Classroom management shouldn’t feel difficult.
If you’re straining, trying hard, and feeling heavy burdened, if you’re stressed-out and exhausted at the end of the day, then something is amiss.
You see, exceptional classroom management is knowledge based, not effort based.
It’s knowing what works and putting it into action and what doesn’t and discarding it.
It’s letting proven strategies do the heavy lifting for you, giving you the confidence to take any group of students, no matter how challenging or unruly, and transform them into the class you really want.
Done right, classroom management should feel liberating. In large part, this feeling of liberation comes from what you don’t have to do.
Below is a list of 50 ineffective, stressful, and burdensome methods of classroom management.
Some are myths. Some are misconceptions. And others you just may feel like you have no choice but to do.
But the truth is, by replacing them with what really works, with what really results in a happy, well-behaved classroom, you’re gloriously free to pitch them all on the scrap heap.
50 Things You Don’t Have To Do
1. You don’t have to lecture, yell, or scold.
2. You don’t have to micromanage.
3. You don’t have to ignore misbehavior.
4. You don’t have to be unlikable.
5. You don’t have to tolerate call-outs and interruptions.
6. You don’t have to use bribery.
7. You don’t have to walk on eggshells around difficult students.
8. You don’t have to give false praise.
9. You don’t have to send students to the office.
10. You don’t have to implore your students to pay attention.
11. You don’t have to say things you don’t truly believe.
12. You don’t have to be humorless, stern, or overly serious.
13. You don’t have to repeat yourself over and over again.
14. You don’t have to work on building community.
15. You don’t have to beg or coax or convince your students into behaving.
16. You don’t have to waste time and attention on difficult students.
17. You don’t have to do more or say more to have better control.
18. You don’t have to show anger or lose your cool.
19. You don’t have to lower your behavior standards.
20. You don’t have to talk so much, so often, or so loud.
21. You don’t have to have an antagonistic or demanding relationship with difficult students.
22. You don’t have to shush your students or ask repeatedly for quiet.
23. You don’t have to give frequent reminders and exhortations.
24. You don’t have to show hurt or disappointment to get your message across.
25. You don’t have to guide, direct, or handhold your students through every moment of the day.
26. You don’t have to be thought of as a “mean” teacher.
27. You don’t have to use threats or intimidation to get students to behave.
28. You don’t have to have friction or resentment between you and any of your students.
29. You don’t have to use behavior contracts to turn around difficult students.
30. You don’t have to give over-the-top or gratuitous praise.
31. You don’t have to plead with your students to follow your directions.
32. You don’t have to use different strategies for different students.
33. You don’t have to tolerate a noisy, chaotic, or unruly classroom.
34. You don’t have to talk over your students or move on until you’re ready.
35. You don’t have to accept being disrespected, cursed at, or ignored.
36. You don’t have use complicated classroom management methods.
37. You don’t have to be fearful of holding your students strictly accountable.
38. You don’t have to hold time-consuming community circles or hashing-out sessions.
39. You don’t have to be negative or critical to motivate your students.
40. You don’t have to cover up your personality or hold back from having fun.
41. You don’t have to tolerate arguing and talking back.
42. You don’t have to ask two or three times or more for your students’ attention.
43. You don’t have to offer praise for expected behavior.
44. You don’t have to rely on parents, the principal, or anyone else to turn around difficult students.
45. You don’t have to be overbearing or suffocating to have excellent control.
46. You don’t have to give incessant talking-tos to difficult and disrespectful students.
47. You don’t have to ask students why they misbehaved or force assurances from them.
48. You don’t have to have a boring, no-fun classroom to keep a lid on whole-class misbehavior.
49. You don’t have to be tense, tired, and sick of dealing with misbehavior.
50. You never, ever have to be at the mercy of your students.
Note: Although only a few topics above are linked to articles, all 50 have been written about extensively on this website.
So What Do You Have To Do?
To completely and blissfully rid yourself of the above methods, and to create the classroom you’ve always wanted, you must learn the classroom management principles, strategies, and solutions that are proven to work over time.
No just band-aids, mind you. Not quick fixes and short-term solutions. But a clear, honest, and enduring way to transform your classroom and make a lifetime impact on our students.
The good news is that anyone can do this.
And it’s right at your fingertips. Everything you need to create your dream class—with much more to come—you’ll find on this website.
Look through the archives. Peruse the categories. Take careful notes. And then put what you learn into practice—one simple strategy at a time—until it becomes second nature.
The payoff will be great.
The results will exceed your expectations.
Your confidence will soar.
And the weight of 50 grand pianos will slide gently off your shoulders.
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