It is said that classroom management comes easy to a lucky few.
That some teachers are naturals.
They walk into a classroom and somehow, mysteriously, the students just know to be at their best.
But here’s the thing.
If you peek beneath the surface of these “naturals,” if you take a close look at how they interact with students, you’ll discover no mystery at all.
The same qualities that make classroom management look effortless for them… are available to you.
You too can be a natural. Just follow their lead.
Teachers who radiate a sense of calm have an almost otherworldly effect on students. By their very presence they’re able to settle excitability, erase silliness and immaturity, and focus students on what matters.
Natural teachers have a genuine, friendly attitude toward students. There is no false praise, ginned-up enthusiasm, or forced camaraderie. They’re real, honest, and openly friendly–which gives them powerful, behavior-influencing leverage.
Natural teachers have a bit of bulldog in them. An attitude that says: I’m going to teach great lessons, you’re going to be well behaved, and we’re going to have a classroom we love coming to every day. And that’s just the way it’s going to be.
Naturals in classroom management are sharp, perceptive, and acutely aware of everything that happens in their classroom. They observe a lot. They absorb a lot. And they’re always three steps ahead of their students.
Teachers who are open to humor, to laughter, and to seeing the fun and funny in their students are able to build strong rapport, camaraderie, and love for the class. All of which translate to better behavior.
Teachers who carry themselves with confidence, despite not always feeling it, send the unmistakable message that they are in charge. In this day and age, many students only respect, listen to, and respond favorably to clear, confident leaders.
Teachers with a forgiving nature are afforded greater influence. Every day is a new day in their eyes. No grudges are held. And behavior isn’t taken as a personal affront. Students are given a fresh start every day, which is a powerful reminder that their teacher believes in them.
Teachers who are noticeably and consistently polite enjoy a vast difference in the way students speak to them—as well as how their students treat each other. In polite classrooms, misbehavior is exposed for what it is: rude, absurdly out of place, and unappealing.
Showing frustration, yelling, or reacting emotionally to misbehavior undermines effective classroom management. Teachers who keep their cool regardless of what’s going on around them are deeply respected by students–who in turn repay them with respectful behavior.
Natural teachers build trust by being the same steady teacher today as they were yesterday. Students know they can depend on them to be reliable in behavior, word, and action. Moodiness, after all, destroys trust and will cause a classroom to spiral into unruliness.
Charisma is the sum total of the qualities above. For many discouraged teachers, particularly those focused on external rewards and stiffer consequences, it is the missing piece. It is what gives a natural teacher the personal magnetism that inspires students to want to please them and behave better for them.
What Are You Waiting For?
None of the qualities above are especially difficult or unattainable. They don’t take extra planning or loads of time. No psychotherapy is needed.
It isn’t rocket science.
Becoming a “natural” in classroom management is like any other goal. It takes desire. It takes purposeful thought. It takes making a choice to pursue what you really want, and then putting your head down and doing it.
I recommend printing the list and reading through it before your students arrive in the morning. Allow yourself a few minutes alone at your desk. Take three or four deep breaths. And meditate on each quality.
Do it every day.
And soon, they’ll be calling you a natural too.
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