How To Have Jedi-Like Classroom Management Powers

Smart Classroom Management: How To Have Jedi-Like Classroom Management Powers“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” -Obi-Wan Kenobi

There exists a quiet cadre of teachers who can take over any classroom—out-of-control, disrespectful, or otherwise—and get the students under control, quiet, and working within minutes.

They have a certain presence about them, a certain unmistakable quality or vibe that reverberates from one student to the next, signaling that business is no longer usual.

Almost magically students sit up straighter, listen more intently, and show a level of respect their former teachers would scarcely believe.

This powerful, Jedi-like presence can only be described as the force of their personality.

It’s an attitude, or state of mind, that elicits in students a strong desire to give their best.

Upon asking students why they’re so different around such teachers, the common answer is, “I don’t know why I behave so well for Mrs. Jones. There is just something about her that makes me want to be a better student.”

But the strategy these teachers use to command such reverence is no Jedi mind trick. The truth is, those who possess this “force” simply think differently than most teachers.

Here’s how:

They take full responsibility.

No matter where they teach, under what conditions they teach, or who their students are, these Jedi-teachers take responsibility for everything that happens in their classroom—even if a herd of buffaloes were to come stampeding through their midst.

By offering no excuses for themselves or their students, they become empowered like a great surging wave to transform lives, set hearts afire for learning, and inspire their students to the highest mountaintops.

They have unshakable confidence.

Because they’re experts in effective classroom management, thoughts of failure, defeat, and uncertainty never enter their mind. They have such confidence in their ability to manage behavior that it manifests itself in everything they do.

You can see it plainly in how they move, speak, teach, and relate to students. And it is this confidence that causes students to want to place their trust in them and follow them to the ends of the galaxy.

They believe in their students. 

These remarkably effective teachers have a deeply entrenched belief in their students and their ability to overcome circumstances, rise above difficulties, and stare down the demons conspiring to pull them away from their dreams.

This isn’t just what these Jedi-teachers believe, but it’s part of who they are. It brightens their every smile. It secretes from their pores. And it glows like embers in their eyes. For them to think otherwise would be the ultimate betrayal.

They know their students will behave.

Teachers who struggle with classroom management often feel as if they’re one rainy day, one school assembly, or one fire drill from losing control of their class. On most days, they merely hope their students will behave.

Jedi-teachers, on the other hand, don’t do any hoping. Backed by a classroom management plan that works, they have the mindset that no matter what comes up, or how many interruptions, their students will behave. And that’s just the way it’s going to be.

You Can Do This

Extraordinary classroom management isn’t the province of a lucky few.

You don’t have to have a certain upbringing or personality. You don’t have to be early in your career nor especially experienced. You don’t have to have a booming voice, a comedic wit, or a duchess’ grace.

Short or tall, reserved or outgoing, anybody can do this.

You can do this.

But you have to believe in yourself. You have to be a student of effective classroom management. And you have to start thinking like the Jedi-teacher you want to become.

Now go and do it.

And may the force be with you.

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11 Responses to How To Have Jedi-Like Classroom Management Powers

  1. Hilary February 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Thank you for this post, very powerful. “For them to think otherwise would be the ultimate betrayal.” I think this line diagnoses my problem. I don’t have faith in quite a few of my students. I think they are lazy, rude or just unable to “get it.” I never thought of it as a betrayal to have those thoughts, just the natural result of feeling frustrated. I’m not sure how to fix it just yet, but just the awareness is a powerful start. The awareness that I feel that way, that I CHOOSE to feel that way, and that I don’t have to anymore. Hmmm.

    • Michael Linsin February 7, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Hilary,

      It’s definitely a choice–a flick of the switch. We can’t look into the future and predict what will become of our students. It’s right to believe in the best of them now. You might be the one person, the one thing, that is the difference-maker. We do them a disservice if we believe they’re incapable of great things or incapable of living productive, contributing lives. Who are we to make that determination?

      Michael

  2. Marilyn February 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Do you have any special strategies for Kindergarten? Does the “time-out until the letter is returned” work for this age? I have just read your book, but before I implement it in my class, I want to make sure it works for Kindergarteners. Thanks! Can’t wait to get it started!

    • Michael Linsin February 8, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Hi Marilyn,

      I do plan on writing an article specific to younger students, but yes, time-out and a letter home works for kindergarteners. The only change is that, in the beginning, you should have two warnings before your time-out.

      Michael

  3. Hilary February 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    My other big problem is that I am not consistent. I know to people who are able to be consistent it is a no brainer, just do it, and do it everytime. But when you have the (consistent) habit of being inconsistent, it is really hard to change it. I feel like screaming because EVERY DAY I remind myself to BE CONSISTENT, which, in a way I AM, because yet again, I did NOT follow through on consequences. I am really struggling with it, and feeling full of profound self doubt because I just can’t seem to do it, and I don’t understand it. And then I feel like giving up and just waiting until a fresh start, which I do every year, and every year it is the same thing.

    • Michael Linsin February 8, 2012 at 7:49 am #

      Hi Hilary,

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just get little better, a little more consistent each day. Stop trying to be perfect. For some, change happens slowly (but permanently). But it does happen if you don’t give up.

      :)Michael

  4. Jeanie February 15, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Thank you Michael, your articles speak directly to ‘the deep heart’s core’ of good teaching practice. I am re-inspired and can now stop worrying. And the advice above is great. It is so true and quite universal.

    • Michael Linsin February 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      You’re welcome, Jeanie! Thanks for reading.

      :)Michael

  5. Deborah February 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    I often feel like Luke – still trying to “use the force.” I like your analogy and I believe that the force is in me. It’s just stronger on some days than others. I think I’ll make a sign and put it in a place that will be a focal point for me!

    • Michael Linsin February 24, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      Good idea, Deborah!

      :)Michael

  6. SerenaCH April 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Michael,
    I especially love your comment: ” For some, change happens slowly (but permanently).”
    I believe your suggestions to Hilary speak to me as well.
    Do you have other personality-taillored suggestions on classroom management?