

Rules and consequences are an important part of classroom management. There is no getting around it. You can’t be an effective teacher without an unwavering commitment to following them. But they’re only a small part of classroom management—just a sliver.

The rest is your relationship with students—how you speak, interact, and communicate with them, the way you respond when they misbehave, how you carry yourself, how you praise them, and the strategies you use to get them to do what you ask.

You have to know how to create leverage, how to build rapport, how to get students excited about coming to school, how to be an effective storyteller, and how to get students to want to behave.

There is a lot to learn.

But once you have a solid understanding of smart classroom management principles, strategies, and techniques, you’ll have the confidence to control, and thrive in, any classroom on the planet—regardless of who the students are or the behavior problems they’ve had in the past.

Goodbye To The Old Methods

Classroom management shouldn’t feel like hard work.

You shouldn’t have to persuade, bribe, yell, argue, debate, negotiate, lecture, scold, glare, or threaten students to behave. You shouldn’t have to use elaborate incentive systems or praise students who don’t really deserve it.

You shouldn’t have to manipulate students or play mind games, walk on eggshells or merely hope your students will behave. You shouldn’t have to spend more time and energy on some students than others. And you shouldn’t have to be concerned about parent complaints.

But most important, classroom management shouldn’t be stressful.

If it is, or if it feels like hard work, or if you find yourself using any of these old methods, then you’re doing something wrong.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

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4 Responses to Classroom Management Is Easy

  1. Chris Bowen October 10, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    So much of this article is true. Too many teachers view classroom management through the lens of rigid discipline. That’s fear based and won’t get you optimal results. In most cases, the best managed classes are those that are based on building genuine relationships with the kids and being an engaging, energetic force in the classroom. I remember once when another teacher was talking about how certain students were just giving her an awful time. I had those same kids and had no problems. At one point, I felt the need to defend the kids and blurted out, “Well, just how boring are you?” Didn’t quite use enough diplomacy, but it was really one of the questions she needed to be asking herself.

    Chris Bowen
    Author of “Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom”

  2. Richard November 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Michael –

    A short story for you: I work at a traditionally “tough” inner city school in Austin, TX, where teachers complain about school culture, student attitudes and disrespect daily. I was part of this lot, so unhappy with my constant struggles and feeling of failure, that I was ready to give up the profession — I was running out of ideas quickly. Then one day late in my second year, I took some time away from my class to observe a colleague who I heard was doing some good things. Although she was trained elsewhere, I could tell in 45 minutes that she was teaching her “Dream Class”, and with the same students almost all other teachers struggled with. I was blown away. A year later I finally discovered your site, and I was sucked in immediately by the simple logic behind your strategies. Plus, I had some real life evidence: The teacher I observed was doing the exact same things you were suggesting. And did they ever WORK.

    I saw that success was in reach. She was my beacon, and your web site is my sail. I’ve now been asked to help other teachers with their classroom management and their rapport with students. They even call me “Mr. Cool”, because I’m always in a good mood now! I’ll be sending them to this article to get started (I already have) and to your book, which I loved as well. Thank you 1,000 times for lighting the way. It can be done!

    • Michael Linsin November 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      Awesome Richard! I’m thrilled with your success, and am so glad you were fortunate enough to see an expert teacher in action–proof that indeed it can and is being done regardless of the school. So liberating to throw the excuses out the window. So wonderful to be a blessing and inspiration to your students. So fulfilling to know what a difference you’re making. Thanks for sharing. I know simply from your nickname what a good teacher you are. Fantastic! Your students are lucky to have you. And now you’re in a position to inspire other teachers. So great!